To leverage the popular NCAA "March Madness" Basketball Tournament for marketing, Federated Marketing and Twitter created an AT&T site that aggregates, filters, and focuses Twitter chatter about the games.
Called "March Tweetness," the online tool seeks to reign in the thousands of March Madness conversations on Twitter and place them on one organized site, said Matthew DiPietro, a marketing manager at Federated Media. "Twitter is an amazing thing, but it is very scattered and sometimes it's hard for people to find the conversations they want to be involved in," he said. "This is designed to solve that problem."
AT&T's branding on the site is decidedly light: A clickable company logo and a "Sponsored by AT&T" blurb. DiPietro would not reveal financial details about the sponsorship and said AT&T purposely kept its branding minimal.
"One of the things about social media, in general, is that you want it to be transparent and authentic and add value to the users' experience," he said. "It's not always the best idea to have overbearing marketing and messaging on the site itself."
March Tweetness comes on the heels of another Twitter and Federated Media initiative. Earlier this week, Federated Media discussed ExecTweets, sponsored by Microsoft. "It's a program much like March Tweetness but focused around the business community," DiPietro said of ExecTweets. "It was designed to focus the Twitter chatter around a very specified list of the most senior, most prolific business executives on Twitter so people can find and follow the most influential conversations happening in the business world."
With March Tweetness, Twitter users interested in reading and chatting about the games go to the March Tweetness site. Once logged in with their Twitter account information, they are presented with each day's four games and a list of upcoming games. Clicking on any of the games allows logged-in users to submit comments.
DiPietro said Federated Media and Twitter are likely to continue presenting similar sponsored pages around topics and events. "The potential is over the horizon," he said. "It's limitless." Noting that AT&T is involved in other March Madness marketing efforts, DiPietro said it is important to match sponsors to the type of Twitter aggregation programs being created. "It's important, when bringing on a sponsor for a program like this, to accomplish the sponsor's goals and it's also important to bring the sponsor into the process," he said.
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