Twitter is opening up opportunities for fans to develop relationships with professional athletes and celebrities on a personal basis – an opportunity that barely existed before social media came about. It gives a chance for not only fans to interact with professional athletes and celebrities, but for them to get to know their fans.
Chad Ochocinco, wide-receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is a perfect example of using Twitter to reach out to his fans. In fact, he made a promise to take Patriots fan Will DiTullio and his wife Julianne out to dinner in Providence via Twitter, and followed through.
Will, known on Twitter as @WAD1980, got in touch with Ochocinco through Twitter and asked him if he was going to meet any New England Patriots fans when he got into town. He then received an email from Ochocinco telling him to come down to Providence so they could meet up, find a venue, and get food.
“Chad kept reiterating that Twitter is such a great tool so he can reach out to his fans,” Will said.
Will has been on a social media winning streak lately. He ended up striking up a friendship with then- Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, who in turn left seats for last year’s Patriots/Jets showdown. It doesn’t end there though! Last year Shelden Williams, then of the Boston Celtics, had a contest on Twitter to determine the winner of three NBA Finals tickets to game 4. Will ended up having the most unique Twitter avatar (profile picture), which was determined by Shelden’s Twitter followers.
Will is Boston’s newest celebrity thanks to the opportunities he has been given through Twitter. He was featured on TMZ.com yesterday, and has been interviewed on many radio shows around Boston.
How Will feels about his new friend: “As far as Chad, I continue to say, what you see on TV is exactly what you get in person. He could not have been any nicer. There were really no awkward pauses in the conversation and he engaged us with questions, too. When we were leaving he was accommodating everyone else that asked for a photo or an autograph.” He even retweeted the picture of himself with Will! Talk about an unforgettable experience, all thanks to social media!
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