Live-tweeting a historic game 50 years later

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

On December 7, @Army_Navy_Game live-tweeted its annual Army-Navy football game — from 50 years ago.

The historic 1963 game was postponed after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (and then played in his memory). Now the Army-Navy social committee (@Army_Navy_Game) has tweeted the entire encounter play by play, sharing interviews, photos and video clips via the hashtag #ArmyNavy. And they included the hours before kickoff as well as postgame reactions.

After announcing the event in this call to action Tweet on December 5, @Army_Navy_Game began its “game day”with this message.

They offered context of the importance of the game, explaining Kennedy’s relationship to the Navy and the postponement after his death.

Then @Army_Navy_Game tweeted updates of key plays, scores, drive summaries, as well as quotes from players, coaches and historians.

Note the consistent use of #ArmyNavy, which helps to organize the conversation for people to follow along and join in.

The @Army_Navy_Game account also tweeted an assortment of videos, including clips of the game and retrospective interviews. Check out this Tweet with a clip of Army (@Army_Football) scoring a touchdown.

Tweeting did not end when the game did. After tweeting play-by-play and video of the game’s unusual finish, @Army_Navy_Game sent out analysis and explanations of the ending before thanking followers and a reminder that the 2013 Army-Navy game would take place the following Saturday.

The live Tweets served as a fun, innovative and modern way of telling the story of a legendary football game. In fact, there’s a growing trend of live-tweeting historical events as if they were happening today. One such example was Newsweek’s (@NWKHistory101) live Tweeting to recount Kennedy’s assassination, which caught the eye of Army Executive Athletic Director Bob Beretta, who helped spearhead this project.

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].