Live From the 2019 CFP National Championship: In the Heart of Silicon Valley, Social-Media Platforms Elevate Brands

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram showcase intimate partnerships with CFP, Clemson, Alabama

Increasingly, milestone sports events are marked communally at the place that has become the new sports bar for people around the world: social media. At this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game, all the major entities onsite — from Clemson to Alabama to ESPN to the CFP itself — are leveraging their partnerships with the social-media giants of the world — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — to further elevate their brands on this huge weekend.

The fact that the game is being hosted close to the headquarters of the social-media giants (Twitter in San Francisco and Facebook/Instagram in Menlo Park, CA) has proved beneficial. With many partners onsite at Levis’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the two schools’ video and digital-media departments are able to meet with advisors at each platform to discuss strategy and ask questions.

Here are some highlights of what’s going down on your feed:

Twitter Sports
Under the guide of college-sports–partnerships expert David Herman, Twitter Sports has been hugely active, working with partners at this year’s CFP National Championship Game.

Saturday’s Media Day at the Santa Clara Convention Center was the big content-gathering opportunity for the Twitter Sports team. Expanding on a strategy deployed at Radio Row at last year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, the Twitter Sports team erected a video-concept and GIF station where players could cycle through and record their reactions, thoughts, and fun videos. Twitter Sports also created a marketing concept called #LockedIn. All the content recorded at the station on Saturday has been used throughout the weekend and will continue to be used through tonight’a game.

Naturally, Twitter Sports is involved with live video as well. Working with ESPN, the social-media platform will live-stream The College Football Show, which will air at both pregame and halftime of tonight’s contest. ESPN’s Jason Fitz and Trevor Scales will host the program, which will offer highlights, looks at the fan cultures of both schools, and much more.

Twitter Sports has also partnered with ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor, throughout the weekend pushing out loads of videos of Taylor interacting with players, fans, and others.

The CFB Playoff social-media and digital-video team is also covering the entire Bay Area and various events to capture all the festivities throughout the weekend.

As expected, Twitter has also rolled out special emoji hashtags for the Championship Game. Using #RollTide will trigger the Alabama script A logo alongside the text; #ALLIN will add the orange Clemson paw. #CFBPlayoff will insert the gold-football logo of the College Football Playoff.

As for Facebook and Instagram, the two platforms — their efforts this weekend overseen, respectively, by Nick Marquez, strategic partnership manager, U.S. teams, Facebook, and Will Yoder, sports partnerships, Instagram — have empowered their partners to create high-end content for their fans.

On the Facebook side, it’s all about high-end all-access content for Facebook Watch, making Clemson’s digital-media team a natural fit to work with. All season long, the partnership has produced a Facebook Watch series called Clemson Football: The Vlog, and that has been accelerated over the past few weeks with the team’s trip to the Cotton Bowl before advancing to this weekend’s National Championship.

WATCH: Clemson Football: The Vlog (Season 3 Ep 24)

Instagram is also back with its popular Student Section program. This year, as many as 70 different schools nominated a student, (or multiple students), to take over their accounts’ Instagram Stories on gamedays. This year’s program saw more than 100 students participate.

It’s a tremendous learning opportunity for those nominated as, over the course of the season, Instagram execs host training sessions for the students and offer up access to new products. At the end of the year, a committee of Instagram and Facebook execs reviewed all of the Instagram Stories created, picking one winner to take over the main Instagram account (which boasts 274 million followers) for the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

The winner was Jennifer Fisher from the University of Iowa. She will be producing content around Monday’s game for the main Instagram account with her Instagram Story running Tuesday morning.

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