I know it can vary depending on the topic, but as a general rule, sports teams love creating content related to all different holidays and special days, even more so when there is a trending hashtag on the topic.
So when I saw that #NationalComingOutDay was the number one trending topic on Twitter (170K tweets and counting), I was curious what teams were doing. Here’s what I found so far.
Yep, the answer is nothing. I scanned all of the official team accounts across MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL and NHL (via the Twitter lists that the league offices manage) and I couldn’t find a single tweet with that hashtag. Now I understand there’s often a fine line between authentic engagement on a trending topic and newsjacking that topic for your own interests. However, this is a very important day for the LGBT community and it seems like there should be an appropriate way for sports to support this important day, especially with the challenges that many athletes still face when making a decision to share or not share their sexual orientation.
I’m not encouraging teams or brands to look use this hashtag as a marketing opportunity, which would be completely inappropriate, but instead consider the impact that you can have to help others feel comfortable with who are they are, whether or not they are ready to share that with the world yet.
Here are few tweets shared earlier today on the topic by athletes very familar with this topic. I’d also encourage you all to take a look at the Outsports Twitter feed today.
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) October 11, 2016
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) October 11, 2016
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) October 11, 2016
There's no better feeling than just being yourself. #NationalComingOutDay
— Harrison Browne (@Hbrowne24) October 11, 2016
— Gregory Louganis (@greglouganis) October 11, 2016
Update 1 – I love this tweet from USC Athletics:
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 11, 2016
Update 2 – The LA Galaxy shared this tweet:
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) October 11, 2016