RESPONSE: Seven must follow teams on social media

May 31, 2012

Seven must follow teams on social media

(via MLB Photos)

Social Media has quickly become the best friend of professional sports. It is a quick, easy way to connect with fans and the media. The seven teams mentioned in the article (link above) all have researched the different avenues of ways to connect with fans via social media, and obviously are doing a great job if they are listed as one of the best. However, one team that is not listed is breaking ground (and potentially good etiquette) in the realms of sports social media.

The Los Angeles Kings, a team in the National Hockey League (NHL), has been making an unprecedented run for the Stanley Cup. At the time I am writing this, they currently hold a 1-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals. Throughout the playoffs, fans have gone to the Kings twitter account (@LAKings) for pictures, updates, news and…the occasional jab at their opponents. That’s right. They are taking shots not only at the opposing teams, but at the cities they play in and rival fans.

Mashable posted an article the other day stating that what the Kings are doing is crazy, but it is just crazy enough to work. After beating the Number One seed Vancouver Canucks, the Kings tweeted “To everyone outside of BC [British Columbia], you’re welcome.” When landing in New Jersey for the Finals, they tweeted “Aside from fist pumping, what else is there [to] do in NJ?” Canuks and Devils fans were shocked and angered. Fans of other teams quietly smiled and laughed.

But the point isn’t to be making fun of these other teams/cities. What the Kings have done is given a more personal voice to their Twitter account. Instead of speaking as an organization, reporting on scores and news updates, they are speaking with the tone of a fan. This allows for ACTUAL fans to interact more with the account. All of the sudden, they aren’t asking some PR professional a question about the team. They are interacting as fans. Just a few guys/girls standing around the water cooler talking about Kings hockey. And in the high-energy low-attention span world of Los Angeles where hockey isn’t the big ticket people are running to the box office to get, it gets people talking and interested. “Hey! Did you see what the Kings tweeted? They sure ripped New Jersey a good one!”

I expect more teams to be looking at what the Kings have done and changing their own styles. You don’t need to necessarily resort to making fun of a team, city or fan base. Just changing the voice of the tweets themselves can do wonders.


Reaching New Audiences

May 29, 2012

(via bobbyowsinski)

One of the biggest moments in a young athletes life is the day they are drafted/signed by a professional team. The pomp and circumstance of the whole ritual is something that these athletes dream about their whole lives. Their name is called, they put on a hat and/or jersey, take a picture with the league representative, and begin their new life as a professional athlete. However, there are moments that lead up to this culmination/convocation that effect the rest of their lives as well.

One of the biggest? Singing endorsement deals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Responding To A Rival

May 28, 2012

(via iStockPhoto)

Rivalries in sports are heated. It effects players and fans alike. The only thing worse that your teams biggest rival beating your favorite team, is when your rival does something you want for yourself. So put yourself in the shoes of the General Manager of your favorite sports team. Your biggest rival just signed a marquee name free agent. How do you react? How do you assure your fan base that you are ready to compete with your biggest rival?

Read the rest of this entry »

RESPONSE: NFL takes strides to change culture

May 28, 2012

NFL takes strides to change culture

(via WKOW)

After the recent death of former National Football League (NFL) Linebacker Junior Seau, a wave of reports came out about the safety of football players. Seau was yet another former player who took his own life in the years following the end of their careers. And like others, the manner of which he killed himself (preserving the brain) was the point of interest. By keeping the brain intact, scientists are given the opportunity to study effects of concussions, mainly chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Reports came out stating that the NFL needs to do more to protect their players, to try and make sure that their lives do not come to an untimely end. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded.

At the NFL Owners Meetings last week, Commissioner Goddell announced that players will now be mandated to wear knee and thigh pads.

Wait. What? All this talk about protecting the players from concussions and CTE, and the only change made is to make them wear knee and thigh pads? Something is rotten in the state of New York.

I know that players are already wearing helmets. I know that there isn’t much more a player could wear to protect their heads. But is the problem really about extra protection via equipment? The NFL should reevaluate officiating standards and create stricter policies for hits in the head. The NFL needs to keep players off the field if there is even a remote chance of them having a concussion. When Colt McCoy was originally cleared to play, only to be diagnosed with a concussion after the game…that’s bad! If there is any thought of whether or not the player has a concussion, they should be removed from the game.

The stories of Seau and other players who have prematurely passed are heartbreaking stories. They effect former teammates, current players, fans, and most importantly, families. The NFL had a chance to step up and start making a difference in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Instead, Commissioner Goodell may have gotten his speech mixed up with a menu at Roscoe’s House of Chicken And Waffles. Knees and thighs, please.

RESPONSE: Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience

May 23, 2012

Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience

(photo via PolishGuyPodcast)

In his article, Brian Solis discusses how the entertainment industry has changed with the advent of social media networks. TV shows are offering live tweets with cast members during the show. Both TV and film are offering specific hashtags for fans and interested parties to use in order to create one common location for people to discuss the medium. Musicians are turning to their social media networks to release information about recordings and secret shows.

Yes. Social media has changed the entertainment industry. But it does not stop there. Social media’s impact on sports has been incredible, and not just for those watching games at home.

More and more professional sports teams are incorporating social media in stadium. Baseball teams are allowing fans to order concessions from cell phone apps. Basketball teams are letting their fans select the music they want to hear at time outs through Twitter and Facebook. Football teams are tweeting trivia questions for those in attendance, with the correct answer getting a seat upgrade.

New Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner (and movie executive) Peter Gruber recently discussed his social media plans with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Gruber stated that fans need more than just the game in the modern era  of technology. Offering new and innovative “distractions” will let people enjoy their time at the ballpark more.

“That could mean autograph signings, bobblehead dolls, [players] posing for pictures. That could mean a player wearing a microphone during the game, with the feed available via smartphone…In a world where people twitch if they do not check their iPhone within two minutes, Guber wants to empower fans to use a smartphone to view a replay from their seat, to order ahead to the concession stand, to start an online dialogue with other fans in attendance.”

Most NBA teams offer public Wi-Fi in their arenas. Several MLB teams provide Wi-Fi as well. Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, announced yesterday that he intends on offering the same service within the coming year.

Colleges are also jumping on the social media bandwagon. At the University of Oregon, each Division-1 team has a twitter account which provides updates and game information to the fans. Universities are also using social media to connect alumni from across the globe, so they feel connected with their alma mater.

Social media is not just some passing fad. The public loves it. The entertainment/sports industries use it. And the developers continue to look for the next big thing that will help change the way people consume their preferential entertainment source of choice.



RESPONSE: Obama Gets Huge Twitter Boost After Gay Marriage Support

May 14, 2012

Obama Gets Huge Twitter Boost After Gay Marriage Support

 (via combicbase on Flickr)

Last week, President Barack Obama went on the air in front of a national audience and expressed his support for Gay Marriage. Almost instantly, Twitter broke.

OK, not literally. But the amount of tweets per second and the amount of times Obama’s name was mentioned in those tweets skyrocketed, as displayed in the graphs in the above link.

While the subject matter is a very important issue in the upcoming campaign (for both sides), I think something else came out of this that may or may not have been expected, but will prove to be a potential game-changer in November.

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pintrest. All of the most popular social media sites out there will be a factor in the election, either good or bad, for both Obama and Romney. In the 2008 election, Facebook and Twitter didn’t have the outreach that it does now in 2012. Getting the “youth vote” was a major goal of the Obama campaign of 2008, but he cannot just rely on getting the youth vote again. Both candidates will be going after the “Social Media” vote. The candidate who can best utilize all aspects of social media will have a major advantage.

At the same time, both candidates must be extremely careful (more so than ever) of the non-journalist. There can be no weak moments in front of crowds. There cannot be any flubs or gaffes. Everything is always being recorded. Someone is always ready to tweet or post an update. One wrong word at a small event that may have gone unnoticed eight (even four) years ago now has the potential to be retweeted and become headline news in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

My best words of advise to both Obama and Romey would be:

@BarackObama @MittRomney Beware the RT. Be careful what you say. #UseTwitterWisely #WeAreAlwaysWatching

A Messiah Is Found: Putting Athletes On A Pedestal

May 14, 2012


ESPN has a campaign centered around the slogan “It’s not crazy, it’s sports.” The commercials usually depict sports fans showing their dedication to their favorite team or player in obscure ways. It’s a clever campaign that gets sports fans talking and laughing. They laugh because its real. One of those “I do that too” moments.

Sports fans, especially for underperforming teams, are fickle. They want answers.  They want help. They want a savior. So what happens when one finally arrives…

Read the rest of this entry »