#gohawks Is Totally A Thing (and #gomariners Isn’t)

Yesterday, Meghan Granito wrote an excellent blog piece about Seattle Sports and social media. She made some great points, including some with which I disagreed, so we had rich discussion in the comments. Then I practically commented a blog … And here we are today.

In short, I think that the Seahawks are good at social media – like really, really good. And the Mariners aren’t.

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, the Mariners had strong TV ad presence. People actually looked forward to their annual commercials because they were clever and they personalized players for us. They coined phrases like “Sodo Mojo,” still used (by some lonely fans) today.

In turn, players gained local presence through local ads. I can still hear Edgar Martinez saying, “it’s a light bat” in my head!

But this is the old way.

Now the Mariners’ media presence centers around one player (Hernandez), rather than a lovable team. Not everyone will connect to one player, and that one player is temporal. And the machine feeds us King Felix on limited platforms; he does not connect on his own.

The Hawks have the opposite approach:

The whole team is worth connecting to, to following, on every platform possible.

YouTube – The online pioneer for the team had to have been Michael Robinson. Years ago, he created “The Real Rob Report” on YouTube. This behind-the-scenes show gave light hearted glimpses into the locker room antics, and helped players connect with fans in a totally fresh way – unhindered by corporate media. This was also the first time we saw Marshawn Lynch’s aversion to media – but addressed with humor and love by his friends.

Instagram – It’s Instagram where I learned to love Russell Wilson, and hate Colin Kaepernick, by contrast. Scroll Russell’s feed: hospital visit, hospital visit, practice, hospital visit. Now scroll Colin’s: Vegas, shoe collection, selfie by the pool, selfie with celebrity. Instagram is the instant image builder, and Russell Wilson has used it to create an image beloved by the fans.

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Twitter – From the 12’s taking it over on game day, to live play by play by the @Seahawks account, to constant interaction with major and minor media outlets, Twitter is the fast lane of social media. Virtually every player has an account, but none use it quite as brilliantly as Doug Baldwin.

The mode in media is to keep people as single-dimensional as possible. So, Baldwin is pegged as “Angry Doug.” And while this can certainly be true of him (and awfully fun to watch), he is human, and therefore complex.
Contemplative Doug will reflect on mistakes or spur himself on after victories. Religious Doug will quote scripture and give props to his Maker.

And then there’s #TuesdayTroll. On Tuesdays, Doug finds a random tweet, responds to it, and hash tags it. It’s hilarious.

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Personal Bloggers – When I grow up, I want to be Richard Sherman. Or at least feel as free to speak (and write) as he does. His blog is one part in-depth game analysis, one part address-the-haters, one part sell-some-stuff … but it is pure prose. His verbosity serves him just as well written, as it does being yelled in Erin Andrews’s face!

The App – I’ve had – and deleted – the MLB app, several soccer apps, NFL apps … But I will always maintain the Seahawks app. Its push notifications of injuries, its live play, its interface with other platforms – all of these make it essential during the game as well as in between.

And then there’s Tumblr, and Facebook, and Swarm … And …

In a season when the Mariners are doing well, I’ve seen less about them than ever. And while, yes, a SuperBowl does generally rile up support – I’d argue that it took this continued perpetual motion of social media interaction to propel the Hawks toward success.

It can’t be one guy – it’s the whole team.
It can’t be one way – it’s organic fan interaction.
It can’t be one platform – it’s pervasive and innovative sites and technologies.

Take a note, Mariners.

And #gohawks

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5 responses to “#gohawks Is Totally A Thing (and #gomariners Isn’t)

  1. You’re definitely right – the Seahawks know how to do social (and Russ > Kaep). But, and as something Jeff mentioned during the PSAMA luncheon, what the players post individually is typically managed through and outside PR/communications group. They each have PR/marketing teams that work with them on doing everything that you mentioned above. They aren’t encouraging their players to tweet certain things or post certain pictures. They don’t oversee or manage each account. That is all done externally, apart from the Seahawks organization. So, I would agree that our Seahawks players are more social than the Mariners players, but as organizations, they’re doing the same thing.

    I find it hard to compare the Seahawks and Mariners when it comes to social presence and engagement. It’s two different sports. Two different fan bases. Two different types of games – one is just 16 per year; the other is 162. You can’t make a true comparison – it’d be like comparing apples to oranges.

    Now, when comparing the Mariners social presence to other MLB teams, I would say that they’re WAY ahead of the game (and it’s not just because I’m a fan of the Ms). They use the main social platforms, including Snapchat, and have an insanely high following and level of engagement on each. I’d actually venture to guess that their Instagram interaction is the best and most engaged of all.

    In a world where social is most noticed, the Ms are finally getting some accolades from national media, including the MLB. Heck, the Mariners Moose was just included in CNN’s Top 20 Selfies of the week. They also have fans running around looking for an arrow after each Rodney save, or coming out to the ballpark on a random Tuesday for “Social Media Night” where they can connect with fellow Twitter/Instagram addicts.

    In my opinion, the Mariners kick major butt at social. They’re engaged. They’re visible. They’re creating excitement during a time/decade when it was really, really tough to be excited about the team. They get folks out to Safeco and provide one heck of an experience. And, for that, I’d say they’ve hit a home run.

    • You hit it right there – compared to the rest of the mlb – so maybe it’s fairer to compare the leagues’ engagement.

      I’m really curious about PR machines! Seems like an awesome job! At some points athletes post on their own though, right? Or else we wouldn’t get deleted tweets and scandalous pics lol.

      • Oh, I definitely think the athletes (in most cases) post their own stuff. That said, they consult with their own marketing teams (not the Seahawks organization) to see, high-level, what would be appropriate/not.

  2. Pingback: Top 5 Ridiculous Changes to the NFL, When I Replace Gooddell | therookiegirlblog·

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