In recent days, many have slammed NFL teams for overreacting to the perils of Twitter. Nine teams have banned media from tweeting from open, public practices and some thought the San Diego Chargers $2,500 fine on Antonio Cromartie for tweeting about the team's "nasty food" was a little bit much.
But there are some teams, including the New York Jets, who are really doing it right. The team is encouraging its players to tweet and recently hired a social networking intern to help the players send out an update or post a “pic.”
“We want fans to get an inside look at our team,” said Matt Higgins, the team’s senior vice president of business operations. “It’s important to realize that it’s not the medium that’s the enemy here.”
Higgins said that the ground rules are simple.
Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want in the public domain and don’t do anything to compromise the team’s competitive advantage.
The only media rules for Twitter are the same practice rules that have always applied to journalists. Don’t report on trick plays or on special deployments of personnel.
Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has the most followers (36,863) on the team. Other players who tweet include Nick Mangold, Jay Feely, Chansi Stuckey, Dustin Keller, David Clowney and James Ihedigbo. Jets owner Woody Johnson also tweets.
“I think our fans find it interesting that Jay Feely’s eight-year-old daughter finds it weird he takes naps,” Higgins said. “That would have never appeared in a paper.”
As far as the league goes, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that league officials think that social media is important and has encouraged the holdout teams to allow reporters to tweet from public practices.
The league will not allow players or any other personnel to tweet during games, starting with warm-ups and all the way through to the end of the game, including halftime.
Said McCarthy: “We are working on a broader policy that would apply to the use of social media sites in general on the day of the game.”
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com