During a conference call the other day, my colleague stood up and walked over to me with an expression on his face that was a mix of pure joy and complete confusion. That’s when he showed me the text message he had just received that stated: “Prince Fielder to the Tigers for nine years.”
Before even fully processing this information, I immediately went to ESPN.com, where the top stories included Joe Paterno’s funeral and the Super Bowl, but nothing about a perennial MVP candidate signing a major deal with the Detroit Tigers.
After a few more Google searches, I was left with zero confirmation, other than outdate MLB.com trade rumor articles that left me yearning to know if “Big Daddy’s” offspring was coming to the Motor City or not.
That’s when I realized I had overlooked a less-obvious choice: Twitter. After all, Twitter has quickly left traditional media outlets in the dust when it comes to breaking news. Sure enough, the top national and local reporters were tweeting that Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers had agreed on a staggering nine-year, $214 million deal.
If you’re ESPN, can you still call yourself the Worldwide Leaders in Sports if you don’t allow your reporters to break stories?
Lesson learned. The next time I hear rumors that something has happened with one of my favorite sports teams, I’m going straight to Twitter to confirm. That is, unless it involves Denard Robinson doing something awesome, in which case confirmation is not needed.
— Dave Niemiec is an account coordinator at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Silicon Valley and Detroit.