Today, we have a new lunchtime poll.
Where is the line between sass and being an ass when it comes to a team’s official Twitter account?
You all know that during last year’s playoff run, the Kings Twitter feed was better than a lot of hockey being played by anyone who was not the Kings. Snark, hilarity and gleeful schadenfreude by a team on the way to it’s first Stanley Cup. We loved it.
Picture and story from Puck Daddy, of course.
Still, this is an official mouthpiece of the team. Twitter is increasingly the only media format fans see, especially in real-time, and the only one designed specifically for engaging with those fans.
At what point does team-sanctioned chirping become poor sportsmanship? Does self-deprecation make it less obnoxious?
The Kings are on a little roll – they’ve won 5 games straight and moved into 5th in the West. But it’s not like they’re the Blackhawks, and this isn’t the playoffs. Do they need to slow their roll, or is this exactly the time to keep it going?
The Kings Twitter-splosion came at the magic moment – right before the Cup – giving them the unparalleled chance to make their brand of banter stick. A lot of the casual and bandwagon fans that any championship brings must have been thrilled to find so unique a voice. The Twitter account grew the Kings fan base just like winning did, and hopefully it held them through the lockout.
A few teams have tried it, most are wise enough not to because they can’t really pull it off. It’s a delicate balance. LA’s Twitter feed ranks 12th among teams in number of followers, even with all the hype (thankfully CapGeek.com charts this). They’re doing their thing at 194,000 followers, while the Canadiens, ranked #1, have almost 369,000.
Generally I think the LA Twitter feed is great, but last night they lost me with this particular comment. It’s cheap, lame and not even funny. God knows I don’t like the Wings either, but every team and fan has been on the backside of this equation in a game. And it will happen again.
Remember that, and don’t be a sore winner.
Imagine the Penguins posted that during the Flyers game. The Twitter birds would be lifting the state of Pennsylvania instead of a whale as we all rage-abbreviated into 140 characters. It would be momentarily fun but ultimately gross, like the games at the end of last year. Laviolette and Granato would be duking it out in Pierre’s dunk tank for sure.
As a publicist in my real-job, there’s always the fear that once something is posted, it can’t be taken back. It’s a double-edged sword. I love the fresh fearlessness of the Kings Twitter, but shudder at the rolling snowball effect of being unable to rein people in who speak on your behalf. Kids learn from their parents, right?
Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all, even if this is also true:
I’m no advocate for censoring teams or players, but playing dirty is possible off-ice too. A little media training wouldn’t hurt.
What do you think? Is this a rare and refreshing example of someone in sports actually saying something? Or would you prefer to see teams take the high(er) road, at least in print?
Tags: Los Angeles Kings