Want your tweet aired on SportsCenter? Need help with your March Madness bracket? SporstCenter is giving fans more than one reason to watch and tweet.
I caught an episode of SportsCenter a few weeks back and noticed a brilliant trend – they were using hashtags to introduce rundowns of MLB position players killing it in Spring Training. The hashtags were fun and on-topic and it was a great way to add a layer of conversation to their broadcast for fans who were watching and tweeting.
Unfortunately I didn’t write the hashtags down – thinking I would just catch the next episode of SportsCenter. I waited and watched to try and catch them again – but apparently that was the last of their Spring Training coverage since March Madness started the very next day.
As I sat catching every episode of SportsCenter I could, I noticed a few hashtag trends. Although they aren’t talking about my favorite sport – ESPN is doing a great job of keeping the conversations flowing on Twitter by broadcasting hashtags to use and follow. Although seeing hashtags on your television screen and in sports broadcasts isn’t new – it’s definitely something worth talking about. Here is a breakdown of some of SportsCenter’s most recent and popular hashtags.
SportsCenter is known for its “Top Ten” list of the best plays in sports each day. They’ve started to rope their fans into being a part of this list development by giving them a hashtag to use: #SCtopTen.
Each day, dozens of sports fans tweet to SportsCenter to submit the plays they think should be on the SportsCenter Top Ten list. If they pick your tweet, it will air on SportsCenter that night.
Everyone twee about my dunk for #ScTopTen!
— Jordan Henriquez (@TooTall2KnoSo1) March 3, 2013
This hashtag is used to let fans submit questions to be answered on the show. Fans submit questions about team strategies, season predictions, player acquisitions – you name it – they ask it.
NFL guru “The Professor” John Clayton wants to answer YOUR questions on SportsCenter at 11 ET. Use #FanForum and your tweet could air.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 14, 2013
— King (@Call_me_King11) March 14, 2013
This hashtag was used to talk about the NCAA Championship Week. Fans who were watching the tournaments and routing for their teams to win followed the conversation using #ChampWeek.
#MyDeAndreReaction was used to talk about @deandrejordan‘s reaction to his “INSANE” dunk. Fans used this hashtag to tweet pictures and videos spoofing LA Clipper center Deadre Jordan’s viral reaction to an amazing dunk that sent Brandon Knight to the floor.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 11, 2013
Used for fans to tweet their predictions as to who was going to bust up the Miami Heat’s winning streak.
For fans who are desperately trying to win whatever bracket they’ve entered into with friends and family: this hashtag could be your ticket to triumph. Here’s how it works:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 18, 2013
Why are they so successful?
Why do the ESPN hashtags work so well? Because they use them to enhance the viewer’s experience. It’s a reciprocating promotion because it carries the conversation onto to 2 screens: Your Twitter stream and your TV.
Social media is transforming TV-watching into a more immediate, shared experience. Nielsen Media reports that 44% of U.S. tablet owners and 38% of U.S. smartphone owners use their devices daily to access social media while watching television. SportsCenter is definitely using hashtags correctly and bringing a level of interaction to its broadcasts that didn’t exist before. It also gives fans the chance for their tweet to appear on television – reinforcing the need for fans to watch and engage with the brand online.
I hope ESPN keeps this up. Social media can definitely enhance any sports fan’s experience. Personally, I love to follow and participate online with my favorite teams, players and broadcasters.