Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 13, 2021

Once again, I must cite Bill Simmons’ bold prediction on the future of sports journalism, as published by ESPN The Magazine:

…I see a day when the following sequence will be routine: Player demands trade on blog; team obliges and announces deal on Twitter; player thanks old fans, takes shots at old team and gushes about new team on Facebook. We will not need anyone to report this, just someone to recap it. Preferably with links.

Only three months after writing that, Simmons is seeing his vision come true. At least a healthy chunk of it. Because today, the Tampa Bay Lightning followed that social-media script by teasing, and then formally announcing, a player trade via Twitter.

Granted, the deal was hardly earth-shaking: Underachieving forward Evgeny Artyukin to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for winger Drew Miller and a third-round draft pick in 2010. It’s certainly nowhere near the magnitude of tonight’s NFL news about Michael Vick signing with Philadelphia (which was delivered through traditional media). But it does demonstrate a willingness by a National Hockey League club to bypass the established channels with high-level news that’s especially relevant for fans. And it’s significant that this was an announcement directly from an NHL front office, versus the roundabout way in which the NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal learned about his trade, through his tweetstream.

Suddenly, social media outlets are official major-pro sports communication organs. The players are likewise utilizing online media. The future’s now. And while sports reporters aren’t out of a job (and won’t be, given that there’ll always be dirt to dig up that will never be tweeted or permalinked by the primaries), they increasingly will be competing to be heard, and will have to refine their message accordingly.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/13/2009 09:45 PM
Category: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Media, Social Media Online
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