The social media images of Canberra basketball star Patty Mills playing requests on his guitar, or Nick Kyrgios offering to home deliver food to those doing it tough is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to engagement with fans during the shutdown of sport.
Mills, who lives in Texas, not only plays quarantine request songs on his guitar under the #thrillswithmills handle on Twitter, he also provides healthy living tips, suggesting fresh natural products and limited processed food as the best option, while at the same time encouraging people to stay home.
Well, the point of this game is to hopefully put a smile on peoples face and share the love & positivity through music while being responsible and staying at home.
— Patrick Mills (@Patty_Mills) March 31, 2020
On his Facebook page, Kyrgios has offered to home deliver food to anybody doing it tough
“Even just for a box of noodles, a loaf of bread or milk, I will drop it at your doorstep, no questions asked,” he posted.
Eight-times World BMX and Mountain Bike champion Caroline Buchanan offers regular healthy eating and exercise tips to her many followers on social media, often demonstrating her own exercise regime at home, as well as responding to questions posted to her.
The Raiders and the Brumbies have also upped their engagement during the shutdown with players proactively using social media to communicate with supporters.
The Raiders, although still posting their regular podcast, have introduced a new offering with players answering questions from members. On Monday, you can get to know Josh Papalii a bit better.
The Brumbies have also increased their social media content as a means to stay connected with fans. Lachlan McCaffrey hosts a segment with the running title of Locky’s Lockdown in which he interviews his teammates while at the same time answering questions from the public.
Capital Football issued a social media challenge to followers of the code to post a football photo each day. They are also hosting online coaching workshops.
If nothing else the shutdown has proven that sportspeople and sports in Canberra are more than capable of innovating to remain engaged and relevant while no sport is actually taking place.
There’s also a chance that the new methods of engagement will continue once the shutdown is over and we are once again participating in, and watching our favourite sports.