This is trending.
I'm ambivalent, to be honest. We've actually reached the point where an @ symbol is on an American sports jersey. I want to be surprised or taken aback, but then I stop, think and realize it's 2013 -- and am sort of surprised this kind of marketing didn't come into the consciousness a year or two sooner.
I guess it says something that I'm grateful the Twitter handles that will be displayed are for a program and aren't those of individual players. When we reach that point, it's time to turn out the lights and start over.
So anyway, here's how Akron's getting some national pub: Twitter advertising on the back of the men's and women's jerseys in coordination with the school's "Social Media Night" this Saturday.
Ironically, Akron's not a team pulling a PR stunt amid a bad season. The Zips have won 11 games in a row, are 15-4 and tied atop the MAC East with Ohio, both 6-0 in league play so far. The two play each other Saturday; both teams have two NCAA tournament appearances in the past four years. These are really good mid-major teams. The basketball's enough, but then again, I'm not writing about this game unless someone drums up this kind of idea.
"The Zips will have several promotions and events surrounding the contest with the Bobcats focused on promoting the department's successful social media accounts," according to the school's press release.
Hashtags of course will also be festooned into Akron's home floor; #ZipsGameday and #ThinkBigger are the phrases of choice, per the school. The latter is a phrase that Akron coach Keith Dambrot is partial to. The school will have photo contests via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well.
Any quirky pub is good pub, usually, and this applies. But the real offense to aesthetics is this increasingly disconcerting trend of practice jersey-looking uniforms. The standalone "Z" on the front is the opposite of hip -- or zippy.
Also hilariously hypocritical and sad: The NCAA approves this kind of outfit alteration, but when a program wants to honor a legendary player who tragically died with its own one-time uniform commemoration, it's totally off-limits.
Originally posted by Matt Norlander on CBSSports.com