The FLW Tour has fully embraced the use of social media.
Seventy-eight of the anglers competing in this weekend’s Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake have Facebook pages and 36 have Twitter accounts.
“It gets the fans more involved in the sport, which is a good thing,” said Julie Huber, who is the FLW Tour’s social media manager. “It (the Twitter reports) is more real time. You are not waiting all day wondering how everybody is going.”
She has been with FLW for three years, but assumed her current duties in January.
“Last year I did it on a part-time basis, then this year they created the fulltime position for it,” she said.
Huber and two others are out on the water all four days of the tournament using Twitter to send out upwards of 200 reports over the course of a day.
“We try to hit as many boats as we can,” Huber said. “We try to follow as many guys as we can. Sometimes it’s tough. It’s surprising, though. Some of them just want to chat away and others want to get away. It’s been fun and it’s been an interesting transition.”
Tom Redington (@Tom_Redington) tweeted Thursday afternoon following the weigh-in: “Off to a good start at the FLW Tour on Grand Lake. Hope my good luck holds out again tomorrow.”
“We do encourage them to do that,” Huber said. “They have a different fan base than we do. We want to keep the fans as informed as we can, so we encourage the anglers to tweet as much as they can and as often as they can just so we can reach everybody.”
Anglers are prohibited from using any form of communication while they are on the water. But once they have crossed the stage for the weigh-in, they can do as they please.
“Some will retweet some of the stuff we have messaged,” Huber said.
This is the third year for on-the-water coverage, but its the first to use Twitter.
Here’s the tour’s official tweet posted just minutes after the final angler weighed in, reporting that Jason Christie of Cookson was the Day 1 leader: @FLWFishing: Congrats to @rayovac pro @christiefishing, leader at the FLW Tour on Grand Lake after day one with 21-12. Results http://bit.ly/GrandResults.