November 3-6 I will be in Bloomington, Indiana on Lake Monroe representing WKU in the 2010 FLW National Guard Collegiate Bass Fishing Central Regional Championship. Wow what a title! Try saying that fast 10 times! Only 20 schools have earned the invitation to compete in this event by placing in the top 5 in one of the 4 qualifying tournaments this past spring. I was fortunate enough to qualify for this tournament this year and last year as well.
Thanks to social media, family and fans that are unable to attend the event are able to follow the tournament action by Twitter and Facebook and they also are able to watch the anglers weigh-in their catches at the end of the day through live streaming video. At the event there are a dozen or so photographers and videographers that capture the event through their camera lens.
Before we take-off in the boats each morning of the tournament, people walking around with video cameras interviewing the anglers about how they think the day is going unravel. These videos are then uploaded on website and Facebook for viewing. Also, each competing team has an observer in the boat with them to regulate the anglers and make sure they are follow the rules of the tournament. The observers also communicate with the tournament officials back at the boat ramp about the team’s status and success throughout the day. They use Twitter and text messaging to share our catches and how we are doing. This also helps the tournament officials determine who the videographers need to follow around to capture the best action of the day. At the end of the day, we return to the boat ramp and we will weigh our catches. Live video of the weigh-in is streamed online on the Facebook page and also on the www. collegefishing.com website. This allows family and fans unable to make it the ability to follow their favorite team.
I know a lot of you might be thinking what is he talking about? But explaining the basics of competitive bass fishing can go on for days. With that in mind, I still wanted to blog about this because I think it gives another example of how social media is utilized by people. In this particular case it is used to share the standings and news of a collegiate bass tournament. I personally love that they do this because I compete in tournaments all over country in states like Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri. My family is not able to travel to all of my tournaments because of the travel expense, work, and other obligations. But when it is streamed on the internet they are able to watch me weigh-in my catch at the end of the day and can instantly know what place I took in the tournament.
Last August, I won $10,000 in a college tournament in Iowa and since it was streamed over the internet my family was able to watch me on stage weighing in my fish and then being told I was the winner and the presentation of the trophy and check, even though they were not present. It was great because as soon as I called them, they were able to share the excitement with me because they watched it take place live. It was the biggest win of my fishing career at that point and it meant a lot to me that my family was able to share that moment with me.
This is exactly what the sport of fishing needs for it to be brought into recognition from the public. Television shows, live streaming videos of weigh-ins, tournament updates on Facebook and on the water tweets of angler catch updates all are making it easier for people to follow a fishing tournament without having to pay the overwhelming expense of traveling to the event. This leads me to wonder, what are some other lesser known sports that are receiving more exposure due to social media?
P.s. You can watch me and see what I am blogging about Nov. 4-6 at 3pm Central time at www.collegefishing.com. Then click on watch the weigh-in live.