Social Media at the NFL Combine

Posted: February 27, 2011 by drunkonsports in Uncategorized
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NFL Media Room

I had the pleasure of covering the NFL Combine as a member of the media on Friday and Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. My main focus was using social media to cover the event through Twitter, Facebook, and live-blogging.

Having not covered a media event of this magnitude, I spent the first hours just taking it all in and getting used to the surroundings. Its not everyday you see ESPN’s Adam Schefter walk by and standing over in the corner is Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio. Its just one of those surreal moments the first time you are exposed to it.

TweetDeck from my computer

I used the Twitter account @IUSportCom to post messages throughout the two days including players quotes, pictures, and even a review of the food they were serving. The picture function was my best asset of the weekend. I could walk over to where a player or coach is talking to the media and snap a picture from my phone, within seconds I would have it posted to Twitter. This became really comfortable after awhile and I just really enjoyed it.

ESPN's Todd McShay

I had the pleasure of having a short conversation with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen about the world of social media. He said for himself the best use of Twitter is to let people know what ESPN is doing, where to find articles, and find breaking news. He came off as someone who is very aware of the social media world, but is just getting used to its applications. He ended the interview by saying that he doesn’t expect it to go anywhere but wants to know where its going next. I responded, “I’m working on it”, which got a little laugh.

We also had the pleasure of getting an interview with Indiana WR Tandon Doss who handled the media very well in my opinion. He was very laid back with us and answered every question. I’d expect him to shoot up the draft boards once he meets with NFL teams and regains full strength following groin surgery. ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay also told us that Doss is probably the most underrated WR in the entire draft.

Indiana WR Tandon Doss

There were so many moments that I could list off from the weekend, but one that I will probably never forget was the media frenzy surrounding the entrance of Auburn QB Cam Newton. Rumors circulated that he would appear at the podium around 3:30pm ET. At about 3:40 media members came by asking around to various people when he was coming, where he would be, etc. Eventually an NFL staff member goes up to the podium to do a mic-check, something they had not done for any other prospect. Then as the buzz started to increase, an NFL liaison yelled to the room, “Cam Newton is on his way”. The next few minutes were like something I have never seen before.

Probably a hundred or so media members immediately flock to the podium. We had a great view from our table so we decided to not move closer. Newton walked in with the biggest smile then gave his speech and took questions. Just seeing the spectacle around one prospect, especially one who won’t be the top pick, is very surprising.

Cam Newton

My combine experience overall was something I will never forget. Using social media to tell a story while being around some very important people is just a comfortable setting for me to be in. I like the fast pace having to run across the room because they announce a top-WR like A.J. Green will be at the podium. Its just an experience that not everyone gets to witness. I hope I can have that same feeling once I find my dream job.

-Josh Bowles


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