Brad @Keselowski Finds Twitter Stardom

The NBA, NFL, and MLB don’t allow in-game tweeting by athletes. Luckily for Brad Keselowski, NASCAR doesn’t have such a policy. Keselowski set the Twitter-verse ablaze on Monday night during NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when he tweeted multiple pictures from his iPhone on the racetrack and answered fan questions while NASCAR fixed the track from a fire with 40 laps to go in the race. The tweets were the first of their kind, and shed light on several matters regarding in-game tweeting. So, what lessons can we take from Monday night?

Brad Keselowski's view from the track set the Twitter-verse ablaze Monday night.

Fans love a change in perspective: Fox Sports had a multitude of TV cameras recording every angle of the major moment in this year’s race, which occurred when Juan Pablo Montoya’s car broke and swerved into a service truck, which was pulling a jet engine used to clear and dry the race track. The result was a massive explosion, a flow of leaking fuel, and a fire that quick spread down the track. Fox, with nothing else to analyze, played back several angles of the crash. Yet, Keselowski’s image, a simple iPhone photo from the driver’s seat of his car, was retweeted over 5,000 times and quickly led to his being a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

Fans love inside information: Leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB don’t like in game tweeting for several reasons, one of which is the risk of the player leaking valuable, and confidential, information. Fans, on the other hand, crave such information. Keselowski’s photo wasn’t anything spectacular; the blaze that consumed part of the track was hardly visible beyond the race cars just in front of Keselowski. What made the image spectacular was that nobody else had access to that but the drivers. It made Twitter followers feel like they were part of the action.

Fans will always love an athlete who tweets back: Keselowski could have called it a successful night after tweeting his insider view of the crash. Instead, he continued to reply to fans @ replies from inside and car and outside on the track. Keselowski answered questions about everything from where he was tweeting to how much battery life he had left on his phone. Along the way, Keselowski racked up followers. At the start of the race, Keselowski had roughly 65,000 followers. His initial picture almost doubled his follower count. As he answered fan questions, he passed 125,000 and eventually 200,000. As of his posting, Keselowski stands at a little over 220,000 followers. That’s more than other, and more well known stars such as Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr, according to the New York Times.

Keselowski continues to engage fans using his Twitter account, @keselowski, and NASCAR has stated they have no plans to fine him for using his phone in the car. But next time NASCAR experiences a red flag, don’t expect Keselowski to be the only driver tweeting.

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