Life in the Super Bowl Social Media Command Center.

By Jeremy Dollens

As the city of Indianapolis was put on display during this year’s Super Bowl, I was one of the few people to get a different view of the city. I was viewing the city through the screen of a brand new 27 inch iMac, in an office on the third floor of the Hard Rock Building.

The day I walked into my professor’s office just to say hi and later left with an opportunity to be part of something that Indianapolis might never have the opportunity to host again. It was an amazing experience that I could just not pass up.

Students from IUPUI’S PR Department including myself were members of the Host Committee’s Social Media Command Center Team in charge of monitoring twitter activity from around the city that involved the Super Bowl festivities. We monitored a couple dozen keywords and hashtags as well as the questions that would come into the Command Center’s official twitter account @SuperBowl2012. Hashtags included #sb46, #sb2012, #sbvillage, #nflexperience as well as keywords that included parking sucks and indy traffic.

I met some amazing people from both Ball State and the employees of Raidious the company the Host Committee elected to be in charge of the Command Center.  There were 16 regular employees on staff and over 20 volunteers that worked in shifts over the two weeks leading up to and including the day of the big game on Sunday. All of these people including myself were part of the team.

The two weeks consisted of our regular tasks as we tried to concentrate as executive tours of the Command Center and camera crews were in and out every day. Some of the notable crews that I met while I was working my shifts included Rich Van Wyk, from WTHR where some of us were interviewed for a segment that aired on the evening news, CNN, Peter King from Sports Illustrated and the Ocho Cinco News Network.

The major task put on the team as we were there was to answers questions and be able to recognize issues that came up. One example is that kids kept getting separated from their parents so one member of the team would be covering Super Bowl Village and should a child or people tweet that there was a lost child so we could notify the officers that were up and down the street could help the child and parents be reunited.

As a whole it is was just an amazing experience to be part of and I would do it again in a heartbeat so if the city hosts another big event I am in.

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