Twitter tussle: Dixie State Trailblazers vs. Portland Trail Blazers; who won?

ST. GEORGE — The newly branded Dixie State University Trailblazers went toe-to-toe via Twitter this week with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and if a win is determined by who has the last word then this man’s tweet to Portland Friday says it all: “That time got schooled by a school. .”

Oregon NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers initiates a twee exchange with Dixie State University over its new brand, the Trailblazers. April 11, 2016 | Image via @Dixie State Twitter feed, St. George News
Oregon NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers initiates a tweet exchange with Dixie State University over its new brand, the Trailblazers. April 11, 2016 | Image via @Dixie State Twitter feed, St. George News

It began with a seemingly innocent tweet sent Monday from the Trail Blazers to Dixie: “@Dixie State one word, or two?”

“It’s one word!” Dixie State reply-tweeted to the Portland team.

Trail Blazers digital managing editor, Kris Koivisto, called the banter that ensued “spirited but playful” in an email to St. George News Thursday evening.

“When we saw Dixie State changed their nickname to the Trailblazers, we couldn’t resist but have some lighthearted fun,” he said.

Koivisto also noted tact is to be observed in digital strategy.

“There’s certainly some tact to keep in mind,” Koivisto said, “which comes with experience in the industry.”

Following the initial exchange, the Portland Trail Blazers tweeted Dixie State an animation in Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, of star player Damian Lillard shaking his head – the same Lillard who previously played basketball for Utah’s Weber State in Ogden.

Dixie State University and NBA team from Oregon, the Portland Trail Blazers, tweet over Dixie State's new brand, the Trailblazers. April 12, 2016 | Image via @trailblazer Twitter feed, St. George News
Dixie State University and Oregon NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers tweet over Dixie State’s Trailblazers brand. April 12, 2016 | Image via Portland’s @trailblazer Twitter feed, St. George News

Dixie State fired back: “@trailblazers it’s ALWAYS been one word. Are there no dictionaries in Portland?”

A screenshot defining the word trailblazer accompanied Dixie State’s tweet: “A person who makes, does or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular. A person who marks or prepares a trail through a forest or field for other people to follow.”

Portland tweeted back a package of Dixie Cups … and Dixie State, undaunted, tweeted: “Don’t be jealous just ‘cause we have our name on a cup” – a bit of a precocious play perhaps except for the fact the school added its own GIF jab showing Michael Jordan shrugging his shoulders during the 1992 NBA Finals – a game the Portland Trail Blazers lost to Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

Oregon NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers and Dixie State University tweet over DSU's new brand, the Trailblazers. April 12, 2016 | Image via @trailblazer Twitter feed, St. George News
Oregon NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers and Dixie State University tweet over DSU’s new brand, the Trailblazers. April 12, 2016 | Image via @trailblazer Twitter feed, St. George News

Portland did not respond.

But Dixie State offered up another tweet attaching a photo of  former Portland Trailblazer who was also a Dixie State alumnus, Lionel Hollins, adding a touch of affection:

“Dear @trailblazers, we still love you like you loved Dixie State Alumnus @LionelHollins14 in 1977. #DixieBlazers”

Fox 13 Now out of Salt Lake City polled its twitter followers for the win, with the result being Dixie State Trailblazers 84 percent and Portland Trail Blazers 16 percent. Dixie State retweeted Fox thanks with its own emerging hashtag, a shortened version of the university’s new brand: #DixieBlazers.

Dixie State’s public relations director, Jyl Hall, said the Twitter rumble was all in good fun.

“It’s definitely all light-hearted,” Hall said, “we’re just having fun.”

Portland’s Koivisto told St. George News that engaging other Twitter accounts is a big part of the team’s digital strategy. It’s engrained in their DNA, he said.

UPDATED April 16: Additional tweets added to the photo gallery.

Click on photo to enlarge, use left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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3 Comments

  • Aaron_Pugh April 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    “…tweeted Dixie State an animation in Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF”

    Required Word Count: Accomplished!

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic April 16, 2016 at 7:10 am

      Ha, Aaron Pugh. Required AP style (first reference full reference): Accomplished!
      😀
      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • Aaron_Pugh April 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm

        Quick! Be more defensive!

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