The brief, direct bark of a military commander to subordinates–or the randy cadences grunts chant during basic training–share their quality of brevity with SMS. All come together with an opt-in text message alert program for Marine Corps Marathon participants and observers.
I couldn’t help but hear the clipped, authoritative shout of Louis “Don’t You Eyeball Me Boy” Gossett Jr. as I read Rick Nealis, MCM race director, say in a release, “A critical component to the successful execution of any Marine Corps operation is the ability to communicate effectively with all those involved.”
Organizers of the race, which happens Oct. 31 in Arlington, Va., will use the RainedOut messaging system to send out alerts to the more than 150,000 runners participating, spectators, staff, volunteers, vendors, medical personnel, sponsors, and media. The messaging system will also let the MCM simultaneously update messages on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as its own website.
Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that the armed services–Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines–will be using SMS in the heat of battle. As the release states, “No Federal or Marine Corps endorsement of RainedOut is implied.” But a major athletic event like the MCM is sure to promote, among sports organizers, the providers of both SMS and multi-platform update services.
The program may also show advertisers unrelated to sports organizations how they can benefit, too. It’s free to use RainedOut, but as we reported earlier each text message sent displays a paying national sponsor. With the 150,000-plus runners, their supporters, and everyone else involved in the race, that’s going to be a lot of eyeballs for those ads. Eyeball me, boy!