Sports Geek Podcast Presented by SEAT ConferenceVery excited announcement in this Sports Geek Podcast, we are happy to announce in partnership with the first Sports Trendsmap built for the A-League All-Stars game against Manchester United. In this episode I chat with Francis on ABC Grandstand how Sports Trendsmap cam together and I talk about some of the future plans we have for it. After a brief appearance by Kevin Naylor from Indiana Pacers to promote SEAT Conference I take a look at some advanced Facebook ad options using Custom Audiences.

More specifically, in this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • How Trendsmap pulls in tweets using API
  • How Sports Trendsmap works for an event or brand
  • Why you should be careful where you walk when in Boston Celtics locker room
  • Why does SEAT conference have closed sessions?
  • How you can target your database with Facebook Ads
  • How you can increase app installs for you team mobile application.
  • What is a Facebook Dark Post?

SEAT Conference - August 4th-8th in Kansas City

Presenting Partner of Sports Geek Podcast
Resources from the episode

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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 11 of the Sports Geek podcast presented by SEAT Conference. On today’s episode, we take a look at sports on the Internet. Built for the A-League All-stars game against Man United. Passport to new CRM data culmination with the Facebook apps.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now, here’s your host doing heel raises while I’m doing this intro, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. And, yes, I am starting to do some gentle heel raises as my surgeon adjusted the moon boot this week. And he’s given me some exercises to strengthen that torn Achilles. Hopefully, I can throw away the crutches pretty soon. The good thing is I’ve been cleared to travel. So I’m looking forward to attending the SEAT Conference in Kansas City, the presenting partner of the Sports Geek podcast in August. If you haven’t booked, there’s still time.

I have some great offers there to insure your CIO CRM and digital guys and girls attend. Simply go to Aim to check that out. This week, I’m very excited to announce that we’ve officially launched Sports Trendsmap. We’ve been in partnership with guys at And I’ve caught up with Francis on ABC Grandstand to talk about it.

Announcer: This is Francis Leach on Grandstand Digital.

Francis: And a big good day to our digital sports guru, Sean Callanan. He’s just a week away from resuming full training in the moon boot. But he’s with us again this morning to talk sport in the digital space. How are you, Sean?

Sean: I’m good. Thanks, Francis.

Francis: Fascinating to look at Trendmaps this morning because they’re just uniting in Liverpool in town. There’s sort of the intense focus on particular events and discussions. You can now map, quite literally, on the net. Or when you find a workout, he’s talking, about where and when. Tell us how this works.

Sean: Yes, we’ve partnered with the guys at Trendsmap. They’re actually a startup out of Melbourne. If people didn’t know. Obviously, maps the trends of Twitter on Google Maps. So every time you tweet, you do have the option to geotag that tweet. So normally when I’m traveling around, or whatever, I will put that on. So it has a little pin that says, I’m in San Francisco, or I’m in Sydney, or I’m in ANZ Stadium as the case is tonight.

And so, it makes it very easy. There’s a lot of real good visualized data there from a visualization point of view. I think someone at Twitter or someone looked at the data and showed a visualization of the tweets across America as sort of an altitude theme to show where the peaks and valleys of where the tweets are coming from. So that API is available for the guys at Trendsmap. And so they’re showing what’s been trending both globally but also locally.

So if you follow trends Australia, it’ll say, oh, so and so is trending in Martinique accounts, because they’ve said something. And that account is being retweeted. Or it might be a hashtag because that’s what’s happening around the event.

Francis: So with the Ashton Agar thing a couple of weeks ago, did Trendsmap just light up a bright red right across Australia with a particular hashtag? Was it Ashton or was it hashtag? It was Ashtag, wasn’t it? It was Ashtag, Ashtag, Ashtag.

Sean: Yeah, Ashtag was the hashtag. Yeah, you would’ve seen that. But then also what you would’ve seen was where in Australia people were talking about it. And potentially, if you went to the UK, you would have seen if it was Australians talking about it in England. So, for instance, because people in Perth have three hours extra time to watch cricket, which is unfortunate with games on days like yesterday. But that you would see Perth tweeting about it, but you would see the night owls of Australian Eastern Seaboard tweeting also about it.

Francis: And similarly, as Australians, we could spell like the stalks in the breeze. You would have seen that maybe people switching off the telly, going off the Twitter feed. And the glow on the map, which is really is like a, in a sense, a hotspot, would have dulled. As you can almost see them in action.

Sean: Yeah. So you would have seen things like bedtime trending after the fourth and fifth week. So what we’ve done is, rather than that general everything happening, is what we’ve done with the A-League is built one, specifically, for the A-League All Stars Man United Game. So there is a game day hashtag, or is a hashtag for the game, which is ALVNU. What the guys at Trendsmap are doing is doing a tracking all the tweets around that. And so what we’re finding is it’s developing its own trends around that hashtag.

So you can see there that, obviously, the A-League and newly minted Twitter handle at @manunited, or manUTD with Man United finally joining Twitter for this tour. So you see one, the accounts of the trending, you see players that are tweeting. Man United guys trained last night and they were tweeted how amazing it was to have 20,000 people turn up and watch them train. Those players were trending. They’re on the TV promoting the game. Those accounts that starts trending.

And then also you see the content that starts bubbling up as well. So if someone takes a picture and says, hey, look, he’s name is Rio Ferdinand. All of his mates retweeted, and that will start getting sort of bubbled up, Sort of by popular opinion where you’ve got the popular images. You’ve also got the popular videos. So now Twitter has got the vine service. So when Braun of the L.A. is taking vines of All Stars talking or the players training or as they’re arriving, that’s obviously going to get some interaction and I’ll be there, so it’s a really good way to, and you can zoom in on the map and see what it’s like.

And you can even then also click on the particular terms. And so you can click on, say, who’s talking about Man United in Sydney? It’s another way sort of to visualize Twitter. And so what I’ll be doing sort of as the games happening is feeding the guys of A-League is say, oh, these are the trends of the game. So you’ll be doing the radio coverage.

You’ve got to log onto Trendsmap and see what the map is saying. If it’s a controversial call or a beat goal or whatever, Ferdinand does something amazing and you say, oh, I’ll just check their Trendsmap at ALVMU and see that Rare Ferdi is blowing up both in Australia and, as you can see there, in Indonesia. And things like that.

Francis: A big hot spot in the north of England as well?

Sean: Yeah, exactly.

Francis: It’s an amazing tool to, as you said, to get the topography of what the conversation is.

Sean: Yeah. And the thing that I’m going to be really interested in is you can never predict what Twitter and what the conversation is going to be. So there might be the problems the Origin did with the naked man running onto the field. But again, if you did, a streaker and those probably would just come and then the natural fun of what’s the hashtag and how people are going to play with it would come from that.

So that’s the interesting part. And then I’ll be doing the analysis of how many tweets are coming in, where were they coming in from, who was joining in the conversation. So it gives a really good content base also to the A-League to sort of keep that education base for the fans. Say, this is why we’re doing social. This is why we’re doing Twitter and this is how you can get engaged with the league.

Francis: It’s great and it is really is a really interesting sort of diagnostic tool and great to watch as well. And just before you go, where can people find it tonight if they want to go?

Sean: It’s on the A-League site if you just go to . . .

Francis: People in

Sean: And you go the All Stars and there’s the hashtag ALvMU. Click on that and you’ll be able to see. And if you and your mates get a few retweets, you might be in the popular users. You might see one of your tweets being popular. Yeah, it would be good fun and should be a great match.

Francis: Where can people find you in the digital space, Sean?


DJ Joel: Leave me a voicemail question for Sports Geek podcast at

Sean It’s been great working with John Barratt from As I said, on ABC Grandstand, it’s good working with a start-up based out of Melbourne. But, like myself, he works with people around Australia and the world on Trendsmap activations. What you see with the ALvMU Trendsmap, you can access that via the short link I’ve set up on and that’ll take you to Football Australia’s site where you can see several components of the Trendsmap standard product. We see trends word maps.

Now we’ve got heat maps for Australia and the UK. It’s also showing the top images in videos and that includes vines. So the vines of the game shared by the A league and Man U, if they are starting to use vine, will be on that board. So it will start bubble up content and hopefully we’ll see a few fan vines from the night.

So behind the scenes, we’re tracking the hashtag ALvMU. And it’s showing up trends related to the hashtag. What we’re also able to do from a brand perspective is also hide trends and accounts that don’t fit for the A-League in this instance. We discussed in Episode 8 around Twitter ads. And seeing more gambling operators using Twitter ads and jumping on hashtags to promote their wares and promote gambling in sport. Or it might be ad responses.

So we have the ability to turn off certain words or certain accounts if they are trying to horn their way in on that conversation. So they can join the conversation on Twitter, but they just won’t be on the Sports Trendsmap. Some of the add-ons we’ve got planned include extra sort of web widgets so you can put the heat map in your match center trying to drive people to Trendsmap to see what it looks like. That sort of thing. Also we’re playing around with full match replays and highlight click top replays of what the reactions of Twitter were like.

And John’s previously done that with a TV show to allow TV viewers to watch a replay from a Twitter point of view of happy boy reacting to a TV show. So, similarly, it will work well in sport around a big game and actually be able to see what reactions were on Twitter, but also where they were as well. And from a content perspective, I will be producing content for Brian Gibson and the A-League digital team to be sharing insight in the social stream during the broadcast. So things like showing off what’s trending in Australia.

Some of the trends around the match for both teams. And also sharing some of the stats analysis post event. So I’ll have John on next week’s podcast to dive a little bit deeper into the analytics behind Trendsmap and how he’s put it together. So stay tune for that one.

Kevin: Hi, it’s Kevin Naylor from the Indiana Pacers and you’re listening to my mate, Sean Callanan, on Sports Geek Podcast.

Sean: Thank you, Kevin Naylor, there for the shout outs. I’m looking forward to catching up with you at SEAT 2013. Just a bit of the story from SEAT last year. Kev actually got me out of a jam. We were getting a tour of the Boston Garden and we were in the Boston Celtics locker room. And at the time, Ray Allen, I think, left just a week before to go to Miami. So I was taking a few shots to share on Twitter of Ray Allen’s locker room, and those kind of things. And I accidentally was standing on the Boston Celtics logo in the locker room. And the tour guy was kind enough to point out that I shouldn’t be doing it, that it’s bad luck.

And Kevin came to my rescue, came over, started doing a little bit of a jig on the Boston Celtics logo, and pretty much said, that’s okay. My boss will see the humor in it. And his boss, if you don’t know, he’s the famous Larry Bird, a Boston Celtics legend. So, thanks Kevin, for getting me out of a jam. And the first beer’s on me in Kansas City.

So one of the things Kev will be doing at the conference is hosting one of the closed door sessions with Chip Suttles from the Seattle Seahawks and the Sounders. And the closed door sessions are where some of the best discussions out of SEAT come from because it’s pretty much a bit freelance, a bit improv, where people start writing the issues that are annoying them, and finding out that there’s a few people in the room that are facing the same problem.

So Kevin and Chip will be running one for the CIOs. I’ll be actually running one with Dewayne Hankins from the Trailblazers with a bit more of a social digital feel. So it will be really good what some of the problems that teams are facing and seeing if we can come up with a few solutions, and seeing how other teams are solving those problems.

So the next thing I want to look at, and I know the last couple of episodes we’ve been looking at the Twitter ad products, and the work that we’ve been doing with the Storm around easy Twitter ads to promote ticketing offers for the Melbourne Storm. What I want to look at now is the other social network that’s implied from an advertising point of view.

And some of the offerings that Facebook are offering with, what they call, custom audiences, and how you could use the data that you have in your CRM and use Facebook advertising to target them. So I think it’ll be actually a good discussion with the guys like Russell Scibetti who were doing the CRM track at SEAT. So the first thing when faced with a launch they’re saying, you can now target Facebook ads to pick where you have their email address.

So the first response is, why would I want to run a Facebook ad if I’ve already got their email address? We know from our discussion with Russell, and studies show that email is the killer way to close a sale. Social is great for building that sales funnel and building that database, but email is the way to close. So, again, why would we want to run Facebook ads to people we’re already communicating with via email.

So the thing is that what Facebook ads do with these custom audiences is it allows you to directly target your ads to those people. So it’s a really great brand awareness play on a network that, let’s face it, that everyone is on for long periods of time. So some of the campaigns that you could be running using these custom audience features is running a campaign to remind fans that potentially have left or aren’t getting your emails anymore, to come back. Come back to the fold. Come and reengage either via your email list or by your Facebook page.

Also increase awareness of your current promotional offers and ticketing offers. So it might not be that your fans will be clicking and buying tickets via these ads, but the fact that they know that there is a special offer or there’s a special game coming up, it can just be just a bit of a brand awareness play.

There’s also options around season launches. Everyone knows that ad rank is a big thing in Facebook and determines how many people are going to see your posts. So potentially coming into a new season, the fans might not have been as engaged because you haven’t had as much sport related content. So potentially running an ad and some ads in promoting posts specifically to your fans that you know are active that will come back is another way of doing it.

And the other one is for sponsor offers of promotional items. You can offer your sponsors really super targeted ads that you know that these fans are in your database. But then you can also drill into the demographics. The other real cool thing you can do from a custom audience point of view, even if you don’t want to spend money, is you can get some really great demographic data out of Facebook.

Let’s face it, they’re collecting of all this information of everybody, why not reverse engineer the content, your database, to find out more about them. So once you build a custom audience, you can play around with the ad tool and find out more about your fans. Use it for sponsor identification. Find out what brands are like your brand. You can do all those kind of things to say, I want my fan base. Tell me how much of my fan base are between this age and demographic.

That’s obvious, but you can get that profile for your email list and not just your Facebook page. But then you can also say, tell me how many of my fans are also fans of another team or like another brand. So you can start doing that stuff.

The other thing that I think that does have a bit of excitement, at least from my point of view as far as being a Facebook marketer, is Facebook dark posts. Normally, if you are running a team’s Facebook page, you would have been harassed by your sponsorship and your business development guys around, hey, we’ve got a sponsor offer, and we really want to put it up on the Facebook page.

And by and large, you know that if the offer isn’t strong enough, or if it doesn’t have a high hybrid climate for the fans and really be cool for the fans, it most likely will tank. Especially if you’re putting it out to everybody. Whereas, if you’ve got an offer that is appealing, but it’s only appealing to a certain section of your fan base.

Well, potentially what you can do is use Facebook dark posts. So first of all, what is a Facebook dark post? Well, a Facebook dark post, and it does sound a little bit like black magic, but it’s a Facebook post that doesn’t appear on your wall, but is only used for Facebook ad sponsored posts.

So as a user, as a fan, you’ll see the post sponsored. But if you go to the Facebook page, it won’t appear anywhere on the page. So I guess where the advantage is what you can do is have a sponsored post that’s around a sponsor’s promotion. Specifically target your audience. Specifically target that demographic and only those fans will see that post. The only disadvantage of a dark post is you lose the virility of the post, so if fans are liking and commenting on the post, their friends might want to see it.

But if you’re really just trying to drive engagement and traffic around your promotion, it works really, really well. So how I’ve been testing it currently, if you’re an iPhone user and you’ve engaged with me before, what you may have seen is a post that promotes the Sports Geek Podcast with a link to the iTunes store to download and subscribe to the podcast,

That post is obviously a dark post. It’s an ad that is directly targeting my custom audience in Australia, New Zealand, UK and the US, and it’s only showing to people who are on iPhones. Because there’s no point sending people like myself who are on Android a link to iTunes. It’s wasted money because they’re not going to use iTunes link.

So that’s been really effective just from a brand awareness point of view. So if you’ve seen it, let me know. But also, just to target the right people on the right platform. I specifically did it only on mobile because I really wanted people to go straight to iTunes and start subscribing straight away. So, again, a similar thing you could do that for app installs. If you go to A Team application and you want to build more fans into your app, Facebook now has an app install ad.

And again, that would be a great space for a custom audience to target those ads. So there’s some of the stuff that we have been looking at and sort of digging into the Facebook custom audience stuff. One guy that I think you should check out is a guy called John Luma. I’m going to put his links in the show notes,

He’s been running an absolute stack about Facebook ads, the Facebook power editor, dark posts, custom audiences. I met John at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego earlier this year. He actually has this sports background. He used to do some work in the NBA. I’m hoping to have John on a podcast in the future. He’s got his own podcast or his pubcast. I’ll share the link to his podcast in the show notes.

It’s definitely worth listening to. He’s done a few podcasts on the different parts of the Facebook ad power editor there as well. So that’s pretty much for it for another podcast. If you are out running or in the gym, go on push yourself through these closing credits. And the other thing is if you are listening and you’ve got feedback, please, you can leave it on iTunes store. The ratings help all the time.

But if you’ve got a question or you’re thinking about emailing me, I was lucky enough to meet Dewayne at Ad:tech this week. He came up to me and said, good day, Sean. I listen to the podcast. I’ve been meaning to email you. So please don’t hesitate. Send me an email. Love to hear from you.

One person I do have to thank this week who has provided our sounds of the game from this week’s state of origin where a full ANZ Stadium were in attendance where New South Wales fans were hoping to break the stranglehold of State of Origin. Unfortunately for them, Queensland maintained their dominance to win their eighth straight State of Origin series. However, the New South Wales fans were in full voice early on.

Thank you to Kevin Perry or @abkevau from Stadium Grub for grabbing the audio. Again, if you’re at game this weekend, please grab a little bit of audio. Flick it to me. It can be video, audio, whatever. I’ll make it work. Until next show, I’m Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. And may your content be retweeted and shared copiously.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to We’ll see you in Kansas City for SEAT 2013. You got to be there, mate. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.