Category Archives: sports

Always Assume The Worst

Today, Major League Baseball teams, in support of GLAAD Spirit Day, changed the avatars of the Facebook and Twitter pages with many posting messages of support for day’s goal of raising awareness to help reduce bullying of LGBT youth. The hashtag of #spiritday was also utilized. 

Frames of avatars were the color purple. 

As you can imagine, responses from numerous fan bases were, well, not so positive.

A brand can have the best and well thought out intent with any type of crowd sourcing or promotion of an initiative. But it is critical to think of one thing with any posting, and that is “what’s the worst response that we could get, and will that response overshadow the intent of this messaging?”

A prime example was McDonald’s #MCDStories, which did not end well

In this case, the responses probably overshadowed the intent of MLB teams. This should not discourage anyone from postings that will generate a large amount of response, but the key is to bear in mind the worst possible backlash that could come. 

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Social Media Job Search Pointers

It usually happens almost as if it is on clockwork.

When I tell people what I do for a living and what brand I do it for, the question quickly follows: “How’d you get into doing that?”

Of course, this is also when there’s the assumption that working in social media is not much more than getting to hang out on Facebook and Twitter all day, but if you work in social media in any way, you likely know there is far more to it than that.

But social media jobs, especially within sports, can be compared to gold bullion. Everyone wants them, but they are not many of them out there to be had. Still, this is May, and odds are that there is another crop of college graduates eyeing jobs within sports and social media. Here are a few pointers to get on your way to a job within sports and social media.

1. Write, write and write!

Find a way to write, however you can. It may be with a freelance publication, someone who may need help with a Web site or even a blog. A critical part of social media is written content that is clear, concise and compelling. Find ways to write, and it can help immensely in polishing your writing and communications ability.

2. Observe

Like and follow as many brands as you can. Almost put together a list, sometimes written down of a wish list for what you’d like to see a brand do and perhaps look at a social media strategy and come up with ways to tweak it for your own use.

3. Twitter Chats

One of the most invaluable tools for those within and looked to be within many industries are Twitter chats, where you can more or less talk shop and exchange best practices with others who are experienced within their fields. #smsportschat and #sbchat are must-dos if you want to get plugged in within sports and social media.

4. Get Experience, However It Comes

Social media can at times be a hybrid position, depending on your brand. It’s not uncommon for it to have a tie-in to marketing, sponsorship, ticket sales, facility operations and more. Volunteer to help out, even if it means helping an area of a sports team or organization in one of its lowest levels. It’ll help you gain a great understanding of how entire organizations work and not just one area.

5. Be a Fan! 

In the end, a lot of social media is about connecting with fans. Don’t forget to be one! Now, it’s important, in a large way not to look at social media as getting to hang out with (insert your favorite team here). But it’s vital to never forget what it is like to be one of those of which you are trying to reach and connect with. 

Go to a game as a fan every now and then. Even if you ‘know’ someone who can get you great seats with a parking pass, avoid it. Sit in the cheap seats, eat the stadium food and pay for parking. Remember what it’s like to be that diehard fan.

Pinterest Still A Good Option For Sports Brands

During the Christmas holidays, when I told my mom that the brand whose social media I manage had a Pinterest page, she was somewhat surprised and curious. What in the world, she wondered, could a sports brand gain on Pinterest?

Actually, there is and continues to be quite a lot still to be gained from pinning and repinning.

It goes without saying that there are a lot of options out there to engage an audience via social channels. Some, like Facebook and Twitter, are more established that others.

Each time a new social media channel comes along, there’s the tendency to expand social reach there and do what you can to make your brand’s presence make an impact and stick.

That’s where brands such as Pinterest were about a year ago. Once the opportunity to create a Pinterest brand page, there may as well have been a ‘Oklahoma Land Rush’ to set a sports brand’s page up on Pinterest.

Now, a year later, it’s easy to move away from Pinterest and focus on areas such as Facebook or Twitter.

But Pinterest can still be very valuable for brands, as odd as some casual observers may find it.

For starters, if you have any merchandise to sell, it’s a tremendous tool, especially if its new.

Photos of great moments or fans having a great time? That can be a gold mine on Pinterest. If you can get fans to re-pin content like that, it can do a lot of engage fans – especially in off-peak times.

Here’s a look at who does it well among sports brands

The Portland Trail Blazers cast a wide net, posting content for current promotions, great historical moments and even use it as a means for fans to keep up with them on other social networks.

The University of Washington does a nice job of upselling the entire experience of being around Seattle and the UW campus.

In the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins use multiple boards to push out images of current and former players plus images of Penguins and hockey inspired food. Few things can energize fans for about the at-game experience than posting about and talking about food!

And who doesn’t love posting about their young fans? The Atlanta Falcons have taken advantage of that with a board of baby photos of fans in Falcons gear.

Pinterest is not a one-size-fits-all network. And with different brands looking to emphasize different things, that’s a good thing.

Aside

Last week, while watch Duke and North Carolina take it down to the wire on the basketball court, I remarked on social media that attending that game is on my ‘sports bucket list,’ with the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, … Continue reading

This may make you dizzy…

Raw video from Daytona last week during preseason testing from inside Paul Menard’s car. Rather cool, plus it gives a great perspective of the speed and g-forces of what it’s like inside a car.