What’s the recipe to make the popular even more popular? In today’s social media universe, you add in Twitter, mix vigorously and wait for the buzz to boil over!
In the case of the SportsCenter Top 10, it’s been a recipe for indisputable success. Since creating the #SCTop10 hashtag earlier this year, ESPN’s signature show has seen phenomenal involvement from fans across the country and the world. Certain nights, for the 11 p.m. SportsCenter, viewers are asked to use the hashtag to nominate plays they believe are worthy of inclusion in the already-popular Top Plays segment of the show.
“I do believe it engages the viewer and anything to get more viewers interested in our show and for a longer period of time, I’m in favor of,” said anchor — and early adopter — Steve Levy.
“With so many games ending just before or during the 11 p.m. (ET) SportsCenter, it was a natural fit to engage with the huge social audience that was already watching,” said senior coordinating producer Tim McHugh.
“The idea was originally hatched last summer and took several months to prepare the room and figure out the work flow. Close to a dozen departments touched the project and help bring the idea to life — it was a total team effort.”
Senior coordinating director Jeff Schaetzel enjoys the opportunity to help SportsCenter, and ESPN as a whole, evolve in the rapidly changing social media space.
“SportsCenter is full of opportunities to be creative and invent new ways to present sports to our fans,” Schaetzel said.
“That’s why I love working on the show and have happily been a part of it since my first day here in July 1995. The ‘Top 10 Room’ is another of those opportunities. Social media creates a direct connection with our audience that is too good to pass up.”
“It’s important all shows have a signature item and Top Plays has always been wildly popular in the 11 p.m. show,” McHugh said.
“This is just an extension of that. It’s not a gimmick, viewers are truly impacting the Top 10 every night. There are many plays our audience helped us discover and (in doing so) make the Top 10 better with their submissions and suggestions.”
Learn more about the Top 10 room in the video above.