Devils Launch Mission Control: Fans Controlling Social Media
The New Jersey Devils launched Mission Control on Wednesday, a social media hub in the Prudential Center offices seeking to increase fan interaction. The Devils’ media experiment is now live and sees selected fans, called “Army Generals” involved directly in the social media activities of the New Jersey Devils. The project has a Twitter account – @DevilsGenerals – that is run directly by energetic, passionate fans. There is also a blog run by the Devils Army Generals at DevilsArmyBlog.com. The focus on new media in professional sports is a revolutionary breakthrough in communication, finally giving the fans a voice in the organization.
Dell and Gatorade run similar projects but the integration of a new media hub into professional sports is the first of its kind. Mission Control features a collection of computers and other technology on the third floor of the Prudential Center. Through Mission Control, selected fans are able to post to social media platforms before and during games. The voice of the fans is broadcast through the program and provides a link between Devils management, marketing, and enthusiastic fans.
The media hub at the Prudential Center in the center of the New Jersey Devils’ offices is complete with big screen TVs, computers with 3 large monitors linked together, webcams, iPads, archived media guides, and laptops. The iPads and cameras allow the Generals to leave Mission Control to directly interact with fans during events. The location allows direct interaction with franchise management. Comments from fans and followers are relayed directly to the people who most need to hear the voices of the fans. Mission Control will allow fans to voice their opinions directly to the Twittering, blogging, Facebook experts of the New Jersey Devils fanbase, as well as management, marketing, and Prudential Center staff.
Devils Army Generals were selected after responding to a Facebook call to arms by the Devils. Prospective Devils Army Generals submitted applications online and were called in for interviews. The 25 most passionate fans with knowledge of social media platforms were brought into the Devils organization.
The program received encouraging tweets from its 500 followers within hours of the launch. Some of these followers include Google (@Mansona), and the mayor of Newark, Cory Booker (@CoryBooker). Both had nothing but praise for the program.
The sky is the limit for the Devils and the Mission Control project. The program is proof that the organization wants to stay on top of the social media world. It also clearly wants to hear what its fans have to say. No other organization can interact with its fans the way the New Jersey Devils can. Fans everywhere just want to be heard by the franchises they love. The Devils have provided a venue for its fans to speak.
What more could a fan want?
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