Yesterday, former 14 year NBA veteran and current ESPN analyst, Jalen Rose, launched a giveaway on Facebook and on Twitter. He will give one winner a signed basketball and personalized video message. The contest ends on Friday at 11AM EST/2PM PST.
We have seen social media giveaways in sports before. Last NBA season, Shaq and Paul Pierce both gave away tickets to fans via Twitter. This season, OchoCinco tried to get around the NFL’s social media restrictions by giving away tickets to Twitter followers. And a few months ago, the New York Jets gave away 39 pairs of tickets to Twitter followers for their final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
One of the reasons this giveaway is so exciting is because it takes advantage of a relatively new platform called WildFire. WildFire is a platform for building viral marketing campaigns (not just giveaways). It allows users to launch campaigns across Twitter, Facebook, and websites, and most importantly, it can provide a great deal of valuable metrics.
Social media giveaways are underutilized and can be very beneficial (i.e. high response rates from fans). I would advise athletes, teams, and even the leagues to get more involved. Fans and followers love free stuff, especially when there is a personal touch. Even though OchoCinco’s original giveaway didn’t work this year, he was willing to fly a fan out to each home game, hang out with them for a little while, and give them the ability to tweet for him. Now that’s personal. Jalen is adding his personal touch by filming a custom video for the winner of this giveaway. Social media is all about connecting, engaging, and being authentic. If the resources are available, what better way to do so than to make the day of one (or several) of your fans?