Since 2005, the NFL has been hosting an International Series game in London every year. Teams struggling with fan attendance back home can stir up some overseas love by playing one regular season game in front of a majority European crowd (only 3% Americans/American ex-patriots).
In Virgin Atlantic Airways’ fourth year in a row as an official partner for the game, the company has once again taken to Facebook and Twitter to court a talented young man (or woman) to play the role of “Red Hot Reporter” during the San Francisco 49ers vs Jacksonville Jaguars game on October 27th.
The talent search requires entrants to tweet their entry to @VirginAtlantic with #RedHotReporter, along with a video link demonstrating why they would be a good Red Hot Reporter. Entrants are also required to: be passionate about football and sharing content online, have a passport and not be afraid to use it, be “fluent in friendly conversation” and love “flying in the face of ordinary.”
The winner (or winners) will fly with the Virgin Atlantic team on October 24th from New York to London, and be expected to tweet a minimum of five times per day (from @Virgin_Atlantic) describing the journey at the NFL International Series, and then live-tweet during the game itself.
Last year, aspiring broadcast journalists Jay Ingber and Erin Sharoni were chosen as Red Hot Reporters, but the social media buzz for both of them, during the series, was generally quiet on both on Twitter and Facebook.
Adam Schefter, football reporter and television analyst, told YouTube viewers that Virgin Atlantic is looking for an outgoing, creative person with a “red hot passion for football and the journalistic chops needed to be a red hot reporter.”
So far, Dehlia Ford-Feliz (@PhilaDehlia, 1,947 followers) is getting a lot of support from her followers on Twitter. She is joined by a number of young TV and radio sports broadcasters – from around the country – vying for the Red Hot Reporter spot.
As 2011’s Red Hot Reporter Aubrey Aquino said in a recent tweet directed at an applicant, “it’s all about social media … so show them how savvy and networked you are!”
What do you think about brands recruiting fans to be their ‘voice’ on social media, whether it’s for a day or an event? Is it an effective way to drum up interest and excitement?