With the popularity of Vine and the addition of video to Instagram, video is officially the hottest new social media trend. The USC Trojans football program, always ahead of the digital technology curve, is getting in on the video action with the launch of “The Official Social Video Home of USC Athletics” on Spreecast.
Spreecast isn’t new — it launched in 2011 — and it isn’t the social video app all the tweens are talking about, but it promises to bring Trojans fans even closer to their favorite teams with interactive video and text conversations.
Spreecast videos, which are already used by media outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Viacom and Disney, are interactive face to face video broadcasts that are recorded and shareable across other social media platforms, according to the press release.
USC will launch its first content series, the “Fall Camp Series” hosted by USC Director of Social Media Jordan Moore, when fall practices open. Fans and alumni can submit questions, text chat in real time, and even join the conversations on camera.
In the announcement, the university said the partnership with Spreecast would “facilitate and broadcast interactive conversations between broadcasters, students, alumni, coaches and players” from all 21 varsity sports.
While other universities have shied away from new social trends or banned players from using certain social networks, USC has championed new technologies since the Pete Carroll era. Carroll was the first college football coach to have a Facebook page, established back in 2008, and he was active on Twitter before many media relations departments understood its potential.
Instead of fighting the players’ social media activity, the USC athletics department has promoted it. Beginning last summer, the university included players’ Twitter handles on their online bios and on the depth chart. At the time, quarterback Matt Barkley said it promoted responsible social media behavior by reminding players of the public nature of tweets and posts.
Even before the rise of those social platforms, Carroll’s USCRipsIt.com website gave fans insider access to information about the team. Since his 2010 departure to the Seattle Seahawks, it has been incorporated into the official USC athletics website as the USCRipsIt blog, providing practice updates and video interviews as well as news on all USC varsity sports.
The Trojans also jumped on the mobile technology movement early. In 2011, the USC Gameday smartphone app gave fans real-time information on parking and traffic and featured interactive maps, live stats and, of course, access to the team store.
Last summer, the Project Tro7an app brought Heisman campaigning into the modern age with news, stats, videos and updates on 2012′s top Trojans. Developed with input from Barkley, an early adopter like former coach Carroll, the app also featured several video series. “Matt vs.” showed the QB competing against other USC athletes in their sports, and in “Barkley’s Breakdown,” he talked fans through recent plays.
The new partnership with Spreecast promises to build on those video concepts with content that uses cutting-edge social technology to bring Trojans fans even closer to the action. It’s hard to imagine some other universities rolling out a program like this, but if USC succeeds, expect it to catch on around the country.