Friday 6 August 2010

Rugby League On Twitter - Why The Players Get It

As regular visitors to know - I use Twitter a lot.

Via The NRL Tweet I am getting more and more of the game out to people who want to know about it. It is now closing in on 800 followers and teamed with our surprisingly popular Videos & Podcasts from NOT The Footy Show - it's fair to say this social media project has been a success.

I judge that success by the projects aims - Twitter is by far the best medium to break news, report news & pass opinion on that news en masse anywhere - being achieved. And with The NRL Tweet - it is pretty clear that if you provide a news & opinion service that actually has some life to it - people will connect and interact with it.

The good news for Rugby League fans is that it appears that people from all corners of the game are now starting to cotton on to the value that Twitter has with connecting with an audience.

While the game's hierarchy and the majority of clubs haven't yet figured this out - the players are beginning to.

Below is a list of NRL, Super League & Former Players on Twitter that The NRL Tweet has tracked down:

Current Players:
Sam Burgess @samburgess8
Jarryd Hayne @jarrydhayne_1
Lote Tuqiri @lotetuqiri
Robbie Farah @robbiefarah
Benji Marshall @benji_marshall6
Michael Jennings @m_jennings_03
Nathan Hindmarsh @nathanhiney
Scott Prince @scottprince7
Mat Rogers @mat_rogers6
Tim Mannah @tim_mannah
Israel Folau @israel_folau
Kevin Gordon @kevin_gordon1
Bryce Gibbs @bryce_gibbs
Eric Grothe Jr @ericgrothejnr
Keith Galloway @keithy85
Brett Hodgson @bretthodgson
Cory Paterson @corypato
Wade McKinnon @wademckinnon
Matt Keating @mkeating_9
Ashley Harrison @ashharrison1
Terry Campese @terrycampese
Ben Ross @benross23
Luke Pridds @lpfasd
Chris Walker @iam_chriswalker
Pat Richards @patrichards5
Wade Graham @wade_graham
Luke O'Dwyer @lukeodwyer
Dale Copley @dalecopley
Anthony Watts @anthonywattsd
Richard Mathers @richardmathers
Aaron Cannings @aaron_cannings
Mark Riddell @riddell009
George Rose @gorgeousgrose
Jarrod Saffy @jsaffy
Rocky Trimarchi @rockytrimarchi

Former Players:
Wendell Sailor @realbigdell
Mark Geyer @markmggeyer
Karmichael Hunt @karmichaelhunt
Jason Stevens @bigjstevens
Awen Guttenbeil @awenguttenbeil
Robbie O'Davis @robbieodavis1
Russell Bussian @russellbussian
Daniel Wagon @danielwagon
Anthony Mundine @the_man_mundine

Have I missed anyone? I'm sure I have. So add them in the comments below or let me know via The NRL Tweet.

Not every player that has Twitter uses it regularly - some in fact seem to be highly dubious in their authenticity but those that do use it regularly have got the idea.

Use it - and it can only benefit you.

Don't use it - and it's not a good look.

There's no doubt that frequent Twitter users Lote Tuqiri, Sam Burgess, Wendell Sailor, Mark Geyer, Karmichael Hunt, Jarryd Hayne & Mat Rogers have done a wonderful job enhancing not only their own reputations as good guys of the sport - but the reputation of the sport itself.

There is a new batch of superstar tweeters on the way as well with Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Scott Prince, Michael Jennings, Nathan Hindmarsh & Bryce Gibbs now getting into the swing of things.

Kathy Bates might say in 'The Waterboy' that "Foosball is the devil" - but funnily enough those footballers that use Twitter are quickly painting Rugby League players in a far better light than we sometimes get in the media.

Just because we can - here's a collection of The Waterboy's Greatest Hits from the Movie:

Man that's good stuff.

Back to Twitter in Rugby League...

I find it highly hypocritical when I hear someone in the media dismiss Twitter with this comment: "Oh I don't use Twitter because people don't need to know what I ate for breakfast."
For one - that's so far from the reality that Twitter is evolving in to, and two - your ego is obviously big enough to tell people what you don't want to know about - so why is telling them what you ate for breakfast any different?

When it comes to Twitter you should either use it or lose it - and when it comes to official NRL and Club Twitter Accounts - merely linking headlines to your website is simply not good enough.

The players have got the idea - yet again we may have to wait an eternity for the majority of the decision makers to.

Here's some free advice - if you think what you are doing already in marketing is good enough - you're already way behind your competition.

Case in point - the new A-League season kicked-off last night when the new kids on the block Melbourne Heart played the Central Coast Mariners. I've been subscribed to the official A-League Newsletter for a couple of years now in the hope it would help me keep track of the game better.

I received an email at 5pm last night (Thursday August 5) approximately 2 hours before the first game of the 2010/2011 Season started... the last email I received before that was approximately 5 months previous when the Grand Final of the 2009/2010 Season was played.

While the NRL would have to try extremely hard to fall to that level of incompetence in their marketing - they are lucky that their players are doing the job for them in the most powerful social media tool on the market today.

And yet despite this - am I the only one who can see 'Big Brother' coming down and trying to restrict it's use at some point?

In the mean time - enjoy NRL Players on Twitter while you can - they are doing a fine job of promoting the game.

Yes - even Bryce Gibbs.