After about 18 and a half seasons in Major League Baseball, Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) launched his personal, verified Twitter account. To be fair, the 140-character social media site has only been online since July of 2006 and only popularized in the last few years.
In the approximately 120 days @RealCJ10 has been active, Chipper has accumulated 187,864 followers at the time of this writing. Jones young account is a great example of how athletes can use Twitter. He has garnered support for the Rally Foundation, created impressions for Mizuno, provided more insight into his hunting hobby and created some new Twitter language.
Hello all! Yes, the ol man finally got the twitta! Shame on the posers. Thx to all the followers already. No fans like braves fans!
— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) July 24, 2012
Yes, that’s right. Through Twitter, Jones has exposed the world to words like “Yicketty,” “JimmyJack” and “Mammo.” To add to the appeal, Jones almost exclusively uses clubhouse nicknames to refer to Braves players.
Some of these nicknames are pretty easy to decifer. “J-Hey” is outfielder Jason Heyward. “Mike B” is centerfielder Michael Bourn. “Free” is first baseman Freddie Freeman. But the best has to be “Roadrunner,” which is Jones nickname for backup third baseman “Juan Francisco. A close second is “Ma-homey” for starting pitcher Paul Maholm.
But what could “Yicketty” and “Mammo” mean? Try this example in context.
How bout that walk off #yicketty by Free? Med was great again but the O in the ninth got it done. Clinched a playoff birth. Still want div..
— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) September 26, 2012
Translation: “How about that walk off home run by Freddie Freeman? Kris Medlen was great again, but the offense, in the ninth, got it done. Clinched a playoff [berth]. Still want the division.”
The other Jones words are “JimmyJack” and “Mammo,” meaning a mammoth home run. Jones defined it as “A big bomb” on Twitter after first using both terms following a Braves win over the Miami Marlins Wednesday, July 25. Jones used “JimmyJack” to describe a home run off the bat of David Ross, or “Rossy,” September 23.
The no-doubt Hall of Famer has also flashed brilliance when he mentions his main sponsor Mizuno. In the last month, Jones has tweeted @MizunoBaseball 3 times. In one tweet that included a picture of a new shipment of bats on September 19, Jones hashtagged the mention with #bestequipmentinthegame and #myboys.
As a brand influencer, Jones could not do much better. The reach of Braves Country has one of the largest geographic footprints in Major League Baseball due largely in part to Ted Turner’s SuperStation during the 1990s. Couple that with digital endorsement of one of the best third basemen and switch hitters in the game makes an impact.
Although it is still hard to quantify Twitter influence without internal analytics, those three mentions had the potential digital reach of over 500,000 consumers. Side note, this number could be inflated by “bots” but that is also a difficult issue to tackle.
Jones, also an avid hunter, mentioned his new BEAR bow, which he purchased from Tbone Turner, then conversed with a couple followers who discussed their bows. Jones ended the conversation claiming to be a better bow hunter.
The last, and arguably, most important role for athlete social media influence is cause awareness and philanthropy. Jones, who has worked closely with the Rally Foundation, shared a Youtube video link. The video, uploaded October 3, already has 6,089 views as of October 9.
The influence of athletes and celebrities has always moved the meter for non-profits. If Jones’ tweet reaches 1 new donor or encourages 1 checkup, then his 124-character message far outweighs the cost. On top of his personal network, there are the 2,650 retweets and 505 favorites.
As a brand influencer, Jones is likely to become more valuable during retirement. There is a guaranteed explosion in five years when we is inducted into the Hall of Fame. But short-term, Jones will have more down time and free time to spend on Twitter increasing the exposure for his causes and sponsors.
On the other hand, Jones’ retirement will leave a big hole in the Atlanta Braves Twitter lineup. Now, the top three Atlanta Braves player accounts are Heyward (@JasonHeyward) 133,852, relief pitcher Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) 48,647 and starting pitcher Kris Medlan (@KrisMedlen54) 46,599. Earning honorable mentions are pitchers Brandon Beachy and Paul Maholm who are both around 35,000 followers.
Jones baseball career came to a screeching halt when the Braves lost the first-ever 1-game playoff in the new format. But the self-titled “ol man” learned a new trick and is undoubtedly going out on top on Twitter.