Photo courtesy Greg Byrne
Arizona’s social media-friendly athletic director Greg Byrne is creating a buzz about the new video scoreboard at Arizona Stadium. Updates about construction, photos from his iPhone and even notice about the shipping time of the LED modules are arriving from China (seriously) have dominated his Twitter page over the last few weeks.
But Sunday, Byrne upped the ante by announcing one of his many Twitter giveaways happening next month.
"Next month we will have a BIG Twitter giveaway. Someone will get to play NCAA Football 12 on the new video board. Anyone interested?" Byrne tweeted. "It will actually happen as we are running our tests on the new board. Should be fun."
Byrne publicized the stadium’s face-lift in January at the Wildcats’ end-of-the-season press conference (along with numerous anonymous athletic donations — so much for that recession) and the highlight is 5,356-square foot video board and new stereo system being installed in the stadium’s south endzone. It is on track to be operational for the season opener against NAU. The upgrade will be the scoreboard and sound system’s first since 1999, and anyone who’s even attended an Arizona home game will tell you it’s high time the Wildcats’ stadium stepped into the 21st century technology-wise.
The scoreboard’s gaming virginity is up for grabs. And Bryne is just giving it away.
Who wouldn’t want to test out Arizona’s new toy with a little simulated NCAA football action? The game was released yesterday, featuring Alabama’s Mark Ingram on the cover. Byrne hasn’t released a date for the NCAA Football 2012 play date but suspect falls sometime before Arizona’s Fan Appreciation night on August 20.
The Twittering, Facebooking AD continued his tradition of interacting with fans via social media, something that he’s done since becoming Arizona’s athletic director in March 2010. He occasionally throws out Wildcat T-shirts and free tickets to athletic events. Maybe he’s just trying to get more followers or Facebook friends (he has 5,869 Twitter followers and 2,892 friends to date) but Byrne certainly is trying to get Arizona fans involved in the realm of Arizona athletics. And that’s not a bad thing. He’s trying to get people to come to the stadium in a time where fans — including students — think it’s more convenient to sit and watch the game at home or at the local watering hole. Byrne’s using creative ways to get fans back to the stadium (see his Wildcat Walk that began in the 2010 season) even if that means baiting fans into caring.
Using the scoreboard — certainly the largest attraction at Arizona Stadium and that’s including the Nick Foles/Juron Criner tandem — is simply good business and a cool story for whichever lucky fan gets the opportunity. Moral of the story? Just follow Byrne on Twitter (Greg_Byrne).
Oh, and if you’re said lucky fan, I suggest choosing the Wildcats as the home team for the first game. You know, for respects’ sake.