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Kevin Sullivan’s Three Keys for Athletes on Twitter

By David Cohen, AdWeek

Jun 4, 2011

Engage with your followers, be insightful and entertaining, and put a spotlight on community service. Those are three keys for athletes on Twitter, courtesy of former White House communications director Kevin Sullivan, founder of Kevin Sullivan Communications and also former public relations executive at NBC Universal and the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.

Sullivan told SportsBusiness Daily that he subscribed to the theory offered by Boston Celtics president Rich Gotham: If you’re going to Tweet, Tweet with a purpose. He also mentioned New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who told his National Football League team that every Tweet “is a one-minute press conference.”

As examples of athletes on Twitter who engage with their followers, Sullivan told SportsBusiness Daily New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudamire used Twitter to poll his fans on what type of sneakers he should wear; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Kirk Morrison did the same for T-shirts worn during training camp; and prominent retweeters include Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees and Matt Duchene of the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche.

Sullivan’s list of insightful and entertaining athletes for SportsBusiness Daily included: Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, who offers behind-the-scenes insight on his MLB club; New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss, who shares how hard he is working with his fans; and Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson, who adds a touch of humor to his Tweets.

And Sullivan mentioned Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier as an athlete who uses Twitter to promote charitable causes.

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