View From the Spire: Planking – for the bored rigid?
July 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Author: Dan McLaren @ UKSportsNetwork
I thought I would start my writing week with a post that is slightly left field so bear with me on this one. It covers something that I have heard about in the news (when something goes wrong) but not really thought about until seeing it more and more on Twitter.
One of my many lists on TweetDeck keeps an eye on footballers so I can see what they are saying, get to know them a bit more and look after for anything breaking that may be of interest. Another is a list of the adidas athletes I know are on the platform so I can make sure they are toeing the line!
The activity I allude to is that of ‘Planking’ and it came up more and more on the twitter feeds I was looking at that I started to take notice of it. Yes, I know you have heard of it and think it as odd as I do but it is happening and taking up more and more time with bored athletes with too much time on their hands.
The two biggest advocates within sport in this country and Man City’s flying winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and future GB tennis star Laura Robson. They both tweet about their love for the activity (don’t think I can call it a sport) and it seems to take up a large chunk of their on and off line lives. You would think that athletes engage with their fans about their sport but not these two.
There is even an ESPN article on whether planking should be considered a sport and it names some of its biggest advocates; Dwight Howard, Gilbert Arena, Gordon Ramsey (yes, our foul-mouthed TV chef) and Justin Bieber! and there is an official Planking Facebook Page with over 570,000 fans.
Twitter has given a fascinating insight into what sportspeople do away from the sport that is their job, even if it is one of the more odd things to do. SWP has even got some of Man City team mates into the craze with photos of Micah Richards and Joe Hart being posted up (and making it into The Sun).
It is a great way for them to identify with fans and engage with them. They re-tweet pictures sent in to them by fans who have performed their own daring plank manoeuvres and Shaun has taken to Twitter in a big way since making his debut.
It shows that sportspeople don’t have to just talk about their love of tennis or football to connect with people. It can be something as strange as Planking but it could be other interests that are a little more sedate. But the main thing is that they have found a common connection/passion that they can share with fans and really show more of their personality.
To finish I thought I’d share some of their photo’s to brighten up your Tuesday morning….
Join the facebook planking revolution by clicking here.
For more from Dan via the UK Sports Network click here.