West Ham United’s (@WHUFC_Official) home game with Hull City (@hullcityteam) last night was billed as the club’s first ever ‘Social Media Match’. Hammers fans came together before, during and after the game, as Twitter brought a new dimension to the matchday experience. We’ve rounded up some of the content from #HammerTime below.
When Hammers goalkeeper Adrian (@AdriSanMiguel) announced he’d left one of his gloves as a mystery London location, fans rushed to piece together the cryptic clue and win the #Gloveaway:
One lucky fan was the first to locate the glove, winning not only match tickets, but a meeting with Adrian after the game to complete the signed pair:
PIC: Hammers fan Craig meets @AdriSanMiguel after winning the #Gloveaway comp yesterday. Vid https://t.co/5nm21jMpVJ pic.twitter.com/VHDUmXUP8b— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 27, 2014
Midfielder Matt Taylor gave fans an access-all-areas look into a player’s matchday routine. Matt tweeted updates under the #MattsMatchday hashtag, sharing everything from the morning brew to the pre-match fuel:
Good morning. Only way to start the day! #mattsmatchday pic.twitter.com/6pwNcUf2Yh— Matt Taylor ( @Official_MattT) March 26, 2014
It’s lunchtime and there isn’t much pasta left……. #mattsmatchday pic.twitter.com/VtMGUdqIjM— Matt Taylor ( @Official_MattT) March 26, 2014
No game is complete without a matchday programme. But instead of the usual player interview conducted by the club, the fans called the shots — submitting their questions via Twitter for midfield powerhouse Mohamed Diame in #AskMo.
The player warm-up was a particularly special experience for a selection of lucky fans. Fans were asked to use Twitter to provide messages of support, and the best #HammerShirts tweets adorned the kits of the squad as they limbered up:
PIC: The boys head out to warm up in their #HammerShirts #WHULIVE #COYI pic.twitter.com/IiJH9OthGy— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 26, 2014
Hammers fans were involved in the half-time entertainment too. Fans got to decide which songs would fill the Boleyn Ground during the interval, tweeting their requests to #HammersPlaylist.
Matty Taylor wasn’t the only first teamer getting involved through Twitter. Injured Matt Jarvis (@MrMattJarvis) was situated in the press box, tweeting out his own expert analysis as the game unfolded:
PIC: Matt Jarvis is with us to offer us his expert view on the game #JARVOSVIEW pic.twitter.com/WfrVMUvzCt— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 26, 2014
MJ: The goal is just what we needed. We can settle down and get into the game properly now. #JarvosView— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 26, 2014
The game didn’t pass without incident, with red cards and penalties for the fans to discuss at the pub. But West Ham came through with a 2-1 victory, edging one step closer to @PremierLeague safety.
And the activity carried on beyond the final whilstle too, as fans were able to select their official man of the match via Twitter, with centre-back Roger Johnson taking the accolade.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Your Twitter Man of the Match for last night’s game against Hull was Roger Johnson. #WHUHUL #COYI pic.twitter.com/jIOleFKcdH— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 27, 2014
This initiative illustrates how Twitter is bringing football fans closer to the action than ever before. West Ham’s use of Twitter not only highlights the increasing importance of engaging fans within the physical setting of the stadium, but also making the matchday experience more accessible and interactive for fans worldwide who can’t be in the terraces.
SOCIAL MEDIA MATCH: Thanks for all your contributions today, it’s been great to share the matchday with you! #WHULIVE #HammerTime— West Ham United FC ( @whufc_official) March 26, 2014