Sports Geek Podcast available on iTunesIn this Sports Geek Podcast we look at the power of the crowds online for content and potentially funding new projects.  We discuss motorsport with Ford Brown from V8 Supercars getting ready for Bathurst 1000. Facebook have changed the rules once again, are you up to date?  We also profile what must be the world’s smallest Instagram project from Projecteo.  Find out what new project has hit the podcast community.

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

  • How fans can power your content plan
  • How grass roots sports can leverage crowd funding boom
  • Why V8 Supercars turned to fans to tell the story of Bathurst 1000
  • How Facebook promotion guidelines will affect sports teams
  • What is Beers, Blokes & Business? Why you should listen.
  • How to show off your best Instagram shots old school style

Resources from the episode

Here is how small Projecteo projector actually is…

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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 16 of the Sports Geek Podcast. On today’s episode we look at the power of the crowd, talk V8 Supercars. What’s that? Facebook have changed the rules yet again. And also, the smallest Instagram projector in the world.

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

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. That’s right. My name is Sean Callanan and welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast. Thank you very much for downloading and listening. We’ve just reached the 5,000 downloads mark and very much appreciative of all your support on Twitter and LinkedIn and the like.

On today’s episode, we’re going to look at crowd sourcing both from a content and a funding point of view. I’ll have a chat with Ford Brown from the V8 Supercars and also look at the latest changes to the promotional guidelines from Facebook. But to get things started, here’s my chat with Daniel Harford on Harf Time on the power of the crowd.

DJ Joel: Sean Callanan, our sports digital media guru for sportsgeekhq.com.

Daniel: Good to have you back in the studio. Hello, Sean.

Sean: Good day, Harf. How are you doing?

Daniel: Going very well. Thank you. Very well indeed. We’ve got a couple of topics we want to get through today. Crowd as a content source. Talk me through what that means.

Sean: Well, just talking about the power of the crowd. We saw it on the weekend. The big crowds at the MCG and the power that they provide at the game. But from a digital point of view, they are providing a lot of content for teams and providing a lot of content from a crowd sourcing point of view. We’ve talked about it before. There’s a lot of content. Effectively, any content you are sharing on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook is owned by the platform. To a certain degree, it is public. You are the product, as they say, once you’re in their system.

But what sports teams and stadiums to a certain degree are doing is taking that content and repurposing it. It’s telling part of the story of the game. The fan’s point of view. You know, things like the guys at Carlton did with their Believe campaign. . .

Daniel: Which was very effective.

Sean: Putting a call out to the fans to send in their photos showing that they believe. And then you look at what the guys at V8 Supercars have done in doing a campaign for Bathurst that’s coming up. And so rather than doing it as a pure crowd source campaign, they actually interviewed fans of how many times they’ve been to the Mountain, what the Mountain meant to them. And that became the content. The stars aren’t the cars or the players or the athletes in that sense, but the fans. They are part of the experience. If you don’t have the fans at the Mountain for V8 Supercars, it isn’t what it is.

Daniel: Good point.

Sean: Not all your content is coming from your stars and your athletes. You can get really good content from your fans. That’s one side of it. When you’re looking at the content play and what content can we create, can we provide to our fans, what are the fans providing themselves? Then the other side of it is using the idea of crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing is something that is growing in the digital space. You’ve got things like Kickstarter and Pozible. Pozible is like an Australian version of Kickstarter where you can crowd fund a project.

You see it in the art space and you see it in the tick space for people trying to get a project running, pit multiple people backing. There’s an Australian site up called Sportaroo that does it in the sports space that sources whether you’ve got a sports project that you want to get up and running. Can you get the backing of the community? In women’s football, the women’s game, cover Matildas and the W-League and things like that specifically for women’s football. They want to get up a specific web TV show that’s covering the game from a woman’s point of view. They have done that via Sportaroo. You go to the Sportaroo site and you can effectively pick your level of how you back it like Kickstarter. How you can bid on particular items and they are looking for a funding goal to pay to do that content piece.

Daniel: Is it effective? Is it an effective method?

Sean: It is an effective method in it’s been very effective from a Kickstarter point of view in it proves your market. If 20,000 people are going to back it, then you know you’ve got an audience there. It’s an all-in funding kind of model. If you don’t get the backing, you don’t get the funding. It’s a good way potentially to prove that you’ve got a market and it’s an invested market. It is not just someone clicking “like” and saying I’ll watch it. They’ve put in a little bit of coin. Then they’re feeling like they’re part of the bigger thing and they’re owning part of it.

Where that fits for sport, probably in that community side of it and the lower level sports is probably where that crowd funding might be a useful way of raising money. It might not be digital. It might be we need a new basketball hoop or a new Footy club room. That kind of thing. You can run with that kind of club fundraising model.

Daniel: If you want to find out more about this, the only place to go is sportsgeekhq.com and Sean will have all the information you need.

DJ Joel: Like the Sports Geek podcast? Find us on facebook.com/sportsgeek.

Sean: Thanks to Harf there. Using your fans’ content and repurposing your fans’ content is a really key part of any content strategy. You want to show your fans that you are listening and very much being appreciative of their content. From the crowd funding point of view, there will be links to that Sportaroo project for the women’s game. Please check it out and donate a few dollars to see if they can get that web TV project up.

After my discussion with Harf, I gave Ford Brown from V8 Supercars a call to discuss the “Our Mountain” video and what they’re doing at V8 Supercars from a digital point of view. I want to welcome Ford Brown from the V8 Supercars to the Sports Geek podcast. Welcome to the podcast, Ford.

Ford: Good to be here, Sean.

Sean: First of all, tell us a little bit about your role at the V8 Supercars and what you do as digital marketing executive there.

Ford: Primarily my role as the digital marketing exec is to work very closely with our marketing team, making sure all our above the line activations as far as your general marketing goals gets rolled out in the digital scene as well. On top of that, I also manage all our social media profiles. That includes Twitter, Instagram and Facebook obviously. We’re also on some of the others. That’s probably my primary objectives in my role. Also working with the overall digital team on our objective and making digital an asset to the business commercially as well as for the fans from a content perspective.

Sean: I’ve been working with a bunch of teams from a pro sport point of view. How is motorsport and how is the motorsport fan a little bit different from a digital point of view? Are they taking up social media at the same rates that we’re seeing regular professional sports in football and cricket and those kinds of things?

Ford: Well, from a driving perspective and the teams that are involved, I would say they are definitely taking up social media at the same rate. Obviously, we have teams that are probably slightly more involved than others. Red Bull Racing would be one of our probably greatest assets as far as social media goes. They’ve obviously got the Red Bull media house behind them and the content that they can put out is second to none. I would say they’re definitely very similar to a lot of other teams. But as far as the fan goes, I would say compared to probably a lot of sports in Australia, they are a very engaged fan. When they fall in love with a motorsport team, they basically follow that until the day they die. Probably a lot like an ISL fan actually.

Sean: They do have that tribal nature? There is the classic you either Ford or you’re Holden. That’s also coming down to actually following the race teams as well?

Ford: Correct. And we’ve probably steered it that way in recent years. When we released our car of the future project . . . which a big initiative of that was to open the door to new manufacturers. This year we had Mission Motorsports come back into the fold, as well as Erebus racing, which run Mercedes Benz cars.

Looking ahead to two or three years ago, we recognized that Ford and Holden tribal nature of our fans, although we definitely didn’t want to disturb it in any way, we needed to start looking at opening the doors and other avenues. And that was humanizing our drivers and creating identities for the teams above and beyond the manufacturers. Although the manufacturers are still vitally important.

Sean: Definitely in most sports. I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the guys in NASCAR when I was at SEAT and they were talking about some of the issues around getting large volumes of people at racetracks. And you get really big numbers around the big events. And Bathurst 1000 is an iconic race. Do you want to give everyone a bit of a background of what Bathurst is and what it means to the psyche of Australia?

Ford: Well, I guess Bathurst is up there with your Daytona 500, the big races, and the Indy 500 in the U.S. For Australians, it’s the Bathurst 1000 event is almost . . . well, I would argue it’s definitely a part of the Australian culture. I think everyone has a story of sitting around the barbecue and watching at least part of the race.

Just for the people out there that might not know exactly what it is, it’s a race around a rural Australian piece of road that was created as a scenic drive just World War II, I believe. And it turned into probably one of the best racetracks in the world. We take our cars there once a year and do a 1,000-kilometer race in one day that always throws up drama. It’s probably one of the watched motorsport races in the world.

Sean: You sent me a video that you’ve done for this year’s Bathurst, which will be held over the weekend. But the race itself will be on Sunday, October 13. And you did this video “Our Mountain,” which really looked at the power of the crowd and really told the fans’ story. Do you want to tell us a little bit about sort of how that came together and how it’s been received?

Ford: Yeah. Every year we look at a way to launch the event as far as getting some media coverage around . . . not so much that tickets have gone on sale, but promoting the ticket sales as we get closer to the event. It’s normally something we do around 45 days to 30 days out. This year we’re all, I guess, sitting around and I floated the idea of basically using the asset that we already have. We have 316,000 very loyal fans of the sport sitting on Facebook and close to 45,000 sitting on Twitter. Each and every one of them has a story around that event or at least something to share.

I basically sent out a call on Facebook asking for our fans’ stories. And basically within 24 hours, we had a couple of hundred stories come back to us of a lot of people willing to be involved in the shoot of the “Our Mountain” story. That’s basically how it came about. We basically used an asset that was already there and our fans to tell exactly the story we wanted to tell. What we wanted to share with people was if you haven’t been to the Mountain, then there are reasons other than the racing that you might not have thought of. It doesn’t always come down to the motorsport. It’s a part of sharing the experience with your friends and family and experiencing something new.

Sean: That’s really one of the main draws of live sport. You are there to see the contest, whether it be a race in this case. But it also is to soak it all up. And very much watching that video can definitely get the camaraderie and the festival atmosphere and the mateship that happens around the race.
Using that crowd sourcing sort of model, I’m sure when the event happens; you’ll have a swag of content that’ll be shared by the fans at the events as they do at all your races. They’ll be sharing posts on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. And that really helps you tell another story all together.

Ford: Correct. And I guess that brings me to another point. Must have been last Bathurst what we did was, again, we wanted to use the power of our social media fans to drive sort of the social engagement throughout the Bathurst event. What we did was send out a competition called “The Chosen One”. Basically it was a Twitter and Facebook competition where you tell us in 140 characters why you think you should be the chosen one.

And that person basically got an access all areas pass to the Mountain. They were able to come and walk in the pit garages. Their job was basically to become the social media guru for that event. And that worked really well. We ended up getting the winner back to a few more events and he’s actually coming again this year. We will do a Storified blog so he can constantly be updating fans from a fan’s perspective. It gives a unique twist on an event that a lot of people are attending and a lot of people are tweeting and posting about.

Sean: You figure you just have him as a social media reporter and providing that fan’s point of view and engaging with the fans. And you don’t have to train him to talk like a fan because he is a fan.

Ford: Yeah. A hundred percent. Exactly right.

Sean: So what are your focuses sort of going forward from a V8 Supercars point of view? What are you looking to do in this space to better engage your fans? As you said before, drive fans back to your sites. Those kind of things. What are things you’re trying to tackle now?

Ford: For me firstly now it’s trying to focus Twitter conversations in certain areas and drive conversations to our official hashtags. We trend nationally basically every race now, which is a good thing. But sometimes it’s not our official hashtag that trend first, for example. We know these conversations are taking place. But the objective now is to focus them and direct them where we want them to kind of sit, which will allow us to more easily commercialize some of those aspects of the business.

Sean: Thank you very much for joining us on the podcast. Look forward to the race. I’ll have the link to both the “Our Mountain” video and also “The Chosen One” case study in the show. And as for the show, thank you very much for joining us.

Ford: Thank you.

DJ Joel: Go to sportsgeekhq.com for more sports digital marketing resources.

Sean: By now you would have seen that Facebook have changed the promotional guidelines, allowing people to run competitions directly on the Facebook wall, which has effectively opened up the wild, wild west. I had a chat with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand about the changes and what it might mean for sports teams.

Francis: Sean Callanan joins us on a Saturday morning to talk sport, the digital realm. And he’s with us again, this time out of the moon boot. He recommends processes and training. Hi, Sean.

Sean: Good day, Francis. How are you doing?

Francis: Not too bad. Facebook keep moving the goalposts. I can’t keep up. I’ve even gotten to the point of thinking about just ditching my Facebook page altogether because I just don’t know where it stands anymore. What’s the latest that they’ve done?

Sean: The latest is that they’ve . . . it’s their promotion guidelines for brands and places that have got Facebook pages. Previously they had rules around what brands and teams . . . we’re looking at sport teams. On what they could do on their wall. What they didn’t want, originally they didn’t want people running competitions on their wall around things like, “like this post and you can win,” “comment on this post and you can win.”

Francis: Why wouldn’t they want that?

Sean: Well, (1), you could have fraudulent type claims. You could say, hey, the thousandth person to win this iPad could win. And then they wouldn’t–they wouldn’t supply the iPad and people would complain to Facebook. Those were the rules. But they weren’t really rules that many people paid attention to. You would have seen those kind of things. Initially a lot of people saw them as a hoax.

Someone set up a fake page for a big brand like Target or something and say, “We are giving away a big screen TV.” All you’ve got to do is like this post. Every mug just likes the post thinking that they can win. That’s pretty much why they had the rules in. But this week they’ve decided that it’s just a little bit too hard, and they’ve decided to take them out.

If Facebook wasn’t the Wild, Wild West before, it is now because you can run those competitions. But what you’ve got to think of, there is this sort of three camps. People saying, “oh yeah. This is great. It will be great for engagement. We can just run a competition.” We can say, “Leave your comments on what you thought of the game and we are going to pick a winner,” and that kind of thing.

And you could have that kind of as a mechanic to run a competition. But the problem is you’ve got to, one, have some terms and conditions. There’s law in Australia around permits and game of skill versus game of chance.

Francis: And that’d be different in every different jurisdiction?

Sean: And they are. A lot of reasons people use competition mechanisms like building forms or a Facebook app because it will collect the data in a more correct way and you can have precise links to all your terms and conditions. And the thing is you do get the data. Whereas if you just run a competition that says, “Last person to comment on this post will win,” which could be the never-ending competition, there will be potential for people to be commenting on it forever.

So from your point of view as a user, if all your friends are joining in, you’ll see all your friends are commenting on this post and you will start marking, oh, that’s spam. I don’t want to see that anymore. It doesn’t really fit with what most teams are doing. And from a Facebook point of view is when they’re running a promotion, one of the things we talked about with Philippe Dore from NASCAR in my presentation at SEAT, the three things we said for a digital campaign is promoting your content, engaging your fans and getting your data.

If you were just to run a Facebook wall post only competition, yes, you’ll get engagement. But you’re not getting any data. Your database of names isn’t getting any bigger or smarter. You’re not getting any information. And you’re really just opening yourselves up for people complaining. If you say the 500th person to comment on this wins, it gets to 498 and people start adding a comment and deleting a comment and moving a comment. And then someone says I was the 500th and someone deletes the 478th. When you’re running competitions online on the Internet, people want to cheat and people want to gain advantage. It does make it very hard to administer and monitor.

Francis: Most successful and big clubs are going to steer well clear of it, aren’t they?

Sean: Yeah. Because it becomes completely unruly. It just gets hard to export, for instance, all 6, 700, 1,000, 12,000 likes that you might have. How are you going to get that out? You’re still going to need technology to pull it out. It’s far better to be sending those fans to your sites, to a sponsored minisite, to a form to get them to fill out the data so you can have here’s your name. Here’s your data. You’re opting in for our material. That kind of thing. It was a strange thing for Facebook to do.

Francis: Why do you think they’ve done it then?

Sean: I think it was just. . .

Francis: Because they’re usually, notoriously wanting to have their hands in all pies. This service sounds like they’ve just decided to let the horses run free so to speak.

Sean: Also I think part of it was it was very hard for them to police. They didn’t want to become Facebook promotion cops. And there were stories of brands getting in trouble for running incorrect promotions. But there was a raft of people that just completely ignored the rules. The other reason is for the lazy marketer that runs these. Facebook gets all this engagement, which is great for them. And then someone thinks if I boost posts, which is one of Facebook’s ad products swarming around in competition, I’ll boost it so more people will see it. So more people will like and comment on it.

So it’s an ad revenue thing. But really they’re getting the lazy marketers and the other thing is it’s steering them away from taking your data. All those sports teams are going, we’re using Facebook primarily as a means to tell people about our site and drive them to our site and potentially pull that data out and into our system. Facebook saying, we’re actually not happy that people keep pulling at our data.

Francis: It’s funny. It seems to me that a lot of sports organizations haven’t learned how to use Facebook. It doesn’t quite work for them in a way that, say, their own websites do. In fact, Twitter does with its immediately seen interaction. Facebook sits somewhere in between for sports organizations.

Sean: It’s still a terrific traffic driver. Twenty-five, thirty percent of traffic to sports websites is coming from Facebook. They know. They can put up a match preview. They can put up the team. All their killer content, they put that up on Facebook, the fans will go. The bit that they are still figuring out is, one, how do they get the data out and how do they have sponsors in that space? Because that’s the space that Facebook wants. Facebook doesn’t want to see big brands and sports are probably one of the biggest. Sports is doing a great job in keeping people engaged in Facebook. But they don’t want to see big brands making money off their Facebook page.

Francis: That’s what they want to be doing.

Sean: That’s what they want to be doing. I’ve heard whispers from some of the pro teams in the States that Facebook is sort of saying, look, guys, if you’re going to go and start putting sponsored branding on your posts, we really need you to start paying for some ads and promoting so we’re effectively getting a clip of that kind of stuff.

Again, in their terms, it does say you can’t sponsor and brands and those kind of things. So it is in their terms that you can’t do it. But maybe they will force down on that kind of stuff.

Francis: Protecting their patch and trying to make a buck. It seems what everybody’s doing. Sean, where can people find you once again in the digital world?

Sean: Sportsgeekhq.com or Sean Callanan on Twitter.

Francis: And your Facebook page?

Sean: Facebook.com/sportsgeek where to find me.

Francis: There you go. You can catch up with Sean there as well. He will be running a competition for the 500th person to click through. No, he won’t. He won’t be doing that today. Thanks for coming in, mate. Sean Callanan the digital sports guru on Grandstand breakfast.

DJ Joel: Go to sportsgeekhq.com for more sports digital marketing resources.

Sean: I’d love to hear your thoughts on the changes that Facebook have made to the primary guidelines. Do you agree with me that it’s just a little bit too hard for Facebook to monitor? Will you use it? Is it lazy to run a Facebook “like” competition directly on your wall? Is it going to get you what you want? Also a good ad from Jon Loomer on covering all the changes, what you can and can’t do. One of the key things is you can’t have a competition that asks people to share.

They still have a few rules there. But whether they enforce them, that remains to be seen. I’m also organizing an interview with some of the third party vendors that actually run a lot of Facebook apps and competitions to see what their take is. I don’t think it will kill them off because as I said in the interview with Francis, getting the data is critical and being able to get that out of Facebook.

Also I did talk at the top of the episode about the world’s smallest Instagram projector and it was good to actually talk about crowd funding and things like Kickstarter. The Instagram projector I’m talking about is Projecteo. You can check them out at getprojecteo.com. It’s a tiny little projector that you order from your Instagram shots and you effectively go old school where you have slide night with your Instagram shots. Only costs $34.99 and they deliver it from the guys at Mint Digital. It started off as a Kickstarter project and now you can order them online. Just a cool little gadget and thanks to Richard from Projecteo for sending me one. Cool little gadget. You might use it. I’m not quite sure. But it’s a nice way to show off some of your best Instagram work.

One of the reasons this podcast has taken a little bit of time, did not quite having a break, but I have been working on a spin-off podcast. Not necessarily to do with sports. But it’s to do with business. I’m doing it with a few mates of mine. It’s called Beers, Blokes & Business podcast. I’d like you to check that out. You can find that at beersblokesbusiness.com. It’s had four episodes so far. Looking at things like how to network project management and looking at some of the tools that you can use. It also looks at create transitions. I tell a little bit of the story of how I jumped from Geek into Sports Geek in episode four.

Please check it out. Love your feedback. Do it with some other really smart blokes. Definitely smarter than me in different areas of business. It’s a bit interesting to say the least and it’s always fun podcasting with a beer in hand. Please check out that. Beersblokesbusiness.com. And lastly, just a big thanks. We’ve hit 5,000 downloads with the Sports Geek podcast. I thank you for sharing it. You can go and see all episodes. This is Episode 16. The shout-outs will be at sportsgeekhq.com/16.

You can find out episodes at sportsgeekhq.com/sgp. Please go through the back catalog. There’s plenty of content there. Some great interviews with people around the world. Episode 17 will actually be coming up pretty shortly. Got some good interview coming up with Chris Freet from Miami and that will be later this week.

The sounds the game this week as it pains me to say. I actually recorded this last year in a preseason game after SEAT. It’s from the 49ers game and being a Packers fan, I wasn’t too happy that the 49ers got up. But they have the sounds of the game this week and until next week, or next episode, my name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. And I’ll talk to you soon.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to sportsgeekhq.com/iTunes. Find all Sports Geek podcasts at sportsgeekhq.com/sgp. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.