NFL to Use Social Media to Capitalize on College Draft

By Community | April 26, 2012

The National Football League (NFL), treat which produces the biggest audiences in U.S. broadcasting, advice is looking to use social media to its advantage for when the college player draft starts tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The league has a squad of players, search analysts, team executives and television personalities armed with laptops to play online host to the biggest offseason event in the U.S.’s most popular sport. Commissioner Roger Goodell has called digital media “critical” for increasing the NFL’s more-than $9 billion annual revenue.

“The second the commissioner walks up to announce that first pick, you see this absolute explosion on all these platforms,” Jeff Berman, general manager for NFL Digital Media, said in a telephone interview. “What’s happening here is we’re catching a wave that’s been building for years.”

The NFL’s three-day draft begins with the Indianapolis Colts choosing first and the Washington Redskins second. The Colts said they will take Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck; the Redskins probably will select Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Fans aren’t waiting for television analysts such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper to break down the picks before beginning conversation on social media, said Frank Hawkins, a founder of New York-based consulting firm Scalar Media Partners LLC. Twitter mentions of the terms “NFL draft” and “#nfldraft” are up about 37 percent to 192,000 over the equivalent week last year, according to San Francisco-based Topsy Labs Inc.