-by Steve Kandray
Tanner’s post pointed out the fact that social media has changed the way we watch and interact with our favorite sports teams while at the game. Besides just moving into sporting venues, social media is well a part of viewing sports on TV.
Much like watching a TV program, watching sporting events is quickly becoming a 2 screen habit for many americans. Though some say that it takes your attention away from the game is merely a distraction, I have personally found sports to be a much enhanced experience with social meda.
So here are the main reasons I have my phone out when I watch the Penguins, and why you should too.
It adds a great level of depth to the experience
You can get to know your team better
I’m going to use my penguins watching experience as a context, just because it’s playoff hockey time and I’m an avid fan. A great example of getting to know the team better is through the penguins hockey app. Every other day a new series of videos is posted with interviews of players, or shots of practice. This type of interaction helps me get to know the players off the ice, and become more emotionally invested in the team as a whole. I also follow several players on twitter, unfortunately the greatest player in hockey right now ,Sidney Crosby doesn’t have one, and the second best player is Russian, so his tweets are tough to read. But still, getting a small glimpse of player’s personalities 140 characters at a time has made me feel much more connected to the pens.
You have instant access to expert opinion
It’s one thing to read a column in the newspaper written about the game a day later, but having live updates from a beat writer or columnist while you are watching a game, is even more valuable. I follow Josh Yohe, a beat writer who follows the penguins for the Pittsburgh tribune, as well pens-inside-scoop. Both of these sources provide me with a plethora of statistics, analysis, and simply information that I don’t have, which helps me to understand what’s going on, and appreciate the game so much.
You have instant access to news about your team.
Following organizations are great too; I learned when Sidney Crosby was coming back due to the penguins official twitter account . The penguins also use their feed to announce line changes and lineups before games, almost like mini press releases.
It becomes a shared experience
One of my favorite sports viewing experiences is watching the big game with a large group of friends, or even being at a sports bar with a bunch of your team’s fans. The feeling of being part of something and being connected through sports is unique, and a difficult to replicate. Social media adds some of that shared audience feeling, it gives me the ability to spout off my opinions, hear what others are saying, and even celebrate.
Much like the value added from experts, comedians add a lot to a sports experience as well. Parody accounts, professional comics, and even just a few funny friends all add a touch of humor to sporting events, that make it even better.
There are times when I need to be entirely focused on the game happening, but for 75% of the time, experiencing sports as a two screen experience has been great. What are you favorite benefits of using social media while watching sports? Let us know in the comments section!