It takes a brave, brave club to hand over control of its Twitter feed to someone else, but that’s exactly what Southampton did on Saturday 8 February when they gave central defender Dejan Lovren control of the club’s official feed for their match against Stoke.
We’ve covered Southampton and social networks before, when they become the first Premier League club to sign up to Snapchat, and now we’re covering their efforts to be first at something else – handing over control of their Twitter account to a first team player. Dejan Lovren, the player in question, was given control of the account during possibly the most popular time in a club’s weekly cycle: matchday. For the duration of Southampton’s home game against Stoke Lovren was positioned in the press area giving his thoughts and opinions via @southamptonfc and the hashtag #LovrenLive.
Dejan’s updates ran alongside the standard realtime match updates most clubs use, but were notable for the apparent lack of club intrusion. At one point he Tweeted that the referee hadn’t allowed a proper advantage, and also gave us insights such as this:
Peter Crouch is so tall omg #LovrenLive
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 8, 2014
Southampton deserve praise once more for being willing to break new ground on social networks. This kind of idea only works if you have the support of players and management of the club, and obviously if you have a player you can trust. They’ve recently shown their willingness to innovate by displaying Tweets along the side of the pitch, putting the hoardings to very good use.
The decision to put a player in charge of the official account is a brave one, but Southampton fans seemed to be right behind the decision to give access to one of their injured players for the duration of the match. They’re certainly a club who appear to value engagement with fans.
You can see all of the #LovrenLive Tweets below in a custom timeline created by Southampton’s media team.