In this ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked the positives in social media and how it can be used for good in sports.
Using Social Media for Good
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.
— Qantas Wallabies (@QantasWallabies) April 20, 2012
Sports Geek Medals – Pinterest edition
Bronze – Manchester City
They have a board for title “City Tattoos”, needs no other explanation.
Silver – Anaheim Ducks
Doing a great job of pinning material from fans from other social networks like Facebook & Twitter.
Gold – Boston Celtics
Doing a great job sharing pictures & promotions from the Celtics vast history. Even running a Pin it to win it competition.
Until next week
Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.
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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.
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…
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.
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 sportsgeek.com.au.
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: sportsgeek.com.au
SEAN: That’s it, sportsgeek.com.au, @sportsgeekhq or @SeanCallanan on Twitter.
FRANK: He’s everywhere. Sean Callanan our Digital Sports Guru here on Grandstand Breakfast.