From the Field to Social Media, Chargers Fans Can’t Win


As if losing to the Broncos on the field wasn’t bad enough this past Sunday, Facebook has been particularly insensitive to Chargers fans this week. Fans of a particular sports team may seem like a great audience for brands to tap into (being known to be intensely brand-loyal), but like any group, it is vitally important to know what is important to them and be aware of what is going on in that subculture. A few brands failed miserably at this in the past week while trying to market to Chargers fans.

The first example comes from Sprinkles Cupcakes La Jolla (which I hate calling out because I love their cupcakes). Sprinkles often posts specials on Facebook where customers are given a certain password to say at checkout and they will receive a BOGO deal. You can see how that worked out for them this time…

Friday before a devastating loss on Sunday:

Monday after the devastating loss:

Now I was lucky enough to catch this “epic fail” before they deleted it. Yes, they simply deleted the post along with these scathing comments. And no, they didn’t do anything to right their wrong. A simple Google search would have told whomever runs their Facebook that the Chargers lost and that this post would upset fans, but even after the mistake, they had the opportunity to give away consolation cupcakes or SOMETHING (even one of the upset commenters had an idea of a new “password”)! But no, they just pretended that you can erase things from the Internet. Wrong.

The next example illustrates once again how stupid it is to schedule posts. The people over at Funky Garcia’s got lucky because apparently their fans have had enough margaritas to ignore the fact that this post popped up a day AFTER the big game. “Even if the Chargers lose” huh? Yea, we’d have no idea how that’d feel.

The final OOPSIE of the week goes straight to the Chargers fan page and their team store who is having a 15% off Black Friday sale. Now, if these people were remotely in-tune with their frustrated fans, it would be clear that this could have some negative backlash. It did. Enough so that UT San Diego covered it.

For sports fans, the successes and failures of their teams are a very real and important part of their lives. So, social media types, don’t be stupid. Know who you are talking to, and please, know what you are talking about.

Blake’s hacking note on Nicole’s post: Yes, this post had us reliving horrible Chargers game-day memories. But we have a love for our hometown-team. Even though Nicole is a Niners fan (if an NFL fan at all) we both enjoy game-day fun. Especially if it involves painting our faces! If you’re a diehard fan and will still be supporting the bolts this weekend at the Q, Tweet me at @blakedelhoyo, I’ll be there! #BoltUp

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3 thoughts on “From the Field to Social Media, Chargers Fans Can’t Win

  1. So you’re saying that deleting the post doesn’t delete the memory of its existence from the many fans that have already seen the slip up? 😉

    In 2012 (almost 2013– eek!), effective social media campaigns require generating a lot of content and continually engaging your audience, so goofs are bound to happen. While nobody wants typo riddled tweets being blasted and and posts linking to the wrong webpage on their timeline, social media managers should see those mistakes as an opportunity to humanize their page in the impersonal world that is the Internet. Completely missing the mark on something you’re trying to convince an audience that you’re passionate about is a tough one, but if you’re in touch with your brand’s voice and are savvy enough, it’s not impossible.

    • Agreed, there are plenty of stories where brands reacted quickly to a mistake and at least minimized the blow. Deleting posts is almost always a bad call unless it is something profane or offensive and even then it must be acknowledged.

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