When New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty flies around the Super Bowl XLVI field next Sunday trying to stymie the New York Giants offense, the star defender’s followers and fans will still be able to get live in-person updates from his social media feeds.
No, the NFL hasn’t suddenly allowed on-field tweeting. The surreal effect is possible because Devin shares Twitter and Facebook accounts with his identical twin brother and fellow NFL pro Jason.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Jason will be in Indianapolis pulling for his brother while sending out tweets and Facebook posts from the Lucas Oil Field stands.
The twins’ shared accounts are a unique twist to the typical ways athletes use social networks to connect with fans and build their marketing potential. They credit “social media coach” Jeff Weiner with originally cooking up the idea of joint accounts. They say it allows then to showcase their personalities in a different way and let fans share in their competitive — but close — relationship.
Devin and Jason frequently banter back and forth via the accounts, ribbing one another and letting fans join the conversation. Both said that they believe their novel approach helped then land a national endorsement deal with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter.
“The biggest thing people like is seeing our bond, just seeing how two siblings get along,” Devin told Mashable. “Sometimes parents tweet us pictures of their own kids and twins playing sports too, so it’s very cool to see fans interacting that way.”
When Devin’s Patriots were playing in the AFC Championship game last weekend, Jason set up a live Ustream broadcast from where he was watching the game on TV so that fans of the twins could join the fun.
Jason gave away memorabilia during that game and said that fans enjoyed the experience, though many poked fun at him for “screaming and making a fool of myself rooting for Devin to do well.”
“The only time they’d really get upset at each other growing up was playing basketball or video games,” she told Mashable. “Other than that, they’ve always been each other’s best friend and shared everything.”
Devin and Jason have been football teammates their entire lives all through college until joining the NFL. (Jason was drafted in 2009, Devin in 2010.) They will eventually find themselves taking the roles of rivals, when the Patriots go against Jason’s Titans sometime in the next couple years.
“That’s going to be fun,” Jason said.
But it leaves one important question: Who will provide the status updates during that match-up?
Who to follow on Twitter for the Super Bowl XLVI scoop
The official account of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee is a must-follow for fans going to the game. It will function as one of several channels directing fans to entertainment venues and addressing logistical concerns from the committee's social meda command center.
Battista covers the NFL for The New York Times. She's sure to churn out a couple nice features between now and Feb. 5, her deadline game-recaps are second to none, and she's also a good follow for real-time Twitter updates.
Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider and his 1.2 million followers dwarf nearly everyone else in sports media and serve as a testament to his continuous steam of breaking news, opinions and scuttlebutt. He's sure to provide plenty of interesting nuggets from around the league leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.