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How Alabama and Clemson football fared in social media and technology this year

Clemson and Alabama are both at the forefront of technology and social media storytelling in college football, and they meet in Monday night's national championship.

With the national championship game less than a week away, SportTechie wanted to break down how the two teams teams fared across social media and online this past season with various tidbits and nuggets of information. We also wanted to highlight some of the new technology initiatives and partnerships occurring with each program.


1. During the past 18 months, Clemson has been one of college athletics’ leaders on social, creatively pushing the boundaries for what it means to engage with fans online. This fall, it retooled its strategy and leveraged Facebook 360-degree video more throughout the 2016 season.

2. In 2016, Twitter followers of @ClemsonFB have increased more than 400%, from 92,000 to 480,000. It is the fourth most-followed team Twitter account in college football.

3. Since Aug. 1, Facebook reach is nearly 80 million.

4. The most “Liked” Instagram post ever for the Clemson football account was when quarterback Deshaun Watson walked across the stage at graduation.

5. The Tigers participated in Instagram’s student correspondents program this season, with one of its students, Paul Trimmier, being selected to travel to the title game on Jan. 11 to create content for the official Instagram and College Football Playoff accounts.

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6. With its social efforts being recognized over the past two years, three Clemson staffers—Jonathan Gantt, Jeff Kallin and Nik Conklin—now serve dual roles with the University and the Center of Excellence for Next Generation Computing & Creativity. The trio shares best practices and strategic insight into storytelling and digital marketing with staff, faculty and students.

7. Clemson became one of the first sports teams, leagues or properties to use Periscope’s new 360 video feature live from the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.


1. Alabama’s football program also works with wearable technology company Catapult Sports.

2. Alabama athletic director Bill Battle discussed with SportTechie iBeacon technology, augmented reality and in-venue seat upgrades during a recent Q&A.

3. Along with Ohio State, Alabama controlled the conversation on Facebook and Twitter prior to the College Football Playoff kicking off Saturday.

4. The University of Alabama recently opened its Center For Sports And Athletic Technology, the first-of-its-kind research center in the nation. The Center hopes to minimize injuries, boost players’ athletic performance and help student-athletes recover more quickly from injuries.

Finally, College Football Playoff COO Michael Kelly fielded a handful of questions this month from SportTechie, discussing new technologies to enhance the fan experience, the state of live streaming and still one of the hottest topics in sports, virtual reality.