Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Of Birdies ... and Tweets

First, they couldn't ... now they can, but only just a little. It seems that the big story at this Ryder Cup is not the golf, but Twitter.

Captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin relaxed their total ban on Twitter during the competition, allowing players to tweet as long as it doesn't reveal anything from the team clubhouse. European golfer Ian Poulter was already out tweeting to his 1+ million followers about the course conditions after a practice round in Wales; the real competition begins on Friday.

Ah, yes ... the real competition. Isn't that why all these golfers are there? Yet, Twitter has threatened to become the main event--not just at the Ryder Cup, but in other venues as well. Who cares what happens in the actual game ... it's what the athletes think about it, right Charlie Villanueva?

It's fascinating now that the mediated sports experience is in many ways becoming more important than the experience itself. Athletes like Poulter are using Twitter to increase their fans base and visibility, which makes them more marketable ... which, connecting the dots, makes them more money. So does it make any difference anymore who actually wins?

Instead of golf, maybe there should be an 18-hole "tweet-off" where players compete against each other to see who can get the most followers for the week.


Blogger Abby said...

We knew this was coming. Once the celebrities in Hollywood started, there was no question that prime athletes would see the rise in popularity and take action. While it may be selfish and ego-boosting, in some sense, I don't think there will be an end to this phenomenon. Can't wait to hear what the NBA Finals players have to say about the court conditions come spring.

10:49 AM  

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