JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Emojis are everywhere these days. Emails, texts, online. Sometimes they’re even better than words at capturing what you want to say.
And now Jacksonville Jaguars fans have a set of their very own.
The team on Wednesday launched an emoji keyboard that can be downloaded via an app along with several other digital initiatives as part of its #MOREJAX marketing campaign. The app is evolving as it will grow to include additional emojis throughout the season.
In addition to the keyboard, the Jaguars also announced a social aggregator tool called the Wall of Duval as well as a Jaguars Twitter Mirror.
But it was the keyboard that got fans excited on Twitter. It features emojis of the Jaguars logo, owner Shad Khan, pompoms and several players, including quarterback Blake Bortles and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks.
It also includes stickers of players, such as Bortles and linebacker Paul Posluszny, as well as coach Gus Bradley and mascot Jaxson de Ville. It also includes various GIFs, including one of the sack that earned Marks a $600,000 bonus.
The Jaguars used a technology company called Snaps to develop the keyboard. The emojis, GIFs, stickers and memes were a collaboration of four people in the Jaguars’ front office: senior digital media manager Chris Burdett, lead designer John Cascio, graphic designer Reshad Brown and social media coordinator Brandon Naidus.
The players were involved as well, and had final approval of their emojis and stickers.
"There were some of the stickers and stuff that they may not have liked at first," Naidus said. "Sen’Derrick loved his and got a big laugh. Blake loved his."
Burdett said the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are the only other team among the four major professional sports in the country that he’s aware of with their own emoji keyboard. However, it doesn’t appear that it’ll be long before other NFL teams have their own.
"I’ve already had three teams this morning reach out to me," Burdett said. "It’s a matter of time. We actually had Packers fans tweeting into the Jaguars handle upset they weren’t getting the best digital experience.
"We’re making other fans jealous and I love that."
The keyboard isn’t finished, either. Burdett said the team will add additional emojis, stickers and GIFs throughout the season. He said a big play on the field on Sunday afternoon could become a GIF by Monday afternoon.
"It’s not going to be stagnant," he said. "This isn’t all they’re going to get. It’s going to continue to grow."
In addition to the keyboard, the Jaguars also unveiled the Wall of Duval, which can be found on the team’s app as well as the official website. It pulls in tweets and Instagram posts from players, local and national media, fans, and the team’s official Twitter handle.
The Jaguars also announced they are one of several NFL teams using Twitter Mirror, which allows fans to post selfies that can be modified.
"We will continue our push to be a league leader in innovation," Jaguars president Mark Lamping said. "Providing our fans with access to incredible technology to further enhance their overall experience with the Jaguars brand is important to our organization."