SALT LAKE CITY — Sometimes clever publicity stunts end in unforeseen consequences — like a college kid stealing the San Diego Padres’ Twitter handle.
According to Sports Illustrated, the California baseball team switched up its Twitter branding to the “Madres” on May 12 in honor of Mother’s Day.
So far so good, right?
Wrong. While the Madres were out encouraging their fans to call their mothers, Ricky Padilla, a sophomore student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, jumped on the @Padres handle around 8 a.m.
Fortunately, professional branding must’ve lent the Padres some goodwill with Twitter, since Padilla — who plays catcher for his school’s baseball team — said the @Padres handle was automatically revoked from his account, which was restored to @RickyPadilla22.
Fortunately, there were no hard feelings — the Padres later thanked Padilla for safeguarding the account by offering game tickets to him and his “Madre and Padre."
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padilla snagged the account while studying for finals. He saw the Padres’ Mother’s Day promotion, and thought, “I wonder if anybody took the @Padres.”Comment on this story
“I just put in Padres, and it switched right then and there — pretty sweet,” Padilla told the Union-Tribune. “It ended up blowing up a lot more than I thought it was.”
According to Padilla, he had received about 300 text messages and a ton of Twitter notifications about the issue.
According to Padres spokesman Wayne Partello, a mix-up with Twitter left the @Padres account vulnerable long enough for Padilla to claim it. Fortunately for the baseball team, Twitter has full control over usernames and was able to fix the situation.