Transfer Deadline Day Social Media and Online
It’s one of the biggest days in football without a ball being kicked. A deadline brought in primarily to prevent clubs from buying players all season or before important games has instead become a god-sent for the 24 hours sports news services, a mecca for all football fans and a nightmare for every other sport.
Transfer Deadline day is the Christmas of football. The media start talking about it 6 months before the date, and us consumers can’t get away from it.
Social Media is ideal for passing on news quickly about a player seen entering a stadium or having dinner with a Manager. However this frenzy is reflected in some aspects of social media, and it seems to perpetuate the frenzy and the rumour, and therefore in someways add to the anti-climax of the day.
Everyone wants a bit of the action
All major newspapers have a live blog, wanting to capture the lucrative SEO traffic. Pages are constructed and linked to months in advance. The Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and Daily Mail all had live feeds.
The Guardian had a live blog feed going out until 12am that night. It was funny and informative (with the odd mistake). It combined all social media assets with Sky News updates.
Footballers on Twitter
Even Footballers were getting involved, plumping up their cushions and getting comfortable for a day’s Twitter viewing. Jack Wilshere is an ardent Twitter user and obviously enjoys the football banter too.
Sky Sports News – their Christmas Day
This fever pitch can be most perfectly reflected in Sky Sports coverage of the whole event. It is their biggest day of the year. Like Father Christmas they don’t do much on Boxing Day.
Sky Sports News have made this day their own. Other media have tried to take a part of it, and may offer better, more informed coverage, but it will always be Sky Sports News’ day. Their TV offering is perfect for the day of frenzy. They have journalists outside every major ground, “Sky Informers” on the phone giving details of medicals and agent movements. And more than just an eye on Twitter if any of the rumours there are actually true.
Sky Sports Tweets on Deadline Day:
Sky Sports Tweets day after deadline day
So you would have thought the Sky Sports Facebook page would have countless updates too? Well we did until we saw this message.
“..This is one of our busiest days of the year. Therefore can you please visit the transfer centre on the link below for this news. Many Thanks”
Social Media adds to the rumour and the anti climax
Social Media, and especially Facebook should be the ideal place to service all customer questions, not the website, which can become outdated quite quickly. However, on deeper analysis it is not surprising they are doing this.
There are 100s of comments on their pages under the lines of “Have Aston Villa bought anyone?” or “Any news on Stoke City?“. Users have become lazy in this customer servicing 24 hours media world. They demand direct information to their questions, without actually doing any of the work for themselves. However these fans have been led to believe that they can be given the breaking news, 24 hours a day, by these media outlets and so have every right to demand up-to-the-minute information. Sky responded with site links.
The Rumour Mill exacerbated on Twitter
Footballers trend frequently on Twitter. But Transfer day had more than its normal share even the odd Sky Sports News presenter.
Football names were trending throughout the country. Most interestingly Manchester had a higher share of Football related terms than the south.
Twitter is the perfect medium for spreading news fast. However, if that news is just rumour and an untrue – it can get out of hand in no time. And on Transfer Deadline day we don’t tend to need any more rumours. Tom Huddleston the Spurs midfielder set the touch paper alight when he joked:
“Can’t believe who just sneaked in the training ground the back way”.
And then a purported tweet from Stuart Downing the England midfielder set the Rumour Mill ablaze with gossip that even reached coverage on Sky Sports news and the other newspaper blogs.
Transfer Day a bit of a mess – but enjoyable
Transfer Deadline day is a self perpetuated mess. The media have built it up, the players are even excited about it and so the fans are happy to gobble it all up. Social Media reflects this in many ways. Twitter and other social media channels offer insightful up to the minute news, however the wrong, less dependable sources give us a load of rubbish. C’est la vie.
However, Twitter users don’t always take themselves too seriously and jokes like this can quickly go viral.