San Francisco 49ers Social Media Playbook Includes Profitability

On April Fool’s Day 2013, San Francisco 49ers social media manager Scott Kegley decided to have a little fun at the expense of coach Jim Harbaugh. He joke-tweeted that a new clothing line was coming called the Harbaugh Collection.

Part of of the gag is that Harbaugh rarely deviates from a sideline uniform of khakis, fleece and black cap. However, per an interview of Kegley by Silicon Valley Business Journal technology reporter Preeti Upadhyaya, that’s when something really funny happened:

“People started saying that if the Harbaugh Collection was real, they’d definitely buy it. We had actually come up with the concept for a Harbaugh t-shirt a while back, but it just stayed as a concept. Once we saw how much success the campaign had on social media (it was the third most viewed article in the off season), we decided to actually make the shirts, and they’ll go on sale in the team store on May 27.

From the team Twitter on April Fool’s to the team store on Memorial Day. Just a few years ago, that would have sounded like the marketing equivalent of a Hail Mary. But these days, it’s more akin to a 10-yards-wide-and-out WR pattern.

By the way, the 49ers are not just five-time Super Bowl champs. They are also currently the NFL team with the most followers on Instagram. Read the Kegley interview here.

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