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Replacement Refs and NFL Are Tackled by Social Media

Needless to say, the National Football League (NFL) and Commissioner Roger Goodell are taking quite a beating from angry fans, players and coaches after last night’s Monday Night Football game of the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks – and social media is taking the eruption to mammoth proportions.

Most people are lashing out at the NFL and Commissioner Goodell for not yet reaching an agreement with the regular officials who are still on strike. While the replacement refs are doing their best, one call from last night’s game might just be the straw to break the camel’s back – and force the NFL to reach agreements to end the strike immediately.

In case you haven’t yet seen the now-famous replay, the final seconds of the game involved Seattle Quarterback Russell Wilson throwing a pass to the end zone as the Seahawks trailed the Packers 7 points to 12 points. It appeared that M.D. Jennings of the Packers came down with control of the ball while Seahawks player Golden Tate had a hand on the ball as well. The replacement referees made conflicting calls and ruled after replay that the result was a Seahawks touchdown to give them the win.

Within seconds of the call, social media users were lighting up the web with comments and complaints – and it wasn’t just average fans. Numerous celebrities were tweeting and posting their own thoughts about the call.

LeBron James of the Miami Heat immediately tweeted:

LeBron tweets about NFL refs
Professional Sportscaster Doug Gottlieb immediately called out Commissioner Goodell personally with complaints. “Dear Mr Goodell- congrats on your league being totally screwed.”

A fan page of Packer Linebacker Clay Matthews helped other fans voice their outrage by reposting Roger Goodell’s actual office number directly on the fan page. How would you like to be the person to sort through those angry voice messages?

When it comes to transparency through social media, the professional sports industry isn’t the only area that has been impacted. Clients and customers are increasing their reliance on the convenience and simplicity of using social media as a main way to communicate openly with businesses and brands. It all comes down to whether or not those companies are actively listening and responding to comments – both positive and negative. Instead of only being on the defense while responding to customers, make sure that you have a strong offense by ensuring your key messages are being used consistently throughout all of your communications.

How do you think social media communication has affected the way you view businesses and brands?

Published on: September 25, 2012