I Follow: Holly Rowe

ESPN reporter Holly Rowe. (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN)
ESPN reporter Holly Rowe. (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN)

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.

A familiar face on the sideline, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe is preparing to cover her eighth NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship game tonight when UConn and Louisville tip-off (ESPN, 8:30 ET). She shares her thoughts on the event and Twitter with Front Row.

Twitter Handle: @Sportsiren
Following: 169
Followers: 18,748
(as of 04/09/13)

When did you first start using Twitter and why?
[ESPN basketball analyst] Rebecca Lobo was using it at the Final Four in 2009. She set up my account that spring and suggested I do it so fans of the teams I was covering would be in the loop.

What impact has social media had on these type of events?
We have so much more information behind the scenes — I love seeing the Cal Bears’ send off from campus, dorm decorations for Notre Dame when they got home, Louisville signs about town and UConn being silly on the plane. We are all curious about people and Twitter is a great way to have access to and really personalize athletes and coaches. I also love that athletes get their own unfiltered voice. For example, an emotional tweet from Brittney Griner after Baylor lost gives us immediate access to information that we crave.

What has been your most memorable exchange with a fan, athlete or peer?
I have enjoyed being able to reach out to athletes but most memorable was the night I was thrown in to the fire to DJ … Yes, you read that right, I was asked to DJ my 17-year-old son’s winter formal after their [DJ] didn’t show up. My followers helped suggest songs and guide me through that stressful but fun night. My followers are so great with feedback and suggestions. I really appreciate this community.

What stands out most about the NCAA Women’s Final Four?
One of my greatest honors is to be in the coaches’ huddles and witness history. I still get chills thinking about a [former Tennessee head coach] Pat Summitt huddle when they were losing to North Carolina and she turned it around with that one speech. I am also in awe of young women chasing their dreams and I honestly get choked up watching how hard these ladies work to be excellent. They inspire me.

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