With today's technologically obsessed fan base, the NFL should endorse social media as a positive opportunity rather than something they need to be cautious of.
The next generation of fans is inherently tech savvy, and the NFL should discern that a heightened, more engaged relationship between players, coaches and their fans means better business for them.
People want to be involved and feel like they are part of the league. I've included two ways that social media has proven effective at enhancing the fan's experience, one from another sport and the other a process within the NFL.
When Brendan Shanahan took over as NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety in 2011, he implemented a new policy using social media to explain fines and suspensions given out to the players. Shanahan uploads videos to NHL.com breaking down each play in slow motion.
He explains the reasoning for the rulings over the video of the play, giving the fans an inside look into how these decisions are made. Rather than just reading about a suspension in the news the day after it is handed down, these videos provide hockey fans a more personalized experience.
Although not everyone is on board with Shanahan's videos, they are contributing to not only a safer league but a more knowledgeable fan base.
People are posting these videos on YouTube and creating parody clips. This in turn is creating buzz, getting fans involved and attracting new viewers to the NHL.
The Draft and Free Agency
With the NFL draft brings the excitement of young players hungry to make an impact on their new team and city. Through their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, these rookies can interact with the fans and pump them up for the season ahead.
Fans can get an inside look at the process of settling in to their new city as they adjust to life in the NFL. These rookies can ask fans advice about what neighborhoods to live in, where to eat and get their input on the fun events to check out around town.
During free agency, there are endless amounts of rumors and speculation about the potential landing spot for these free agents. The use of social media allows players to provide the fans with firsthand knowledge of them signing a contract.
When a newly signed player tweets about his excitement in joining an NFL team, it gets fans excited about the upcoming year an keeps them involved in the offseason.
The use of social media by the NFL's players, coaches and front office staff is creating a more knowledgeable and present football fan. The public can follow or like an unbelievable amount of people, organizations and media outlets all pertaining to the NFL.
The future of the NFL should involve a heavy dose of social media, as fans will jump at the opportunity to engage, bringing more business and revenue to the league.