I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Super Bowl will be the biggest, one-day, social media event of the year.
Last year, during the final minutes of the game, fans posted 4,064 Tweets per second. This broke the sporting record which had been held by the World Cup, but it didn’t break the all-time record of 6,939 TPS. That happened the moment Japan welcomed in the new year.
Still, I believe that this year’s Super Bowl will trump all because the powers that be have a plan. Of course they have an official Twitter and Facebook and plenty of supporting accounts on both. They have a website full of bells and whistles and mobile apps so you can keep up with all the game info while on the go.
What’s really incredible is the 2,800-square-foot social media center that has been put together to handle this one event. MSNBC Digital Life says that this is the first time a center of this sort has been built for an event.
Let me stop here and say that the Olympics also have social media covered, but that’s not a single day event. The Super Bowl is one day, but the center will be operational for about two weeks.
The goal of the social media center is to act as an information hub for people coming to see the game. A staff of 50 has been assigned to scan Twitter, Facebook and other media for Super Bowl related questions. Since they’re specifically dealing with those visiting the Indianapolis area, it’s not as massive a job as it could be.
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The secondary function of the center is one they hope they won’t need, that of emergency management. The staff is prepared to send out emergency information via Twitter in order to quickly reach a large portion of the 150,000 fans at the game.
The Super Bowl Social Media Center is proof that social media is now being taken seriously. It’s no longer an option if you have some spare time. Social media is now being recognized as a legitimate news source and as a practical way of communicating with a large number of people — particularly people on the move.
Super Bowl XLVI should break social media records. Let’s just hope it’s all Tweets and posts about the game, the TV commercials and the parties. This would not be a great time to test Twitter as an emergency management system.