Introducing the NFL Look Book

Sports Geek Look Book - NFL editionAt Sports Geek we are always keeping an eye on what leagues are doing in digital, in doing so we have decided to publish Look Books for each and every league around the world starting with the NFL.

What you’ll get:

  • PDF download profiling the home page of every NFL team
  • Stay tuned for more Look Books in the coming weeks
  • New subscribers will also get Sports Geek News weekly and a BONUS eBook of digital case studies

Thanks to the hardworking teams who built and keep the NFL team websites up to date.

Sign up to get NFL Look Book now

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Sports Geek Look Book – @NBA edition

At Sports Geek we are constantly looking a sports websites to see what the latest trends are in sports marketing, digital activations and sports content marketing strategies.  We are constantly taking notes using Evernote to clip examples that we might use in the future with Sports Geek clients.  So we have decided to shortcut that method for you by creating the Sports Geek Look Book to profile sports websites, our first edition highlights the team websites on the NBA.

You can flick through all NBA team websites via the slides below or fill out the form and we will email you a link to download the full page versions in PDF form.

We hope you like the Sports Geek Look Book, please share it with your friends and colleagues.


To those at the NBA and NBA teams who have put in the hard work to produce these sites we thank you as a fan and as a Sports Geek.

Look Book on Pinterest

Look Book on Harf Time

We discussed the Look Book on Harf Time today as well as the unfortunate hacking on the Burger King Twitter account.

This week’s Harf Time segment looked a new tool Tint and a site called Thuzio.

 Download mp3

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

Podcast transcription

Harf: And find out what’s happening on the sports digital and media ‘guruness’ and of course Sean Callanan is our man for all that from I’ve been caught on the hop here Sean, good afternoon.

Sean: Good day Harf can you hear me?

Harf: Yes I can.

Sean: Well that’s good. You get a few technical glitches, that’s why you just get a sports geek in!

Harf: That’s what we do on Harf time! What’s happening in the world of sports geekiness?

Sean: What we were doing, this week we launched the Sports Geek Look Book to look at all the NBA websites. So there’s thirty NBA websites and we’re constantly going around checking what they’re all doing, how they’re activating and commercialising their websites. So what we’ve done is taken the heavy clicking away from people and you can just go to and download the Look Book. So it has all the thirty teams and so you can see how they’re commercialising their website. Some of the teams have a presenting partner, some of them are really pushing their own team brand. Also how teams, depending on how they’re going travelling on the court, not everyone can have Lebron James to be selling out the stadium and everyone behind the Miami Heat. You’ve got to do different things. So you get to get a good feel for what all the different teams are doing, how they’re structuring their site in what type of content and they’re pushing, some of the teams are really pushing heavily into videos. The Trailblazers are doing a lot of work effectively on their own TV channel and pushing a lot of video content. So their site is very video heavy whereas other sites are really pushing, really locally.
Even though we all know we all follow the NBA from here in Australia, a lot of the NBA’s marketing efforts or at least the teams is very much localised to their local market. So there are a lot of offers there for local fans and part of that is to do with the way that the marketing and the rules around the NBA and what they can do, is available to them. Because NBA teams can only have sponsors and can only market to sponsors, I think it’s a seventy five mile radius. So even though they have global appeal they can’t go and push out a really big sponsorship activation, because then that becomes the territory of the NBA for the whole country and also the NBA globally. So even though you have these really big brands like The Celtics and The Lakers who have millions and millions of Facebook fans potentially driving to their site, when you go to the actual sites themselves they still seem rather localised in offering deals around the region whether it be Minneapolis for Minnesota or in Portland or around San Francisco for the Golden State Warriors.

Harf: I was peeking through your Look Book today when you sent through the link to this and I found that the Boston Celtics website is the biggest in terms of sponsorship and opportunities from that point of view. The other ones are pretty clean, most of it is focused on play content or analysis of the games and what’s coming up. But the Boston one seemed to stand out really drastically as the one that had a hell of a lot more advertising and sponsorship on it.

Sean: Yeah and it also depends on what is their overall digital strategy? Like if you saw the Knicks, the Knicks site, it’s pretty lean, it doesn’t have too much commercialisation on it. But they’ve actually got a secondary site which is called Knicks Now. So they’ve got a different site that’s a little bit more consumer friendly. It’s a little bit better for sharing and it sort of busts out of the template, I guess what we’d call a CMS or a content management system from a tech speak. Busts out of that template a little bit and be a bit more flexible on what they can offer. So there’s a few teams that have secondary sites,, nicks now dot com,,, there are all these secondary sites, they’re also trying to push their fans to. So not all the action necessarily happening on the one page, on a standard homepage, some of the teams are looking to reach their fans and really push that fan engagement because they’re competing with the ESPNs of the world and the Fox Sports of the world for their content and they can provide content that some of those media outlets can’t provide because they don’t have the access to the players and that’s one of the things that fans really do want.

Harf: I was interested to find out Sean your take on teams that aren’t going well, how do they stay positive and market teams when they aren’t winning?

Sean: Part of it is that you’re always going to have fans that stick through thick and thin. So you have to embrace those fans that stick fat. Part of it is pushing the entertainment angle of the game so you know the Detroit Pistons who were my team from the 80s, I still follow the Pistons but at the moment, they just suck at the minute. They’ve actually been playing a little bit better.

Harf: Is the microwave Johnston playing?

Sean: No, Vinnie ‘microwave’ Johnston isn’t still playing.

Harf: He’s my favourite.

Sean: Yeah I was a big fan of Vinnie but yeah they were offering a thing with the new technology in Detroit called quickly where you register to get a ticket alert and the quicker you get in and get those tickets, the cheaper you get them. And the ticket price will keep going up to a point. So they’re just doing some fun engaging things to one keep the fans that are going to stick by, give them some rewards, get them coming to the game but really making the game a whole entertaining experience because they can’t do anything. They can’t guarantee a win but they do, do a lot of their marketing around the visiting team. Actually the Pistons did beat the Heat this year but they’ll do a lot of marketing around the marquee teams of the NBA.

Harf: Okay well that’s a summary of that. Other things involved in social media of course are passwords and Burger King found out the hard one and they had a good one.

Sean: Just yesterday the Burger King Twitter account was hacked. And quite humorously they changed the avatar to the McDonalds logo and said they’d been bought by McDonalds. So it did get a bit of press. Everyone was obviously re-tweeting it and seen that it had been hacked. Took them a little while to get control and shut it down and get the account back and then even today Jeep in the States had their Twitter account hacked. So again, it make sense to make sure you’ve got some strong passwords, makes sense you understand who’s got access to your Twitter account or your Facebook account. There was a few people joking around Burger King, perhaps they shouldn’t have had the password as ‘whopper123’.

Harf: [Laughs]

Sean: I just tweeted out, maybe some of the listeners can suggest bad sports password like King James having his password as ‘Lebron23’ or Kobe Bryant having his password as ‘TradeDwight’, that’s hard to say! So potentially yeah but making sure you secure all your passwords is the main thing and make it hard for people to crack because obviously it’s going to be a little bit of a thing, there will be definitely people trying to hack accounts and see what kind of gags they can get!

Harf: Good advice from, don’t you worry about that. Thank you mate see you next week!

Sean: No worries mate.

Blake Griffin – Dunk that stopped the Internet

Wow first LeBron jumped over John Lucas, but Blake Griffen topped that with this!

Tweets around the Sports world

Best mashup award?

Dirk providing the color commentary

Also did Kendrick Perkins delete his Twitter account after the dunk? launched

We are pleased to see the launch of yesterday as Scott was awarded with his second All-Australian selection.

Some of the new features include:

We look forward to the engaging fans fans as Scott builds his profile online.

Scott Pendlebury's new website built by Sports Geek

Featured on Tout

Thanks to the guys behind Tout who are doing a great job & have added Pendles to the Featured Users (the only non-US athlete profiled).

Digital & TV rights – What to do?

Sports are entering a new world of media rights with the web/digital platforms becoming available becoming more viable as a serious broadcast platform. No longer are digital rights just the “steak knives” in the sports television rights deal.

What are digital rights?

Digital rights are many different things with various options, let me name the forms:

  • Live Web Video – Game TV broadcast available streaming becoming more viable as broadband capacity increases.
  • Live Web Audio – Live game coverage streaming, with many radio stations now streaming some sports are putting a price on these rights.
  • Web Hosting – Web development & advertising outsourced for sports in return for a web site & cash
  • Mobile – new developing area that can include video & audio as above as well as “official” apps for smartphones like iPhone, Blackberry & Android.

One example that we discussed on @SportzfanRadio was where digital rights clashed with TV rights was at The Masters.  The Masters enjoyed terrific TV & web coverage with the return of Tiger Woods.  However, The Masters iPhone application video features were locked outside of the USA.  I don’t think people would choose to watch The Masters on the small screen of an iPhone when HD coverage is provided via TV partners it is just an example of “old media rules” falling behind the technology.

At V21 it was interesting to hear at Sam Walch, who looks after all rights at the AFL, to talk about two types of consumers.  One who is “on the couch” who is served primarily by the television and the other who is “on the move” without access to a TV.  It is the “on the move” fan that sports are now looking to serve via the web & mobile platforms.  The next question sports face is then, “Who Pays?”

@_SportsGeek_ #v21 Being discussed. Content is King but who pays? With #AFL, #MySpace & Fremantle Media… Advertisers, Media or Consumers? 10:33 PM Apr 14th via Tweetie

The overwhelming response from fans is definitely not them but it is up to leagues like the AFL, NFL, NBA & MLB to come up with revenue models that work with the digital & mobile platforms.

How should digital rights deals be structured?
What do you think?

Looking forward to hearing more about digital rights at Sport Research Group Conferences in July 2010
Contact Sports Geek for more info on SSMI and ways to develop your sports brand

Fantasy sports – The first wave of social media?

Recently my inbox was bombarded with emails concerning NBA fantasy trades in my local NBA fantasy competition.  It got me thinking that if social media is defined as connected discussion then the boom of fantasy sports online could be seen as a pioneer in social media.

Like social media, fantasy sports connects people bringing them together over a common interest.  It stimulates off-line meetups like we see on Twitter with tweetups.  Our NBA fantasy competition regularly holds our draft night each year in company board rooms or stadium corporate suites.  Do you meet with your fantasy sports friends IRL (in real life) if so let us know how?

We keep hearing the statistics on how much time people are spending on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.  Fantasy sports is a huge driver of web site traffic as the guys at SuperFooty can attest with SuperCoach.  Not only is there a huge spike in traffic when the teams are announced each Thursday, fans flock to the site for the final match of the round on Sunday to check the progress of their weekly matchup.

On that note there are still spots available in the SuperCoach Twitter League Code 404204 please join in the fun.

What do you think?
Can fantasy sports be regarded as social media?

Why do you play fantasy sports?

Connect with Sports Geek on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook & LinkedIn
Contact Sports Geek
about the Sports Geek Social Media Workshop.

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Working with League brands

One of the biggest challenges many teams face is differentiating themselves whilst adhering league brand guidelines.  It was a common theme with the teams I met with on #sportsgeektrip.

Many leagues across the globe follow a similar digital model.  League web sites are developed and team web sites are created under the league umbrella.,, are some examples of these Leagues that follow this “Umbrella model”.
(*edit thanks for comment: Essendon stand alone as an exception running independently of the AFL very successfully with

If you take a look at team websites e.g. LA Dodgers Vs New York Yankees or Collingwood Vs Hawthorn you’ll see some team customization but they are locked into a League framework.  The NBA follows a similar model but teams are using custom landing pages (or splash pages like the Mavs do) to offer fans special deals.

Other leagues like the & have decoupled the League’s web deal from the teams.

What’s better?

The “Umbrella model” makes administration of League branding much easier and sometimes can lead to a better sponsorship deal as it is league-wide.  However, it can be restrictive both creatively and financially to the teams who want to push the Web 2.0 envelope.  From a technical prospective a league wide CMS (content management system) does reduce the need for in-house web staff for teams but many people who use these systems find them too restrictive.  Leagues that abandon the “Umbrella model” face the problem of a potentially creating a tech gap between the have and have-nots.  Some teams like those run by MSG (Knicks, Rangers, Liberty) help promote their teams outside the standard team’s sites through the stadium (, then again with so many sports properties MSG is a unique business.

What are your thoughts?

  • Does the ability for league’s to secure deals outweigh a team’s desire to innovate?
  • Would teams do a better job if they could go it alone?
  • Would small-market teams struggle maintaining own website?

Ask Sports Geek a question on FormSpring.
Contact Sports Geek
if you want web advice to keep your fans coming back

Are Athletes Obligated?

Athletes for Hope has got athletes talking about whether they’re obligated to give back to the community.

NBA player now commentator Charles Barkley once famously said “I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

It appears more and more that Barkley is in the minority with several athletes running their own charity foundations or spending time supporting charitable causes

Please check it out – Are Athletes Obligated?

Some of the biggest names in sports have responded – Tony Hawk, Mario Lemieux, Ben Roethlisberger, Steve Nash, Alonzo Mourning, Mia Hamm & Jeff Gordon.

Wonder what Tiger Woods feelings on the subject are?

Need help starting a discussion about your charity or passion?
Contact Sports Geek
to get to your fans talking.

AFL Draft Machine, keeping fans involved

AFL Draft MachineOver the past 10 years the AFL Draft has grown in profile, just 3 years ago it was a 1 hour highlight show on Saturday afternoon, this year it will make it’s debut in prime time on Fox Sports on Thursday night.

Some purists may suggest that this is just another example of the AFL following the lead of US sports like the NFL and NBA, but why not follow? The NFL draft is so successful it is covered by TWO networks!  USA Today describes the NFL Draft as “the next step in the evolution on the highest-rated TV sports where nobody moves much”.

The AFL Draft will be a HIT in prime time as fans are missing their footy fix. The draft provides one thing to all footy fans, hope.  The televised AFL Draft will be slightly different to the NFL as the top 10 picks will be announced in reverse order from 10 to 1. Will this work? We’ll see on Thursday.

The AFL is promoting the Draft on with the AFL Draft Machine . It allows fans to sift through draft prospects and try to determine who their team may pick up. Online promotions like this are terrific in allowing fans to participate in an event. It allows the AFL to “crowd source” data regarding the popularity of picks and report back to the fans. This exactly what Mark Cuban was talking about on why Live Sports is still the king on TV.