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May 2, 2016

Kentucky Derby jewelry powered by tweets and hats

by John_A

Former Olympic figure skater and currently fabulous human Johnny Weir has become something of a fashion fixture at the Kentucky Derby over the past few years. For the event’s 142nd running, the noted hat-wearer is adding a piece of tech-infused jewelry to his getup: a “tweet-powered,” horse-shaped brooch.

The brooch, which will adorn Weir’s lapel during the festivities this Saturday, is something more than just a statement piece. It also happens to be a device built for measuring social engagement on Twitter. As more people tweet about Weir’s undoubtedly fascinating headwear using the punny hashtag #WatchMeNeighNeigh, the little horse will gallop faster and light up little brighter.

The fashion stunt is part of a larger plan by NBC Sports to make “the most exciting two minutes in sports” even more exciting. Viewers tuning in online will be able to stream live camera angles from the grandstands and the infield through a GoPro/Periscope integration. Beginning this Wednesday, May 4th, NBC Sports will also be trotting out their Derby coverage on every available platform including Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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