Yesterday, Australia announced their roster for their Olympic qualifiers. They did so in a manner that captured not only your attention but also made the announcement even more memorable.
The Matildas “employed the services of Katrina Gorry’s daughter, Harper, to produce this special roster announcement:
Yes, go ahead and say it. It is adorable.
Here’s the thing, it’s not only adorable but it’s also memorable. Far too many times, when a team announces their roster, it’s down in a simple graphic with all of their names listed under whatever position they play. Very slick, very professional but also very basic. Fans then make the roster announcement more attention-grabbing than it really is by discussing who isn’t on it rather than who is on it. The tweet then gets massive engagement from that discussion but it’s never engagement due to how appealing or noticeable the actual announcement is.
It’s a very fine line between being creative on social media and being cringey. Most teams would rather keep it simple because they fear that anything more than the norm will bring cries of “please, stop” or “eww that was cringe” but in my opinion, once in awhile, teams should just have fun with it.
So what if it ends up being cheesy or cringe-worthy or maybe downright unfunny? At least you tried to make it a little different and tried to capture your fans’ attention with a unique take on how to announce a roster. Some team’s social media accounts have managed to toe that line between funny and cringe-worthy, like FC Union Berlin’s English account or Brazil’s official account, and it’s to them more teams should aspire to be like.
The USWNT’s World Cup roster announcement from last year, while not as adorable as the Matildas, still pulled at the heart strings and made it a moment to never forget for both players and anyone who got to see it.
A World Cup roster announcement is more important than a Olympic qualifying one, that’s true, but it still shows that roster announcements can, and should be, something to look forward to not just from a “who’s in and who’s out” perspective. Roster announcements should embody what the team is about, showcase some of their personality because, like it or not, that kind of engagement is what fans crave.
No matter what team, or what sport you watch, watching your favourite sport of team exhibit a personality increases the connection you have with it. Whether they showcase a sense of humour, or a more personable approach, it’s a way to actively engage you as a fan, and any neutral out there as well.
Maybe I’m way off base here and I’m the only one who wants more of this, I don’t know. However, engaging with your fanbase on a less surface level has worked out well for many teams, established or not. Why not keep producing fun roster announcements and engage with fans even more? At the very least, it’d keep your announcement at the forefront of people’s minds longer than a straight-forward announcement would. And more importantly, we could all use a little more light in our lives, even if it’s just from something as simple as a roster announcement.