Why Ellen Set The Record

As you and at least 3 million people already know, Ellen attempted to and succeeding in breaking the record for retweets with this amazing photo, taken and tweeted live during the Oscars broadcast.

As of 9AM this morning, the picture was up to 3,122,035 retweets, which is about 4 times as many RTs are the previous record holder, a picture from Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. While this record-setting tweet is not itself related to sports, there is one CRITICAL reason why Ellen was able to set the record which all media outlets, brands and sports organizations can learn from.

You might think the reason is because of the number of live viewers watching the telecast, or the size of Ellen’s Twitter following, or the amazing content of the picture itself. While these three reasons are important and have an impact, they are not the most important reason why she set the record. For comparison, another fun live tweet she shared during her opening monologue only has 174,034 retweets. I know that number is nothing to scoff at, but it’s less than 6% as many RTs as the record-setter.

So…what was the most critical reason behind Ellen’s record-setting tweet??


Ellen asked us not only to retweet the picture, but to set the record for retweets! She provided the audience a clear call to action, and we all responded.

Too many times I see sports teams execute marketing campaigns via all channels — social media, email, direct mail, television, radio — without enough emphasis on the call to action. While there are many components that go into a successful marketing campaign, it’s that final call to action that takes all of your great, creative content and turns it into action.

To try and prove my point…


Now let’s see what happens.