I Follow: Patrick McEnroe


Editor’s note: “I Follow” is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone. Today, we highlight tennis analyst Patrick McEnroe, who tweets about tennis, of course, but also other sports (in particular the Yankees and Knicks) as well as non-sports topics ranging from popular culture to politics. This week and next, he’s tweeting from Paris, where he is part of ESPN’s tennis coverage at the French Open. Here’s an inside look at his Twitter profile.

Twitter Handle: @PatrickMcEnroe

Followers: *18,297

Following: *44

* Twitter numbers as of 5/23/11

FR: Who is your favorite person to follow?
McEnroe: I like @AndyRoddick because he shows his personality. He doesn’t tweet that often, but when he does he gets on a roll. And that’s Andy. When he’s passionate about something, he can’t keep it bottled up. So when he tweets, I know there’s more coming.

FR: Who is the most famous person who follows you?
McEnroe: @StarJonesEsq. She’s a big tennis fan. I saw her at a tennis event in New York a few weeks ago.

FR: What is the most interesting exchange you’ve had with fans?

McEnroe: I get a lot of people asking for me to get my brother [John McEnroe] to tweet. He’s still holding out. The fans want to hear from Johnny Mac, but there’s only so much influence a little brother can have.
But the best interactions come while I’m on the air calling a match. With changeovers and commercials there’s down time and fans love it. They’re impressed I can tweet while working…although I’m not sure how my producers feel about it.

It helps me know what’s on the viewer’s mind, and sometimes I even answer them on air. That’s the most entertaining part of Twitter.

FR: You not only tweet about non-tennis topics, you package everything together every day. What’s that about?

McEnroe: That’s the Patrick McEnroe Daily. It’s like a little newsletter. I pick up stuff about tennis, of course, but also other sports, politics, travel tips, reviews of CDs and more. People love it. They know I’m interested in more than just tennis. But I’m also not the kind of guy who tweets ‘I’m going to go get a cappuccino at Starbucks.’

FR: How and why did you get involved with Twitter?

McEnroe: Frankly, to promote my book (Hardcourt Confidential, 2010). I was told I should tweet to generate some attention for it. Once I started with trivia questions from what’s in the book, I enjoyed the interaction with the fans.

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