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Social media to play big role in Super Bowl

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Local Super Bowl organizers are doing everything they can to make sure visitors to Indianapolis have the information they need at their fingertips—literally.

The game’s first-ever social media command center opened Monday in 2,800-square-feet of space in the Morrison Opera House building on South Meridian Street, about a block away from the heart of Super Bowl activities. There, a team of strategists, analysts and techies will monitor the digital fan conversation via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms with the goal of making Indianapolis the most interactive host city ever.

These days, ignoring conversations on social platforms would be akin to not answering the telephone in years past, said Taulbee Jackson, CEO of locally based digital marketing firm Raidious, which is hosting the command center and managing two shifts a day through game time Feb. 5.

“I don’t know that anybody’s ever gone to this level at any event, whether it’s the Super Bowl, the Oscars or the Indianapolis 500,” he said. “Our goal is to make it the most connected Super Bowl in history.”

Raidious’ staff of 16 is teaming with a group of volunteers to monitor the communications hub—and add to the conversation. All told, about 50 people will spend time in the command center, including researchers from Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, Butler University and IUPUI.

About 150,000 visitors are expected to converge on downtown for Super Bowl festivities. Volunteers will respond to fans in need of assistance by indexing keywords and phrases used by those visitors in social media conversations.

Guests searching Twitter for destinations or parking and restaurant options, for example, should receive responding tweets from the throng of volunteers tracking the digital dialogue.

“We’ve already been through a few pilot programs testing out the space,” Jackson said. “It’s been put through its paces, and we feel it’s pretty bulletproof in handling an event like the Super Bowl.”

Volunteers also will publish pieces on the various festivities, concerts and parties, and will stand by to provide information in case of a disaster.

More than 5,000 members of the media will be in Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl, and showing them how tech savvy the city is could bolster its reputation as a solid sporting events host, said Dianna Boyce, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Host Committee.

“With social media and where it is in our society, and its ability to reach far and wide and deep, it’s an important way to share our message,” she said. “It’s the here and now.”

Chronicling the festivities via social media undoubtedly will play a big part in this year’s Super Bowl.

Local public relations agency Borshoff also is jumping into the fray, unveiling its buzzfunnel.me site on Friday. The site will feature short video content compiled and produced by staff, in addition to twitter feeds and poll questions.

The goal is to provide a behind-the-scenes perspective for visitors to the game, said Karen Alter, a Borshoff principal.

“If we find that there’s a lot of interest and the buzz really takes off, and we think it will,” she said, “then we’ll take it to other events.”

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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