A post by Adam Ostrow on Mashable has a great story of Shaq proving that it really was him on Twitter. Apparently, there had been a Twitterer pretending to be Shaq and when he learned of this, he decided to create his own account. In fact one user following his account did not believe that it was actually the real Shaq. After some back and forth, the Twitterer received a phone call from the man himself. A later tweet by Shaq stated that he was going to get some tickets for the Twitterer and his family.
Kathleen Hessert, who manages Shaq’s online marketing, commented on our post yesterday: “Shaq is a joyful person and a riot to be around. He not only gets attention but actually attracts people – he’s magnetic and genuine. That’s why I recommended that he twitter. Frankly it suits him and he’s one of a select few who actually do care about his fans. He’s learning twitter on the run and tomorrow I’m showing him how to respond@ to a fan.”
I think it’s a great opportunity for athletes who may be more technologically savvy. Not only does this provide him with a way to interact and engage with his fans, but it also gives him an avenue to promote his own brand and refute any false statements or accusations.
“Somebody out there was trying to use my language and trying to speak for me,” O’Neal, sounding more amused than offended, said Wednesday night in a telephone interview. “Rather than have that happen, I thought I’d do it myself.”
O’Neal added: “It’s a fun thing. It’s a way for fans to connect.”
In both Shaq’s and Britney’s cases, they took to Twitter to take matters into their own hands and set the record straight. However, Britney’s account is done by her team (and it sounds like her comments are what she “said” to the team) whereas Shaq is all him and that’s what makes him appear more approachable and genuine. I’ve enjoyed watching Shaq over the years and always appreciated his candid quotes, but his move to Twitter bumped up my personal opinion of him. I think this is a great boost for his brand especially now that he’s not the player in the NBA anymore.