Social Media for Good & Sports on @Pinterest from @abcgrandstand


In this ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked the positives in social media and how it can be used for good in sports.

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Using Social Media for Good

Too often the sports social media mistakes or bad boys are profiled but sometimes social media can be used for good.


Late Ben Hollioake’s cricket kit stolen from parents home in Perth but recovered after a rally of support via Twitter.

Started with former English Captain Michael Vaughan pleading for assistance from cricket fans, soon after #FindBensKit was born.


Something closer to home the plight of former Wallabies captain Michael Lynagh who is in hospital after suffering a stroke, the Wallabies community rallied behind the man known as Noddy using digital.


We did quickly discuss the Kony 2012 campaign that after great success has fallen flat.

Sports Geek Medals – Pinterest edition

We have discussed Pinterest on ABC Grandstand before, “the Jeremy Lin of Social Media” at the time.  Thanks to Dion Bennett‘s great post on sports teams using Pinterest we’ve decided to give out medals for Sports On Pinterest.

Bronze – Manchester City

They have a board for title “City Tattoos”, needs no other explanation.

Source: via Manchester on Pinterest

Silver – Anaheim Ducks

Doing a great job of pinning material from fans from other social networks like Facebook & Twitter.

Source: via Anaheim on Pinterest

Gold – Boston Celtics

Doing a great job sharing pictures & promotions from the Celtics vast history.  Even running a Pin it to win it competition.



Source: via Boston on Pinterest


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.

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

Podcast transcription

FRANK: Sean Callanan, our Digital Sports Guru, joins us every Saturday what his field of dreams might be. Good day, Sean, how are you?

SEAN: Good day, Frank. Well other than MCG, I mean that shows a bit of bias to Melbourne, but from a baseball perspective, I actually have been to Wrigley Field and it’s the stadium in the states that most reminds me of the MCG.

FRANK: What about it reminds you of the MCG?

SEAN: You pretty much just walk in there and you just, the history, and you can just feel it. It wraps you up.

FRANK: I think there’s two ways you can go with this. I think the really big venues are super impressive and they’re overwhelming in their size and their stature in the history. And the MCG certainly got that about it, but sometimes the smaller venues are the ones that capture your heart. I’m sure Fenway Park is like that for me because it’s a tiny, you know, it’s a tiny track. It’s a very small ballpark, really. It’d be like, you know, I’m going to ask a person ‘Do you like having the good fortune of going to Highbury a few times over the years,’ very small, compact ground, beautiful art deco grandstand.

SEAN: And it is something that all the special baseball stadiums, all the refurbs and, you know, getting the new stadiums built. Like last time I went to New York I went to both Yankee Stadium and the new Mets stadium. Both new stadiums, the Yankees went with a complete almost carbon copy of …..

FRANK: It’s unusual isn’t it?

SEAN: of the old stadium.

FRANK: Explain it. It’s not on the same side, is it?

SEAN: It’s across the road.

FRANK: It’s across the road.

SEAN: But it’s a physically carbon copy, and it looks a little bit like a Coliseum. There’s a lot of concrete and it really doesn’t have—they tried to replicate it, and they really couldn’t. Whereas the new Mets stadium they did it in that vintage style, and they used a lot of the pieces of the era, and so it looks like an old stadium but it’s got all the new amenities, and it does it have that old style ball park feel. So it’s sort of like, again, comparing MCG to the Docklands Stadium. You know, and amenities wise, it’s just a matter of getting it right.

FRANK: So since through your choice hashtag #grandstand, your field of dreams, the venue of the sports, I mean it doesn’t have to be a professional sportsman. There’s a lot of people have a very, very deep and affectionate ties to their local sports fields, whether they played there or their kids did or whatever it is, how should today’s grandstand let us know? Whereas the other one in the United States that I really love is AT&T Park or in San Francisco, the home of the Giant’s, is a venue I have a little bit of a soft spot for. It’s a magnificent vista when you’re sitting up in the stands there at across San Francisco Bay on a sunny day. It’s like the happiest place on earth.

SEAN: Yeah, definitely, definitely. It’s one of the ones I haven’t been to. It’s on my stadium bucket list.

FRANK: It’s a beauty. We’re talking to you about social media today, of course, in sport and sometimes we focus a lot on the negative and the trouble that people get themselves into using social media platforms, but sometimes it actually can be a really powerful tool for niceness instead of evil.

SEAN: Yes.

FRANK: As Maxwell Smart would say.

SEAN: Exactly, and we had a pretty good example of this earlier in the week when I saw, I think I actually saw your tweet initially, and re-tweeted it to Ben Hollioake who passed away and was an English cricketer, had his kit, these English kids stole it from his parent’s home in Perth. So someone broke in…

FRANK: Terrible.

SEAN: Whether they did it deliberately or it was just a break in and they’d stolen all his English gear.

FRANK: Because when Ben died , I think about, oh, ten years ago, I think it was in a car accident in Perth, and so his parents have kept his kit as, you know, as a keepsake, a very precious keepsake for his career as a…

SEAN: I think he played two tests in twenty or so one days…

FRANK: With his brother, as well, Adam.

SEAN: And, so, yeah, the English cricket community, so Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart and a lot of the guys that played with him started tweeting, “Hey guys find his, find Ben’s kit. Ask everyone to re-tweet it.” You know astray and cricket personality Vaughan, Damien Fleming and the like did the same. And so it was obviously trending on Twitter, but it did provide a little bit of an action, a bit of awareness for everybody because most people wouldn’t have known. It would have maybe made the England papers and maybe the Perth papers, and then luckily enough a couple of days later, because I really put the alert out, and said, “Hey, if you find this stuff on Ebay or someone’s trying to off load it,” and a couple of days later both they found the guys who did it and they found the kit and it was returned. So it was one of those good stories, too, you know, get awareness and also it’s about what we we’re talking about last week, getting a story that you want out in the press and getting a bit more publicity.

FRANK: What it shows is that communities coalesce really quickly around things that are of, if you got a likeminded cause or an interest with people, you can coalesce a community really quickly around that—incredible resource. I mean, in my gig, here working as a professional sports broadcaster, the connections you can make with other journalists and broadcasters and people of who can actually be part of the show or give you information and insight from a first person perspective of being at games and being at press conferences, and the like, it’s an extraordinary reach, and it really has changed the way broadcasting works, and in this instance it’s worked…

SEAN: And the thing is everyone can have their own niche show. You know, if you didn’t hear it from one of the players themselves, you might hear it from a follower who’s mad for cricket, and he’s always giving you your cricket information, so he’s my cricket expert. It’s not, I’m not waiting for the cricket segment on Grandstand. It’s this twitter follower that’s always giving me the best cricket advice. So, you know, people can develop niches and become these, you know, curators of content and pass it on.

FRANK: Well that it is very egalitarian, too, and as you said, you know, looking at the tweets, there was Adam Hollioake, Ben’s brother who was tweeting through Alec Stewart. I mean I’ve sent my re-tweet out. You did as well. We’re all having the same impact. You know having a conversation with these people who are professional sports people who you previously probably wouldn’t have access to, not only just to talk to them but also to, you know, to working inside with them, maybe if they’re, you know, not cognizant that you’re doing it, but it is really, really an egalitarian experience.

SEAN: And it gives them, you know, it goes back to that, you know, the ability that for athletes to be role models whether they’re pushing a charity or trying to push a cause or in this case, you know, just to find a mates kit because someone’s gone and broke into his parent’s house. So another one that I again caught by Twitter and the Wallabies did, I think, did a good job in, one, telling everyone about Michael  Lynagh who’s had a stroke and is still critical in the hospital at the moment. They sent out a tweet saying, “Hey, send Noddy,” which is Michael  Lynagh’s nickname, send a tweet, “Get well Noddy,” and we’ll pass it on to the family, and, you know, it’s not going to help him get better, but it is going to rally the rugby community, send their messages of support. I’m sure, you know, as the guys at the AOU handover pages and pages of tweets to the family, it will mean a lot to the Lynagh family just to see that he’s getting a lot of support, and, you know, we send out our best wishes to the family, but it’s just another way to, one, get the information out because you might check the newspapers and not find that information, so it’s a way for teams, in this case the AOU, makes sure that the rugby community knows that one of their own is in a bit of trouble.

FRANK: Yes, certainly, they did rally around Michael. We spoke with Andrew , his former teammate, yesterday on the program, and he’s recovering, but he’s got a long way to go after suffering that stroke earlier in the week. Have you got a podium for us today?

SEAN: Well just, actually, just one more on—we did speak about it a bit about four weeks ago, Kony 2012 “Cover the Night” was last night, and as I was driving in I did see obviously some kids had still rallied to the cause, and I did see a couple of Kony 2012 posters up around Melbourne, so I don’t know if anyone else joined in the fun of promoting the Kony 2012. We discussed that when they brought out the issue clips, so I need you to see if anyone else and how it goes in America.

FRANK: Just on that they’ve posted a second film, haven’t they, a follow-up to the original Kony 2012.

SEAN: Yes because there were some concerns and people worried about the funding and stuff, so they’ve sort of done that, and even the fan had a little bit of a crazy time there and they’re going to be caught up with the celebrity, but the cover of the night actually went through, you know last night here, and it’ll be in the states tomorrow, so it needs to be seen what good kind of coverage it gets in America tomorrow.

FRANK: Sean Callanan with the say on Digital Sports Guru here on Grandstand Breakfast. We always have a podium of three, two and one for those in the digital space on Twitter and other social media who’ve done interesting things this week. What have you got for us?

SEAN: So, what I want to do is get away from Twitter and have a quick look at Pinterest Day invented to the really good article on Sports Geek on how sports names are using Pinterest. We talked about Pinterest as way to share photos and stuff, and so the bronze medal goes to Man City, and if you check out one of their boards, I have a board called “City Tattoos,” and there is one of the most gruesome tattoos you’ve ever seen in your life there, with effectively the Manchester City logo tattooed onto the guy’s heart.

FRANK: It’s pretty full on.

SEAN: It is pretty full on. The Anaheim Ducks have done a pretty good job on Pinterest, as well. They actually shared the tweets and Facebook posts and things that the fans are doing, but one of the ones that is leading the way and doing really well in the digital space is the Boston Celtics sharing stats and boards, and they’ve been running a Pin-It competition, so they’re instead in a game in cyber space and had a little bit of fun.

FRANK: Pin-It-To-Win-It.

SEAN: Pin-It-To-Win-It, yeah!

FRANK: They got to vote on that one first…It’s a beauty.

SEAN: Yeah, exactly, so everyone will be following them, but, yeah. Let’s check out sports on Pinterest and we’ve got the article on

FRANK: Remind us what Pinterest is because it’s a bit different to Instagram, isn’t it?

SEAN: It’s a pin board, so as you find photos and things that you like you pin them to boards, and so like I said, Manchester City might have a City Tattoos. A lot of the teams are doing Pets Who Follow Us, and so they should pin pets, dogs and cats that are wearing their team’s colors. They do baking goods. They should share merchandise.

FRANK: So it’s more on the subject matter. You can direct to what subject matter.

SEAN: So it’s a real visual medium, so you pin pictures that you like to that fit your brand, and then people re-pin them to their boards because their fans of your team, so it’s a real, you know, you just surf along, look at all those pictures. They’re pretty. I liked that one. I re-pinned that one, so we’re having a lot of traffic back to websites, so on and so. The sportscenter is starting to delve into it.

FRANK: Get on you’re sure. Now get to make a little point today.

SEAN: Thank you very much, and good luck with maybe us…

FRANK: (laughter) I haven’t got this one quite yet. It’s New York 6, Boston 2, top of the 8th, no outs and a man on second for the Yankees at the moment, but dear, it hasn’t been a great start to the year for the Red Sox, but this game and over the next few days might be crucial to their season given it is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. You’ll have to get there one day.

SEAN: I will. I have to be there in August for a conference, so I’m looking forward to it.

FRANK: By then it could be ugly for bargaining if they keep playing the way they are. Remind people how they kind of find him:

SEAN: That’s it,, @sportsgeekhq or @SeanCallanan on Twitter.

FRANK: He’s everywhere. Sean Callanan our Digital Sports Guru here on Grandstand Breakfast.

Wildcats step up Twitter game

Following the lead of the @LAKings the @PerthWildcats have thrown down the challenge to an entire country!

Jump on board Australia & give it a retweet.

Trash talking on Twitter… @LAKings go hard in the playoffs


Those on Twitter know it sometimes can be a great place for some playful banter amongst friends but is it OK for sports teams?

Take a look at this tweet after Game 1 LA Kings offend Canada with a tweet after winning game 1 as 8 seed against Vancouver Canucks.  (Hat Tip to for tipping us this story)

We discussed it on Harftime, what do you think?  It’s a fine line but we’re OK with the Kings tweet as long as it fits with the brand of the team.

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Doc Turf and Ralphy share a Twitter Joke

When Trash Talk goes wrong

What about personal brands?  When can you take trash talking or jokes too far?

Take a look at the problems that media personalities Doc Turf and Ralphy took on when they shared a poor joke during the Logies on Sunday.

Firstly Doc shouldn’t have tweeted the joke & Ralphy drew more attention by commenting & retweeting it.

Ralphy tried to backpedal by deleting the tweet (kindly captured by @nonsensiblekate assume all tweets will be captured by someone) & distancing himself from the Doc’s tweet.  Find more samples of #digisportfail on our Pinterest board

If you are tweeting on behalf of your employer or work in the media before you tweet you need to think “will this be newsworthy?”  It is the same advice we give to athletes, treat Twitter like a radio or TV interview.


But we can see you did tweet about it Ralphy, on Twitter much better to own up to your mistake & move on.

You do remember the Collingwood Twitter war?

Podcast Transcript

HARF: Twelve minutes to 3:00 p.m. Sean Callanan our Digital Media Sports Guru is with us at sportsgeekhq. You can find him on just about any platform. Good day, Seany.

SEAN: Good day, Harf, how are you doing?

HARF: I’m doing well. I see you there in your Rangers t-shirt. You’re in a real playoff mode, obviously.

SEAN: I am, yes, it’s fired up there and the thing that’s fired up in the Western Conference is the LA Kings versus the Vancouver Canucks.

HARF: Well, it’s been a messy upset—3 , zip.

SEAN: The 3, zip, yeah, well, the Kings are the eighth seed and the Canucks are the one seed, but what has caused a bit of controversy is the way that the LA Kings have been tweeting throughout the series, so they’ve won game one and they tweeted to everyone in Canada except British Columbia, “You’re welcome.” So it’s effectively tweeting in the same way as Nelson on the Simpson’s would with the **radio HA-HA NOISE*** There we go; very good Jumper. And it had 13,000 re-tweets.

HARF: That’s a lot.

SEAN: That is a lot of re-tweets.
HARF: That is very funny from them. That’s just an Australian version of suffering in your jocks.

SEAN: It is a bit, and it is something that I guess everyone who’s trying to drive, you know, whether it’s the L.A. Kings or any of the sports teams, they’re going to figure out how much damage that they could do to the brand if they went a little bit too far. Through mine it was a just a little bit edgy.

HARF: That’s good.

SEAN: After they won game two they said apologies in advance; Kings win game 2. You know, so, again, they really fired up the Canuck’s fans, but you’ve got to think about what is the effect of the brain. I was talking to the guys at the West Coast Eagles before their game against the Giants and I said, “Look, most likely you’re going to win, but you don’t want to come across as overbearing, arrogant, bully. You just want to be reporting the facts. The fans will be jumping up and down that you’re way out in front, but you’ve got to be respectful of the opposition. You don’t want to be seen as belittling this new comer to the game.

HARF: Yes, that’s rapport.

SEAN: But, you know, in the fierce battle of playoff hockey, the last time I went to a hockey game was at Madison Square Garden. Thirty seconds in and the guy stands up and says, “Hit him with your stick.” And they did. They started to fight 30 seconds in between the Rangers and the Lightening. I think there was a few square ups happening there.

HARF: So, what it leaves to us I suppose is whether or not we will see, obviously, a little bit from the Kings is trash talk on Twitter from club to club.

SEAN: There’s a bit of that from player to player to a certain degree, but you know, and sometimes with the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs we did a bit of a digital battle where we got them fighting effectively and firing up their fans and tracking things, and I had that playful banter going backwards and forwards so it didn’t really get down to the point of the Kings, but it does come down to brand protection. And that is as much for teams as it is for athletics and people in the media.

So, I don’t know if you caught up with the Logies and Doc Turf and Ralphy got themselves in a little bit of strife.

HARF: Yeah, a soccer fan had a little bit of detail about that.

SEAN: And you’ve got to be very careful what you might just do as a little joke—you know, a bad joke that Doc Turf did. Then Ralphy made it worse by re-tweeting it to everybody and having his own little say, and then they started copying it from left, right and center, and quite rightly so. You know there were people offended by it. They’ve got to realize if they’ve gone and said it, they’ve got to own up to it.

HARF: You own it.

SEAN: And, yeah, Ralphy just tried the sneaky ‘I’m going to delete the tweet and then distance myself and throw Doc Turf under the bus,’ when he really should have just said apologies, ‘I made an error,’ and move on, and to a certain degree, it would have just, you know, the twitter would have float on. But by not owning it and by not apologizing, there’s a few of the tweets out there that are holding onto it like a dog with a bone and you’ve just got to own up to it and move on.

HARF: But it can be used in a really positive fashion, and I mean the Kings have done a classy example here because, particularly in playoffs and the finals in other sports, it is a game of doggy-dog and it’s really not a civilized game so it’s not exactly a run off, but there is a chance for the banter to flow back and forth should the Canucks come out and win game two, say, or then all of a sudden there’s terrific interaction between the fans.

SEAN: Exactly, and the guys who are running it, social media kids, are trying to gauge that emotionality of the fans and build it up for the next game. So the guys of the Perth Wildcats have got a bit long layaway between game one and game two. The next game is game two on Friday.

HARF: Sold out in four minutes.

SEAN: Sold out in four minutes and they’ve just been outside for another 200 tickets that’s going to happen next door. But you know what they’re doing today, tomorrow and the next day is to get the fans super excited for Friday. And so they’re going to be running some stuff on Instagram and getting them engaged on Facebook and Twitter, and the idea is to get that backwards and forwards going. So you know it’s just something to be mindful of. You want to be getting all the fans excited.

HARF: Having worked in this space for a little while yourself and looking after a few of the clubs in this space would you encourage them to get a bit more edgy with some of this communication.

SEAN: Well it’s got to compete with your team and your brand. You know, so for potentially for Collingwood, they’re running this whole “us” against “them” campaign. So it fits for them to say now currently, you know, they’re not in a position to be bold and arrogant because they don’t travel that well. There’re enough things, but potentially they could start up a Twitter storm to maybe distract everybody from everything else that’s happening is another way of looking at it. But, yes, you’ve got to make sure it’s consistent with what your team represents. You can’t go out and do a bold claim like that like the Kings did if it doesn’t fit with your brand and what your message is.

If you have to apologize for it well then it’s going to get you in strife.

HARF: Not enough strife for mine in this. It’s good fun—strife.

SEAN: Well, we just had a text there. People are saying that Ralphy hasn’t gotten in trouble and one thing I did tweet if brand in Fevola or maybe a football or tweet at what those guys have tweeted might have got a bit of coverage in the Herald Sun.

HARF: Definitely would have.

SEAN: So, yeah, he has been lucky to get off, in this case. Maybe there should be a Twitter Match Review panel , and, you know, is it intentional, medium contact, low impact. We mentioned the re-tweets and then maybe he gets suspended for a week and doesn’t tweet. Maybe we should bring that in next week, Harf.

HARF: Who’s on the panel? Is KB on that committee?
SEAN: Oh, he’s on every committee. He has to be, and he’d spend the whole time sending—what it is his Twitter? What are his tweets?

HARF: But we know that’s never going to be as topical as it should—let’s use a current player—whose tweets are a bit, should Jack Riewoldt have tweeted that it would have been a whole different story.

SEAN: Exactly…exactly, and the thing is it doesn’t matter how many. I guess it shows the power of the re-tweet. It doesn’t mean how many people who are following you. If people either had re-tweeted because they agree or re-tweeted because they think it’s wrong more people see it, so a doctor was treating an Australian during the Logies because of that one tweet.

HARF: Was he really?

SEAN: And he probably thinks ‘Oh, I don’t have that many followers. I’ll just sign this to my mates, and, you know, he’s going to get himself a little bit of strife. So the thing is if you’re going to make a joke make a joke that you would make on radio. If you’re not going to make it on radio or if you’re not going to put it in print I wouldn’t be tweeting it.

HARF: That’s pretty sound advice. Sean thanks for coming in, mate.

SEAN: No worries mate.

HARF: You can check him out at @sportsgeekhq on pretty much everywhere. Just type it in. You’ll find Sean and the work he does—the great work he does—apparently for us here and 1116 at SEN and for some of the big sports clubs across the globe.

Awesome ways sports teams are taking advantage of Pinterest

You’ve seen how sports are using Facebook. You follow your favourite teams on Twitter and see how they keep fans updated. Now, let’s focus on Pinterest. We’ve already looked at Pinterest in the Best of Digital Sports Weekly (#BODSW), and Sean’s discussed it on ABC Grandstand, describing it as, “the Jeremy Lin of Social Media”. You can even follow me on Pinterest, as well as Sean and the Sports Geek-managed, “Sports on Pinterest” page, detailing and repining content from teams as it becomes available. So, what is Pinterest?

Pinterest is, simply, a digital pinboard that is used for social photo sharing. It allows users to create and manage theme based “boards”, where similar photos and links can be pasted and shared across the Pinterest network. Like other social media websites, Pinterest holds positive value for sporting organisations, so here is a look at 30 ways sporting teams are using Pinterest.

Pinterest as a platform for merchandise

With the idea of Pinterest being centred around images that are eye catching for other users, using the space to promote team merchandise is an effective way to implement the platform as part of an overall digital sports strategy. It is also a strategy that many teams have already employed, with the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago White Sox all creating merchandise specific pin boards.

Seattle unveils their 2012-13 Uniforms on Pinterest

We jump into a huge one here the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. With the NFL transferring their uniform and apparel license to Nike for the upcoming season, all squads are undergoing changes to their uniforms. Some of the biggest changes will be seen in the Seahawks’ uniforms. As far as Pinterest goes, the Seahawks have been very clever, creating an entire board showing all their new uniforms (home, away and alternate strip) in one space, making it easier for fans to have their say on the new uniforms.

Rip City’s shrine to Brandon Roy

Just prior to this season, Portland Trail Blazers‘ superstar Brandon Roy was forced into an early retirement due to recurrent degenerative knee injuries. But while gone from the court, the Portland Trail Blazers created a, “Never Forget No. 7″ pin board, to make sure that Brandon is never forgotten by the Rip City faithful. It’s a great way of using Pinterest to honour a team legend.


The Boston Celtics have a rather fierce rivalry with the Miami Heat, and it’s a rivalry that the proud Boston Celtics are interested in developing further. With the NBA Playoffs rapidly approaching and the Celtics potentially facing the Heat in the Eastern Conference bracket,the Celtics have created a pin board entitled #IAmNotSouthBeach, made up entirely of images from Celtics-Heat games. While the hashtag is generally best left for the Twitter domain, the use of it here offers many advantages for the Cs. They can encourage fans to post their Cs-Heat pics here, as well as their ‘I Am A Celtic” shots, making the #IAmNotSouthBeach pin board, their 2011-2012 team slogan and Twitter presence link together perfectly. One of the cleverer uses for Pinterest that I’ve discovered so far.

Milwaukee keeps tradition alive

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, like others on Pinterest, have created a pin board where they post images from the past, as a way to reconnect fans with the history and character of the franchise. It’s a cool and entertaining way to use Pinterest, really, because sports fans are known as a nostalgic lot, and would get a lot of joy from seeing old photos that rekindle memories of players in their glory years.

The Falcons spruik tailgating

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you know what tailgating is. With tailgating being such a huge part of the NFL Sunday tradition for thousands (if not millions) of fans, it’s great to see the Atlanta Falcons understanding their supporter base and creating a fun board where great tailgating recipes can go. Creative (and delicious) to say the least.

The Miami Heat get creative

Pinterest is, for all intents and purposes, just a fun, be yourself type of space. With the personality and overriding theme of the space in mind, the Miami Heat have done a great job with their “1971-72 Miami Floridians” pin board. With the Heat wearing their throwback jerseys i numerous games this season, it’s a great way to show the players letting off a little steam and having fun during the season by paying tribute to the history of the franchise. As I said, it’s creative, fun and well worth a look.

The Brewers market their facilities

The Milwaukee Brewers are using Pinterest expertly with this one, shopping their facilities for hire on non-gamedays. With a stadium that is still shiny from it’s 2001 building, the Brewers publishing pictures of their world-class facility, and the link through to all the hiring details, it’s definitely an outside-the-square use for Pinterest. The only question is, does the platform reach the intended target market? An interesting one to keep your eyes on.

One for the ladies of Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC have targeted women with one of their pin boards, creating a board for “LFC’s Best Looking Players Ever”. With heart throbs such as Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Australia’s own Harry Kewell featuring, it’s an interesting ploy, to say the least.

The Mavs work on their community building

In the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks, who we praised in our Facebook Timeline reviews, are at it again with Pinterest. While their boards feature basketball-related stuff as well, they’ve created a very unique pin board, entitled Texans are pinning it BIG!, where Texans and Mavs fans are instructed to, “…pin ANYTHING that is to do with Texas!”. Like Milwaukee’s advertising of their facilities and Liverpool’s left-of-centre board, the Mavs’ Texas-based board is an outstanding and creative way to build a Mavericks community on Pinterest.

The Dodgers give some focus to the kids

Like most teams who are on Pinterest, the Los Angeles Dodgers are using it as a place to put pictures of all their merchandise. They have effectively created a stand alone pin board for kids, where junior Dodgers’ fans can seek out the coolest LA-themed toys, clothing or night light.

Friends in high places

The NRL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs have one of the better boards seen during this review. Entitled “Famous Fans”, the pin board is used to publish famous figures wearing Rabbitohs gear in all sorts of places as discussed on Sports Geek Podcast. As said above, the boys from South Sydney have some friends in high places.

Get to know a dawg

Here at Sports Geek, we are huge fans of info graphics. It should come as no surprise, then, that we are fans of what the Washington Huskies are doing with their Pinterest account. They have some great boards like, “Seatown Swag“, which sells the city of Seattle to prospective students and “Best 4 years of your life“,  again, promoting how great the University of Washington is. But their best board, titled, “Get to know a Dawg“, features cool info graphics of their players, like the one that appears above.

It’s really unique, at the moment, to have info graphics on single players (remember the Linfographic?), and the Huskies use it to perfection. It gives the fans a look into players and coaches in an effective and creative way. A definite A+ grade from Sports Geek.

Pittsburgh uses art to reach fans

With Pinterest being such a visual-based sharing network, the Pittsburgh Penguins have created a pin board purely for fan art, where they post fan drawings, paintings, and other artistic work. This pin board works because it pays homage to the loyal, creative fans whilst not bombarding the official Facebook or Twitter account with fan-created content, which could drive some fans away from those mediums. Win-win situation here for the Pens, using Facebook and Twitter for official duty, and keeping a Pinterest board purely for fan-generated content.

Oregon promotes their strong relationship with Nike

The relationship between Nike and the University of Oregon Ducks is well documented, with Nike co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman initially establishing their relationship whilst at the University. To further enhance their relationship and get mutually beneficial results, the Oregon Ducks have created a pin board purely for Nike products and advertisements that promote both Nike and the Ducks. It’s the first of it’s kind, with a team actively promoting a specific company, and, with over 1,800 followers on this pin board alone, it looks to be a healthy connection between school and supplier.

Man City: The Passion of the Fan

There are passionate fans, then there are passionate fans. To honour their most passionate legion of supporters, Manchester City have created a tattoo-inspired pin board, where City’s biggest fans can show off their club tattoos for the world to see. With fan connection and engagement the key to sports and social media, this pin board is a great way for City to connect with the fans who are obviously very passionate about their boys in light blue.

Tottenham’s new stadium plans

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that Tottenham Hotspur have had plans for a new stadium to be built so the team can add state-of-the-art facilities to it’s nearing-the-elite squad. To get their fans excited, the Spurs have created a pin board that is dedicated to the new stadium plans. The board only has 4 pins on it at the moment, but as long as they continue to add to it as the stadium gets built, it can be an extremely effective fan engagement tool for the North London team.

Women of the Washington Redskins

We all know the numbers relating to Pinterest’s demographics, with a huge percentage of users being women.Of all the teams reviewed, the Washington Redskins take advantage of this segment the best, creating an official Women of Washington Redskins Women’s Club Pinterest page. Pin boards on the WOWs page aren’t generally female-related stereotypical boards, but have a definite female flavour to them. With the typical Pinterest user being a female, the Skins are definitely using Pinterest to target the correct demographic.

Seattle Mariners Safeco Field bucket list

The Seattle Mariners have created a pin board on their Pinterest page that gives information to fans about events and happenings at their home diamond, Safeco Field, that they didn’t know they could do. Similar to Milwaukee creating a board about hiring out Miller Park facilities, the Marimers “Bucket List” page promotes the ballpark and adds to the importance and aura of the stadium when the Mariners take to the field. In a word, they use Pinterest the way it should be used; creatively.

Buffalo’s Breast Cancer Awareness Board

One of the classier boards seen on Pinterest, the Buffalo Bills display some breast cancer awareness-themed team gear on their boards. With the NFL dedicating a full month of games to breast cancer awareness, where players wear pink boots, gloves, hand towels, etc., it’s a really classy move from the Bills, and they should be applauded for creating a board that helps such a great cause. Will be one of the better boards on Pinterest if they continue to update it once the season kicks off and breast cancer awareness month is in full swing again.

Pats baking ideas

The New England Patriots, similar to the Falcons with their tailgating recipes, created a baking pin board that is full of Pats-inspired sweet treats and recipes. Like other teams on here targeting their female fans, the Pats obviously have a good understanding of who they are targeting via this medium and this pin board really hits the mark.

Cavs create wallpapers

One of the best and easiest ways to show your support for your team is through computer and phone backgrounds displaying your team colours and/or favourite players. But, sometimes, finding the right one can be an arduous task. To make it easier, the Cleveland Cavaliers have created a pin board where their official team-themed backgrounds can be found and downloaded. Creative? Not earth shattering. Effective? Very.

Edmonton’s pet pride

People absolutely love their pets. When they combine the love of their pets with the love for their team, a marriage of epic cuteness arises. Well, the Edmonton Oilers have taken this marriage and dedicated a pin board to it. Titled “Pet Pride”, the board features fan made pictures of their pets showing their support for the Oilers. The idea has been used by many other teams, but the Oilers seem to have developed it the best. Great work as it is a board that will definitely gain traction with both female fans and animal lovers on Pinterest.

Major League Baseball: Food and Mascots

Food, typical “ballpark” food, is a huge part of the drawcard of fans attending Major League Baseball games. To celebrate this, the official MLB Pinterest page created a board solely dedicated to ballpark food. Personally, I think it’s a clever board to make and definitely helps fan engagement. With over 3,000 followers on the board, it looks to be a winner.

The second MLB board that has upwards of 3,000 followers is the mascot board. Titled, “Mascots are People too”, the board is another creative and fun initiative by the MLB. With mascots being a large part of fan interaction and entertainment at games, it’s smart to promote them as a big part of the MLB brand.

The AFL’s screamer board

The final pin board that will be looked at is the AFL’s “Marks of the Year” board. The screamer is a massive drawcard of AFL football, and we all remember when we see a huge grab. To take advantage of this, the AFL has a pin board that shows the Mark of the Year winners from the last 15 seasons. Featuring grabs from Ashley Sampi, Chris Tarrant, and Gary Moorcroft’s beautiful grab, it’s a great idea from the AFL. Hopefully, as an improvement to the board, they start to expand it from being exclusive for winners of the contest to posting pictures of all great grabs from throughout the season.

Make sure to follow us on Pinterest

So there you have it, a quick rundown of 30 interesting and fun ways teams are utilising the newest social media sensation. You can check out our Sports Geek, “Sports on Pinterest” board, and follow Sean or myself as well, to keep up with the latest from the sports digital world.

Check out the Sports Geek Video Guide to Pinterest

Gain access to over 50 minutes of training & tips on Pinterest such as

  • How to setup a Pinterest Brand Account
  • Selling on Pinterest
  • Pinterest Board Strategy
  • Fan Engagement on Pinterest
  • Boosting Traffic Via Pinterest

Sports Geek’s Video Guide to Pinterest contains over 50 minutes of Pinterest goodness!
Click here to see gain access to the video!

Melbourne Storm Vs Canterbury Bulldogs Social Media #digibattle results

The Melbourne Storm hosted the Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on Saturday but there was also a #digibattle setting digital fans against each other on Facebook & Twitter.

The Build Up

Via Website – The #digibattle is ON! Storm V Bulldogs

On Facebook

Storm fire up fans on Facebook before the game


On Twitter

Via Website – Bulldogs VS Storm Digital Battle

On Facebook

Bulldogs fans we're fired up for a big game against the Storm

On Twitter


The Results


Metric: Number of likes obtained pre-game

Melbourne Storm – 147,321 Facebook fans, 1761 likes, 150 shares & 84 comments
Canterbury Bulldogs – 80,016 Facebook fans, 551 likes, 22 shares & 109 comments

Canterbury Bulldogs (*adjusted to match Storm FB fan numbers) – 1014 likes, 41 shares & 201 comments

Sports Geek Analysis:   Storm asked fans to share getting great reach with 150 shares, the Doggies fans have their say with more comments.  Always remember you goals when posting to Facebook and don’t be afraid to ask fans to like and share.

Melbourne Storm WIN


Metric: Battle of the Hashtags – #PurplePride Vs #DogsOfWar

Storm #PurplePride – 14,317 Twitter followers, 1471 tweets, 501 people tweeting & 362 retweets
Bulldogs #DogsOfWar – 8,765 Twitter followers, 1189 tweets, 387 people tweeting & 291 retweets
Bulldogs (*adjusted to match Storm FB fan numbers) – 1942 tweets, 469 people & 475 retweets

Sports Geek Analysis: Great result for Bulldogs who only started using #dogsofwar this year.  Although Storm has more people tweeting the Bulldogs fans were more active tweeting & retweeting more showing their digital cheer squad supported their team despite the result.

Canterbury Bulldogs WIN

Perhaps a rematch will occur come finals time?

Good work by Dan & Jess behind the scenes both working hard for Storm & Bulldogs, perhaps we’ll add Instagram as a Tiebreaker in the Finals?

Is the changing media space forcing changes in sports?


In this ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we look at how the changing media is changing sports broadcasting & journalism.

 Download mp3

Is media consumption changing sports media?

After a discussion off-air in previous week’s Francis & I discussed how the changes to the digital media is now changing the way we consume sports.

Media is shortening

Print 800-2000 words > Blog 400-500 words > Facebook – Sentence > Tweet 140 chars > Instagram – Picture only

Social TV allows people to tune in when the game gets interesting rather than watch the whole game.
– NBA alerts fans via Twitter to tune in to League Pass
– NFL has Red Zone alerts when teams are with 20 yards

Where does this leave long form storytelling in broadcasting & journalism?

  • telecasts & even sports are being shortened, T20 best example others to follow. 20 minute AFL preseason, harness racing, hockey, soccer all looking at modified games.
  • will we see broadcasters like Vin Scully who paint the picture

Bucking the trend – – Led by Bill Simmons pushing long form articles in digital space.

What do you think?  How has your consumption of sports changed?

Sports Geek Medals – Stanley Cup edition

Vancouver Canucks AustraliaThanks to Myles Harris from for assisting in awarding the #digisport medals this week.  Hope the Canucks fans enjoyed it.

Bronze – James van Riemsdyk

James Van Riesmsdyk of the Philly Flyers doing a great job of replying & having fun with fans.

Silver – Bob McKenzie – TSN Hockey Insider

Does a great job as a broadcaster to provide that little bit extra for the fans.

Gold – Trevor Linden

Retired Canucks God according to Myles but provides good perspective on games as a former player.

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

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

Podcast transcription

FRANCIS: Francis Leach with you for breakfast here on ABC Grandstand Breakfast. I hope your Saturday morning is shaping up well. Our man Sean Callanan, he’s the guru when it comes to all things digital sports media, and he’s with us again today. He’s got a bit of the sad face on, as a Collingwood fan. He’s an emoticon that would be the sad face.

SEAN: I’m not a big fan of emoticons, but, yes, it would be a sad face, Francis.

FRANCIS: I’ve never seen you tweet an emoticon.

SEAN: I’m not an emoticon guy, but, nah, yeah. I draw the line at emoticons. I’ll leave that for my teenage kids.

FRANCIS: Okay, It’s interesting that the topic you’re bringing up this morning is about how the sport’s media is changing the way we watch sport, particularly because of our access to digital and social media.

SEAN: Well, yes, it is just a little bit, and we were discussing this last week off air, about how our access to so many different sports is changing and we’ve got so many different options and it’s really affecting the way that we consume media.
If we look 20 years ago, we’d watch five days of cricket in summer and watch four games of footy and things like that in winter, but now we’ve got so much. We talk a lot about the premier league in the UK and the NBA, and we’ve got so much more access to those, but also we’re not tuning in for the whole game. So there’s a bit of a phenomenon called social TV, where social media is trying to drive and draw traffic and it’s sort of the ‘look-at-me mentality.’

FRANCIS: Is that where Fango comes from?

SEAN: Oh, (sighs in disgust)….

FRANCIS: I know you hate it, but that’s an attempt to do that. Is that really a hand fisted attempt to do that?

SEAN: It’s a little bit of an attempt to do that. It’s sort of to try to trap the conversation is probably a good way of putting it, to sort of have these people talking about it, to keep them engaged with the show. But it was probably more like when the NFL started a little bit earlier with their red zone alerts.

FRANCIS: And how did that work?

SEAN: Well probably because they have so many games happening at the same time and they’ve got all these people playing fantasy football. You know they start with mobile alerts to say, ‘Hey, the quarterback’s within 20 yards of the goal line, so there’s a chance for a touchdown; there’s a chance for a scoring play, tune in.’ So people would flick their TVs across. So it ends up rather than sitting there watching a whole game and having the broadcasters tell the story and talk about the back story and how some guys come from college or he’s coming back from a knee injury, they’re just tuning in for that highlight package at the end.

FRANCIS: Have they been able to track how effective it’s been in switching numbers of eyeballs to tune into games once they’ve been directed and alerted by a social media.

SEAN: Well, the analytics for that is coming up. I mean it’s only still developing but the NBA is doing the same now with, you know, they’re using their Twitter account to point people to League Pass, to say, ‘Hey, guys, there’s a hot game on. Durant and LeBron James are going off, five minutes to go, it’s game on, tune over.

So, one, it’s getting people to tune in and a lot of people want to blame Sports Center for that highlight mentality, but people now are only tuning in for the best parts of the game, whether it’s generated by the leagues or whether it’s generated by fans and their followers. If you’re sitting there, and I know I do it at times, whether it’s sport or other TV shows, if my Twitter feed starts filling up with ‘Hey, you’ve got to watch Media Watch’ or Q & A is going off, and that causes people to tune in. We’ve seen the same thing with sport, so it’s really the way that the media is being condensed. We used to be reading magazines and long form articles and then they become digital articles, so then they become a bit shorter because you’ve got to read them on your mobile, and then they become blog posts so they’re shorter again, then they’re just sentences on Facebook, and then finally they’re just tweets or they’re just Instagram photos.

So they’re becoming shorter and shorter in the way that it’s being consumed and so journalism and the way it’s being presented back to sports fans is changing, as well.

FRANCIS: 1-300-460-644, if you want to join the conversation, 1-300-460-644 is our number. Give us a call if you are somebody who relies on your Twitter account or indeed Facebook or whichever social media you use to direct you to the sport you watch. If you see a flag go up on your phone that says five minutes to go game on do you tune in and is somebody that actually gets involved in letting people know about that stuff, as well, and which sources do you rely on to direct you to the sport that you want to watch, 1-300-460-644, or you can send us a tweet, hashtag #grandstand.

Are we sacrificing quality and analysis for simplicity and instant access?

SEAN: Oh, definitely, you know, the days of Vince Scully, he’s the famous Dodger’s broadcaster, he’s still commentating, and he does it all by himself. He’s talking to the fan the whole way through the game. Yes, gone are the days of those kinds of guys because the broadcasters are under pressure to produce those highlight reels, to produce those tapes. But also the sports are changing. We are seeing it with T20.
The longer form of the game isn’t as appealing from a TV in a digital point of view and so they’re looking for shortened forms of the game. A lot of sports now are even looking at ‘well it’s not just our reporting we’ve got to change the game,’ so go to a shortened form. We’re seeing it with cricket, hockey is experimenting it with less players, bigger nets. Even harness racing is thinking about doing a one lap race, sort of a 20/20 style form for harness racing.

FRANCIS: Does the horse have to wear colored clothing?

SEAN: Well, yeah, potentially it would be pajama top racing but you have to train, unfortunately, the horses that can’t say ‘No, I’m just a 20/20 type racer.’

FRANCIS: You can’t be the Chris Gayle of horses.

SEAN: Exactly, you just have to train it at least, so where is it going to end really? It’s a strange one.

FRANCIS: With this, are the sports organizations catching on and trying to own the conversation and is that what we’re seeing here, as well? I mean, are they trying to because sports organizations are extremely mindful of their reputation and their image and are they trying to shy away from the fans taking control of all of this?

SEAN: Yeah, a little bit, but it’s really, it’s just another way for them to serve their TV masters. What they’re seeing is the attention being spread, with one being other sports, the other being gaming. You know 20 years ago people weren’t spending 20, 25 hours a week playing games. Sometimes people want to play as Tiger Woods rather than watch Tiger Woods, so you can play as LeBron James on the Xbox or the Play Station rather than watch him. So they’re competing against other things so it’s a way to keep the price of TV rights going up. The TV, the sports have to work harder at making sure the fans are invested.

FRANCIS: Is anyone backing the trend? Is anyone the vinyl record of this new digital age if you decided that this all well and good, but I prefer old fashioned long form writing and considered analysis with five pages of prose.

SEAN: And, well, it is quite strange that Bill Simmons, Sports Guy 33, who we’ve profiled and go to #digisport medal in the first show. He’s actually taking it completely in the other direction. He set up, which is dedicated to long form articles. And so it’s even gone to the point where you can now get those articles in print. You can get the Grantland Quaterly and actually get a book of articles.

FRANCIS: He is the vinyl records of sports reporting.

SEAN: He is, and there is an appetite for it, so it is just a matter of how it is presented. He’s still using all short form scenarios and Facebook and Twitter to tease the audience. There might be ten articles and only the articles that you’re interested in you will invest in, so whether you’re a Knicks fan and you read one about the plight of the Knicks or, you know, if he does an article on the Red Sox you’ll tune in and rate it or you’ll listen to the podcast, so there is a tendency to go there and I think there’ll be a lot of media partners looking at that model and going how can we do it? It’s still effectively a niche, but it’s providing that same thing in a digital offering.

FRANCIS: And in Australia we had the Football Almanac as well, which was put together by John Harms and a bunch of other local writers who write long form, considerate pieces about Australia’s football. They’re doing a cricket one, as well, which is more about a contemplative approach to sports reporting that you can take away and enjoy at any time rather than just getting the instance fix.

SEAN: Yean, exactly, and as more people start using that long form on their iPads and their devices it may become a bit more accepted.

FRANCIS: Okay, what’s on the podium this week in the digital sports world, Sean Callanan?

SEAN: Well, this week we’ve got the NHL. The Stanley Cup is heating up.

FRANCIS: We love the Stanley Cup.

SEAN: And we actually shared a tweet from the LA Kings to everyone in not in Bristish Columbia Canada, ‘You’re welcome,’ after they beat the number one seed, Vancouver Canucks. So thanks to and we actually spoke to Myles Harris of the He set up a site for Vancouver Canuck fans in Australia, and he’s doing a great job telling people about ice hockey.

We got a couple here from, if you want to be following the Stanley Cup, James Van Riesmsdyk, or JVReemer21 for the Philly Flyers. He is a player that’s doing a good job. From a broadcaster point of view we’ve got TSN Bob McKenzie, who is a bit of a hockey insider, who’ll keep you informed of everything that’s happening in the Stanley Cup, and I have to give the gold because Myles is a big Canucks fan, obviously, to Trevor Linden, Trever_Linden, whose a Canuck’s God who is now retired but is obviously backing for the Canucks and providing that perspective of a player from Twitter.
Get behind the Stanley Cup. It should be exciting. The playoffs have just started.

FRANCIS: The biggest trophy in world sports.

SEAN: Oh, one of the best, one of the best, and I’ve been lucky enough to actually have my photo taken with it.

FRANCIS: It’s above your head when you stand up next to it; does it sort of tower over you?

SEAN: Yes, it is a big trophy, and you can’t touch it. No one’s allowed to touch it. You can only touch the trophy if you’ve actually won it, so…

FRANCIS: It’s like Spinal Tap but don’t you touch those guitars. Don’t touch it. Don’t even look at it.

SEAN: It’s a bit that way. I might have to dig in the archives. It was about 15 years ago when the photo was taken, so it’s a much younger version of me but lucky enough to actually have my picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

FRANCIS: Great stuff, again, mate. Where can we follow you on Twitter.

SEAN: @Sportsgeekhq or @SeanCallanan or

Storm Vs Bulldogs in a #digibattle

The Melbourne Storm are 6-0 and are facing a tough challenge against the Canterbury Bulldogs on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

To spice things up they’ll be firing up the digital battle for their fans with over 220,000 Facebook fans, 20,000 Twitter followers between them we expect the action online will be as fierce as on the field.

How will it work?

The battle will be fought over Facebook & Twitter, stay tuned to both teams as they fire up their fans on Facebook and Twitter.

Who will get the most likes on Facebook on Game-Day?

Which team’s hashtag will dominate the conversation on Twitter?

It will be a similar battle to what we ran last year for Collingwood & West Coast Eagles.

Are you in the Storm camp showing #purplepride?

Storm on Facebook

Storm on @MelbStormRLC

Are you a Bulldog fan ready to maul #dogsofwar?

Bulldogs on  Facebook

Bulldogs on @NRL_Bulldogs

Good luck to Dan & Jess as they battle it out for control of the Internet.

Stay tuned on Monday for the results.

Ben Polis, Jason Misfud & Surfing Tweeps


In this ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the PR disaster that is Ben Polis & the spin around Jason Misfud.

Download mp3

Ben Polis… Don’t Blame Facebook

Here is a Storify recap of the Ben Polis story.

Moral to the story: Don’t be a dickhead on social media, you WILL be found out.

Find more posts on the #digisportfail Pinterest board.

PR Spin in Social Media age – Jason Mifsud

With fans chiming in on Mifsud/Thomas/Neeld saga on social media does that mean that AFL CEO Andy D needs to rethink the PR spin?

Social media is giving fans a voice & they don’t have to accept the company line from AFL.

Sports Geek Medals – Surfing edition

The Bells Beach Pro took the attention of sports fans in Melbourne with some great shots & vision but also many fans were alerted via Twitter to tune in.

Bronze – Mick Fanning

Won, could tweet more but does some fine work on Instagram as @mfanno.

Silver – Sally Fitzgibbons

Great at replying to fans in between sets.

Gold – Kelly Slater

May have lost yesterday but keeps talking with fans & even star struck NRL players like George Rose.

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

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

Facebook Timeline: Another 21 Reviews

Facebook Timeline has taken the world by storm. With it’s official release just a week old now, we’ve already reviewed 42 sporting teams and personalities and how they’ve implemented Timeline. Today, let’s have a look at the next wave of adopters and what updates our early adopters have made.

The New

Pittsburgh Penguins

The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins are absolutely flying on the ice, and are showing some great stuff on Facebook. The apps used by the Pens are stock standard, but with the return of superstar Sidney Crosby after some career-threatening concussions, the cover photo being a shot of Sid the Kid is a great move by the Penguins in the lead-in to the playoffs. Very inspirational for players and fans having the captain back at the business end of the season.

Dallas Mavericks

Moving on to the reigning Champion Dallas Mavericks now, who are one of the rare teams to display both a great cover picture and use the apps feature effectively. Unlike most teams, the Mavs don’t feature the “Like” button as one of their first three or four apps, but have aMavs Radio app, where fans from around the world can listen live, and a Championship Collection, where fans can relive the ring ceremony as well as purchase they own Mavs Championship gear. All in all, it’s probably the most complete Facebook Timelines in the sporting industry at the moment.

Dallas' Instagram inspired cover photo is a swish!



Arsenal are another team who have nailed their cover photo. Not only do the Gunners have arguably the best cover photo for a team, with league leading scorer Robin Van Persie calmly slotting one of his 26 goals, but they also have one of the best apps on Facebook. The app, called the 125 Project, which gives Arsenal fans a chance to write about their best memories of Arsenal in their 125 year history. It’s a remarkable addition to the Timeline and engages fans and let’s them contribute in a very meaningful fashion.

The AFL Footy Show

In our last post, we showed you the organisations that, more or less, were putting Facebook Timeline to great use. Unfortunately, the AFL Footy Show hasn’t got the memo. There’s no cover photo, limited apps, and not a great understanding of the whole concept of Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants

Two more examples that, like the Footy Show, probably aren’t following the rules of Facebook Timeline are Major League Baseball teams. Most MLB franchises that have Facebook Timelines have a uniform cover photo of their home ballpark, with the vantage point generally being from a high standpoint above home plate. The two examples used here are the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants. Both use classy stadium shots, but unfortunately, break the rules.

As a simple cover photo, it’s fantastic, because it’s a great shot of the stadium, and most baseball fans are blindly faithful to their teams and their home field. Unfortunately where these cover shots fall down are with the inclusion of the team URL that, like Shaq’s cover photo, and as I said above, breaks the rules of Facebook Timeline cover photos.

The Brewers can nearly get away with this one, as their URL isn’t technically in the cover photo, but you get the idea; URLs aren’t intended for cover photos, they should go in the “About” section.

Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins

With the number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts are desperately trying to build their fan base up to be as dedicated as they were during the Peyton Manning Era. To do this on Facebook, they use a Path to the Draft app, which is rather effective, as well as a great cover photo, showing off the NFL’s new Nike-branded football apparel. Ironically, the Washington Redskins, who pick second in this draft after a blockbuster trade with the St. Louis Rams, employ a similar cover photo on their Facebook Timeline.

Kentucky Wildcats

Here we have yet another dedication to greatness in the cover photo, and why not? The Wildcats did just complete one of the best years in school history with a national title, using their cover photo to immortalise their five starters. Brilliant work here.

San Antonio Spurs

We look at the last of the “new boys” here (new boys being the ones not featured in the original post), with the San Antonio Spurs. In the middle of putting together another great season in the NBA, the Spurs’ cover photo is a definite winner, and, on this list, the only franchise that has their fans as the centre of attention on the cover photo. What a great way to create loyalty with fans, by visually showing them how important they are to the team. Another savvy move by the NBA’s savviest franchise.

The Updated

Los Angeles Lakers

From our last review, we can see a number of teams have updated their cover photos, due either to the incumbent being outdated, or an important event for the franchise has occurred. Here at Sports Geek, we know it’s important to update the cover photo and keep it relevant to help connect with fans better and create traffic toward the page.

The first updated Timeline we see just below is from the Los Angeles Lakers, who have updated their cover photo from the Kobe Bryant #maskedmamba beauty, to the Andrew Bynum Player of the Week dedication, to a dedication picture to former Laker Jamaal Wilkes, who has just been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2012. At the moment, the Lakers are one of the leaders in the clubhouse for creative Timeline cover photos and deserve much kudos.

The Lakers are one of the best when it comes to effective cover photos.

Note: After Kobe Bryant’s big game yesterday against the Clippers, the current Lakers cover photo looks like this:

Perth Wildcats

The first of the Sports Geek clients to appear in this post is the Perth Wildcats. With the NBL Finals nearing it’s tip-off date, the Wildcats use their cover photo as a call-to-arms for fans to get behind the ‘Cats as they push for the NBL Championship.

The 'Cats have a great call-to-arms on the Facebook Timeline cover photo.

FC Bayern München


FC Bayern München, like the Lakers, are a team that uses the cover photo to promote current events that have an affect on the organisation. Earlier this week, their cover photo featured superstar French winger, Franck Ribéry;

Stand up, if you love Franck Ribéry.

But with German striker Mario Gomez resigning until 2016, the Bavarians dedicate their cover photo to the Bundesliga’s leading scorer for season 2011-12. Great stuff, Bayern. Note: They use their apps very intelligently also, with a link to their impressive Allianz Arena, and a Facebook game titled, the new FC Bayern Star!

Mario Gomez leads the Bundesliga in goals this season.


The Carlton Football Club are being quite nostalgic and proud of their heritage with their Facebook Timeline so far. Initially, the image showed some past captains playing for Carlton, ending in a picture of current captain, Chris Judd (see the image here). Now, with coach Brett Ratten preparing to make history as he coaches the Blues for the 100th time, the Carlton Facebook Timeline cover photo is a dedication to some past coaches leading up to Brett Ratten. Again, the image is a very classy one (like the ones mentioned above) and sticks to the same theme as the club’s official website.

San Diego Chargers

Over to the States now, as we take a look at the San Diego Chargers. Even though their apps are quite basic, the last post we had on Facebook Timelines featured the Chargers, who had a dedication to retired guard Kris Dielman as their cover photo. Now, with the NFL in offseason, their cover photo features the new uniform, designed by Nike, that the NFL has just released. Again, it’s just a simple step of having the current photo relevant to the state of affairs of the organisation, but it’s effective nonetheless.

Greater Western Sydney

The AFL’s new boys, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, are pushing forth into the somewhat unknown of Sydney’s Western suburbs, and are pushing their promotional material hard. The picture below isn’t their current cover photo, but as you see, it tries to play on the popularity of West Coast’s Nic Naitanui, co-captain Callan Ward, and push fans to attend their round 3 clash at home against the high-flying Eagles.

While we generally say don’t use the cover photo for any sort of promotional activity, we give the new boys a break here as they set about building their fan base.

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys

Our second client the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, who this week have set their Facebook Timeline cover photo showing a try scored in last week’s win over the Canberra Raiders. We love this sort of team spirit photo at Sports Geek, and imagine that the Cowboys’ fans love it, too!

Adelaide Crows

Just like the Cowboys, fellow Sports Geek client the Adelaide Crows are taking advantage of their winning ways. Dating back to the NAB Cup competition, the Crows are winners of seven straight under first year coach Brenton Sanderson, which means that their fans are probably used to seeing the image that currently graces their Facebook page.

Can the Crows continue their winning ways?

West Coast Eagles

The Eagles’ Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy both dominated the Western Bulldogs on Sunday at Etihad Stadium, so why not feature them on the Facebook page? With over 110,000 Facebook fans now, the West Coast Eagles are another smart Sports Geek client regularly updating their cover photo.

Nic Naitanui is a huge fan favourite for the Eagles

Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs

The last two team Facebook pages that we will cover here are the Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Both teams were all smiles last week after victories in their Round 5 match ups, giving the fans what they wanted with the cover photos as well. Which was, of course, pictures from their triumph.

Greg Inglis is a superstar


Hopefully, from the 60-odd Facebook Timelines we at Sports Geek have looked at, we’ll leave you, now, with three lessons to keep in mind:

  • The cover photo is for one thing and one thing only: A cover photo. That means no URLs, no promotions, no sales. That goes in the About section.
  • A classy and eye catching cover photo, as well as relevant and timely updates of that space will keep fans interested and drive traffic back to your Facebook page. And lastly;
  • Like Arsenal’s 125 Year campaign, and Dallas’ championship package app, be creative and unique with your app building. It can greatly increase repeat visitors and, as the ultimate aim always is, please the fan.