Digital Fans Go Wild for Vancouver 2010 – FanTrust: Your Mission Control for Olympic Fan Action
Sunshine, T-shirts and outdoor concerts. This can only mean one thing: it’s time for the Winter Olympics! In the spirit of Vancouver 2010, and live from FanTrust’s Vancouver headquarters, we are blogging about Olympic fans and Olympic fever – because, hey, it’s hot here at fan-central.
FanTrust was also just chosen among the top digital businesses that “amazes & inspires” for 2010 Olympics & fans. In this spirit, we wanted to feature what we know best: the fans.
So, how are active Olympic fans flying their digital freak flags this month? Today we’ll focus on Twitter.
Created by avid sports fans, Twitter-Athletes links to pro-athlete’s and Olympian’s tweets. The creators said the site, which started out “as a weekend (or two) project, [has] taken on a life of its own,” gaining momentum as a result of plugs from ESPN and other sports news outlets. This fan site features the top 10 most popular athletes on Twitter, Shaquille O’Neil has 2.8 Million followers, as well as new additions such as Canadian Olympic snowboarder Mercedes Nicoll, with links to their Twitter pages so that you can follow them too.
Are you a fan of two-time, US Olympic bobsledder Steve Mesler, who as of today has just touched down in Vancouver for his Olympic bid? If so, you can let him know by joining his 27K Twitter followers. Are you a fan of two-timing Tiger Woods? If so, you’ll have to go elsewhere as this site may be the one place he isn’t getting any action.
For more Olympians on Twitter, go straight to https://www.twitter-athletes.com/index.cfm?CatID=243&People=1. If Twitter had sound effects, you could hear the crowd go wild.
“These are going to be the Twitter Olympics,” Director of Media Services for the US Olympic Committee Bob Condron is recently reported to have said.
But fans following favorite athletes on Twitter had a shock last week when skier Lindsey Vonn and speedskater Nick Pearson tweeted that they and other Olympians were banned from posting certain types of content for their fans, including feared one athlete, all photography.
According to the IOC there are some restrictions on content: Olympians cannot have any pictures of the Olympic five rings anywhere on their website, Twitter or Facebook accounts, nor can they post photos of themselves wearing brand names of sponsors who are not official sponsors of the Olympics. The IOC reports that these guidelines are more lenient than for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Vonn and Pearson have since updated their tweets to reflect this new reality.
Meanwhile, in what is turning out to be a five-ring circus, the international media in Vancouver is facing their own sticker shock and awe over the hefty Internet access fees levied by Olympic organizers for reporters and photographers. Citizen journalists and hardcore fans can still cover the events using free wireless in a cafe while wearing Nike shoes.