#morecronk & @SP_10 signs – how sports teams are handling big news in social


In today’s ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the how two of Melbourne’s biggest teams handled two big signings this week.

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How Sports News Breaks in Digital age

Wednesday afternoon the news of Melbourne Storm’s Cooper Cronk calling a press conference started the planning for the Storm’s version of “The Decision”  we discussed all possible scenarios & how fans might react.

Luckily for Storm fans Cooper Cronk decided to stay with Cooper Cronk & #morecronk both trending across Australia on Thursday.

Great work from Daniel Pinne (AKA @DanPinne)behind the scenes, you might know him from his guest post on Facebook grouping posts (which still apply & worth the read).

See how it played out on social platforms via the Storify compilation built by Daniel.

Only 24 hours before #morecronk down the road Collingwood tried a different approach using their new TV show  “The Club” to have the first interview with Scott Pendlebury after he signed a 4-year deal with the Pies.

Sports Geek Medals – ad:tech Melbourne edition

One note, late entry to AFL Coaches on Twitter @SandoAFC Brenton Sanderson has joined Twitter one week too late.


Bronze – Anthony Harrison – Cricket Victoria

Anthony talked about building a brand from scratch & how effective Instagram was in connecting with fans at the Big Bash.

Silver – Jonathon Simpson – AFL

His social media policy was well received & makes complete sense more people should follow it.

Gold – Kim Trengove – Tennis Australia

Great presentation on all the digital work they did at Aussie Open – Mobile, Video, Social. Hitting aces all over the digital court.

Until next week

Catch it live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

Subscribe to  or Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes.

Podcast transcription

FRANK: Every time Sean Callanan comes to Breakfast Grandstand as the Sports Guru, something happens…

SEAN: I’ve seen cricket today. It must not like me.

FRANK: Sorry, that just happened right when you arrived.

SEAN: That’s all right, Francis. That’s all right. I’m good thanks. Even though the Pies (Magpies) lost last night I’m still happy that the season’s started. It’s good to have footy back.

FRANK: Nice win. For the Magpies, they’ll be fine.

SEAN: Oh, definitely, definitely…

FRANK: They’re going to be right there when it matters. This week’s been interesting in the world of digital sports, hasn’t it? Because once again it’s an example of how things have changed dramatically for clubs, fans and players when it comes to big news.

SEAN: Yeah, so, Wednesday you would’ve got that obtuse media release that Cooper Cronk has called for a press conference, and literally when I heard that, I saw a tweet, then I heard it on the radio, and then my phone rang, and it was guys at the Storm going, ‘Okay, what’re we to do?’ I went, you know, we’ve got to handle this press conference, and I said, “Okay, let’s plan for it. Just, you know, you can tell me. I won’t tweet it. I won’t tell anyone what’s happening. Is he going or staying?” Oh, ‘We don’t know as yet.’

FRANK: They really didn’t know it?

SEAN: This is a day out. This is 24 hours out. So I said, “Well, where’s the plan for scenario A and scenario B?” So the whispers were that he was going. There’s all this money awash with Gold Coast. He’s going to take the cash. It’s a go-home factor, and so how do we handle that in a social media space because you’ll get a whole bunch of angry fans. You know, they’ll be tweeting and Facebooking, ‘Why’s he leaving?’ And then you’ve got all the, I guess, the other ramifications, if you can’t, the Storm for one can’t say, ’Oh, it’s because of the salary cap,’ because then they’ll get blowed back for other issues in their history.

KELLY: Past problems, yes.

SEAN: Past problems and you know and it’s their role and big ups to Daniel Pinne who runs the digital beyond the scenes of the Storm. Our plan was if Cooper Cronk was going to go, he was going to actually reply and pat each fan on the back and soothe their pain because they have to look back and say, ‘Look at what Cooper’s done. We’ve got still six months more of him.’ We’ve got that focus to try to turn them around a little bit, so we really sort of put a crisis plan in place.

FRANK: Are you amazed Kel that they didn’t know?

KELLY: I can’t believe that.

SEAN: So this is 24 hours out .

KELLY: So Cooper called the club and said can you issue a statement saying that I’ll make my decision public tomorrow?

SEAN: Well, yes, he was still making his decision, but he said I’m going to make a decision. Let’s have the press conference, and, obviously, with this information age, you have to protect that information, so there was only a select few that did know. So the people negotiating the contract in the footy department and the commercials team, that kind of thing, but the broader team didn’t know, and they were planning for all the scenarios. And then about an hour out of the thing the wider team knew so they prepped an email to go out to the members in a simultaneous fashion when the conference started. So as soon as Cooper said, “I’m good to go,” the email went out, so all the Storm fans got it, sort of, at the same time as everyone else was. But, yeah, the digital team was like, you know, ‘Dan was told at that same time, so get ready. Don’t print the press conference,’ but as soon as Cooper says, ‘I’m staying,’ get that tweet out. I said get that tweet out, get the hashtag: more cronk. Because Cooper Cronk’s not on Twitter and it’s a great hashtag, so automatically, all the fans were tweeting #morecronk both Cooper Cronk and #morecronk were like number one and two trending on Twitter.

FRANK: Well that’s how I found out about it.

SEAN: Yeah, and so what you know, the news, which is amazing considering the AFL was launching that night.

KELLY: Was day one by ___.

SEAN: To have that much voice of, you know, from about 11:00 to 3:00 to be all about the NRL. It was a really a great job by the Storm, but, yeah, it just shows you the different scenarios, and it would’ve been a real tough gig ahead had he come in and said, ‘I’m going to Gold Coast,’ but you’ve got to manage and/or plan for those scenarios.

KELLY: I guess from a journalist’s perspective you always try to read into these things, the fact they released a statement the day before and said the announcement’s happening at the club a day before a big home game against New Castle and the fact that Cooper himself was speaking. You read into that and think well if he was leaving he’s not going to do it at the club the day before a big game because of the ramifications in those 24 hours.

SEAN: Yeah, and that’s the thing. They had a lot of chatter 24 hours out of people saying, ‘Oh,’ the initial chatter was, ‘He’s going; he’s going,’ and then the tide turned and everyone goes, ‘They had started doing the reasoning,’ but sometimes everyone over analyzes it a bit because, again, I think a lot of it was driven by Cooper. He said I want to make the announcement and the club went, “Well, yep, you’re one of the big three. If you want to announce it then you can.’ And he was like, ‘I want to send it out now,’ and they’re like ‘no, no’ let us have a press conference and…

FRANK: So it’s about making the maximum impact with the message, as well, and making sure that you’ve covered all bases, which is something that’ sport’s organizations have to do. They probably wouldn’t do as well with their Scott Pendlebury announcements.

SEAN: So Collingwood is, I guess, has gone down the path of their own club TV show, and the week before they broke the news of Sharrod Wellingham’s suspension on that show and didn’t give any warning or anything. This week with the signing of Scott Pendlebury they went down a similar path but they didn’t exclusively break it on the show, so I got an email as a Collingwood member at, I think it was 8:30, saying Pendlebury resigned, so all the members knew first and that’s a real thing for all the clubs to say, ‘Well, if you’re going to pay money and be a member we want you to know first.’ Both the NRL and AFL clubs are really mindful of their members first.

FRANK: It’s interesting that’s going on about the access to information because the AFL increasingly is trying to limit access to information. And one of example of that Sean and Kelly is access to tenures.

KELLY: Absolutely.

FRANK: And the digital media space would usually reveal the tenures first. Over the last couple of years, Twitter has been the place to go if you want to know who’s going to be in an ___.

SEAN: Well, in the last couple of years, everyone’s sort of been anointed. Patrick Keane would launch the team news on his own Twitter cap before all the clubs, in some instances. they’re like holding off, holding off, and then they’d find out that Patrick came from the AFL’s twitter. Here’s the ins and outs. So it’s a lot of clubs getting their nose out of joint for that, but, yeah, now there’s an exclusive rights with a TV partner to do it on the news, which is, you know, so 20 years ago.

KELLY: Well, it’s the media partners, isn’t it? So it’s the AFL website and Network 7, and so the embargo is until 6:00. So when you actually go out and speak to coaches, and coaches and players have been warned, there is a $10,000 fine if you leak any information, so as journalists working for another broadcaster you head out on a Thursday to interview the coaches.
Three coaches spoke on Thursday: Alastair Clarkson, Scott Watters and Nathan Buckley. They were all asked, on separate occasions, will you have a first game? Or will there be a debutante that we can talk about? And all of them said, “that information is embargoed until 6:00; therefore, we can’t say anything.’
How ridiculous when you’re inviting media out and journalists to come and get some information and speak about something, and I guess the same situation, or it was at Nathan Buckley’s, and we were out, and Trevor’s cloak was standing next to him. We wanted to ask about the contract, and the senior coach stepped in to Nathan Buckley and said, ‘No more question about the contract.’
So from a journalist’s perspective, obviously, we try and you leave a media conference where they have invited you down but you can’t get any information about the team and you can’t get any information about the contract, what’s left to ask?

FRANK: Well, Sean, you’re absolutely right. I mean it’s a sort of old world mentality, particularly in the age of digital media to try to hang onto that sort of information, particularly as digital media has now invited everybody to be part of the conversation.

SEAN: Well, that’s right. I mean and talking about the Pendlebury case, the A-mile and then both Scott tweeted and Facebook did and then the club tweeted, it actually got people to watch the TV, and I think that’s a much better strategy to say, you know, ‘Hey, guys, Scott Pendlebury is actually going to be on the show to hear him talk about it’—‘Aww, cool!’
Potentially I might not have tuned in. I’m going to tune in now. I’d as soon as use it in that fashion, but to use it in a fashion of, ‘Oh, we’re holding on to this information because this exclusive Channel 7 is going to do it on the news.’

FRANK: Well, to try to make money out of it, basically….

KELLY: Absolutely, it’s all about money, yeah.

FRANK: The information that should belong to the fans who pay their membership to whomever is playing for their team is now being held hostage for a couple of hours so that they can make money from the commercial/television partner. That stinks.

KELLY: It does. It’s disgraceful. And I wonder whether it’ll all continue because there will be a bit of an uproar at some stage because other media partners are not going to be happy with it.

FRANK: The coaches are going to end up looking like fools. They can’t answer question that they have a legitimate right to answer.

KELLY: And I think the coaches are well aware of that, and therefore they were making a stand by saying, ‘it’s embargoed; you can’t ask me. We’re making a point but we can’t tell you.’

SEAN: But it might also be kind of a little bit fiscal. If the NRL released their team list on a Tuesday and you know why—so Rugby League Week can get them into a printed version earlier in the week.

KELLY: People are talking about it already.

SEAN: And I think it was Matt McGuire from the Rabbitohs, who asked ‘Where are the team lists. You guys we just played yesterday.’ And they go, ‘Yeah, but, we’re going to have it by Tuesday. He goes, ‘Here you go have last weeks and put it up.’ So, you know, he pretty much didn’t really care what the list was, so you might just start getting the sort of just serving it for the purpose of serving it.

KELLY: One thing I noticed this week, Deledio announcing a five year contract extension, with a contract extension of five years, and Pendlebury, you’ve already mentioned, they all announced this on Twitter. If you’re the Richmond football club, what’s your biggest, most positive news story going to be for season 2012—that your best player has signed for five years. Why are they adopting to take the Twitter path as opposed to hold a media conference and get everyone there and get the coverage across everywhere? This is something that I don’t understand.

SEAN: I mean it isn’t more about getting the eyeballs, the digital eyeballs, back to the site. It’s also a bit of the players taking ownership of their persona, you know, against some would tweet it and then the next day the media were all over it. And, so again, that’s a little bit of the players putting themselves out in front of the club a little bit, but yeah, it is a tough one from a traditional media point of view. They sort of have the opinion ‘Oh, well, the traditional media will still come anyway. The TV and radio we’ll report it the next day. The digital is now and allows us to control it. Bring it in house.

FRANK: That’s the way it works in the moment now. Have you got a podium for us, 3, 2 and 1 this week?

SEAN: Yeah, well we had ad-tech this week in Melbourne so it was the Melbourne edition, and so the medals this week, we have a bronze to Anthony Harrison who talked about the Stars and how they built a brand for the new Big Bash team. Jonathan Simpson from the AFL, he talked about some of this media and some interesting social media policies, and I think it’s fit for radio but he pretty much said his social media policy is “don’t be a ___________(and you can fill in the blank there), for a social media policy it’s a really good one. But the gold medal goes to Kim Trengove who runs all the digital at the Aussie Open and they’ve just done an amazing job from a mobile perspective, engaging the fans from a social media point of view.

FRANK: They’re fun. That was fantastic.

SEAN: The iPhone app, the iPad app, all the things that, you know, the amazing part that should have been done with YouTube and things like that and the amount of viewers they’re getting through that. Both the other guys said, “I wished you’d just sit down and let Kim talk for the 40 minutes.”

She’s got so much stuff. She had videos of Roger Federer so Debby Spillane would’ve been very happy with that, so it was a really good discussion and we had a really good discussion after the panel as well, so…

FRANK: Good day, Sean. Thanks for coming in, and in that time nothing dramatic happened in the cricket.

SEAN: Well, I tweeted Brett Lee to stop doing it, so that’s cool. He’ll help me out there.

FRANK: Sean Callanan our Digital Media Guru when it comes to the world of sports.

NBA All-Star buzz

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Facebook tips – Pictures, Video & Tagging


Posted on Harf Time Facebook page

Caught up with Daniel Harford (AKA @HarfSerious) on Harf Time on 1116 SEN to continue his journey into the sports digital world.

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We discussed the importance of using pictures in on your Facebook fan page & to draw attention to your posts as well as tagging posts correctly.

If you are on Facebook you need to remember the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

After our segment Harf posted this picture from the Select Australia AFL Champions cards set, check out their new Facebook Timeline we just launched.

Next time we’ll talk to Harf about the important of the size of photos to optimise for Facebook mobile.

Be sure to like Harf Time on Facebook

Get more Harf Time

Tune into Harf Time over the Weekday afternoons on 1116 SEN.

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

Want to get these clips in podcast form? Well you’re in luck subscribe here or Sports Geek Radio in iTunes

Podcast transcription

HARF: Sean Callanan’s in the house. He’s our social media guru. You can follow him at @sportsgeekhq on just about every platform, I think. It gets confusing…

SEAN: Try to; there are new platforms all the time.

HARF: Good day, Sean.

SEAN: Good day.

HARF: What’s doing?

SEAN: Lots actually. Obviously the AFL season is kicking off. Round one kicks off tomorrow. No one really acknowledges this back in Sydney much.

HARF: __ got cut wasn’t he?

SEAN: Exactly, exactly, so…we’re looking forward to Thursday and then Friday night where my Pies take on your Hawks.

HARF: Yes, well, what’s your take on that? Have you got any chance you’ll make Pies.

SEAN: I always got a chance. I think they’re ready to rock and roll, waiting for their serious stuff.

HARF: No you don’t.

SEAN: Oh, I think my man @sp_10 is getting ready to rip it apart.

HARF: Now for those who don’t know Sean came in a couple of weeks ago and set up the Harf Time Facebook fan page. You can go to that facebook.com/harftime and you can like that like plenty others have along the journey. I’m trying to get good at it, but I think I’m a long way from being a sports geek star.

SEAN: Yeah, you’re still in preseason mode.

HARF: I’ve got my L plates on well and truly with this social thing.

SEAN: You’re doing well. You’re doing a bit of the preview of the show and asking the fans what they think. But what we’ve got to do is I think we need a bit more color. I don’t want to sound like an interior design ad guru…

HARF: Color, color, color?! What sort of color you want.

SEAN: But we want to be a few photos. They want to see what’s happening in the glamorous studios of SEN and the guests that come in, in their different attire. So when you have someone in have a photo or share a few videos and things that are happening about the place.

HARF: We had the guys of Orsom in yesterday. He came in for the International Comedy Festival, could have had a photo then.
Jumper Leeds is sleeping. My man at the back, my new man at the back, he’s sleeping. He doesn’t have the all front camera out when…

SEAN: Well maybe he’s back in the ‘80s. He’s not even on Facebook. The Jumper’s got at least…

HARF: The Jumper’s not on Facebook?

SEAN: He’s not on Facebook at all. He’s got to lift his game completely. 800 million people on Facebook but not Jumper Leeds.

HARF: How many in Australia are on Facebook.

SEAN: Around a bit of a nearly 11 million now, so apparently, again, if you believe the figures there’s more people on Facebook than watch telly, so that’s a lot of people.

HARF: It is a lot of people, and if you’re a Facebook person out there and you like the Harf Time fan page, what do you want on the page? Just throw it out there.

SEAN: Well what you’ve probably got to do is put that question on Facebook.

HARF: Ah, hahaha, *laughter* This is the thing. I got so many avenues to discuss.

SEAN: I mean we don’t have the problem we had last time with the question that went a bit awry. When you put up the first post. That was quite famous, Harf, when we put up the…

HARF: But that was good.

SEAN: What was the famous sporting moustackas and congratulations to Rita. Did she get a trophy for winning that?


SEAN: Was your mom disappointed for coming second?

HARF: **laughter**

SEAN: Is the other thing.

HARF: Mom was a bit—she had it that she didn’t win the title there. But Rita was very proud of that moustacka, sporting moustacka title.

SEAN: So when we do a post there’s a couple of things that we can do and so especially when you’re doing the preview of the show, so in today’s you mentioned Joel Selwood from Geelong, you mentioned Kobes. I don’t know if Kobes is on Facebook, and you mentioned me and you mentioned Drewy.

HARF: Katie coming in from the out…

SEAN: He’s on Twitter. He’s mad on Twitter but he’s not on Facebook. But what you can do is start tagging, sort of mentions like in Twitter where you say , ‘Hey, I’m going to the coffee shop.’ And someone goes, ‘Hey, get me a coffee, as well.’ So that’s how you get your coffee. So you can do the same thing in Facebook.
You can be say chatting to Sean from @sportsgeek because you like Sports Geek on Facebook. It comes up in a little drop down, and you can click it.

HARF: Click on that and it’ll give you a link.

SEAN: Yeah, and then Harf Time fans can come across and say hello to Sports Geek or they can come across and say ‘hello’ to Geelong footy club or the Victory or the Storm as your sort of talking about them. The main thing is to be tagging the right pages, only the official pages, and sort of being a bit of a leader in the social media space, hopefully by the end of the season.

HARF: Well I’m far from a leader at the moment, but I’m happy to learn and I’m a good learner, but Tony Carlton has got the sentiments of a few of my listeners out there in SEN land who’ve tried to jump on the Facebook page and like it. They can’t find it! Why can’t they find it?!

SEAN: They can’t find it?

HARF: Tony Carlton, “Stick your fan page, Harf,” he said, “I’ll be stumped if I can get on to it, so again, stick it.” I don’t want that from Tony. He’s a good man.

SEAN: Exactly, so they’re probably doing it on the mobile and so we’ve put it in as two words, haven’t we, Harf? Is it Harf space Time.

HARF: Yes it is.

SEAN: So if you do that in the Facebook mobile, if you type in Harf space Time you’ll find it, but if you’re on your computer, if you’re at your desk right now, facebook.com/harftime, all one word and you’ll find it.

HARF: All one word on the computer, two words on the mobile devices.

SEAN: Yep, got to keep it simple.

HARF: Right!

SEAN: Oh, look here we got big Drewy pointing at us. Another man not on Facebook.

HARF: Well what’s he doing? I mean he’s a business entrepreneur. Surely entrepreneurs need to be on Facebook.
SEAN: Yes, exactly. Imagine how big he would have been on Facebook back in early ‘90s. Imagine we can give a bit of a timeline of Drewy and pictures of him with his head all taped up mummy style.

HARF: That’d be awesome.

SEAN: Very good day, so yeah, the main thing is get more color into that timeline as they’re happening. One example here, I’ll give you some footy cards. Some of the guys from…

HARF: Oh, the 2012 champions, AFL Official Collector Cards.

SEAN: From Select, so if you go to Facebook.com select Australia you’ll see them. We’re going to launch their timeline tomorrow for the start of the season, and that way she is going to is profile some of the old cards, so what I might do is sneak in a couple of big shots. When was your best year? When was your best year from a profile point of view?

HARF: That’s hard to tell; there are so many.

SEAN: So many?! (Harf is laughing because of the sarcasm) I mean I can bring up all the cards. I actually might share some on the Harf Time page if you want.

HARF: No don’t do that. There’s a couple of shockers, absolute buried shockers. Well, my card in __ is a good one.

SEAN: Yeah? So did you get a special one there?


SEAN: What’s the silver one you’ve got.

HARF: It’s a silver Nathan Foley, my little man.

SEAN: And so the thing is with the new cards is you’ve got the silver on the front, the sticker on the front, and you see that it’s the Bulldogs on the back. So if you peel the Nathan Foley off the front, there’ll be a Bulldog underneath that. So it’s a peel of a deal.

HARF: Wow wee! All a part of the new 2012 Champions official AFL club cards from Select.

SEAN: So you can take a picture of those cards, tag select Australia and put it up on a post.

HARF: Right, I’m learning as we go here. That’s outstanding from you, Sean. I look forward to catching up with you very soon.

Facebook Timeline, MLBAM & mobile sports & AFL Coaches on Twitter #grandstand


In today’s ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the new Facebook Timelines & MLBAM’s innovation in sports digital delivery

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Facebook Timelines coming soon

Facebook has changed the rules again with new Timeline feature with a stronger visual & story telling component for brand fan pages.  Look for your sports team to migrate to the new format & leverage their history by filling our their timeline with historic posts.

Take a look at some sports that have jumped into Facebook Timeline already, thanks to Dion who compiled 42 sports Facebook Timeline examples.

Check out Sports Geek on Facebook with Timeline launched.

MLBAM a model to follow

With the launch of the AFL Club apps this week (iTunes & Android) we discussed the leader in sports digital MLB.  Read this great article from Fast Company on how MLBAM (MLB Advanced Media) came about & why digital works in delivering great content to fans but also driving ticket sales.

Sports Geek Medals – AFL Coaches edition

AFL kicks off tonight with Giants taking on Swans so we though we’d look at coaches in the AFL embracing Twitter.

Only 4 current coaches are actively tweeting with Michael Voss missing out on the podium (@Voss03).

Bronze – Kevin Sheedy

For a salesman like Kevin Sheedy Twitter is a great platform we can’t wait to see him tags tweets with #marshmallows & other Sheedyisms.

Silver – Mark Neeld

Loves to RT his players & fans, building enthusiasm with Dees fans.

Gold – Nathan Buckley

Getting the hang of Twitter talking with fellow coaches & players as well as having his say when he needs to, I liked this reply to a fan complaining about a generated marketing message from the Pies.

Special Mention – Brett Lee

When Brett Lee gets angry he will take a bowling attack apart & interrupt your radio segment. Good work Binga!
Follow @BrettLee_58

Until next week

Catch it live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach & Amanda Shalala on ABC Grandstand.

Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

Want to get these clips in podcast form? Subscribe here or Add to iTunes

Podcast Transcript

FRANK: Sean Callanan loves coming in on a Saturday morning, our Digital Sports Guru, to talk about what’s been happening in the world of sport in the online world game. How are you this morning?

SEAN: I’m good, thanks, Frank, yourself?

FRANK: Not too bad. Facebook, constantly evolving, constantly encroaching in on our personal lives, what’re they up to now?

SEAN: Well if you haven’t noticed it’s changing the way that we’re experiencing both our timeline but now also brands and teams. So it’s moving in with its timeline feature, which, Mr. Zuckerberg, as I like to call him, Zuck, launched it, and it’s all about brands being able to tell their story and a lot more visual. And so the main charges are we’ve now all got our own personal timelines and you can have your own little hero shot, but now teams can do the same.

FRANK: So when you say timeline, explain for people because not everyone does Facebook—I know—it’s hard to imagine that…

SEAN: There’re 800 million people. What do you mean there’re people who don’t use Facebook? There’re more people playing Farmville on Facebook than there are actually farmers in the world, so, yeah, what is timeline? So timeline is the new way for Facebook to represent your page, your timeline, so it’s like your own online scrapbook. I guess from a personal point of view, if you have Facebook, timeline now makes it much easier for people to find those embarrassing posts from a couple of years ago when you were at Uni for instance.

FRANK: It collects all of them?!

SEAN: Yes, so it’s much easier now to go back in time when previously to go back in time you’d have to scroll through pages and pages of posts, so the new timeline feature allows you to go back in time quite easily and so I was just talking to Josh before about the ABC Grandstand page. It’s going to get migrated March 30, but what you can do is say, Grandstand was founded and, I don’t know the historical date, Frank, it would’ve been founded, you know, the brand and the…

FRANK: Over 30 years ago.

SEAN: So we can put down that when the first broadcast happened for Grandstand and then what you can do is put up those embarrassing shots, all those historic shots, is the way I should put it, from being back in the years of, you know, when big guests had been on Grandstand, the first broadcast, those kinds of things, to give a bit of history.

A lot of sports teams are now tackling that, both by putting in a nice big cover shot but also allowing to do a history. The guys at the AFL recently just launched their timeline and went right back and marked a lot of events whether it was the first game, the first time particular teams won, premierships or games or big events in the AFL. What will be good to see are teams and leagues sort of using that as a bit of a way to feature their history. So to drive you back to the website, to look at archival footage…

FRANK: Who’s doing the best with the most at the moment to do you think?

SEAN: At the moment they’re all really just dipping their toe in the water and trying to be the first to play because you can do it now. A lot of the NBA teams are doing it and representing their brand. Again, the AFL teams are doing a really good job.

FRANK: I have to break in here because Brett Lee has just gone nuts. Now the bowler was dropping them in short, hit him with a bean ball, and I told you, Amanda, he looked like he was going to explode. Well, detonation has occurred. He has clocked 4 consecutive 4s and a sixth __ saver.
AMANDA: I knew he could do it. I knew it!
FRANK: And he’s going for it again, unbelievable. Anyway, 5 to 2 for 258 at the moment. Sorry, I just had to bring that to everyone’s attention.

SEAN: That’s all right. Yeah, so from a Facebook point of view it lessened, I guess, identified the history so, you know, and provide a different visual view. Facebook is trying to make it more of a storytelling platform. And to a certain degree they’re also trying to replace your website. So there’s a bit of a danger there for the teams to go while there’re all these great features for us to showcase their history, but actually you can do that really well on your own website. It’s a bit of a—you’ve got to have a fine balance to reward the fans and let them play on the space.
And what’s happened now?
FRANK: He’s just gone for another six. He has absolutely kept on running for the boundary. He’s gone 4, 4, 4, 6, dot ball 6, to take a straight out of 7 for 221.

AMANDA: What was he doing on the dot ball?

FRANK: Well he caught the bounce when he tried to clip that one over the cable for 4, as well. However, he’s gone from 33 from 30 deliveries so he is just taking the long handle to him.
So that’s great stuff for Facebook, so we can lookout for that.

SEAN: So, yes, some teams have already jumped on board and all the rest still will come aboard this week.

AMANDA: Well, Sean, we’ve been talking in the past about organizations producing their own media in house. Who is doing it best in terms of the overall global market and here in Australia?

SEAN: Yes, so well in Australia all the AFL teams put out iPhone apps this week, which is a big leap for them, for all the teams to actually have their own app, and we’ve spoken about it before. The front runner in from a digital stakes point of view is the Major League Baseball, and Frank you can attest to that. You’re a Major League at Bat subscriber.

FRANK: Up to my eyeballs in it. It costs me a $120 bucks a year but it gives me access to every Red Sox game, in fact every game Major League Baseball has you can stream it anywhere, on your phone, on your iPad and the quality of high def delivery is superb. If you’re a fan of the game it is the most well streamlined, easily accessible, well-resourced media hub that you can find. And I’m absolutely bowled over by it for the last couple of years, but I love it.

SEAN: It does hit the bar very high for the year for the AFL, NRL, and the crickets of the world when that product’s there. There was a great article by Fast Company on Major League Baseball Advance Media so they’re their own company. They manage all the digital rights for the teams. Sometimes the teams will moan that they don’t have the creativity and the opportunities to do what they want, but to use a sports cliché: Major League Baseball events have been kicking it out of the park.
The thing is they’re not just doing baseball; they’re now taking their platforms and they are a technology business that works with other entertainers and other people to provide solutions for them. They’ve put in a lot of effort to really partner up with Apple to produce a high quality product.

FRANK: And the other thing that they have done, Amanda and Sean, is they’ve embedded Major League Baseball MLB TV in Apple TV. So if you own an Apple TV device when you click it on and you sort of link it up with your home Wi-Fi system you can watch MLB TV there, so in a way it’s sort of embedding it into people’s homes without them even knowing it.

SEAN: Yes, and what they’ve been able to do is to prove that digital streaming and being able to access it across devices with MLB you can be watching it on the train, watching on you’re your phone, get home watch it on the couch, and then the TV gets freed up when you’re out. Watch it on your big screen for Apple TV and it’s an-across platform device.

FRANK: Amanda do you watch much sports on mobile devices or is there anything that you’ve engaged with yet or is it still this sort of unknown territory for you.

AMANDA: I find it very difficult to access any sort of Australian sporting highlights online. I have the NRL app and to watch video highlights on there is virtually impossible. So, Sean, what can these Australian organizations like the AFL and NRL be doing to catch up with Major League Baseball?

SEAN: Well that comes back to the Optus-Telstra discussion, which we’ve discussed during the battle of the moment but Telstra is in the process of again trying to monetize the AFL rights, so this year I think you can get that on your iPad or your iPhone. It is one or the other because if you buy it with one you can’t watch it on the other. So it’s not cross platform.

FRANK: Which is just stupid. It defeats the purpose of vertical integration of that technology, which is what makes the Major League Baseball so perfect.

SEAN: And the other thing is that it’s only Telstra’s subscribers who can buy that at the moment.

FRANK: Lee just hit another six, by the way.

SEAN: We’ll tune into Brett Lee. I’m sure he’s trending in the West Indies any minute on Twitter.

FRANK: So that’s great. If you want to check it out and I’m an advocate and a fan and I love it, mlb.com. You don’t have to pay the $420 bucks for the app at once. There’s a premium one week and you can watch all the games.

SEAN: Well literally it shows it in cartoon form. It shows you where the peach lands and I’ll tweet that Fast Company article later that does really just dive into how Major League Baseball Advance Media works. It’s fascinating stuff.

FRANK: Do we have a podium Amanda? What do you reckon?

AMANDA: Yeah, aw, c’mon Sean, you’ve got AFL coaches for us this week don’t you?

SEAN: Well, yeah, the AFL season sort of starts this week tonight. It sort of starts next week, but rather than looking at teams and plays I want to look at the coaches. There’s not too many on Twitter. Mick Malthouse, he’s on Twitter, but he’s no longer coaching. There’re only four AFL coaches on Twitter.

FRANK: That’s pathetic.

SEAN: I agree. There really is an opportunity for them to at least have their say, have their quote and not have it edited, potentially. So there’s only four so unfortunately Michael Voss is just out of the medals, but we give the bronze medal to Kevin Sheedy, and if there’s ever a platform built for someone Twitter is built for Kevin Sheedy, so I’m just waiting for him to hashtag something like marshmallows or aliens or…

FRANK: Martians, seagulls?

SEAN: Exactly, so Kevin Sheedy is on there and he has been tweeting. A lot of it is a bit of marketing messages but he’s still—that’s what he’s out there for—he’s a Chief Spruiker.

FRANK: So at Kevin underscore Sheedy (kevin_sheedy)
SEAN: That’s Kevin and then Neeld MFC, the new coach, Mark Neeld, the new coach for the Demons has been doing a good job. He’s tweeting and having a bit of fun with the players and what they’re tweeting, and if they’re getting ahead while they’re out there, he’s pulling them into line, but he seems still to also be tweeting a lot with the Collingwood coaches, still talking about things, so he’s doing a good job, and I’ve got to put my bias there but I’ve got Nathan Buckley taking gold, which is @NCB_CFC started tweeting. One of the things I did see was someone complaining about an automated marketing message coming from the Collingwood football club. He tweeted him so Bucks just replied, “Is a personal tweet okay?” So he was at least looking at keeping honor but it does give you a way to have your say.

FRANK: Sean, how can we find you on Twitter?

SEAN: @SeanCallanan or @sportsgeekhq.

FRANK: Sean and Amanda thanks for coming in again.

42 Sports Facebook Timeline Cover Photos Reviewed

By now, everyone is either using Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ layout, or will have to change to it when Facebook makes Timeline their default format on March 31st. The most noticeable change with the new Facebook Timeline is the ability for pages to have ‘cover photos’ as well as their profile picture, as well as having apps that people can click on, that will link to another page.

We’ve seen how our friends and family are using Facebook Timeline, but how about the professional sports teams that have changed over? Let’s explore.

NBA: Leading the way with Facebook Timeline

We’ll kick off our look at the new Facebook Timeline in the National Basketball Association, who are definitely among the world leaders in social media usage.

The Celtics go green

As you can see below, the Boston Celtics are one of the frontrunners with Facebook Timeline, using their “I am a Celtic” slogan for the cover photo with the effective parquet floor design, while using the apps as an easy-acces place for Cs photos, video highlights and tickets.

#KobeMask is the hero of LA’s Timeline

Like their cross-country rivals the Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers are a keen user of Facebook Timeline. Though they don’t have the best use of apps or history like the English Premier League teams that will feature below, they do have, arguably, the best cover photo of any team on Facebook. Check it out:

Two-time MVP Steve Nash is the centre of the Suns universe

Like LA with Kobe, guard Steve Nash epitomises the Phoenix Suns franchise, so what better player to have grace the cover of their Facebook Timeline than M-V-Steve?

Portland are helping the NBA blaze a trail in social media

The last NBA example here is the Portland Trail Blazers who intelligently use their apps features for deals of the week in Portland, and creating a great community feel with a, “We are Rip City” page for fans to upload their photos from the games.

The Barclay’s English Premier League

Manchester City delight their fans

Moving over to England now, where Manchester City in the English Premier League are one of the premier users of Facebook Timeline, no pun intended. As you can see, they have a very attractive cover photo on their Timeline, as well as using their Apps extremely well, with links to their Twitter feed, the club video channel and their upcoming events.

On top of that, City, having a history that dates back to the 1880s, have made great use of the “history” aspect of Timeline, with fans being able to go back through the clubs history and see the major events that have shaped the club. Below is a picture of the club’s formation, which started as St. Mark’s Church Football Team.

The boastful Red Devils use the EPL title to grace their Timeline

Not to be outdone by their crosstown rivals, the league leading Manchester United also use Timeline. As you will see below, their cover photo is fantastic, and their apps, although it won’t link to a Twitter account, does show video highlights, which is a great addition for international fans who have limited access to televised games, and an astronomical 23.3 million likes.

You’ll never walk alone with this Facebook Timeline, Liverpool fans

Fresh off their Carling Cup victory earlier this month, the EPL’s Liverpool Football Club has also started using Facebook Timeline and, like Manchester City, use the Facebook page as a great place to link fans to their Twitter feed, Club website, and video highlights. Lastly, another great initiative LFC had was, as part of their apps, create a linked page where fans can buy all their Liverpool merchandise, from their official iPhone app, to the online store.

La Liga

FC Barcelona: Leaders on and off the pitch

We leave the EPL now for Spain’s La Liga, and who else to start with but Barcelona. The Catalan giants use Facebook in a similar way to the Trail Blazers, with their main app being a place for Barça fans to post their team pictures. Unfortunately for a club with so much history, they aren’t utilising Timeline’s history function as well as United or City. That doesn’t stop them from having over 28 million likes, though!

The sun smiles down on the Madridistas

Not to be outstripped by their bitter rivals, the La Liga-leading Real Madrid have an amazing cover photo, with the sun shining through and virtually smiling at the Madridistas, with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s number prominent in the photo. The Real Madrid team use great creativity in their apps section, including the basic photo and video pages, but also using a page to display their roster as well as links through to players’ personal websites, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels. Very creative linking from Real.

Great use of Facebook Timeline apps by Real Madrid.

 Sevilla FC keep in touch with the Spanish Super Clubs

The last La Liga team to feature is Sevilla FC, whose best Facebook app is a very popular fantasy football manager game. In a country dominated by two supergiant football clubs, Sevilla are doing very well to have over 115,000 likes.



The New York Franchises show the NFL how it’s done

In the NFL, the leaders of the pack both reside in New York, with the Jets and Super Bowl Champion Giants having great apps for fans. The Jets have a page where fans can live chat with each other about the directions the franchise need to take to come good on coach Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl guarantee, while the Giants thought outside the square with “Tolly Cam”. Check it out below;



The Cincinnati Bengals: Making great moves, franchise-wide

The last NFL example here are the Cincinnati Bengals. Long been known as a downtrodden franchise, the Bengals have a great presence in social media, and their Timeline, with a classy cover pic and apps like the fan zone, with links to player twitter feeds and promotional and viral videos.



The classy Chargers pay tribute to a loyal player

Our last NFL example belongs to the San Diego Chargers. While their apps are the basic like, video stream and photo album, their cover picture is very classy, showing the recently retired Kris Dielman running onto the field. A brilliant use of the cover photo, indeed.


The USC Trojans show their historic side

Moving on to the NCAA now, where we start with the USC Trojans. With the Timeline encompassing all athletics at the prestigious school, the apps feature a ‘buy tickets’ section for the school’s major sporting programs, while the cover photo promotes USC’s sporting successes and culture.

Miami Hurricanes: School-wide spirit

Another NCAA giant is the University of Miami. Also known as the Miami Hurricanes. Like the Trojans, the ‘Canes have many sporting programs at the university, meaning that they need to encompass this on their Facebook Timeline.


The Bruins win on the ice and on Facebook

The next North American and Canadians teams we will look at all reside in the NHL. For the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, they use their Facebook Timeline like Sevilla in La Liga, with a Fantasy Challenge for fans to take part in, as well as a link to the team’s Instagram feed.

Detroit: Hockeytown goes digital

The next NHL team are the Detroit Red Wings, whose Timeline is a link to their Twitter feed and YouTube channel. To top it off, their cover photo is wonderfully boastful of their extremely successful past.


The Ottawa Senators fly the flag for Canada

Our last NHL franchise is the Ottawa Senators, whose best app is their mosaic, which you can see below;

The Senators' Facebook mosaic is a clever way to get fans involved.



Favourite Son Nathan Buckley  gives Collingwood’s Timeline a fierce determination

We head back home to the AFL for our last three examples of the teams that have adopted Facebook Timeline, with the Collingwood Football Club being now of the leaders in adoption. While there are no ‘wow’ factor apps yet, the cover image for the Pies will definitely excite their army of supporters!


The Gold Coast Suns are building a great community

Even though they are the new boys of the AFL, the Gold Coast Suns are setting the standard of Facebook Timeline usage. Like the teams above that have been praised, the Suns’ Timeline links to exclusive new, the membership sign-up page, their Twitter feed and the team’s YouTube channel.

Adelaide Crows – Showing off the silverware

Fresh off their 2012 NAB Cup Grand Final win, the Adelaide Crows display the cup in all it’s glory on their timeline, while using the app section to link supporters to their membership ad campaign and membership sign-up page.

The Eagles are swooping in and making a splash on Facebook

One of Sports Geek’s clients, the West Coast Eagles have an attractive cover picture and a link to The Swoop for fans to reach the top of Eagles fandom.

The Tigers are roaring!

The Tigers have done a great job with an extensive timeline full of Tigers history.

Geelong uses their courageous new captain to great effect

The reigning premiers know exactly how to rile up their fans, using a great picture that has the unflinching Joel Selwood leading their flag defense.

The Blues appeal to their fans’ sense of history

And they do it spectacularly, having Chris Judd standing at the forefront of some inspirational former captains. The time is now for the Blues, and they aren’t taking a backward step.

For Swans it’s all about the team

The Swans’ Timeline cover photo shows all the men that will strive for premiership glory this year, while their apps give fans some quick access to YouTube & Twitter.

Star power drives Hawthorn’s Timeline

What three better players could Hawthorn feature, than Cyril Rioli, Luke Hodge and Lance “Buddy” Franklin, the biggest drawcard in the AFL?   The Timeline apps have links to YouTube highlights (where you can watch replays of Buddy) and the e-calendar, that shows you when you can see Buddy live!

The Greater Western Sydney Giants get off on the right foot

Yet to even play their first home and away match in the AFL, the new-kids-on-the-block GWS Giants make great use of their marquee names here, and should be ecstatic with a great start to their social media campaigns.

Australian Sports using Timeline

Other than the AFL clubs, a number of other Australian professional sporting organisations have embraced Timeline.

The Wildcats are leaders in the NBL clubhouse

The first NBL team to adopt Timeline was the Perth Wildcats, and feature their Instagram feed in a featured Timeline app.

The Melbourne Stars use their star power

When Shane Warne is part of your team, why not promote it? The Stars use Warnie perfectly, as the centre of their cover photo, clearly after taking a wicket. Brilliant.


The Broncos are at the front of the NRL pack

The NRL’s Brisbane Broncos have a great shot of the current team as cover photo but aren;t taking advantage of the Timeline apps.

Qantas Wallabies

The Wallabies have a great cover photo, displaying their “one team” mentality to build on their popularity as one of our best performing teams on the international scene.


The MCG, the Home of Football, uses their Facebook Timeline wonderfully well, with apps linking to their upcoming events and a videos tab that, among other things, shows how the groundskeepers keep the turf in world-class condition.

The AFL joins the craze

The Australian Football League has just launched Facebook Timeline today. It has some great content and history on the Timeline and a DreamTeam app for it’s legions of players, but could have put a little bit more detail when trying to link back to their parent site. All in all, it’s a great launch, ahead of giant leagues of the NFL and NBA, and should be a must-see for all AFL fans.  It will be good to see what historic videos & pictures get added to the Timeline over the year.

Sports stars building their personal brands on Timeline

To finish off, we have a look at a few professional sports stars from around the world who have taken advantage of their exposure to build their own personal brand. A brand that can be helped by implementing an effective Facebook Timeline.

Shaq Diesel

We start off large here, with the Big Aristotle. Big Diesel. Superman. Whatever you know him as, Shaquille O’Neal is a pioneer when it comes to sports stars using social media. His Timeline unfortunately falls short of the mark he has step for himself. Shaq breaks the rules here and uses his Facebook Timeline cover photo to promote his new YouTube channel, Comedy Shaq. No cover photo should ever be used to promote special offers or competitions. That should be added as part of the content, Shaqtus! Perhaps he should read the Facebook cover guidelines.

Kurt Tippett

Adelaide Crows talented forward Kurt Tippett has launched Facebook Timeline recently, and seems set on a huge career as both a footballer and with his own personal brand!

Tiger Woods

Once one of the biggest names in the entire world, golfing great Tiger Woods has a Timeline, yet it’s an extremely simple page that doesn’t offer much beyond a few photos and some quick videos.

Lance Armstrong

The inspirational multiple Tour de France winner has a great cover photo on his Timeline, as well as brilliant links of some really great photos from his races and a link through to his foundation, Livestrong.

Dwyane Wade

The 2006 NBA Finals MVP has a great understanding of how his personal brand can grow if he does the right things. Well, his Facebook Timeline is the right thing. It shows Wade as a man other than the NBA player, while also including video of his on-court triumphs. For those die-hard fans, it includes a link to his UStream channel.

The Black Mamba

Long time Lakers guard Kobe Bryant uses Timeline to sell merchandise for his charity, and as a hub for all his TV commercials.

Cristiano Ronaldo

With an absolutely gobsmacking 41.6 million fans, Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal Facebook Timeline has the most fans of any in this post. It’s astounding, really, that one man can reach so many. The apps are great, being used for YouTube, Twitter, the CR7 store and exclusive video content of Ronaldo, exclusive to his Facebook Timeline.

So there you have it, folks. A look at the various sporting teams, stars and leagues that have adopted Facebook Timeline, how they are using it, and if it is effective. Hopefully, if you’re planning on upgrading to Timeline, this post has given you some great insight on how to create an effective (and attractive) Facebook Timeline.

Any that really strike your fancy or that we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know!

Ambush digital marketing in Olympics & stadiums wi-fi #grandstand recap


In today’s ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the ambush marketing in the Olympics & problems with stadiums with smartphones.

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Ambush Digital Marketing

We discussed the steps the LOCOG have taken to try & protect sponsors at the 2012 Olympic Games.  They have partnered with Twitter & Foursquare to try to stop ambush marketers trying to jump the queue over official sponsors.

Adidas has paid over £100m to secure the official rights, but look at what Nike is doing with it’s #makeitcount campaign.

Stadium wi-fi a global sports problem

Following on from our discussion on how much we use our smartphones at stadiums in previous weeks we also discussed the “who pays” debate when it comes to in stadium wi-fi.

Good report from Sports Business Daily citing a six figure price tag to keep Giants fans connected at AT&T Park.

Livestrong Park a great example of the new standard in world stadiums lucky enough to be built upon technology infrastructure to allow high tech integration.  I was luck enough to listen to & meet Robb Heineman who is the CEO of Sporting KC, not a bad place to work.

I know MCG & ANZ Stadium are working hard with telcos & wi-fi providers to help improve the digital experience at game, but is does come down to who pays for the service.

Sports Geek Medals – #atsyd edition

Spent the week in Sydney participating as a speaker & delegate at ad:tech Sydney, some great insights in to how different industries are using digital to connect with customers & consumers.

Best find of the week was from Chris Erb from EA Sports, who revealed that the Pope plays FIFA on the Wii.

I was lucky to have three talented sports digital guys join me to present case studies in sports.

Bronze – Rob Squillacioti

Talked about the digital transformation of the FFA to open up the lines of communication with fans (and ongoing project).

Silver – Michael Briggs

Talked about the Wallabies One Team strategy to leverage the water cooler conversation of the RWC to connect passionate & casual fans.

Gold – Matt Baker

Showed how the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs did deals with movie moguls James Cameron & George Lucas to run Avatar & Stars Wars themed Games.

Until next week

Catch it live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach & Amanda Shalala on ABC Grandstand.

Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

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Want to get these clips in podcast form? Subscribe here or Add to iTunes

Podcast transcription

FRANK: Well Sean Callanan’s the same. He’s our digital Sports Guru. He joins us each Saturday morning to talk sport in the digital world. How are you mate?

SEAN: I’m good, thanks. It’s been a busy week in the sports digital world.

FRANK: What’s been happening? The Olympics are on the horizon, and is the digital space the new sports battle ground, particularly when it comes to the big money.

SEAN: It is. There was an announcement this week that the Olympics have brought in, put their arm around Twitter and put their arm around Forrest Greg’s head. Help us out, then suffer.

FRANK: That’s enough to make me feel a little bit uncomfortable, Amanda.

SEAN: And stop ambush marketing. And so, to a certain degree Twitter and Facebook, although they’re getting bigger and bigger, are still relatively start-ups, and so they want to cozy up to the big base that is the Olympics, but eventually money will talk and really there’s not much Twitter and Forrest Greg can do if a big brand like a Nike wants to run a really successful campaign that’s driven by their athletes and driven by the people. So, yeah, it’s definitely a ground for ambush marketing. You know, Nike’s running out—they’re really pushing hard into digital at the minute. They’re running a campaign called Make It Count, and they’re running with all their athletes, so they’re trying to bring in policies around protecting the sponsors, but when the fans of athletes are jumping on board and you do a campaign that can go viral, we talked about Kony 2012 and how it went viral. If Nike can produce Greg videos than the people that have paid the money, in this case Adidas had paid over $100 million to be the official partners of the Olympics.

FRANK: That’s a lot of money!

SEAN: It is a lot of money, and so it’s now a matter of making sure that they can deliver, so really Adidas has to pour a lot of money into digital to make sure that they protect their space from a mentions and conversation point of view. I mean it’s not new. I remember in 1992 when Magic Johnson and Michael Jordon put a towel over their tracksuit because it was a Reebok, and they obviously had competing shoe deals, so ambush is not anything new to the Olympics, but, yes, from a digital point of view, they don’t really have as much control as they do from a TV and a media standpoint.

AMANDA: Well in the digital sphere what do you think some of the most effective strategies are in trying to combat that sort of gorilla marketing?

SEAN: Well, really, you’ve got to go out and fight fire with fire. You’ve got to match the Nikes of the world with a really good campaign that is going to engage an audience. You really can’t, you can’t be in that passive mode, and that’s pretty much what an Olympics sponsorship to a certain degree might’ve been. It’s not enough just to have the logo on the jersey or on the field. You’ve got to participate and amplify what you’ve been doing. So that’s where, in this case, we’re talking about Nike versus Adidas. Nike’s going and they’re calling their campaign the 2012 campaign. Is that associated with the Olympics, no. They’re just making it their yearly campaign. Is there a site association with the Olympics? Are there more Olympic athletes in their campaigns? Yes there is, so Adidas needs really needs to make sure that it can leverage its partners and its association. Obviously, the Olympics need to develop a bit better digital presence from a website point of view because it’s so TV focused at the moment. They need to have a destination for the fans to go, and that’s where advertisers and sponsors can get a little more lift.

FRANK: But this is where it’s fascinating for the Olympic games because they have locked down so tightly on access to information and to content, so you know, for instance, Amanda and Sean, if you owned the rights on it and you want to play a little bit of an Olympic event, say someone wins a gold medal, you can only I think take about seven or eight seconds of the event and play it, so they’re trying to lock that down, and when it comes to the digital media and social media, that’s like hurting butterflies. You can’t do it. So their mentality doesn’t really, I think, allow them to actually conceptualize what digital media and social medial are about and then use it effectively.

SEAN: And it’s been so TV focused, so they’re really focused on protecting the rights holders. NBC paid a lot of money in the U.S. and they’re trying to protect that TV audience. But four years is a long time in digital and the audience has changed and is moving. They are looking to do a lot more stuff with YouTube, but, yeah, they’re sort of playing catch up in that they’re only really running their event every four years. So major events, like the Rugby World Cup, the Soccer World Cup, the Olympics have to really assess what they’re doing from a digital point of view a long way out, and so they’re trying to bring in the social media platforms to say, ‘Help us out here,’ but I’m sure if someone went to those platforms and said we’re going to spend a whole lot of cash on your platform, I know where the twitters and Four Squares will go; they’ll go with the cash.

AMANDA: Now, Sean, one of my big bug bears is when you go to a big sporting event and you can’t get internet access. What our stadiums trying to do about the issue of getting WIFI for fans to be able to use?

SEAN: Well, yeah, and that’s going to be, again, a messy problem for the guys at LOCOG and the Olympics because the problem with stadiums is first of all they’re built to block your phone. There’s concrete and steel everywhere, and then you have a concentration of people, and smartphones are automatically draining the bandwidth that’s available, even if you’re not taking your phone out. We’ve discussed whether you’re tweeting or not, just actually having a smartphone in your pocket it’s automatically starting to drain the bandwidth as people have pushed notifications and messages are coming through. And so it’s a constant problem for all the people who are building the stadiums and people running the stadiums. AT&T Park, which is San Francisco Giants, has a very savvy tech savvy park.

FRANK: Magnificent, I’ve been there many times. Magnificent sports venue.

SEAN: And they’ve had WIFI in their stadium, which has been partly sponsored and run with partners, but it’s upward of six figures to keep that WIFI up and running, so you can see the challenges that the MCG and the ___ Stadium have in trying to deliver WIFI, and so what it’s now coming down to, the people who are building the stadiums to actually integrate the technology into the stadiums.

FRANK: Has anybody been able to do it successfully yet?

SEAN: So one that has done it successfully, and I actually just saw Rob __ from Kansas City actually tweet a picture of Livestrong Park, and it was fortunate when they built it, and they built it to be a really technology savvy park. But Google’s also running their version of the NBA and so they effectively put the hub under the stadium, so the best place to get WIFI and get into that kind of activity is actually at Livestrong Park. Maybe if the Telcos, when they’re rolling out the MBN to sort of base out of the stadiums. It makes sense. That’s where it’s obviously going to be the hot point of any traffic in Melbourne if you put it in that Olympic park precinct it might actually make sense. But it is a constant challenge, whether the fans want it for free. The sponsors want some value for it. Are you going to look at an ad because you can get WIFI? Will it come down to potentially giving over data? If you hand over your email address and marketers can email you about it, will that be enough to get you free WIFI?

FRANK: Sean Callanan is with us, our Sports Geek, and remind people where they can find you on Twitter, Sean.

SEAN: @Sportsgeekhq or @SeanCallanan or sportsgeek.co.au.

FRANK: Talking about sport and the digital world, just on that, I mean, the AFL is just pouring an absolute fortune into its own media company. It’s supposed to be taking to media in house.

SEAN: It’s gone from 15 people to 120 people in the last three minutes.

FRANK: I think that tells you everything you need to know about what they’re trying to do. So surely they are wanting to own a huge real estate in this space, and if they’re doing that, surely they’ve got to provide the infrastructure at their venues to deliver their own content. I mean it would be ridiculous to have all these people banging away on computers and tweeting away and then when you get the game done you want to be at the ground you can’t read anything that they’re writing.

SEAN: Well that is a concern that they have to provide, but it is a problem between venue operators and that’s where it’s different in the States to Australia. A lot of the teams in Australia are just tenants and are just renting out the venue for the day. So it’s really the venue operator’s issue. In the States, obviously, stadiums get built for teams. Teams have a bit bigger say in the stadium, so that’s, with the MCG for example, you’re working with the trust. You’re working with the MCC, so it’s a delicate thing. It comes down to who pays for it. So potentially, AFL might have to foot that bill.

AMANDA: Sean on the podium this week you’re looking at people who live in different sporting organizations and using the digital world quite effectively, who’s made your 1, 2, 3?

SEAN: Yes, I pretty much give these medals out because these guys helped me out this week at Adtech Sydney on my panel talking sports digital. That was a pretty good week. I actually found out from the EA Sports marketing VP that the Pope plays FIFA on the WII.

FRANK: Which team does he choose?

SEAN: So, I didn’t find out his handle, so just keep searching. If there is a handle on the FIFA called the Pope, you might…so the bronze went to Rob Squillacioti, @robsquilla who’s from the A-league and actually talked about how the A-league is moving to that same model as the AFL and improving the communication with their fans, which is an ongoing project. @mick_83, or Michael Briggs from ARU talked about how the Wallabies were developing their relationship of the Rugby World Cup and met Matt Baker or @mogulmatt on Twitter. He took the gold medal for getting Darth Vader to turn up to a game for the Bulldogs and actually got approved by George Lucas, so good work!

FRANK: That is a good one. Get on there Sean. Good day of you to talk to us again. We’ll catch you next week.

SEAN: All right guys.

FRANK: Sports Geek and digital media expert, Sean Callanan, with us here on Grandstand Breakfast.

My ‘Stormy’ Night

Don’t let the title of this post fool you, because the night I’m referring to was, in fact, a fine-weathered evening, where I was lucky enough to shadow the Melbourne Storm’s Digital Media Manager, Daniel Pinne.

One of the Storm's forays forward in a see-sawing first half at AAMI Park vs. South Sydney

Thanks to the work that Sean has put in with the Storm and their social media endeavours, I got invited along to the Storm’s home-opener at AAMI Park on Sunday night against another Sports Geek client, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. As I strive to gain employment in a similar role that Daniel has at the Storm, my goal for the night was just to watch Daniel closely to see how he manages the Storm’s presence on social media on game day, how he interacts with the digital community, and what are the best practices to undertake in the fast-paced environment of professional sport. Straight away, I was impressed.

Daniel had everything covered from the moment I arrived until well after the match had finished. From filming segments on Storm members filing into the stadium, to taking snapshots for the Facebook page and live-tweeting the game, the action was non-stop. It became evident to me early on that, to be a successful digital media manager for a professional sporting club, one has to have great time management skills, a passion for the game, passion for social media and some imagination to boot.

One of the interesting moments for the night was seeing how the Facebook and Twitter updates were handled differently, with best practice for Facebook being three posts, published before the game, at half time and finally, at the final whistle, while the Twitter updates were more spontaneous and corresponded to the action of the game.

Once the game was over, the action moved from the press box to the conference room, where the Digital Media Manager’s job still was

Best word to describe Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy; fierce!

not over, with the team press conference still needing to be filmed. Being my first time in a press conference, I was definitely more than a little nervous, even turning my phone off to stop any interruptions (even though I knew I had it on silent, I was being overly cautious!). As a keen sports fan and occasional sports writer myself, it was great to see the kind of effort and level of professionalism associated with press conferences.

So, what did I actually do, you ask? Well, other than watching Daniel’s every move and trying to glean as much knowledge from him that I could, I was tasked with taking some team shots from the Storm boys running out of the change room and onto the field, as well as some game-time shots to be used for the Facebook account, which was a great way to learn what works, what doesn’t, and also, staying out of rugby league players’ way when they are running onto the pitch!

As a final note, I’d like to thank both Daniel and, of course, Sean, for inviting me along to what was an excellent night, both on the field with the Storm getting the result, and me personally, as I build toward beginning my career.




KONY 2012 & athletes as influencers #grandstand recap

In today’s ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the #Kony2012 phenomenon & it’s impact on the sports world.


Kony 2012 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

Haven’t seen the Kony 2012 video then please watch it now.

It has seen many of the influencers listed show support via Twitter & Facebook although @TimTebow is yet to tweet about it despite the amount of tweets asking him to join the cause.

It shows how much influence athletes & celebrities can play in young people’s lives not so much a brand endorsers but role models.

Kevin Durant posted this image on his Instagram feed.

How did you find out about Kony 2012?  I found out via my teenage kids which show how much influence athletes & celebrities can have.

Sports Geek Medals – NRL edition

With the NRL in full swing we look at the best in the NRL, special mention to Twitter newcomer Billy Slater (@slater_billy) & Cowboys birthday boy Matt Bowen (@mattb_wen1) after the Cowboys win over the Broncos.

Bronze – Wendell Sailor

Pioneer in the NRL & a self confessed mad tweeter, was the only Twitter presence for the Dragons early on.

Silver – Scott Prince

Scott does a good job sharing pics on Instagram & keeping fans in the loop with all things Titans.  Like Kevin Durant he showed his support for Kony 2012 on Instagram.

Gold – George Rose

As discussed George is great at connecting with fans, even if you just uses them to meet Kelly Slater as you can see from the tweets below.

Until next week

Catch it live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach & Amanda Shalala on ABC Grandstand.

Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.


Podcast Transcription

FRANK: Sean Callanan joins us, the Sports Geek, I’m sure he’s got one, but he probably can’t say because he works with so many sporting organizations that are teaching him to how use the digital world and talking digital sport with us. Good day, Sean, how are you. Welcome back to Grandstand Breakfast.

SEAN:  Good day Francis, Good day Amanda.

FRANK: Can you say?

SEAN: Well, I actually did. I tweeted, I always liked seeing Brian Goorjian coached teams get beaten, so I’ve gone in the history books so I don’t have to worry about it, but as a Tiger’s man whether it was the Spectres, Titans, Magic and then the Kings I think he ended up at, I always like beating a Goorjian coached team. You respected him but always liked getting the win.

FRANK: Scott Munn who is the CEO with Melbourne Hearts through and said you’re Melbourne team, Francis. I think he’s assuming I’m a Melbourne Victory fan, Scott.

AMANDA: You have to claim your allegiance.

FRANK: Well I have to be in neutral these days, don’t I? I sort of put down my card carrying Melbourne Victory Membership.

AMANDA: There’s no such thing as that, come on!

SEAN: There’s a little bit of bias in all everybody.


FRANK: You’re right, Scott. Thank you Scotty, and I’ll be there cheering for the Heart today, don’t worry against the Wellington Phoenix. Now we’re here with Sean Callanan to talk about digital media and I guess just beyond the world of sport, as well, something that’s been going on for the past couple of weeks which transcends sport but shows the power of the mediums were talking about.

SEAN: Yeah, this week, if you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter you would’ve heard of Kony 2012. Did you hear about that, Francis?

FRANK: Unbelievable sort of campaign that’s been running online and across the world to try to raise awareness about this man who’s been leading the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda for the better part of 20 years now, but someone’s taking it upon themselves to make him famous. Explain what’s going on.

SEAN: Yes, so a charity called Invisible Children set up a video. They built a 30 minute video, which is a long video in the Internet world, and the idea behind it is to make Joseph Kony famous, and they want to do that to put pressure on the U.S. government to intervene and help them stop this guy for all these war crimes. But really what I was looking at it from a digital perspective is the manner that they went about it, and the used 2012 as a meme and their targeting 20 influences and 12 decision makers, and one of those influences was an athlete, Tim Tebow, who is an NFL quarterback who polarized the American landscape for his ability to win but also his ability to pray on the field after a big score and “Tebowing” has been an Internet meme of the past 12 months well you get down on one knee and pray after a big moment in your life, so, yeah, part of their campaign is to get a groundswell of support and with 38,000 million views when I sent the email yesterday, it’s probably getting closer to 50 million YouTube views today, and that’s in five days, so there’s not too many people that haven’t seen it because it gets shared, but really what they wanted the fans and the common person to get the attention of athlete’s and celebrities, so Tim Tebow was one, Justin Bieber, Stephen Colbert, Oprah Winfrey. They wanted really to get these celebrities to take notice of the video and to make this Joseph Kony guy famous.

FRANK: To what end? I mean is it to put pressure on political leaders and institutions like the United Nations to do something about this long running war that he’s been conducting in Uganda for decades.

SEAN: Well exactly right. It’s been happening for a long time, but they’ve effectively got some traction with the U.S. government to assist in capturing him and the U.S. government it’s pretty clear to say, ‘Well, if it’s not in the interest of the U.S. citizens then we won’t support it. So the campaign is to actually raise awareness and to make it an issue on the American agenda, and obviously they’re going to elections and they wanted to so it’s done in a campaign style. There are jokes around that Kony’s one the first primary because of the Kony 2012, but, yeah, it has touched a lot of fans. I found out about it from my daughter whose 16 and she was wanting to donate money from their charity drive that they’ve done. My son posted the link without me prompting, so it’s really reaching the kids.

FRANK: That’s fascinating, isn’t it? It’s almost like Current Affairs being delivered in a way that can actually reach a demographic that would otherwise not tune into the 7:30 report. It would have no relationship with that sort of content delivery whatsoever.

SEAN:  Yeah, exactly, so last week we talked about Instagram and we see Kevin Durant, who’s the NBA leading scorer For the Oklahoma City Thunder, he posted an image to stop Kony. Blake Griffin, the slam dunk champ who dunked over a car last year, did the same thing. He posted on Instagram. You know football is worth seeing it and putting it up on their fan pages, telling people, and again, not prompted, but it just reminds me of seeing how other people in that cause, marketing sort of space, will do it. Because you do see a lot of athletes getting—I mentioned span—and it might be ‘Aw, my nana’s sick. Please re-tweet this.’ Now does it help anybody? Probably not, but that’s the main tactic of this Kony thing to effectively span the celebrities until they sit down, watch the video of 30 minutes , then they go, ‘Oh, I’m moved. I’m going to share it.

FRANK:  Have you seen it Amanda?

AMANDA:  I haven’t actually, but I wonder, Sean, is it effective? Do social media consumers really care what Tim Tebow has to say or if any of these athlete’s get behind the cause? Do we want to hear about their political viewpoints? Does anyone take notice?

SEAN:  Well, there are a lot of fans, obviously, that do take notice and if the fans, you know, as Justin Bieber might tweet and say ‘Hey guys watch this and re-tweet it,” a lot of those kids are impressionable and will. And the fact that they are sharing the real issue, internet names rise and fall pretty quickly, will this have some legs? Will this still be a talking point a week later or two weeks later? They’re planning a Cover the Night exercise where they’re going to be putting Kony style posters all around the world on a particular day. And, you know, when we wake up one day and see Kony posters everywhere, that’s the kind of thing; will it continue or will it just be an Internet meme that the kids of today have shared, been impressed by, but they’ll move onto something else tomorrow?

FRANK:  Fascinating isn’t it? It becomes a question, doesn’t it Amanda and Sean, whether people are genuinely concerned by the issue and will follow-up and continue to persist with their activism or whether it’s just being part of a major event, being part of a crowd, being part of a critical mess, and feeling like you’re involved but having no real commitment to the cause. In the end that becomes exploitative of the situation in Uganda rather than helping it.

SEAN:  And there is a bit of that already. There are Twitter accounts that are supporting Kony and asking people for followers, and there’s nothing stopping those people three days from now changing the name of the account and start selling iPads. You know, those kinds of things, and will people donate money or will people support the cause other than sharing a link? Because really, sharing a link and watching the video and getting tracked up and coming on, it is not going to help any Ugandan children. But, you know, actually maybe donating or putting it towards a cause that you believe in will. But, you know, I like the fact that even if there was talk that it could have been a banksy scam—a whole just a stunt to see if it could happen. But if it’s making my kids think about the world and wanting the world to be a better place, I’m okay with it, and that’s sort of how I sort of sit with it.

AMANDA:  I find it really interesting sort of thing all together. I mean are the eyeballs enough as a thing to start with. Are you saying there are 50 million viewers or people who have seen it on YouTube, as a starting point with any sort of thing in the digital sphere. Is that enough of a kick start?

SEAN:  Well the main thing is that is takes from social into mainstream. Like social is big and it’s big in my world but it’s still, you know, to get things on TV, to get things talked about on radio, to get the things talked in the newspaper is still a way a lot of the majority of the people are. So it’s the fact that Channel 10 ran the whole video in primetime on the Project would’ve got a lot more coverage than the people watching it on YouTube. It would’ve got families discussing it potentially, discussing charity and world issues, so the next steps are will we still be talking about it in a month’s time and will there actually become a result of it?

FRANK:  1-300-460-644 is our talkback number. Love to hear from you if you’ve got time to give us a call. Have you been affected by this kind of campaign, and when you see your favorite sports star retweeting this stuff, do you actually stop down and have a look or do you just see it as just part and parcel of I guess their public profile—do they really care or are they just using it in a sense to sort of round out their public profile?

Give us a call, 1-300-460-644 is the talkback number here at Grandstand Breakfast if you want to join the conversation. Sean Callanan, the Sports Geek, is talking digital sport with us here this morning. Have any of the major sports clubs reacted or have a policy about their players getting involved directly in a political campaign such as this?

SEAN:  No, not particularly because really the players and their own brands for the most on social. Yes they do pull them into line if they go and make a blue in some instances, but most of the athletes can say what they want to say, and we saw that with the lockouts for the NFL and the NBA when they started to share their voice. Even in the AFLPA when they had their negotiations, they started to ban together and put their views across.

FRANK:  That was a very, very conscious campaign. The AFL was blindsided by that, wasn’t it, with the players coming out quite directly on Twitter and making their feelings known without being checkered by their responsibility to their clubs to say nothing.

SEAN:  And the thing is the players are just starting to understand and that’s why I thought the Kony campaign sort of highlighted that you’re an influencer. So, yes, you can just be tweeting about what you’re doing and when you’re going to the game, but you’ve got to realize and it goes back to Charles Barkley who famously said, “I’m not a role model.”

FRANK:  Chris Judd said that as well.

SEAN:  But the thing is, you know, if they are going to tweet an article like this or tell people to watch this video they are influencing a lot of kids, so, what is it? “With great power comes great responsibility,” if I want to quote Spiderman, but that’s…

FRANK: That’s where all that wisdom comes from…**laughter**

SEAN: Exactly, that’s exactly what athletes have when they start getting these large followings on Facebook and Twitter.

AMANDA:  Well looking at certain athletes that are using Twitter effectively from the NRL world who have you picked out for us this week?

SEAN:  Yes, so looking at the medals because the NRL has been kicking off for us…

FRANK:  On the podium, 3, 2. 1.

SEAN:  On the podium, yeah, I did meet Billy Slater during the week, slater_billy. He’s just new to Twitter so he didn’t quite make the podium and well done to Matt Bowen, mattb_win1, not the best handle but not a bad 30th birthday to get the win over the Broncos, but my bronze medal goes to Wendell Sailor.

FRANK:  Big Dell.

SEAN:  Big Dell, so real Big Dell on Twitter, a mad twitterer, loves his tweeting. He was actually tweeting for the Dragons when he first started. Scotty Prince up in Gold Coast does a pretty good job. He used his Instagram, scottprince7, but I have to give my gold to my man George Rose or gorgeousgrose on twitter because he doesn’t hold back. He says what he thinks and he’s always engaging with fans. Even as late as last night he was tweeting trying to find a way to meet Kelly Slater, who is in town, and so he was reaching out to his fans saying, ‘C’mon guys how can I meet Kelly Slater?’ I tried to start the hashtag when Kelly met George, but he didn’t like that. He thought it was a little bit to chi clique, but, yeah, George is pretty good value. He was trending during the NRL Grand Final, trending worldwide, but it might have been because he whacked a guy in the head. But he’s a pretty good value on Twitter and so he gets the gold medal.

FRANK:   There are our 3, 2 and 1 for this week. Sean, good day mate, and thanks for coming in. We’ll speak to you again next week.

SEAN:  No worries guys.

FRANK:  Sean Callanan in the house, Sports Geek, talking digital media and sport with us each Saturday morning here on Grandstand Breakfast.

March Madness… want some bracket perspective?

March Madness is a crazy time for US sports fans & sports marketing alike check out Shaq’s Big Excuse activation with Dove Men where Shaq will call you to free you up to watch the game.  Check out the Big Excuse Facebook app.

Here is some help & stats around the bracket filling that occurs across the USA & the world.

March Madness

Welcome to Facebook Harf Time


Helped out SEN’s own Daniel Harford AKA (@HarfSerious) move his radio show which has been using Twitter to engage listeners via @HarfTimeSEN.

Here is how it unfolded on 1116 SEN yesterday.
Download MP3

As Harf Time is new to Facebook they get the new Facebook Timeline look, what do you think?


It was good for Harf to learn a common rookie mistake on air with leaving the “Allow anyone to add options” checked with his first question.

Sports Geek Tip:  Limit your Facebook Questions to 3 answers & definitely uncheck the option to stop smart arse responses.

Facebook Timeline Cover is key

Read the Facebook Page guidelines, especially about new Cover photos read below from guidelines.

Covers may not include:

i.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Here is Sports Geek’s Facebook page now with Timeline feature, do you like it?

If you want assistance setting up & getting your team page ready for the jump to Facebook Timeline then please contact us.