How the NY Jets are dominating the NFL in social media

By Paul Balcerak 

The long-suffering New York Jets will spend another Super Bowl Sunday this weekend watching the game from home. In the social sphere, however, it’s a different story.

Despite the crazy season the Jets just had, or perhaps because of it, the Jets have emerged as one of the NFL’s most prominent and innovative social media presences.

Some quick stats on the Jets from The Wall Street Journal:

  • The Jets netted 1 million mentions on Twitter, blogs, message boards and video or image sites since August 1 (next closest: the Dallas Cowboys at 600,000).
  • The team’s Fireman Ed Chant app is the second-best selling paid sports app on iTunes.
  • 10 percent of the team’s sponsorships this season included a social media component and the Jets plan on bumping that number to 50 percent next season.

The Jets have been on this for a while. Back when other teams were banning Twitter, the Jets embraced it by encouraging their players to Tweet and hiring someone (OK, an intern) to show them how to use various social networking sites.

The Jets have had some incidental help on their side that may have boosted their profile; namely Rex Ryan’s big mouth and two separate high-profile sexual harassment cases. But the latter didn’t seem to phase the Jets anyway:

“No doubt, some of it was negative,” Jets VP of business operations Matt Higgins told the New York Daily News. “But we’d rather be relevant than ignored at the end of the day. That’s the price you pay for being vocal and engaging your fan base.”