British Sooner’ stays connected to his favorite team through social media

Posted on August 10, 2015

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Outlook 2014: ‘British Sooner’ stays connected to his favorite team through social media

Social media introduced Briton Sam Deakin to his favorite team — the University of Oklahoma — and now he stays connected through the contacts he’s made. by Ryan Aber Published: April 27, 2014
Sam Deakin doesn’t know where he’d be without the help of Twitter and Facebook.

The Briton fell in love with University of Oklahoma football in 2004 on a vacation to Florida.

“I put on one of the many sports channels showing college football. I had no idea what college football was as I had only ever heard of the NFL,” Deakin said.

That game wound up being the Red River Rivalry, and Deakin decided when the game started to pull for the Sooners.

He watched as Adrian Peterson ran for 225 yards and the Sooners’ defense shut out Texas in a 12-0 win.

Deakin was hooked, but it was difficult to follow OU when he returned to England.

He followed as best he could through the Internet and joined his university’s American football team.

The addition of ESPN to the television lineup in Great Britain helped, though Deakin still needed more.

An exchange

Deakin eventually sought out message boards to feed his hunger for OU news.

That’s where he started talking to Scott Mossman, an OU fan and son of then-OU sports information director Kenny Mossman.

The two eventually made plans for a sports exchange. Mossman wanted to visit Deakin to take in an Arsenal soccer game in London and Deakin planned to make a return visit to the United States to see the Sooners in person.

Mossman made the trip over first, with Deakin visiting Norman for the OU-Missouri game in 2011.

“Having someone that you knew there made a big difference,” Deakin said. “Just the local knowledge, not having to worry about getting lost and knowing the best places to go.”

It wasn’t just Mossman and his family, though, that helped Deakin out.

Through Twitter, Deakin (@British_Sooner) made plenty of friends over their love of OU football.

“It really got my story out there and got a few people interested in some guy who travels a long way for Sooners football, and opened up opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without it.”

On his trip, Deakin was able to meet OU coach Bob Stoops, tour the Sooners’ locker room and sit in on Stoops’ postgame news conference.

None of it, Deakin said, would have been possible without social media.

The next year, Deakin returned to take in the OU-Texas game and the Sooners’ first meeting with Notre Dame since 1999, with a game against Kansas in between.

Once again, Deakin’s plans revolved around people he’s met through Twitter and Facebook.

On a blog he posted after his return from that trip, Deakin listed about 20 people — with their Twitter handles — that had helped him during his visit.

Some were set up beforehand. Others came about as Deakin tweeted about his trip.

“It would’ve been a really hard trip to plan without friends gained by social media,” Deakin said. “It meant I could enjoy the whole experience more.

“If it weren’t for the people on social media, who start off as strangers but now many I call good friends, the trips would not be anywhere near the same. Knowing I can now come over and have places to stay, friends to visit and be able to get tickets, it takes the weight off my mind and all I need to do is literally buy a ticket. After that, social media does the rest.”

And between trips, Deakin leans on the sites to keep him informed.

“I would say 95 percent of my Twitter is Sooner-related, so news is never far away,” Deakin said. “If I miss anything, I just have to put a tweet out and usually get plenty of responses.”

He reads as much news as he can on his favorite team but prefers the feeling of community that Twitter offers.

“Twitter gets the information out now just as quick, and then I can have a discussion about it, rather than just read an article and be done with it,” Deakin said.

http://newsok.com/outlook-2014-british-sooner-stays-conneced-to-his-favorite-team-through-social-media/article/4084022/?page=2

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