Plymouth Native Leads Vikings’ Social Media Team
Another football season is upon us, and several hours before kickoff of the Minnesota Vikings‘ home preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the players did their on-field warm-ups, while smartphone-holding fans tried to capture shots of their favorite players.
But fans weren’t the only ones utilizing smartphones.
Felicia Johnson patrols the sidelines of every game. She’s the 28-year-old Plymouth native in her second year as the Vikings’ social media manager.
It’s her job to capture any images that might be of interest to fans checking out the team’s social media accounts.
“We have a few different pieces of equipment, but for the most part, I’m using a stabilizer. And that allows me to get really smooth shots from a phone, which is great,” Johnson said.
Her role allowed her to get the best view of some of the team’s most exciting plays last season.
“I’ve always been a Vikings fan,” Johnson said. “Just growing up a Minnesotan, it’s one of those teams that I’ve always held close to my heart.”
Earlier in the week, the 2008 Wayzata High School graduate sat down for a one-on-one interview at the team’s headquarters in Eagan.
“I help with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and then some of the vikings.com content,” Johnson said. “So we’re doing things like covering practices, obviously covering games, doing player profiles, behind the scenes stuff on social media.”
Social Media Plays an Ever-Increasing Role for Pro Sports
It’s a position that didn’t even exist a decade ago, but this former advertising professional says social media plays an ever-increasing role for pro sports teams.
“Sports is really one of those pure mediums that social media hasn’t quite distorted yet,” she said. “We have seen that users and customers are not really open to receiving messages from brands, but sports is really that industry that people are seeking out.”
The platform allows the social media team to interact with fans on behalf of the Vikings, and come up with witty comments for the occasional internet troll.
“We do protect our team and, when someone’s calling us out, sometimes we’ll call them out back,” Johnson said.
It’s just one of the responsibilities of a job that can sometimes mean 14-hour days. But for this millennial, it’s a labor of love.
“It’s definitely a full time job, and sometimes more than a full time job,” Johnson said. “But I would not trade that for the world.”
The social media team is also responsible for putting photos of Vikings fans on the stadium screens. So if you post a selfie using the #Skol hashtag, Johnson could very well give you your 15 seconds of fame.