How The Pros Play The Social Media Game


Traditional marketing and social media marketing should be natural enemies. Before social media, Billboards and paper fliers dominated every city from Los Angeles to Tokyo. Then social media came along and had to ruin everything. Paper advertising that once cost a fortune was switched to free hashtags and viral videos. Physical marketing became digital marketing and the rest is as they say history.

But why can’t both forms of marketing exist in unison? Once something more efficient comes along, does that mean the old ways must become extinct? One industry in particular thinks that both forms of marketing can live in harmony. Ironically, it happens to be an industry built entirely around the idea of competition.

The world of professional sports has been host to some of the best social media marketing campaigns while maintaining the traditional advertising roots it has had for years. Below are several examples of the pro athletes and teams who blended new and old marketing together to create dynamic and innovative ad campaigns.


The Philadelphia Wings Twitter Handle Jerseys

In an effort to connect fans better with players, indoor lacrosse team The Philadelphia Wings created jerseys that sported their players Twitter handles in place of their last names. Ever since the unveiling of the jerseys, the teams Twitter page has seen a significant increase in traffic and followers.

This campaign has mixed the physical elements of the sport with the connectivity that social media sites like Twitter offer. Media marketing strategies like this allow fans to continue talking about the game on an enormous platform even after the games are over. The idea here is to build social media interest even as the game is going on; fans can now react to two styles of marketing at once.

Hashtags At The PGA Tour

TaylorMade debuted their social media strategy in the form of hashtag branded hats worn by their sponsored golfers. The hashtag which reads #driverlove, is a nod to the emotional ties that many golfers have with their clubs. Pro golf has seen virtually no social media marketing, so this is definitely a bold step in a new direction for the PGA.

Golfers’ clothes have always been a huge source of advertising space for companies supporting the PGA. TaylorMade has taken this marketing tradition and branded it with social media marketing, which will hopefully usher golf into a new era of social media advertising.


Sometimes a good rivalry is the best way to heat up a promotional campaign. Last year Mississippi State painted the hashtag #HAILSTATE in their endzone for their annual game with local rivals, University of Mississippi. The campaign sparked mudslinging from fans of both teams, which in marketing terms translates to success.

By vividly displaying their hashtag, Mississippi State ‘s marketing team guaranteed that people would be talking about the game regardless of whom they were rooting for.

Source (s): Mashable, USA Today