NFL, brands look to social media to manage Super Bowl buzz

Similar to Super Bowl command centers utilized in recent years, the National Football League is working with social media platform company Spredfast as well as Arizona State University journalism students to help manage the chatter related to Super Bowl XLIX. Approximately 150 ASU students are monitoring social media accounts and hashtags in order to respond to football fans as well as Phoenix visitors that are looking for information on local restaurants, nightlife or other events related to the big game.

Speaking about the command center, Spredfast’s Senior Director of Sports Partnerships Brian Foley said “The NFL has done an outstanding job of developing a robust Social Media Command Center in order to play an active role in the expansive Super Bowl conversation. We’ve collaboratively created a series of modules for on-air and in venue display of contextual influencer content, we’re also leveraging our powerful back-end tools for real-time trend and content discovery, as well as social search for historical comparison.”


Foley continued “The last piece of this puzzle comes by enabling a team comprised of ASU’s Cronkite School with a sophisticated customer care system to efficiently respond to fan questions around logistics, hospitality and other relevant questions on the ground in Glendale.” In addition to the command center, Spredfast will also be powering a social media wall outside the stadium that will display statistics about social media mentions as well as trending content throughout each day.

Of course, the NFL isn’t the only organization that’s looking to social media to interact with football fans. According to AdAge, Anheuser-Busch also set up a social media command center in Phoenix as well as New York City, Palo Alto and St. Louis. Within these centers, Anheuser-Busch will brainstorm with creative teams to develop social media content specifically targeted at the millennial demographic. Those teams will also include representatives from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

It’s likely that other brands have similar social media marketing teams looking for the right moment of the game to capitalize on. During 2013, the team that manages Oreo’s Twitter account was particularly timely with a tweet related to the 34-minute SuperDome blackout during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII. Oreo was able to take advantage of the situation so quickly due to a 15-person social media team that included both copywriters and visual artists.

Interestingly, the NFL and brands won’t be the only people monitoring social media this weekend. Detailed by Nextgov, the Department of National Security will be monitoring any social media chatter that’s related to threats. These threats could be related to the game at University of Phoenix Stadium or events within the surrounding area.

In addition, the government organization will be promoting a “If You See Something, Say Something” awareness campaign that will encourage Super Bowl attendees to report any suspicious activity that’s occurring within Phoenix. That will likely include any drones buzzing around the stadium, a device that’s been banned in the vicinity of the stadium by the Federal Aviation Administration and the DHS.

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