Rhinos make big stir with Twitter campaign
Rhinos have hailed their innovative campaign of including players Twitter handles on their players shirts as a massive hit in terms of awareness and profile it has brought to the club.by NRL
Rhinos have hailed their innovative campaign of including players Twitter handles on their players shirts as a massive hit in terms of awareness and profile it has brought to the club.
The club's official Twitter account, @leedsrhinos, has received nearly 400 new followers since the announcement last week whilst the individual players had their accounts boosted by at least 300 each and young England star Zak Hardaker had a massive hike of over 800 new followers over the weekend.
The decision to include the Twitter handles on the shirts has also provoked debate in the wider sporting world with BBC Five Live's George Riley, who had his own shirt with @georgeyboy on the back, sparking debate on his own account on the morning of the game by asking listeners if they saw the trend spreading to other sports.
Commenting on the campaign, Media & PR Manager Phil Daly said, "We have been delighted by the reaction from fans across the globe. We have had feedback from Ireland, America, Australia, New Zealand and Germany as well as here in the UK and from people who normally have no interest in Rugby League at all. The increase in followers has been good but more importantly has been the awareness the campaign has raised about the Rhinos. There was a high level interest in the media, including non-sport sources such as BBC Radio Four's flagship Today programme. Whilst the Twitter handles were a one off for last Friday's game, it is certainly something we will consider for the future such as been the positive response."
Full back Zak Hardaker, @zakhardaker1, added, "It has been great. All weekend I was getting new followers and they just keep on coming! I love being on Twitter because it gives you a chance to speak to fans and give them an insight into how our week is going. It is not long ago that I was stood in the stands watching my heroes and if I could have been in touch with them via Twitter, I would have definitely done that so it is nice that I can do that now as a player."
The Rhinos clash against Hull FC was televised live on Sky Sports, taking the Twitter handles to another new audience and Rugby League legend Martin Offiah was just one of the viewers who discovered a new way to stay in touch with the Rhinos squad. He tweeted on Friday night, "Im now following @Shaun_Lunt after checking out his twitter handle on tv tonight. Oh and @DannyMcguire6"
The club also produced a limited edition t-shirt to mark the launch of the Twitter handles with four of the most popular players on Twitter getting their own t-shirt. T-shirts featuring the Twitter handles and squad numbers for Jamie Peacock (@jamiepeacock10), Rob Burrow (@rob7burrow), Danny McGuire and Ryan Bailey (@hayemaker16) all went on sale at the game on Friday night. Perhaps unsurprisingly, fans were keen to pick up cult hero Bailey's t-shirts after his Twitter handle fell foul of the Rugby Football League's guidelines for use on his playing shirt. Fans can still order the limited edition t-shirts by calling 0113 2033228 or in the club store at Headingley Carnegie.
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