One of the many things I loved about the 2010 World Cup, other than the soccer on the pitch, was getting together with friends and strangers to watch the games at local bars and restaurants. During a Premier League season, the closest bar to me that’s open for the early kick-offs on a weekend is at least 45 minutes away, so I tend to watch the vast majority of games at home. After sitting with hundreds of soccer fans during the World Cup, it’s going to be hard to get used to watching competitive games at home again.
But one of the things that I experienced during the World Cup that gives me hope for the future is a tweetup. During the Argentina against Mexico game, I met up with ten sports fans who held a tweetup at a local sports bar.
With a tweetup, the concept is pretty straightforward. A host selects a venue to watch a game and then updates his Twitter followers of the venue and time. And then the followers RSVP through Twitter and everyone meets up in person.
The beauty of a tweetup is it provides an organized way for people with similar interests to meet up in person. By using a social networking site such as Twitter, it makes it easy to communicate and spread the word among soccer fans in a particular area.
For the Argentina against Mexico game, I met up with Pitch To The Rhino, a collection of sports nuts in South Florida who get together for events throughout the area. Before the game kicked off, we had a discussion about how soccer is the perfect marriage for social media because it takes something which people are passionate about and fuses it with a communication method that makes it easier to find people who love the sport as much as you do.
The reason that soccer tweetups such as the one that Pitch To The Rhino organized gives me hope is because similar tweetups have the power to bring people together in the name of Premier League soccer games across the United States, and around the world. Often times it seems that one of the few places to find soccer fans from your area is in the comments section of this website, but that’s often by chance and not the easiest way to connect with people locally.
With the popularity of the World Cup this summer and droves of people going to local bars to watch games, maybe it’s time for soccer tweetups to be organized nationwide to encourage soccer fans to get out of their homes for big games and head to a local venue where a tweetup is happening. It’s an opportunity to organize everyone and bring them together to one place rather than driving around town in search of finding a soccer venue which is habited by like-minded fans of Premier League clubs.
To see how a tweetup is successfully done, check out Pitch To The Rhino. Or, venturing outside of sports, take a look at Pizza Tweetup which brings people together from South Florida once a month at a different pizza joint to get together, eat pizza and make new friends. In the meantime, the rest of us will need to either wait or create soccer tweetups. They’re not out there yet, as far as I know, but it’s only a matter of time before they are.