Akron (not) set to don Twitter handles on back of jerseys (UPDATE)
We've actually reached the point where an at symbol is on an American sports jersey. Then I stop and think, realize it's 2013, and am sort of surprised this kind of marketing didn't come into the consciousness a year or two sooner.
|What are your thoughts? Too strange, or modern and hip with the new age? (photo via @JimMWeber)|
UPDATE No. 2: 7:30 p.m.
It seems, while Akron was hoping to rock Twitter handles on their backs this upcoming weekend, that is no longer the case. Here is the response from Akron:
"While we appreciate the social media response, we feel it's important to set the record straight about our @ZipsMBB Social Media Night promotion and the jerseys we will wear for our next home game, as some incorrect information has been reported. Our Men's Basketball Twitter handle, @ZipsMBB, will not be on the backs of our jerseys when we play on @ESPNU at 5 p.m. Saturday at James A. Rhodes Arena. We had asked the NCAA if this was permissible and were told it is not. @ZipsMBB will appear on our shooting shirts, and we have planned plenty of other social media activities and promotions."
|The front of the jerseys are worse than the back. (Akron Athletics)|
So anyway, here's how Akron's getting some national pub: Twitter advertising on the back of the men's and women's practice jerseys in coordination with the school's "Social Media Night" this Saturday.
Ironically, Akron's not a team pulling a PR stunt amid a bad season. The Zips have won 11 games in a row, are 15-4 and tied atop the MAC East with Ohio, both 6-0 in league play so far. The two play each other Saturday; both teams have two NCAA tournament appearances in the past four years. These are really good mid-major teams. The basketball's enough, but then again, I'm not writing about this game unless someone drums up this kind of idea.
"The Zips will have several promotions and events surrounding the contest with the Bobcats focused on promoting the department's successful social media accounts," according to the school's press release.
Hashtags of course will also be festooned into Akron's home floor; #ZipsGameday and #ThinkBigger are the phrases of choice, per the school. The latter is a phrase that Akron coach Keith Dambrot is partial to. The school will have photo contests via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well.
Any quirky pub is good pub, usually, and this applies. But the real offense to aesthetics is this increasingly disconcerting trend of practice jersey-looking uniforms. The standalone "Z" on the front is the opposite of hip -- or zippy.
Also hilariously hypocritical and sad: The NCAA not only did not approve of this kind of outfit alteration, but when a program wants to honor a legendary player who tragically died with its own one-time uniform commemoration, it's totally off-limits as well.
UPDATE No. 1: This idea is officially off the tracks. I mean, honestly, we already struggle to keep Goodman's ego in check. Not helping, Akron.
Absolutely brilliant marketing strategy by Akron in preparation for its Social Media Night this Saturday. twitter.com/GoodmanCBS/sta…— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) January 28, 2013
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