Archive | April, 2013

Texas Strong – with the support of their sports teams

29 Apr

The tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing’s has surely taken over the country and it has also been a huge story in sports. Players, coaches, teams and the media have tweeted about it and showed their support for the victims and citizens of Boston. It is also the cover of Sports Illustrated for the second straight week. However, just two days later, the horrific explosion at Fertilizer company in West, Texas didn’t get nearly as much coverage. No matter, Texans can help themselves and our sports teams have showed up using all of their resources including social media.

The Dallas Cowboys – the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities – have made a $100,000 donation to the Salvation Army to assist in the disaster relief effort in West. However, they didn’t stop there. They are using their popularity to collect donations from fans during their NFL Draft Party at Cowboys Stadium. Similarly, the Houston Texans have donated $25,000 through the proceeds of an auction.

The Dallas Mavericks have used their fandom in the same sense, promoting a Blood drive by their stadium. They also got local radio hosts to come in order to push people to come and have advertised this campaign on their Facebook page. They have used their immense following in the area and nationally to create awareness in their effort to help. The Houston Rockets allowed fans to take pictures during a Playoff viewing party with the Championship trophies if they donated.Image

The Texas Rangers, with the season underway, have used the traffic of the fans going to the games on a daily basis to set up relief initiatives. They collected $40,000, 100 blood donations and hundreds of home essentials from fans. They called for fans to come to donate through all of their social media outlets, especially Twitter and Facebook, where they got thousands of likes and shares. The Houston Astros organized something similar.


Hawks Eat Snakes – Pachulia gets the better of Twitter and Bryant

29 Apr

Much has been made about Kobe Bryant tweeting during the playoffs, but little do people know, he was just copying someone else. In fact, Zaza Pachulia took it much further than that – he took over the Atlanta Hawks Twitter account @ATLHawks. The Hawks announced two days before the playoffs that injured star Pachulia would be tweeting from their account, while Bryant announced he would be tweeting from his own account the day after that.

While the debate of whether Bryant’s tweets (many of the critical of the team) are distracting will go on, Pachulia’s actions weren’t as controversial. This is probably because he isn’t in the limelight of Bryant’s fame or LA’s notoriety. Though he did offer critique like Bryant, he wasn’t scrutinized. Everything seemed to work out as planned.

Pachulia offered good insight to the Hawks and their followers. He also answered questions and retweeted fans. This allowed for fans to relate to him as a player. Their goal to be interactive during the game paid off. Pachulia used the opportunity to market himself and gain followers from the Hawks fan-base and the team used his celebrity to drive their social media engagement and get new followers from the creation of the unique content.

Black mambas look pretty cool, but their venom and aggressive nature make people keep their eyes on it while being offended of it. Hawks just go about their business and while they are aggressive and eat snakes like that, they’re no threat to us and they still look cool.


Draft Tip-offs Used to Tick Me Off and Networks Too

29 Apr

“Didn’t he die in the next chapter Mrs. Williams?” Imagine a kid in your elementary school class blurting out the ending to a book you’ve been reading in class, just so he could act like a know-it-all. That’s how I used to feel during the NFL Draft in years past. I absolutely hated it. If all books had their endings on their covers, no one would read them, which was how the networks felt.

ESPN and NFL Network agreed to not tweet the picks for the NFL Draft prior to the Podium announcement. “Our fans have told us they would rather hear from the commissioner and I think it is a better TV show when we speculate and let the commissioner do it,” ESPN NFL senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said. Image

Yes, someone that doesn’t want to be tipped off and doesn’t care to get the news as soon as it’s available could simply not look at Twitter, but it’s difficult to ignore the people that did read the tweet. Much worst, the on-air personalities often caught wind of the pick and told the audience ahead of the Commissioner’s announcement making it just a formality and a waste of time. The broadcast also seemed amateur with the on-air talent just looking like know-it-alls disclosing the spoilers.

The networks weren’t just listening to the fans and giving them what they wanted, they had their minds on their pockets too. They probably figured that they could get more viewers if they could get those wanting to be the first to know who was drafted to watch their televisions instead of watching their Twitter feeds. They wanted to maintain their precious ad revenues and sub-fees.

It was speculated that because there were no major names and personalities in this draft to engage an audience, like the quarterbacks taken in last year’s draft, ratings would take a hit. However, this wasn’t the case. The networks’ strategy of getting people to watch their broadcasts probably paid off here. The two networks combined to average 5.9 overnight Neilsen rating on the first night of the draft, which tied last year for the second best overnight on record for the draft.

In the end, the fans were happy, the networks were happy and the know-it-alls were embarrassed and angered when they were told to zip their lips.

Football Is A Global Sport

24 Apr

Football is by far the most loved sport in the world. Statistically speaking, it is the sport with the most teams worldwide and, on an even bigger note; it is the sport with the most fans worldwide. I am a fan of soccer myself and, from personal experience, can say that it is incredibly hard to wake up early enough to watch the games. But with so many teams out there, how should a fan follow a team that is potentially on the other side of the world? Social media is that key. Not only are teams using social media to update their global fans instantaneously but they are, or should be, using it to compete with other teams as well. In fact, in the new digital age it is extremely important to connect with your fans constantly or the other team might just swoop in and acquisition your fan.

One team that has used social media to its fullest is a small Italian team called AS Roma. They have been incredibly preemptive with their use of Facebook likes and Twitter in order to capitialize on a large fan following. They wanted to go beyond the limits of their hometown and stretch their brand awareness worldwide. And boy, they have done an amazing job! They have gone from having no social media two years ago to an increasingly successful digital media strategy today.



Reebok Fires Rick Ross Over Rap

24 Apr

Ex-college football player, Rick Ross, was dropped as a spokesperson for Reebok earlier this month. In his new single “U.O.E.N.O” the rapper light-heartedly describes raping a woman. The rap lyrics are as follows:

“Put Molly in all in the champagne. She ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoy that. She ain’t even know it.”

An obviously inappropriate song for someone who is sponsored by a worldwide corporate brand, Rick Ross was dropped from the label shortly after. A brand spokesman addressed the business fallout by acknowledging that the company does “not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault” but said that they “are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of [the] issue”. And then, shortly after the press release, Ross posted a somewhat formal apology on Twitter saying that he was sorry for how the lyrics were “interpreted”. Interpreted? Really? I don’t know about other women but I’m not sure if there is ANY other way to interpret that. In fact, women from UltraViolet felt the same way as they protested the company’s headquarters on April 11.

Word to the wise: don’t be an idiot. If you are a representative of a company, don’t rap about rape. Duh.

Tiger Woods and Nike… Again?!

24 Apr

Earlier this month, Nike released a new advertisement featuring Tiger Woods with the quote “Winning takes care of everything”. Though I personally do not have a beef with the golf icon, I have to wonder… do we really want to be sending that message to fans across the U.S.? Or, for that matter, do we want that kind of advertising to be seen by children? Most consumers would agree no. In fact there was an out lash from Nike’s loyal customers who left comments on the company’s Facebook such as “Nice message that you are sending to children”. But what is even more unfortunate for Nike is that professionals are criticizing them too! The company was once revered for creative and awe-spiring ads such as the famous tagline “Just do it” where they would focus on a hard-working athlete. So what now? Why has the company re-accepted a contract with an athlete that still hasn’t gained respect back from the public? According to the company’s vice president for global brand marketing, David Grasso, Nike is going through “a great time of change” and said that it was “important [they] stay connected… it’s about having a relationship”. Well, sorry to burst your bubble Grasso but it seems that Nike needs to reconnect with their followers… but not through Tiger Woods.



The Integration of Social Media in the NFL Draft

24 Apr

In the weeks building up to the NFL draft, every avid football fan becomes their very own version of Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN NFL Draft Expert. With the introduction and subsequent onslaught of social media in sports, it is now even easier to post one’s opinions on who their favorite team should pick to be their next great super star and be able to share it with the world. However, is this good for the NFL? At first glance, one can see from the NFL’s point of view that any type of publicity is good publicity, especially in the off-season when games are not being played. In my opinion, the ability to post at a moment’s notice on sites such as Facebook and Twitter can open the door to potential draft picks and high- ranking NFL officials to tip off to the public on who the actual pick would be. I believe that this would take away the excitement from the NFL Draft and fans will lose out on the experience and intensity of teams jockeying for position in order to secure their favorite players. I think that fans should have the freedom to voice their opinions on players and teams but this idea must have boundaries in order to save the relative ‘unknown’ that fuels that excitement of the NFL Draft.