Social media has officially thrust itself more into the game by heading to the sidelines.
The Phoenix Suns reported on December 22 that they hired former Mercury player Kayte Christensen as social media sideline reporter. Yes, a sideline reporter.
The Suns are the first NBA club to hire a dedicated social media sideline reporter for its home game broadcasts. This should come as no surprise. After all, the Suns are considered to be one of the strongest social media proponents in all of sports, inspired by Digital Royalty founder AmyJo Martin who used to work for the Phoenix club.
“We wanted to try something different and add a new element and a social media personality into the broadcasts. Our fans [using social media] are most active and engaged about the Suns during games”, stated Jeramie McPeek, vice president of digital for the Suns.
Although not specific about what the reporter will deliver to viewers, McPeek mentions that Christensen will track hot topics during televised home games. Wait?! Is that all? Good Game can envision far more added value. A reporter with the type of all-access a host broadcaster could negotiate could tweet real-time updates coming out of key time-outs, including coach’s instructions and even strategy. Injury updates could be reported almost instantly, along with upcoming substitutions. What about photos? Short videos? A sideline social media reporter has the ability to act as a roving cameraman too! If this type level access is not granted by the Suns, a more generic reporting on the team’s in-game attitude would still be very cool.
It’s a natural extension of the fact that most fans are multi-tasking while watching the game, often interacting with other fans and team social media outposts. Adding this type of instant”insider” content transforms watching the game to interacting with the game! Phoenix Sun twitter followers will share key information with their own personal networks, likely adding even more social media channels.
The Sun’s McPeek also added that the team is actively looking for a presenting sponsor for the new feature. Shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s a first, but Good Game can eventually see many more social media saavy teams/broadcasters jumping on this bandwagon.