PR in Sports

Looking at the World of Sports from a PR Perspecitve

Halftime Tweet from Bucks Charlie V

with 13 comments

The Twittering Charlie Villanueva

The Twittering Charlie Villanueva

On Sunday afternoon the sports world may have changed forever, and in Milwaukee, WI, of all places. In their quest to secure the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference the Milwaukee Bucks pulled off a huge win over the defending champion Boston Celtics. What’s so life altering about that you ask?

The changing moment actually came at halftime. It happened in the Bucks lockeroom with the game tied 41-41. Just after Bucks Coach Scott Skiles addressed the team, forward Charlie Villanueva commented, “In da locker room, snuck to post with my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.” What made this different is that Villanueva didn’t say this to a teammate or to a ball boy coming around to pick up some towels. Charlie V (@CV31) made the comment at halftime on Twitter!

For those that don’t know, Twitter is an online service that allows users to send out 140 character messages called Tweets. These Tweets can range from what you’re doing at the moment, to sharing interesting news, and connecting with professionals in your field. Some of the fastest growing users of Twitter are athletes, sports teams, celebrities and politicians. A few popular athletes on Twitter are the Suns Shaquille O’Neal (@The_Real_Shaq), Jason Richardson (@jrich23) and Steve Nash (@The_Real_Nash), the Jets Kerry Rhodes (@kerryrhodes) and golfer Natalie Gulbis (@nataliegulbis).

Villanueva raised the stakes Sunday afternoon. Up until this point athletes have mainly used Twitter to connect with fans and become more personal. One of Shaq’s favorites is to Tweet his location and the next fan that approaches him will get a prize. But, I believe this was the first time that an athlete has Tweeted during an actual game.

As a PR and marketing person I love that Villanueva is not only using Twitter, but that he’s actually buying in. I don’t see a problem with his halftime Tweets, although I suggest, and maybe he has done this, that he notify his coach and the teams PR people. That way nobody is caught off-guard, especially with an ever-growing list of reporters on Twitter. Last week alone Twitter was mentioned on PTI and Around The Horn, so you never know when a social media comment can cause a controversy, as the Philadelphia Eagles learned last week.

It will be very interesting to see where this leads us though. Will Coach Skiles have a reaction? My guess is he isn’t aware of Twitter, so it will be especially interesting to see how he feels about a player taking time during halftime to send messages. It will also be interesting to see how the league feels about Twitter, they were very slow in reacting to how blogs have changed the media.

But, the real question is, how will Charlie V’s Tweet change the way celebrities interact with fans? We’ve already seen senators and congressman Tweeting during President Obama’s address a couple weeks ago. Are we going to see bands Tweeting during concerts? Will we see SNL cast-members Tweeting in between skits? The options for celebrities to connect to fans, and to be creative while they do it, are growing daily.

You do have to hand it to Charlie V though, not only is he trendsetter, be he responded to his coaches halftime plea by scoring 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Bucks pulled away. He also backed his Tweet up by posting two more times Sunday night. Once to comment on the win and how he said they’d turn it around at halftime, and once when he got home to let everyone know he was settling down to catch a movie. The key to Twitter, and social media in general, is not only to comment but to engage, and Charlie V is scoring points on that front.

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Written by Brian Gleason

March 16, 2009 at 3:04 am

13 Responses

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  1. Looks like Charlie is gonna change the game!

    12kyle

    March 16, 2009 at 3:29 am

  2. […] sent a “tweet” during halftime of Sunday’s Celtics-Bucks game, an act the PR in Sports blog says could be the first instance of a professional athlete using the increasingly popular […]

  3. Go Bucks.

    Why write, “in Milwaukee, WI, of all places.”?

    Milwaukee is one of the most wired and creative cities in America.

    Shrams

    March 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    • Well, because I hate Milwaukee of course…I kid, I kid 🙂

      I really meant nothing by it. Milwaukee may be a wired and creative city, although I don’t think that’s the image most outsiders have of Milwaukee. Maybe Milwaukee could use some PR help to get their message out?

      Brian Gleason

      March 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  4. […] a comment » Looks like PRinSports helped break the Charlie Villanueva Halftime Twitter story Sunday night, as Boston.com, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Deadspin.com and Ball […]

  5. […] a comment » Looks like PRinSports helped break the Charlie Villanueva Halftime Twitter story Sunday night, as Boston.com, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Deadspin.com and Ball […]

  6. […] at this point. We’ve already covered the Philadelphia Eagles Facebook issue and the Charlie Villanueva halftime Tweet. Monday we saw even more evidence that social media is taking sports by storm when Curt Schilling […]

  7. […] also discussed the infamous Charlie Villanueva halftime Tweet and other popular athletes on Twitter, mostly from the NBA. SportsPRBlog has an interesting post […]

  8. Looks like Charlie gonna make it. Very nice scores.

    Jenny@FreeGames

    July 25, 2009 at 6:44 am

  9. I think Charlie will do well on social media. He can stay closer with his fans, and that’s important for his career.

    Live Sports

    December 10, 2009 at 12:08 am

  10. Done properly, a Twitter marketing campaign can produce a massive effect on customers and revenue whether your business is online or offline. |If you are utilizing Twitter for the internet marketing, you must be aware of the importance of the followers, It is a fact that there is no use in Twitter if you cannot get the other users to follow you.

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    March 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

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      Ajay

      May 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm

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    Marlon Bussiere

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