EXCLUSIVE: Bud House Winner Amanda On Spain, Soccer & Social Media

Amanda Spain Bud HouseThe World Cup came to an end yesterday, and with it Budweiser’s reality web series Bud House also reached its finale, with Spanish football fan Amanda winning the honor of attending the final game and presenting Andres Iniesta with the Budweiser Man of the Match trophy. I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda on the phone today and she told me a little bit about living in the Bud House, her excitement about Spain winning the World Cup, and how the experience has made her view social media in a new light.

For those readers that aren’t familiar with the Bud House web series, I’ll give a brief overview. Budweiser brought together 32 fans from the 32 countries competing in the World Cup to live together in a house in South Africa, watch the matches together and root for their respective teams. As teams were eliminated from the tournament, fans were eliminated from the competition. The last two remaining fans, from Spain and Holland, had the opportunity to attend the final World Cup match live in South Africa and the last standing fan, Amanda, got to present the Man of the Match trophy to the game’s MVP.

Watch Amanda’s Bud House introduction video and then check out what she had to say about the experience below.

On Culture and Diversity in the Bud House

Of course, the first question on my mind was what it must have been like to live in a house with 32 people from all different cultures and parts of the world. I asked Amanda what this was like yesterday via email and she responded that it was “incredibly good fun.” She says it wasn’t much of a struggle for her as she attended boarding school in England and has worked abroad and has a lot of experience integrating with other cultures. She said that she felt that the fan from Cameroon, Egbe, was most different from her culturally. She says, “my understanding was that Egbe had never spoken to a white person prior to coming to Bud House.” Despite any cultural differences in the house, it seems that the fans got along and bonded over their love for the game of soccer and support for their respective countries.

On Spain Winning The World Cup

When I spoke to Amanda on the phone she sounded absolutely ecstatic about Spain winning the World Cup. She mentioned that she hadn’t slept in about three days and, when you consider the fact that she has probably been bombarded with interviews and press coverage since Spain won, she must be really happy to still sound excited through all of that. Check out her reaction to Spain beating Germany and guaranteeing her country and herself a seat in the final match of the 2010 World Cup.

On Social Media

Social media was a big part of the Bud House series. I found out from the production team, via email, that “Each fanatic had their Facebook and Twitter account” and managed these accounts on their own. However, “the fanatics were not allowed to see consumer responses in accordance to reality television protocol that required the fans to be sequestered for the duration of their stay.”

Amanda told me that she hoped that fans of Bud House did not think that they were being ignored because they were not receiving responses to their comments. She said that in the house each fan received a Google phone that could be used to upload pictures, videos and status updates directly to their personal fan pages. However, they were not able to use their phones to contact with the outside world in any other way, and were not able to even see the reactions and responses of fans.

Amanda Spain FacebookOf course, now that Amanda is out of the house she plans to read the responses and comments on each of her posts, respond and interact with the fans that watched her over the course of the World Cup. She says that she wants “to respect the people that were interested enough to follow” her, and plans to start going through responses as soon as she gets some much needed sleep.

How many fans of the show reacted to content posted by participants in the Bud House? I asked, but did not receive any solid statistics at this point. The production stated that, “While total interactions were in the millions we are not releasing individual metrics” at this time.

Amanda has spent a lot of time living and traveling abroad and she has used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with friends. However, she says that living in the Bud House without access to these sites has made her look at social media a little differently. Being sequestered, without access to social media, has made her appreciate one-on-one, face-to-face contact a whole lot more. She says that she will continue to use sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with her friends from around the world, including her new friends from the Bud House. After all, Facebook and Twitter make it a lot easier to stay in touch with people who live far away. However, she wants to make more of an effort to stop using social media sites to get in touch with her close friends and make the attempt to go out and grab a coffee and chat face to face. Amanda thinks that in this day in age people are coming too reliant on social media sites for communication with close friends, when they should be making an attempt to speak to one another in person.

It will be interesting to see where Amanda takes things from here. Will she be the next social media maven, web video blogger extraordinaire? Only time will tell. Check out the video of Amanda presenting Iniesta with the Man of the Match trophy below. What a great honor for a die-hard Spanish soccer fan. Congratulations to Spain and to Amanda!