The virtual and physical worlds are set to collide as Australian Open 2014 today launched the Social Shack, a first in Grand Slam history.
Located in Garden Square, the one-stop-shop for all things social has been designed to engage fans with the players and the event on a deeper level than ever before.
This social media mission control will feature live feeds from the tennis world’s most active social media users including Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, encouraging millions of followers on facebook, twitter and instagram to interact with their idols in real time at the Australian Open.
“We want to deepen fans’ connection with the Australian Open,” Manager of Digital and Publishing Kim Trengove said.
“Our social media coverage has always aimed to provide exclusive, relevant and fun content on a range of social platforms. The Australian Open community is vast and the Social Shack is a unique opportunity for fans to get involved in a global social conversation”.
Activities in the Social Shack during Australian Open include
· A virtual Tug of War between social media juggernauts, with fans tweeting support to get their favourite player over the line
· The Social Scoreboard will determine who rules on twitter, facebook, instagram, and which player will be crowned No.1 at tournament’s end
· World No.1 Rafael Nadal will judge the Kia Greatest Fan competition, with the winner taking home a new Kia Soul car. Fans onsite and worldwide will dress up in true Aussie Open style and upload video and photo evidence of their enthusiastic support for their favourite players to win
· Live Cheer will track player trends in twitter conversation match-by-match
Other features to entertain the socially inclined are
· 12-metre LED screen of @australianopen coverage
· Larger-than-lifesize 3D #AUSOPEN hashtag for novelty selfies and photo opportunities
· Multi-media studio for player visits and live tweet-ups
· Live Q&As with players and special guests
· A daily AO Radio social show between day and night sessions
The one million plus fans on the Australian Open facebook page and more than 350,000 twitter followers can expect a lively 24-hour coverage through the Social Shack, and access to exclusive behind scenes moments, score updates, fun stuff and short video highlights.
There’s even a special twitter handle for help, with anyone needing event information able to tap into @AOHelp.