University of Maryland-Baltimore County shocked the sports world by pulling off perhaps the most surprising upset in college basketball history, crushing University of Virginia 74-54 and becoming the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament.
Not only did the score catch the world by surprise, but so did UMBC’s Twitter account.
Both fans and innocent bystanders quickly became enthralled with the humor and responsiveness of the account. Tweets included responding to a FanRag Sports writer who asked just who UMBC was, as well as reminding followers that UMBC also has ‘stellar academics’. By the end of the night, the UMBC Twitter account gained an additional 35,000 followers.
Zach Seidel, Director of Multimedia Communications for UMBC, sat down with SBNation.com to discuss the experience and his tips for social media.
Zach does ESPN broadcasts for home games, helps run the replays, and oversees social media. So, when his boss asked if he could run social media for the big game, he agreed.
“The only thing I knew was that Jairus Lyles needed 15 points to set the UMBC single-season record, and I knew I was preparing to tweet for that,” Seidel mentioned in the article.
Back in 2012, Zach said he saw how the LA Kings made a name for themselves on Twitter— talking with fans and joking around. He wanted to do the same with the UMBC account.
“The best Twitter accounts are the ones that have a personality… not just tweeting out, “We hit a three. We are up by one point.” Answer people! Make some jokes! Have some fun! Twitter is a place where you interact, so have some interaction.”
And, this is just how people came to notice UMBC. The underdog not only beat a No. 1 seed for the first time, but they also had a lot of fun on Twitter.