The SF Giants social media fan storms at AT&T Park have helped the team take a 2-0 lead in the World Series best of seven series. I spoke with their Social Media guy, Bryan Srabian, on Thursday about the Giants social media during the 2012 World Series and how their organizational focus in adopting this medium in 2002 played a big role in their recent worldwide trending on Twitter. According to Major League Baseball, World Series game one drew 813,000 social media comments, second only to game six of the 2011 WS.
SFG Social Media
Hashtags #SFGiants and one that Bryan made up in 2010, #OrangeOctober, have trended on the Twitter top 10 list thanks to all the fan mentions, retweets and tagged pictures. The Giants social media sensation is in part thanks to players like Pablo Sandoval @KFP48 aka #Panda or #KungFuPanda, and closer Sergio Romo @SergioRomo54 aka #RomoBomb, who use Twitter themselves as about, “Half the team does,” said Bryan. The amount of Giants quotes, hashtags and pictures provided by fans, partners and broadcasters over social media channels will undoubtedly break existing records after this World Series is over. “It’s been over whelming and positive,” is how Bryan described the feeling of coordinating the team’s social media.
I wanted to know if Bryan has gotten any sleep since the NLCS began, he answered “not for the last three days.” On his way to get a Starbuck’s Super Vente, Bryan graciously took my mobile to mobile call. One of my first Sports Techie blog’s was about Giants social media in 2010, the year they last won the World Series. Catching up with Bryan felt like talking to a friend. One of the powers of social media is connecting, we have never met in person but the mutual respect we share was evident over the smartphone airways.
SF Giants Social Media Gets It: https://n5y.1cd.myftpupload.com/sf-giants-social-media-gets-it/.
Imagine a Giants home game and their fans are not wearing orange. That time was 2002 when home blackouts were the rage. Orange Friday began the process in 2003 of training fans to transition over to Orange merchandise. In October of 2010, #OrangeOctober came to being.
Social Media Apps
Bryan considers, “Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” to be his go to social media apps. MLB is heavily using Instagram so I was wondered how he likes using it? It turns out to be his personal favorite. The reason why is because of how Giants fans send pictures, and how they use AT&T Park as a prop with it’s beautiful settings, odors and views of the San Francisco area and the Bay. The Giants did a PhotoBomb contest for game one and two and players like Romo perfected his pose in Game Two.
I was Sports Techie curious as to the level of sports business cooperation between a MLB team’s social media team and their corporate partners and sponsors. First things Bryan shared was that the World Series is Major League Baseball’s and they are, “lucky enough to host it,” at wonderful AT&T Park. To my sportsbiz surprise, the Giants have not had much coordination with the Fox Sports social media team.
Last night was the beginning the SU2C World Series campaign activation so I asked him what level of communication there was between MLB, the Giants and SU2C on this innovative digital campaign that involved so many moving elements? Since they work closely with MLB.com during the regular season it went off as planned. Bryan said, “The Power of including all aspects of media in terms of activating is ideal.”
Bryan mentioned that there was not too much team to team coordination between social media departments on MLB teams yet that he was aware of. The Giants had a hashtag battle with the Cincinnati Reds and they did a few other things but this remains an untapped marketing opportunity in my opinion. I have personally tried to engage with the Tigers on Twitter as both THE Sports Techie and a Tigers fan who was born in East Lansing, Michigan, to no avail. DM me if you are interested in a World Series blog, Tigers social media.
The SU2C social media success story started with using hashtag #IStandUpFor. Fans text 40202 to donate $10 and they joined at SU2C.org. The Giants used a special SU2C logo as their Facebook fan page picture that has over 1.5 million Likes. From their website everyone had the option of posting on Facebook and/or downloading a SU2C placard that could be customized with the name of who you stand up for in the fight versus cancer. For me it is my Dad who had prostate cancer but reversed his PSA and is doing fine after undergoing medical treatment.
During the 5th inning of game one, players on both teams and the umpires stood on the field with their signed SU2C placards while @MLBonFox broadcasters joined in on TV, in a special moment that social media helped foster and then capture during this global show of cancer unity.
Last question for Bryan was about the player’s role in their team’s postseason social media activation success story. Bryan gave credit to the players and said, “they are savvy enough to know hashtags and when to RT one another.” My personal favorite hashtag was #PandaTober after Sandoval hit three home runs in game one. Pablo also received over 300 texts after becoming the first player to hit homeruns in his first three World Series plate appearances.
AT&T Park Tagoramic presented by EMC:
Tag yourself if you went to game one of the World Series in the picture of AT&T Park by clicking on the MLB.com link above.
Sports Techie, social media is a technological platform that is at the core of World Series marketing, activation and fan engagement. The Giants are using hashtag #SFGLive to show live practice video and to accept Twitter questions and comments. Their Facebook fan page pulls in photo Likes in the 100,000’s. During the upcoming off-season, Bryan will put his due diligence into further understanding the potential of their Pinterest and Tumblr social media opportunities. He mentioned that, “things move fast and he does not worry about mistakes.”
Bryan will soon be on a jet flying to Detroit for game three and he has already been working on ‘Behind the Scenes’ content for the SF Giants community. “It is the greatest job in the world,” Bryan said with happy emotions behind those words. I ended our conversation by letting him know like Romo, I am a Los Angeles Dodgers fan since being a boy, but ever since connecting with Bryan and witnessing how he utilizes social media and gets their loyal fans to engage, I am now a San Francisco Giants fan for life. Tigers, it’s time for your fans to engage and bring out the Motown and MotorCity World Series magic. Seattle Mariners, you are next …
Many thanks to Bryan and to the SF Giants for the opportunity to blog about their 2012 #postseason and #WorldSeries social media fan storms.
I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie
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