How Indianapolis is recruiting social media geeks to 'host' the Super Bowl
By day Chris Theisen is the Director of Digital Communication for FlexPAC. By night he is a husband, father and social media junkie (ok thats all during the day too) The social media addiction led to his selection by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee as one of the #social46 tasked with promoting Indianapolis and the events surrounding the Super Bowl. You can connect with him on a myriad of social networks viachristheisen.com. As Super Bowl XLVI is in Louisville's virtual (and actual) backyard, we invited Chris to give us the lowdown on the digital outreach surrounding the big game.
When I received this tweet I was at once skeptical and excited:
— Klout Perks (@KloutPerks) January 11, 2012
I'm guessing many of you have written or read posts on the topic of Klout. While us social media geeks could debate this aspect of the #social46 selection process ad nauseum — I will leave that for a later post (if I'm allowed back) — I was excited when I read about what the powers that be had in mind for the group. At its core the Social 46 group was selected to help promote the Super Bowl through social media. Whether it be the events leading up to and during Super Bowl week, or the myriad of initiatives started by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, our “job” is to make Indy the most socially connected Super Bowl in history. I like to call us the “online street team”
While the rollout of the first of its kind group hasn't been without its hiccups, I applaud the city for realizing the power community-driven content can have on a major event. I have already answered numerous questions and dispelled myths from the Indy community about attending Super Bowl 46 events. This entire event is as much for the city as it is for visitors from regional cities such as Louisville.
As a Facebook friend of mine stated skeptically, “Isn't every Super Bowl from here on out going to be the most socially connected?” Yes they should be. While social media monitoring and community engagement is nothing new, and the LDA is obviously well aware of this, it has rarely been tackled (football pun intended) on this scale. The host committee is driving this area of the operation into the future with a social media command center. Mashable had a nice write up about it the other day and fellow #social46 member @petetheplanner gave everyone a sneak peak behind the scenes just the other day.
While the bar has been set low from past Super Bowls I suspect Indy is going to set it rather high for future cities. I for one hope they all take our lead and better it. I would think the NFL is keeping its eyes on the Indy social media command center and wouldn't be surprised to see it brought in house for future Super Bowls. The NFL is notorious for its control of Twitter and other media outlets related to its product so this seems to be a natural transition to me.
In the short time we have been given to promote the activities leading up to and surrounding the Super Bowl the #social46 have already written blog posts, curated a Storify, sent countless tweets and even leveraged traditional media (yes that still helps). In the days leading up to the Super Bowl many of us will be attending tweetups, visiting the Super Bowl Village, attending Media Day and the NFL Experience; all while our thumbs get a workout sharing tons of content.
If you can't, or don't plan to, attend Super Bowl 46 activities I encourage you to follow along with the #social46 hashtag. Hopefully you can get a bit of the experience virtually. If you are attending any of the great events of the next week and a half please reach out to myself and other members of the group when you get to Indy. All you need to know about Super Bowl 46 can be found at http://www.indianapolissuperbowl.com/
Do you see social media community involvement playing a bigger role in future Super Bowls? What about future large scale events of this kind? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.