When it comes to drafts, none do it bigger or better than the NFL.
As Sean discussed on his weekly spot with SEN radio, the NFL draft has evolved into a multi-day, prime time event held in the world's biggest city. Amazingly, this year's first round of picks, which aired live on ESPN and the NFL Network, brought a cumulative 7.7 million-viewer average across both channels.
It comes as no surprise then, that the event has dominated social media for the better part of a week.
Sports Geek examined social media activity in the lead up to one of the most important days on the NFL calendar, and discovered a few trends in the way NFL teams engaged with fans.
Who should we pick?
A number of teams used Facebook and Twitter to ask fans what positions needed the most attention as the draft grew nearer:
What position do you want to see the #Patriots focus on in the #NFLDraft this week? — New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 24, 2013
Another way teams engaged with fans was by interviewing their rookies from the 2012 season about their draft experience. We've highlighted activity from Pittsburgh, Arizona and Washington:
VIDEO:My Draft Story – @larryfitzgerald -> bit.ly/15KhEMY #CardsDraft #AZCards — Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 25, 2013
#TBT 2012 NFL Draft: 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year @rgiii #HTTR #SkinsDraft twitter.com/Redskins/statu… — Redskins (@Redskins) April 25, 2013
Behind the Scenes
To give fans a glimpse at their team's inner sanctum activity in the lead-up to draft day, a number of franchises posted photos that, prior to the advent of social media, would only ever be seen by the most privileged of figures. Here we have examples from the Ravens, Chargers and Jets:
It's almost time! #RavensDraft #WarRoom twitter.com/Ravens/status/… — Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 25, 2013
Whose name do you want to see on this? #ChargersDraft twitter.com/chargers/statu… — San Diego Chargers (@chargers) April 26, 2013
The Final Countdown
The 49ers concluded their '49 in 49′ series which profiled 49 of the ‘most compelling draft prospects' for the 2013 Draft:
The Minnesota Vikings asked fans to nominate their favourite first round pick of all time:
The Indianapolis Colts were of similar mind, asking fans to vote and choose the best draft selection in the team's history, with Peyton Manning leading the way at the time of publishing:
A Fly on the War Room Wall
As the big weekend drew nearer, teams posted photos of their draft strategy rooms to offer fans insight into the decision making processes undertaken by General Managers and recruiters. Here we feature examples from Denver, Buffalo & Tennessee:
Anatomy of a trade, from the #BillsDraft room twitter.com/buffalobills/s… — Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) April 26, 2013
Draft Night – Day 1
When the opening night finally rolled around, every team utilised their social platforms to invite fans to take part in the event. Here are some great shots from the Panthers, Packers and Bears:
What a view. #PanthersDraft twitter.com/Panthers/statu… — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 25, 2013
The scouting is done. The board is set. It's time. Join us where it all happens. pckrs.com/xeyx #Packers twitter.com/packers/status… — Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 26, 2013
Check out the view from the #Bears desk at Radio City Music Hall. #BearsDraft #NFLDraft twitter.com/ChicagoBears/s… — Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 26, 2013
So there you have it, just some of the ways NFL teams continue to employ social media to engage with fans in the online space.