Header photo by Ajay Suresh on Flicker
Wait no longer football fans, the Super Bowl may have ended only a week ago, but the wait is over. Football is back. That’s right, as one season ends, another is just starting, as it’s now the XFL’s turn. The league’s inaugural (but not really inaugural) campaign kicked off last weekend with the first slate of four games. The fans expected excitement and that’s exactly what they got from performances by teams like the Defenders and BattleHawks. To highlight the excitement fans shared on social, we found the top five posts from the weekend, ranked by Zoomph’s “ZPoints” rating scale.
5. XFL Week 2 Anticipation (161 ZPoints)
How can we tell Week 1 was a success? Because the XFL is already hyping up Week 2. This post from the XFL asking fans to “retweet” if they are already ready for Week 2 was the fifth top post in our feed, based on ZPoints. The tweet, asking for engagement, received just that, garnering nearly 27K engagements over 1.5 million impressions. Easy tactic here by the XFL. Call to action: Retweet; result: more eyes seeing Week 2 is coming. Winning situation for the XFL.
4. SportsCenter New Rules Intro (161 ZPoints)
The new kickoffs in the XFL are different 👀 pic.twitter.com/eeuE7dceUV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 8, 2020
Probably one of the biggest story lines, and question marks, going into the XFL season was the change of rules from the NFL. We were introduced to one of them before the clock even started counting down, the kickoff rule. As opposed to the NFL where the kicking team lines up with the ball, in the XFL, the kicker kicks from his own 35 yard line, while the rest of the team lines up at the opposing 35 yard line. Before they can move however, the returner has to catch the ball, and then the play is live. This type of content can’t be replicated once everyone knows the rules, but until everyone knows the rules, continue.
3. BattleHawks Locker Room Celebration via Barstool Sports (165 ZPoints)
The St. Louis BattleHawks won their first XFL game and celebrated by shotgunning seltzers. The XFL rocks. pic.twitter.com/TfIy9tslWq— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 10, 2020
Is there anything fans want to see more than behind the scenes, unfiltered content? Not really. That was what we got from the St. Louis BattleHawks last week after they won and a video was posted of their two quarterbacks shotgunning Bud Light Hard Seltzer in the locker room (great sponsor activation too). What audience does this sound like it fits perfectly too? “The Stoolies”. That’s right, Barstool Sports was quick to share, and received nearly 6 million impressions off this post. Great by the XFL and BattleHawks to share this content, even better by Barstool to capture it in their audience.
2. Former Player Comments (166 ZPoints)
The last two tweets are the same context, but different emotions. Another separation from NFL to XFL is the XFL has sideline reporters on field, who are allowed to conduct in-game interviews. How did this turn out in Week 1? Well, the reporters didn’t shy away from players’ mistakes. After this happened last weekend, former NFL lineman George Foster made the comment that he loved this. Bold approach? Very, but the fans will love the transparency.
1. JJ Watt Reaction (169 ZPoints)
Very much like George Foster’s comment, Houston Texans’ defensive end JJ Watt had a comment on the sideline interviews. After DC Defenders’ kicker Ty Rausa missed a field goal early in the game, he was approached on the sideline. JJ Watt’s impression? Very harsh on the players. It’s interesting to see the difference in reactions from 2 professional football players, but it’s also interesting to see that they are watching and engaging!