Antonio Nichols| @AntonioBNJr
If you are a fan of professional football, then at some point in the last few months you have heard of the stringent social media policy the NFL has imposed on the teams in the league. If you are a fan of this blog, then you also already know why this policy was destined to fail. As I said in “How Social is Your Sport”, the NFL is already far behind other professional sports organizations in terms of its overall social media presence and engagement. However, this policy was a blatant slap in the face to not only the NFL teams, but also to the fans who may not be able to watch the game but love to stay updated by having access to highlight footage on social media, specifically Twitter.
While the relationship between Twitter and the NFL is complicated, the league has not remained resolute in its position and has heard the cries of outrage from around the league. Some of this outrage has been in-house and some has been more obvious like the use of toy figurines to act out highlights to avoid using live game footage. Nevertheless the league has called an audible and changed the play to appease the masses. The updated policy that was released on December 3rd, 2016 relaxed the policy a bit to alleviate some of the discontent with the first policy. The changes to the previous policy include:
- NFL teams can now share “non-highlight” clips during games
- Clips, not footage, can be shared during games
- Teams can create and share their own GIFs
- The number of videos that can be shared in a day has gone from 8 to 16
These updates do not address all of the complaints that have been made since the adoption of this new policy, but they do create opportunities for teams to have a bit more content and creative freedom on their social media accounts. Even though their first policy set them back, the NFL has been trying to be more social this season and is making major moves to ensure that they are. This season the NFL has partnered with Twitter to make ten Thursday Night Football games available for global streaming. They may have a while to go before they reach the NBA’s social status, but for now it’s good to see them making forward progress.