The NHL’s Dallas Stars didn’t have to do this.
A tweet or two would have sufficed. But realizing the value — and the power — of social media, the team used Twitter in one of the better ways I’ve seen a professional sports team do so in awhile.
Maybe you heard about it on Twitter, too?
The Stars forward, Rich Peverley, collapsed on the bench in the first period of Monday’s (March 10) game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Immediately, the team turned to Twitter to keep fans updated.
Even early on, the Stars were in the dark as to what exactly happened.
According to later reports, doctors treated Peverley for a cardiac event, using oxygen, chest compressions and a defibillator.
This was not your typical night at the rink for Peverley, his teammates — or the Stars’ social media team.
But the Stars used this emotional and downright scary situation to calmly keep fans in the loop. And they did so in a timely, professional — and accurate manner.
As the team — and fans in the arena — knelt in collective prayer, the decision to continue the game was still undecided. Eventually, the game was postponed, and that’s when the Stars could have easily ended their night on Twitter.
Instead, the team turned its Twitter account into a live news source for fans, the media — and the nation — interested in Peverley’s condition. In a time when Twitter gets panned for its inaccuracies during breaking news, the Stars shined and shared timely and trustworthy information.
This was not your typical night for the Stars — or anyone who followed along via social media. Word quickly spread, and a virtual prayer chain began moving through Twitter. And #PrayersForPeverley quickly brought people together.
And the nation turned to the Stars, who continued to use Twitter to update fans and the media. Fortunately, news was encouraging about its star forward, and the team shared insight from Peverley’s doctor and Coach Lindy Ruff.
It was an opportunity to reassure fans Peverley was in good hands and show a real human side to the team — not only from Coach Ruff, but from Peverley himself.
No one could have had this kind of access — media, fans in the stands, even fellow players. And the Stars should be applauded for using Twitter so well, during such a difficult and emotional time.
It’s one of the best uses of Twitter during breaking sports news I’ve seen in awhile. Maybe ever.
Bravo, Dallas Stars. And get well soon, Rich Peverley.
Thanks for being a fan.