What if sports fans could call athletes directly to discuss the big game? Or music fans could ring artists for the lowdown on the latest album?
While publicists are mostly using Blinder to provide phone access to the media, fans are now getting in on the act. With audio of these conversations able to be captured, and shared with other fans on social media, it’s changing the rules around fan engagement.
For example, Netball New Zealand recently had Neve – a Christchurch primary schoolgirl – call through to a couple of stars of the Fast5 Ferns. Netball NZ arranged the call, recorded the audio, packaged things up, and then shared the chat on social media with other fans. You can hear it here.
We expect you’ll start seeing a fair bit more of this interaction in 2018. With a team’s Blinder number able to handle multiple simultaneous calls, it opens the doors for multiple athletes to be made available to season members at the end of training – or a full band to talk with fans after sound check. And running contests to select the lucky callers is just one way to increase the engagement.
Caley Wilson writes about entertainment and sport. He is a former media manager of New Zealand Rugby League and netball's Northern Mystics and has worked on festivals from Rhythm & Vines to the Big Day Out. He is a co-founder of Blinder.