brandweek.com – Each April, the National Football League holds the spring Draft, an annual event during which it recruits new players (mainly from colleges) to join its teams. In the past, this selection process was an â€œinstitutional event,â€ where football fans knew the drill and creating buzz around the event was not as necessary. In the age of Twitter, Facebook and mobile technology, however, the NFL is changing up its game. This year, the League is aggressively using social media to promote the two-day Draft, which takes place April 25-26. NFL Online general manager Laura Goldberg spoke with Brandweek about the shift online, how it’s able to better engage fans, and what the NFL is doing differently with this year’s Draft. Excerpts from her conversation are below:
Brandweek: The NFL is leveraging social mediaâ€”perhaps more so than everâ€”in its 74th Draft. Why so?
Laura Goldberg: I would call it fan engagement. The fans are incredibly engaged in the Draft and all things NFL. Frankly, they want more and more information. They want to know immediately which [team] is picking which playerâ€”whether they are sitting in front of their TV on a Saturday afternoon or taking their kids to the park or need to go to a baseball game, they want to be there. The fans are so passionate about the NFL and about their teams and whatâ€™s going on that they want to be able to talk about it. They want to be able to interact with personnel and players and that conversation is happening all around the Web, and a lot of that also happens [outside of] NFL.com, but the idea of engaging with social media is to broaden that conversation.
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