Keynote Speaker, Marketing Technologist, Columnist, Futurist, Smart Ass

The Kansas City Chiefs Twitter Case Study

Back in September, the Kansas City Chiefs had lost their opening game to the Atlanta Falcons by a wide margin. That evening, I was texting a buddy of mine that I’ve have known since 5th grade about how poor that the TW_tweetChiefs had been with the salary cap, and how cheap I was perceiving them to be. After the conversation, I tweeted out what I thought was a meaningless tweet rant about my perception of the situation.

“I’m not much of a @kcchiefs fan anymore. [Chiefs owner] Clark Hunt’s yearly 30m under the cap bullshit is unethical. Greedy bastard owners can F.O. cc @nfl”

Let’s just say… that tweet caused a bit of a social hoopla. 3 minutes after I sent that tweet… a Chiefs employee tweeted me a response via a private direct message. I then took a screencap of this message and shared it with the world. This triggered a chain reaction, in which the Chiefs blocked me on twitter, a top post on Reddit, many local and national interviews and a social media case study was created.


Once the @KCChiefs blocked me on Twitter, I decided to go ahead and attempt to teach them a social media lesson. As a social media strategist, I figured this was a good time to show to the world the value of effective social media management. You can’t hit an emotional, angry customer back with emotion. It doesn’t work.

So, I decide to create a social media case study out of the KC Chiefs, and work some of my awesome sauce, since I was in a frisky mood… I posted it to my Facebook… then onto Reddit, where it ends up hitting #1 on the r/nfl subreddit and onto the front page of Reddit.

Then the one of the most popular afternoon radio show hosts in Kansas City, Lazlo, starts talking about it… A friend calls me to tell me this, so I get ahold of the show via their text number, and they call me back and interview me:

7 minute Radio interview with Lazlo on 96.5fm in Kansas City:

Then, the Reddit article gets so much traffic that it slows down Reddit’s servers.

I almost crash Reddit! LMAO This is probably the highlight for me, so far.

Travis Wright on WDAF Fox 4.

Travis Wright on KSHB in Kansas City

Nobody’s perfect. I’m fucking far from perfect… but c’mon, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a loud bastard. I will broadcast messages and create viral badassery, if need be. And I didn’t go Global Viral Nuclear on the Chiefs, until they blocked me.

When they felt the heat a bit, they could have DM’d me back and said, “Hey teedubya sorry to get so defensive. We want to win as much as you do. We are all frustrated.” I would have mentioned that and NEVER posted to Reddit.

Once they blocked me, I decided to create a social strategy and use some tactics to make this go viral. It succeeded.

TL;DR version: I was an ass to the Chiefs in one tweet, they were an ass back. Brands can’t do that. I tweeted it. They blocked me. I put it on Reddit and made it go global thermal viral and taught the Chiefs a valuable lesson in consumer social media reputation management.

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 4.48.31 PM
So, this happened in September 2012.  Why am I blogging about it now? Save Our Chiefs was created in October by Eric Granell and Marty McDonald… they flew banners over Arrowhead… we helped Blackout Arrowhead.. .and in the end, Scott Pioli was fired. Ding Dong! The witch is dead!

Eric Granell, Marty McDonald and Phil Kloster from Chiefsplanet were very instrumental in keeping the momentum going and keeping the heat on the Chiefs. All of the ongoing kudos, belong to them.

Things are much better in Chiefs Kingdom in 2013.

The Chiefs hired HC Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey… so all is good in Chiefs Kingdom.  Are you still butthurt, Travis?  Nope.  Not at all.  I have 100% faith in the Chiefs braintrust now.  Clark Hunt is NOT a greedy owner.  He is a go-getter, who gets shit done.  He identified Reid and Dorsey and he got them. And KC fans are thrilled.


And the Chiefs UNBLOCKED me… and actually followed me on the day that Pioli was fired! I then purchased season tickets for 2013 that very next day. 🙂

So why blog this now?  In fact, I just got this blog set up in January and I wanted to archive my thoughts on the scenario… but also, the fine folks at Rise Interactive in Chicago, made an infographic of the whole scenario today.

And also to let everyone know that the fans in Kansas City helped create change in a big way. The power of the people is strong indeed!


  1. March 19, 2013    

    So let me get this straight. You acted as an ass and got spanked for it. How dare they?!? You then decided to take revenge from the comfort of your man cave and are now hyping yourself as some social media guru?

    You’re also taking credit for getting a man fired (your mum must be so proud of you) and for the off season changes made by the Chiefs. You must be disillusioned.

    I actually lost respect for Chiefs management for sucking it up to you. I prefer brands that stand up to trolls and have the balls to ban assholes like you.

    • teedubya's Gravatar teedubya
      March 19, 2013    

      LOL. Laurent. Standing up to trolls. OK, I’ll bite.

      The inadequacy of the Chiefs management is what caused this outburst from the fans in Kansas City. If we were to keep quiet, shut up and be good little fans, we’d still be run by an incompetent general manager.

      And as a community manager, I saw this as a HUGE teaching moment. You can’t be rude to your audience. EVEN if they are rude to you. I sent out one tweet, bitching about how they never spend all of their money for players… they sent one back 3 minutes later with a bunch of attitude. Brand managers can’t do that.

      This was a big learning lesson for sports teams, fans still matter and our voice with social media can be louder than ever.

      • March 20, 2013    

        Right – you did all this for the sake of teaching. Nothing for you in it? Not even a bit of raising your profile and getting your 15 minutes of shame, sorry, fame on TV?

        You want to make your voice heard as a fan? Stop going to the game, stop buying merchandise and don’t buy a season ticket before you see if the final product has really changed.

        You want to help your team win? Why don’t you let management focus on the football matters instead of having to worry about some pseudo social media crisis engineered by a self-entitled “I bitch because I can” moron.

        BTW, how was that private message rude? Is “get a clue” an insult now? The guy responded to you privately, within 3 minutes and standing up for his boss. What’s not to like about that? Case should have been closed here and then but no, the “attention-craving” community bullshiter had to throw a tantrum.

        “our voice with social media can be louder than ever.” that might be right but it does not mean that what fans have to say is worthy of being heard. I am sure that social media can make the KKK’s voice louder than before too. Is that a good thing?

        99% of what is said on Twitter is pure over-reaction. People don’t think before they post. They feel entitled to write whatever they feel like with no regards for the people they trash and no consequences to fear. Everybody is judged and sentenced in the public eye before any light can be shed on what actually happened.

  2. March 20, 2013    

    The Chiefs have yet to unblock me for something similar, and I have asked numerous times. It’s getting infuriating.

  3. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    October 28, 2013    

    I feel you, Travis. I, for one, have experienced the power of social media too. There was this one time I posted a Facebook status about how much I hated Carson Palmer. Then, two years later, the Raiders got rid of him! I’m not even a Raiders fan!

    Yeah, and the haters often tell me that the Raiders’ decision to let Carson Palmer go had nothing to do with my Facebook status, but you and I both know what really happened. Keep the faith in the power of social media, bro. Keep the faith.

  4. supernsetips's Gravatar supernsetips
    January 16, 2015    

    Very Good Site and awesome writing too , and great thanks to the writer


  5. June 4, 2016    

    Great blog!!! I liked the complete article…. Good written,Thanks for all the information you have given…


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  1. What I've learned from growing and unfollowing over 250,000 followers on Twitter on January 26, 2017 at 10:23 am

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Travis Wright is a Venture Catalyst, Public Speaker, Digital Disrupter, Marketing Provocateur, Stand Up Comedian, Tech Blogger & Brand Awesomeizer.

This Travis Wright guy shares marketing resources, industry analysis, interwebs strategery & random hilarity along w/ occasional sport or political rants. If you can stand his jokes and want his opinion on something, feel free to connect with him.

email: tw [at] traviswright [dot] com