Axford Jumps Into Social Media Mix, To Participate in Webchat on Thursday

John Axford had a fantastic rookie year with the Brewers, going 8-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 24 saves.  Outstanding numbers for a pitcher who has bounced around from the minor leagues to independent leagues to even gigs as a bartender and cell phone salesman at Best Buy before finally settling in with the Brewers.  Suddenly last year, Axford found himself in the closer role, replacing his mentor and a future Hall of Famer in Trevor Hoffman.

The native Canadian also quickly became a fan favorite among Brewers fans.  His performance on the field, competitiveness, trademark facial hair and approachable, laidback attitude are all things that Brewers fans enjoy about him.
AxfordJ10RS030.jpgAxford has taken that approachable, laidback attitude into the world of social media.  He joined Twitter as “JohnAxford59” in November and last week started his own Facebook page.  Since Axford joined Twitter, he has nearly 2,500 followers and interacts with them on a regular basis. 

“I debated joining Twitter for a few months,” Axford said.  “My agent ended up really talking me into it, I thought about it and then decided just to give it a shot.  I went into it having no idea how to use it, the first few days were kind of rough, having to figure everything out, but Twitter is quite simple.”

His familiarity with social media and his willingness to interact with fans was another reason he was an easy choice for a webchat on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT.

In addition to interacting with fans, Axford uses the social network to follow some other MLB players, filmmakers, Brewers fans and some of his favorite bands.

“A really cool moment I had was when I started following Korn,” Axford said.  “They saw I was following them and sent me a message thanking me for following them.  I have always been a big fan of theirs so I thought that was a cool thing.”

Twitter is also how the Brewers closer learned of the Brewers acquisition of Zack Greinke.

“I saw the rumors of the trade on Twitter,” Axford said.  “It can be a great tool for news like that or if you need a laugh.”

Axford needless to say was thrilled about the Greinke acquisition.

 “I was pretty excited about it in all honesty,” Axford said. “That is a great showing from Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and the entire organization.  They said they wanted to go out and get two pitchers this offseason and we definitely got what we needed.  We did what we needed to do to get better this offseason and we are proving and showing that we are going for it.”

He used his Twitter account to show his excitement, eventually getting the “hashtag” “SuperAwesomelyCrazyExcitementRumoursNowTruthSunday” to become a trending topic on Twitter in Milwaukee on Sunday following the official announcement.

As the only current Brewer on Twitter, Axford says he might use his experiences to educate his teammates about how to use it and how it works.

“I’m sure I will talk about it with them at Spring Training,” Axford said.  “I might get a little razzing for being the only one using it, but if I have a chance to show them how to use it and how to understand how it works, I know I can help them use it.  It is a great way for us to get a message out there and promote our charities or other things we are doing on and off the field.”

AxfordJ10RS025.jpgHe used Twitter to promote his participation in the Movember Foundation, through which he helped raise awareness for prostate cancer with the help of his famous moustache. 

Axford will participate in a live webchat on on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT.  Until then, you can find him on Twitter or Facebook.



1 Comment

Hey Jeff,Great post. I agree many ppeloe who are “collectors” or “gatherers” of information online are important conduits in the offline world for marketers. I would also agree anecdotaly that much of the information I see on Twitter is from the same ppeloe – again and again. What’s interesting to me is that there is so much reused content by the small number (10%) of ppeloe who are actively contributing to Twitter.AJ

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