SGP 027: Summer of Cricket & managing YouTube viral hits

SGP27 #ThankYouSachin as Indian cricket fans say goodbye to Sachin TendulkarThis week on Sports Geek Podcast it’s Cricket season as summer hits down under and England are taking on Australia in the Ashes.  With Francis on ABC Grandstand look at mobile apps and where does audio and live play by play fit in? On Harftime we chat about YouTube, is it just for viral hits? How can sports leverage viral videos.


Like this episode? please leave a review in iTunes.

On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • New Cricket Australia app with Channel Nine
  • Current stoush between ABC and CA over radio and digital rights
  • How Indian cricket fans said #ThankYouSachin
  • How YouTube clip at Celtics game helped Bon Jovi revive an old hit
  • What you can do to drive traffic from you YouTube videos
  • How the NBA had one of it’s most popular Instagram videos

Resources from the episode


  • Gary Vanyerchuk on big mistake on Twitter

New Sports Geek V3.0 Sneakers

New @SportsGeek sneakers were unveiled on Facebook and Instagram last week.

SGP27 Sports Geek Sneakers thanks to MiAdidas

Social Media Post of the Week

This week’s winner is the NBA for it’s quick Instagram work to get Dwayne Wade cartwheel video bomb getting twice the likes than normal posts.  Please tweet in your nominations for social media post of the week to @SportsGeek or @seancallanan.


Closing 2 Cents

Advice for YouTube or any social media viral hit

Listening via iTunes?

Subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes, if you liked the episode please leave a review on iTunes and help spread the word on your networks.  Thanks in advance.

Podcast transcription

Sean: G’day and welcome to the 27th episode of the Sports Geek Podcast. It’s summer here in Australia. That means cricket season. England’s here to take on Australian The Ashes. And we take a look at the new Cricket Australia mobile app. Where does audio fit in? And YouTube: is it just for viral hits?

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And now, here’s your host, who still takes IT support calls from his parents, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. And thank you very much for downloading. Over 9,000 downloads that we’ve had for the podcast; 26 episodes I’ve done so far. So effectively, I’ve hit the half-year mark, so it’s a bit of a six-month milestone. Just some stats on the stats themselves. Twenty percent of those downloads are from iTunes, so there are obviously a lot of Mac users out there, and 52% from Apple Core Media, which is where I host the podcast, record. That’s effectively the podcast app.

So even though I jumped across to Android, there’s obviously a fair chunk of you that are still using iTunes because they are on Apple, and iTunes definitely is driving a stack of traffic to the podcast. One thing that is helping is the reviews that people are leaving and the fact that you are playing it in iTunes. So if you want to leave a review, I would very much appreciate it. Simply go to, and you will go to the iTunes store and you can leave a quick review. I do read them all and I’m very thankful.

On today’s show, talk cricket with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand, look at the new Cricket Australia app, and what they’re doing in India with Twitter with the Thank You Sachin Initiative around the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, and on Harf, I chat with him about YouTube: what goes viral, how it goes viral, and how sports can leverage it. But first, here’s my chat with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Francis: Sean Callanan, for Sports Geek from Sports Geek HQ, sport in the digital realm, each Saturday morning. Good morning, Sean. How you going?

Sean: Good, thanks, Francis. Yourself?

Francis: I’ve done well. I’ve been at the cricket. Life’s pretty good. And there’s nothing quite like The Ashes to send digital media and social media into the red zone overdrive. Isn’t it incredible?

Sean: Definitely. Definitely. I mean we spoke about it when the Australians were in England and the shared experience of following Ashton Agar when he was batting, but yeah, it just goes to another level when they’re in their own backyard.

Francis: There is also a bit of a battle going on in terms of sport being delivered on different platforms, and cricket’s right at the heart of it. And the ABC’s been at the heart of it too in terms of old-fashioned negotiating rights for radio. But new cricket apps, new platforms for content delivery and ball-by-ball description. The landscape is changing so quickly.

Sean: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been sort of tossing up this one last couple of days, thinking about what to discuss here at the ABC, and yeah, there is a bit of dispute on the rights of one, broadcasting the game, and then also where those rights sit in the digital space. Where do audio rights and the radio rights sort of sit? So at the moment, if you want to listen to ABC, you listen to it via the Cricket Australia app. And so that’s partly a play to make the Cricket Australia app be a little bit more premium. It’s a data play. You have to register to get it.

Francis: So do you have to pay for access to-

Sean: No, you don’t have to pay. You just have to sign up, so you have to offer up your email address, or sign up with Facebook or Twitter.

Francis: Can I ask, because we see a lot of that now. I know that the news delivery platforms on tablets also ask for an email address, but they ask for Facebook and Twitter handles. Why do they ask for those? How are they leveraging, say, your Facebook profile or your Twitter profile in order to get access to their content?

Sean: Well, I guess firstly, it’s a data capture mechanism. They want to get your email address to be able to communicate with you. And so, Facebook and Twitter log-ons do allow that to be far quicker and easier. Some people find it easier.

Francis: Much easier.

Sean: Much easier. The thing is when you do it with Facebook especially, you potentially are giving out more than your email because you’re giving up some of your demographic information and where you live, your age, and potentially some of the things that you like, depending on what the app asks for.

The ease of use and the convenience, you’re also paying up with more of your privacy and information about yourself. So that’s why a lot of the apps are effectively becoming a pseudo-pay wall to say, well, if you want our data, you hand over some of your information. My thinking, I was doing a little bit of looking, and Cricket’s not the only one that does this, one, the pay wall thing, but also the radio rights must be streamed through our app.

Francis: Yeah, the IFL do it.

Sean: Yeah, IFL do it as well, so it’s not pointing the finger at Cricket. But the thing is to me that, and other leagues have done it, have restricted their rights, but they’ve sort of gone by the wayside because they’ve all moved towards a video product, and they’ve said that’s the product they’re trying to go with.

So if you look at major league baseball, and the NFL, and the NBA, and we’ve had Richard Clark and the Arsenal, they’re all trying to drive you to watch the content on their device or on their platforms. Radio’s sort of in the middle, caught in the crossfire to a certain degree. I used to listen to NBA games on audio via streaming, via the NBA site, and it does make it easy if you’re fan and you don’t know where to go.

But the problem is that they’ve sort of dropped those rights and they’ve sort of tried to push everyone to a video product, which is where this Cricket Australia/Channel 9 application, it should be really trying to drive people to watch TV and subscribe to that product.

Francis: Does it deliver live visual streaming of the games? At a price?

Sean: Yes. At a price. So I think it’s $20, which is relatively cheap.

Francis: For the whole summer?

Sean: For the whole summer I think it is. And again, I should have checked. So you can watch it live, Channel 9, on your phone. Again, the other problem, because it’s now a Channel 9 and Cricket Australia application and not a Telco, you have to pay for the streaming of that video.

Francis: And that’s important because then you start to pay huge download rates for it and it chews up your data allowance, whereas I think the AFL or one of them had a direct relationship with TelSure, so what the action there was if you subscribe to TelSure, so for your iPad or tablet subscription, then you get un-metered access . . .

Sean: Correct.

Francis: . . . so they partner up that way to try to drive in a win/win situation.

Sean: Yeah, so that’s where it’s a little bit of a battle. Are you going to open up your phone and watch it while you’re on the tram and chew through your data and not be able to do things at the end of the month? To me, I think when you’re building a mobile app you need to have a strong sense of purpose, and to me, at the moment audio seems to be throwing to make a stronger feature set, and really all they’ve done is upset a rusted-on fan base in the ABC-land.

Whereas they should be building an app that says, “Oh, it’s alerted me there’s a wicket. I’ve got to turn on the TV or I’ve got to open up and watch that clip of that wicket.” You know, have a really strong focus, and at the moment, that’s what I don’t think it has, because there are lots of apps out there. And especially from a mobile point of view, you want to be able to get in and out, get all the scores, get all the updates, and get the thing in 30 or 40 seconds.

Francis: Particularly a sport like cricket where it’s played over a long time, so there might be an hour or two where there’s nothing happening of specific interest. But if you’re given a notification that pops up on your phone saying wicket’s fallen, you can go bang, straight over, see the video cut and you continue to have access to the narrative of the game and be involved.

Sean: Yeah, and I guess that’s the challenge because there will be multiple apps. There’s the Cricket Info app. The ACB have got their own app. You’ve got Cricket Australia. There’s multiple options for the fans, so you’ve got to provide something of difference whether it’s A, we’re pitching this as a TV companion while you’re watching, or we’re pitching this as you are overseas and you want to watch the game, then you would pay for that product.

At the moment, I think, at least in the Australian space, they’re trying to put as many things in the app as themselves, when really it would be better to have everyone who listens to the cricket on ABC Grandstand to be able to consume it as they do every other part of the day, and get them engaged in social and get them to watch the TV. Because if they watch the TV, they’ll find out about the app and they’ll find out the app has these extra features that adds to that experience and not just replaces, if you’re not at a TV.

Francis: Sean, another sort of social media phenomenon was saying goodbye to Sachin Tendulkar, and the BCCI in India, given his enormous profile, basically ran their goodbye campaign via Twitter.

Sean: Yeah, it was a strange one. Yeah, I think it’s probably still turned on. If you send a tweet to BCCI with the hash tag, #ThankYouSachin, you would get a tweet in return from BCCI saying, “Here you go, Francis, here’s your signed autographed photo from Sachin,” and they effectively take your name and have a little message and an autograph from Sachin.

Francis: I can see yours here. “Sean, thanks for all your support. Love and prayers, Sachin Tendulkar.” So they’ve just got an electronic autograph that they’ve applied to the photo, but what a nice touch.

Sean: Yeah, it is a nice touch. I guess the only thing is the amount of tweets that mentioned Sachin Tendulkar. It got a little bit spammy in the effect that anyone that tweets, so execution-wise, it could have been a little bit better, but for the BCCI and Twitter, who were trying to grow their game and grow the awareness of Twitter, it worked really well. Like, stacks of people are now following BCCI. The Indian fans that love their cricket and obviously bow down to Sachin Tendulkar, thought they were effectively getting a message from God.

Francis: Indeed they were!

Sean: Indeed they were. So really effective in that way.

Francis: That’ll have to go up on the office wall.

Sean: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Francis: At the Sports Geek HQ. Thanks for coming in again!

Sean: No worries, Francis.

DJ Joel: Sign up for Sports Geek news at

Sean: So what’s your take on live radio? Should it be something that leagues and teams should hoard away as part of their digital assets so they can fill out a mobile app? Now, this wasn’t really a direct assault or an attack of any kind on Cricket Australia. A lot of teams and leagues have done this around the world. But as everyone is moving to video, those radio rights, at least the digital forms of those radio rights, is lessening.

So to a certain degree, I’m actually leaning towards the ABC in this case. I guess the ABC is a special case in that they have a really old rusted-on demographic that were quite vocal and complaining about not getting access to it and having to go through a new app. Everything we’ve been doing around social networks, whether it be Facebook and Twitter, is always about going to where the fans are, and this is a case of taking away a platform where the fans are, and that platform is the current radio networks.

So I think the main thing would be to build an app that has reasons for the fans to be there. And so in this case, the fact that it’s a Channel 9 and Cricket partnership, they should be really pushing towards that video component, so audio just becomes an add-on in that instance. So for mine, I would be dropping audio from all apps because I don’t think it is something that fans necessarily want to be consuming in large quantities, and you don’t want that to be the only reason that they’re downloading your app.

Also, a few other notes on the “Thank you, Sachin” tweets using Digigraph, BCCI did gain 100,000 followers over a couple of days. However, they did have to tweet 150,000 times over the first three days of the campaign in replying to all the absolutely avid Indian cricket followers. My main issue is as more fans followed BCCI, more fans would have seen BCCI tweeting back to all the fans, so this is where I think it becomes very spammy.

If you don’t quite understand the idea around @replies and who sees them and that kind of thing, I’ll share a link to a slide presentation from Gary Vaynerchuk that really goes through and explains those basics of @replies and who sees them. The main issue is that anyone who follows that account will see that @reply. So in this case, as the BCCI get a bigger following, these kind of campaigns will become quite spammy.

So I think there will be some tweaks from the guys at Digigraph to sort of reduce that. But obviously it was well received. My thing is just that it was a little bit spammy.

But up next, I sent Harf an email in the morning, and it wasted his whole morning, full of YouTube clips. Here’s my chat with Harf.

Announcer: Sean Callanan, our sports digital media guru, for

Harf: Any place you want to go, it’s Sean, G’day.

Sean: G’day, Harf. How you doing?

Harf: Very well, thank you. Very well indeed. So tell me about YouTube. You sent me an email this morning with a lot of clips that I spent a lot of time watching, and diverting into other clips as well.

Sean: It is a bit of a time-waster. I guess, yeah, some of the opportunities that are there from a sports point of view, getting your content out to that platform, because it is the platform that people want to consume their video with. Yeah, some really good examples just in the last week that have sprung up virally out of YouTube in the world of sports, the first one was, and you might have seen it, it was a Boston Celtics fan dancing in the stands to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”

Harf: Yes. Yes. My word, I’ve seen that.

Sean: That’s an old video. Someone actually just picked it up, built a bit of a site around it, and it started seeding it with Facebook and different social networks. And it’s got that many views in the last about ten days that Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” has re-entered the Top 100 Billboard in the US.

Harf: No way!

Sean: So it just shows the, I guess the power of the viral video. And it is a very tough brief. Someone comes along and says, build us a viral video, that is a very, really tough brief to do. But what you’ve got to do is keep producing content that has the opportunity to go viral, and then take advantage of it.

Harf: Yeah.

Sean: So, another one that’s gone viral in the last week is the Detroit Piston’s dance team with the kid and the Dancing Usher. The Dancing Usher is a guy that dances each week at the Pistons’ facility. You can follow him on Twitter, @TheDancingUsher.

Harf: I’ll be right back.

Sean: But that was a bit of a dance-off, and again, that’s gone viral. It’s sort of gone everywhere, but what they didn’t do is said, oh, come back to the Detroit Pistons and buy a ticket, or promote the rest of their content. They just sort of let it go.

Harf: Opportunity missed.

Sean: Definitely an opportunity missed. But I guess the other opportunity missed, and I guess it’s partly because it’s caught up with digital rights of match footage and things like that is that there’s a lot of restrictions on a lot of teams on what they can and can’t put on YouTube because it’s not their primary channel. To me, I think that’s just a flaw with the rights holders in that they should be loosening up their rights a little bit, just to let more content breach YouTube.

I’m not talking putting full matches and full highlights and everything on there, but the more you can put on there, the more opportunities people will subscribe to your YouTube channel. You have opportunities to monetize your channel and those kind of things. But you have the opportunity to then drive these fans back to your platforms to watch your video players and watch your content. That’s the opportunity.

So if you’re looking at sports and YouTube, a lot of it is non-match footage, unless it’s a league-based thing, so the NBA will put out small snippets on YouTube, again, to allow it to go viral to make it easy to share.

Harf: But isn’t the best way to do it, to get the viral stuff going, is to make it a little bit quirky, a little bit left of center? The NBA have done that recently with the Jingle Hoops one where all the stars are shooting, the nets have been tuned with bells, and they play “Jingle Bells” and everything like that.

Sean: Yes, exactly. So it does fit for that quirky video, and advertisers are doing it all the time. So they’re not worried about where the content goes. They just want the content out there. You would have seen the Jean-Claude Van Damme epic splits Volvo commercial?

Harf: Volvo, yeah, yeah.

Sean: They put that up. It’s got 51 million views so far on YouTube. That’s far better than… we haven’t seen it on Australian TV, but a lot of people in Australia would have seen it.

Harf: YouTube.

Sean: And the thing is if you’re agile enough from a sports team point of view, you can leverage that kind of thing. The Dallas Mavericks grabbed the Van Damme video, they put Mark Cuban’s face on Jean-Claude Van Damme, and they branded up the trucks and they put it out to their fans. And they got, I think, 30,000 views. But again, their fans were like, “Hey, that’s cool. You’ve taken your own take on that content.” That’s the opportunity then. When you do get it, it’s a matter of hey, send the people back to your site to buy tickets, and all that kind of stuff. That’s the opportunity.

Harf: That’s how you use YouTube. That’s why it is a great forum for that type of thing. If you want to find out how better to use it, particularly if you AFL clubs, and NRL clubs, and [A-league] clubs are listening, go to and you will find out how to get into contact with Sean. Thanks, Sean.

Sean: Cheers, mate.

DJ Joel: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at

Sean: There you go. I’ll have links to all of those YouTube clips in the show notes so you too can waste about an hour watching some really cool YouTube clips.

Three steps that you need to do when you do get a viral video. You definitely want to annotate. Use the annotations in YouTube to add a prompt to subscribe to your channel and/or a link to some of your other, better videos. If you can keep people on your channel for longer, then obviously the likelihood that they will stay and connect with your content is obviously better.

The second one is a little bit of a Sports Geek trick and a little bit of a hack, is to add a call to action on your video that effectively puts an advert on your video back to your properties. So in the case of the Detroit Pistons, they could put an ad on their video that says, “Buy a Detroit Pistons Game Pass,” whatever it is. They’ve had 7 million views. They could have had a few click-throughs to buy some tickets.

The way you go about doing that, because you don’t have a call to action on a video naturally, promote the video with a Google ad campaign. You can do it for a dollar. Once you set up a video to be promoted, because you’re paying Google to promote that video, you get the option to put your own call to action, which is drive back to your site. Now, go back to the campaign, you can pause that campaign. You do not have to actually pay that dollar.

So there you go. I’ve given you a trick and I’ve saved you a dollar. But it does allow you to have that call to action back to your site. I’ll link to one of the Sports Digital Revolution videos that I’ve had up for a while that has a link back to Sports Geek.

And then the other thing is, and I’d say a lot of teams miss the boat on this, is add links in your description back to your properties, back to the website article that it was from, back to your social properties, to your mobile apps. Again, if it’s getting a lot of eyeballs, give them a place that they can go. You can do that once you find out that a video is going to go viral.

But what can you do before that? Always remember your branding. As I said on Harf Time, I didn’t think the Detroit Pistons video had enough Detroit Pistons on it. If you didn’t know it was the Pistons, you just saw it in your feed, you wouldn’t know. So always make sure that whether it’s pre- and post-, or TV bugs kind of things, on the video make sure people know that it’s your video.

Make YouTube a viable channel. Yes, I understand the rights holders and the restrictions that most teams have, and most people use it as a secondary channel, but make sure it’s a viable channel, make sure you keep putting content through it. It’s something that you really want to be active with your Google+ page and really connect those two up. And always promote that subscription option. If you get someone to subscribe, they will get it reminded with emails followed up via YouTube, and it starts keeping in their stream of videos they should be looking at.

And as I said before with annotation, it is your friend. The more videos you can annotate, the more you can link. Some channels do it very well. I really liked the work that Grantland did with its previews. I thought it was a really great job. And speaking of viral videos, stay tuned, a little over a week a side project if you’ve been following my Twitter you would have seen hash tag SAMP or #SuperAwesomeMicroProject. Check out It’s a project that I’ve done with 40 other people. I’m a patron of it.

We’ve come up with a follow-up project to the Lego space shuttle and I’m really excited about it. We taped it earlier today and the video will be out soon, so keep an eye out for it. I hope that it will go viral and we’re doing everything that we can to do that. That clock there is to remind me to dedicate this episode, Episode 27.

You can get the show notes at I had a lot of good nominations. Glen Jakovich from the West Coast Eagles and the AFL. Carlton Fisk from Major League Baseball. Steve Atwater from the NFL. Even Casey Stoner, Australian’s own MotoGP champ. But I could not go past this nomination, just so I could say his name. Zaza Pachulia. That’s right. Two Z’s. That’s how we say it in Australia. I’m dedicating this episode to NBA basketballer, Zaza Pachulia.

This week’s social media post of the week, I really like the fact that the NBA really got on this very quickly. Dwayne Wade did a cartwheel video bomb and the NBA rather quickly put it up as an Instagram video, and it got twice as many likes as other posts. So it really shows the viral nature of Instagram and the fact that if you can get that video up very quickly, you will be rewarded.

This week’s Sounds of the Game again is from the NBA. Russell Westbrook hit an absolutely stunning game-winner the other night against Golden State, and kudos to the NBA, talking about YouTube earlier. Kudos to the NBA. They actually showed that clip on YouTube and shared it on social networks, so it made it easy for that clip to go viral.

But what the Oklahoma City Thunder also did is they embraced the footage that fans took on the night, and so the Sounds of the Game this week is exactly what I want all of you to do. Take your phone out at a game and record the sounds. This fan was lucky enough to be sitting courtside at the very corner Russell Westbrook took that shot. This is what it sounded like.

[Recorded cheering and whooping]

Very cool video. I want to see more teams really embrace that fan content. It was really great to see the NBA, the Oklahoma City, not take that fan video down. And again, if you take your phone out and record some audio or some video, please me send me a clip. I’d love to include it on the show for the Sounds of the Game segment.

And that wraps up another episode of Sports Geek Podcast. Again, thank you for listening, whether you’re doing it on iTunes, Stitcher, PlayerFM. We’re uploading the back catalog up on the SoundCloud. Please let me know what platforms you’re using it on. It’s even on the Windows Phone Store.

You can always get me via Twitter, @SportsGeek or @SeanCallanan. I’d like to know when and where you’re listening to the Sports Geek Podcast. And also including the show notes, the new Sports Geek V3s, the new MyEditor sneakers that came in this week. Very happy with the third addition of the Sports Geek company shoes. Closing two cents, you don’t pick what goes viral. Just make sure you’re ready when it does.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Find all Sports Geek podcasts at On Pinterest? Follow Sean on Pinterest. You’re listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.

SGP 006: @Socceroos connecting with fans and look at @LAKings trash talk

Sports Geek Podcast available on iTunes and StitcherOn the mend from achilles surgery, in this week’s Sports Geek Podcast we chat to Robert Squillacioti about how the @Socceroos are connecting with mainstream Australia over 3 weeks trying to qualify for World Cup 2014.  Since the NHL Finals we go back into our ABC Grandstand archive with our chat with Dewayne Hankins who at the time was working at AEG Sports with the @LAKings.


Thanks again for the feedback, tag your tweets #SGP I’ve included some of your feedback on the Sports Geek Podcast page.

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

  • How the Socceroos are using digital to connect with mainstream Australia
  • Importance of understanding your audience around major events
  • Importance of understanding where digital fits when complementing sports TV coverage
  • Why the LA Kings took on the undertag into last year’s playoffs
  • How LA Kings used Twitter to develop a loud minority online
  • How the LA Kings dealt with the NHL Lockout with no access to players
  • Hashtags on Facebook, what effect will it have on sports?
  • A look at how the Melbourne Storm are using Twitter Ads

Very pleased to see it profiled in New & Noteworthy in iTunes and we’ve passed the 800 downloads mark with new listeners each week.

SGP006-SocceroosLAKingsResources from the episode

On iTunes? Subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes, if you liked the episode please leave comment or rating.

Download Episode

Don’t use iTunes? Subscribe using this feed, also available on Pocket Casts

Search for “Sports Geek Podcast” on other podcast apps, please let me know if you can’t find it.

Check us out on Stitcher Radio:


Subscribe on iTunes:


Thanks for tuning in, I’d love your feedback in the comments or send me a tweet @seancallanan

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 6 of Sports Geek Podcast. In this episode, we’ll talk to Rob Squillacioti about marketing the Socceroos, and we’ll back into the archives and look at last year’s Stanley Cup run of the LA Kings with Dewayne Hankins.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast. The podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now here is your host, whose professional sports career was tragically cut short at age 17 due to a lack of ability, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. You can find me on Twitter @Sean Callanan. I’d like to say I’m back on my feet, but at least I can say the Achilles surgery was successful. But I will be couch bound for a week or two.

Thanks to Dr. Jeff Tymms and the staff at Epworth Eastern for looking after me. Hopefully I can get back on schedule and releasing the podcast later in the week on a Friday. From next week, I didn’t want this podcast to be known as the one on the painkillers.

Also on today’s show, we’ll look at Facebook hashtags and also some of the stuff that we are doing with Twitter ads and seeing what actions and interactions you can get via those.

But to start things off, we’re going to chat with Rob Squillacioti from FFA, who runs the Socceroos marketing, and the Socceroos are currently trying to qualify for the Brazil World Cup. They won last week four nil and they need to win this Tuesday to secure their place, otherwise they go into a multiple playoff system. So here is our discussion with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Announcer: Grandstand Breakfast on Grandstand Digital.

Francis: It’s not so all right for a man, Sean Callanan, Sports Geek HQ because he’s in here with serious injury would lay him on the DL for at least about three months. What have you done, you dummy?

Sean: I’m following the lead of Kobe Bryant. I thought he was doing a great job sharing his injury with social media, so I thought I’d go and tear my Achilles, so I did follow his lead.

Francis: Basketballing?

Sean: Basketballing, and I was quite shocked. My brother sent me a text last night asking if I was going to be amnestied. So I’ve already been cut by my team. 12 months of rehab. I’m not looking forward to it, but what can you do?

Francis: Well, more time to spend in front of your computer or your tablet doing what you do best.

Sean: Exactly.

Francis: We are talking Sean Callanan, Sports Geek HQ about sports in the digital space, and around events such as the Socceroos rather compacted and important three-week period of time, no doubt traffic when it comes to the green and gold, and the round ball game goes through the roof.

Sean: It’s certainly does, a lot of national interest in the Socceroos at the minute. And the main thing is, when the national attention comes, you actually get different types of fans coming on board, fans that are just filled with national pride. They might not really be big football followers. One of the things they’ve been doing with the Socceroos, we’ve got a special guest here. He made us say his name so Rob Squillacioti, did I get that right Rob?

Rob: Squillacioti is very close Sean.

Sean: Rob is marketing manager of the FFA and looking out for the Socceroos, so we’ve got these three games. And what we’re really trying to do is to reach mainstream Australia, because we saw last night, last Tuesday, especially from a social point of view, a lot of interaction. A lot of people were watching. We saw the highs and the lows of sport. So what are some of the things that you are trying to do to get the message out about the Socceroos over these three weeks?

Rob: I guess what we’re trying to do is connect fans with the team and make them close as possible to the team. We’re trying to bring that to life in the digital space. So either through sharing a loads of behind the scenes content or just getting the players to share their experiences with the fans out there.

Francis: How do you get the players on board with that? They are so focused on this really important three weeks in their career where they’ve got to try to qualify for Brazil. I guess that the last thing they want to worry about is anybody else. Are they mindful about that responsibility to the wider public?

Rob: They certainly are mindful about what they have to do to get the nation behind them. I guess in the world we live in now, it’s not as simple as being able to lock yourself away and train and be focused. Of course that’s important for the players, but they certainly understand the job they have to do.

Sean: And they are doing a lot of community stuff anyway, social and digital, so it’s just an extension of that. They went out to schools and they do a lot of things out of those three weeks, because you can’t just be sitting in your hotel room the whole time. You will get bored, and we did have some workshops yesterday with the guys just to explain to them, one, how you can use social at a time like this, because this is when they are going to get the attention.

But also to be very mindful of, I know you used the Australian swimming team as an example yesterday, is to not let social media take over. You don’t want to be reading tweets as you’re walking in the stadium on Tuesday. You want to manage your own social, but the key thing is, and have guys like Timmy Cahill to really understand how important it is to after the game say thanks everybody, that’s great. His brand, but it’s also great for people who are trying to feel like they’re connected to the Socceroos.

Francis: And Rob, the job that Sean points out is interesting, because you’ve got people such as myself and Sean, who are diehards who will be there regardless. But there are also people who will take an occasional interest in it around major tournaments who might not know a lot about the game, but do have a keen interest to see the Socceroos do well. And to make sure that they don’t feel excluded by providing information that you assume they would know or talking about things that they might not know, you’ve got to sort of find that balance act between being an open door, a broad church, but also being savvy.

Rob: Yeah, so the way we look at it is I guess we call it the fan scale. So you’ve got that casual fan that sits with a load of national pride that may not necessarily know too much about football, but is certainly interested in Australia making the World Cup, and then down the other end, you’ve got the active supporters, who we now have a nearly established Terrace Australis Group, which will be driving the active support for the Socceroos moving forward. I guess as a result of seeing that fan scale, we have different ways of connecting with different audiences, so with the general fan, we make sure we don’t just football speech, and we’re making sure we keep it human, if that makes sense.

Sean: And the thing is, the really avid football fan, they are terribly engaged with the TV, and the thing is from a social point, you’ve got to remember that you’re the sideshow. It’s not look at me, look at me. But the casual fan, they are looking at Twitter and their social streams to get their commentary from people that they know and respect. So they might be looking for your commentary on what’s happening, because they know that you’re a football fan, but they’re also looking at the Socceroos, and they are also looking for people to have fun with, so it’s helping them enjoy that game.

So yeah, you want to make sure that you’re not tweeting about trying to explain the off side when people don’t know it. Maybe we need to provide it as an animated gift. That might reach the casual fan. We want to give it, like you said, a broad church and reach everybody.

Francis: Sean Callanan, our Sports Geek is with us. Robert Squillacioti is also, the marketing manager of Football Federation Australia, talking about digital sport, sport and the digital media and how the Socceroos are managing this very busy period of time. Just with the Socceroos’ brand and the way that it is perceived, you must be getting an interesting new window on what people think of the Socceroos because of the interactivity of the digital space, and they can talk about what they expect of the team and what their perception of it are. Has that been a bit of a revelation Rob?

Rob: Yeah. With social I guess exploding and coming to life over the last couple of years, we’ve, rather than see it as a barrier; we’ve seen it as an opportunity to engage our fans and start to talk about and actually research and seed bits and pieces about the Socceroos brand.

So for example, I guess there are loads of discussions about where we play and the stadiums we play in, and so over the last 12 months, we’ve just been seeding questions and asking our fans where they actually want to see the national team playing. It doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to change it straight away, but it certainly allows us to work on the brand and work on the overall experience, because the way we look at it, it’s end-to-end experience.

It’s not just the moment you leave your front door or to the moment you come back in. It’s actually the moment you start to connect with the brand and then maybe drop it off as it peaks around matches. How do we bring that back to life?

Francis: And I guess with the Asian Cup just now less than 18 months away, the long-term goal is to educate and get people excited about what’s not only the Socceroos journey through that but hosting the tournament as well.

Rob: Yeah.

Sean: It’s going to be, yeah. The Asian Cup is still an awareness thing. You know as we were talking about before on that fan scale, the avid fans will know that it’s coming and know the significance and the size of this tournament. But yeah, it’s the casual fans, but they are going to find out about it over the next several months, if I have my way, that know what this tournament is about and know that they’ll be able to see some great football.

Rob: And we have a great local organizing committee that’s headed up by Michael Brown, the CEO of the Asian Cup, their main job at the moment is to build awareness, so to build an understanding of what the tournament is and what it is all about. It is the most watched event in Asia when it comes to any sport. So it’s certainly got great global scale, and we’ve just got to make sure that we educate the Australian market and our fans on what it’s all about.

Francis: Can I ask from your point of view is there a particular social platform that has been the most busy for the Football Federation, for the Socceroos? Are you getting a sense of what platform fans are gravitating to more than the others?

Rob: Yeah. I think that’s an interesting question. I think Twitter is the answer for us. We have a great positive in being that everyone wants to talk about football. So we’re not trying to poke you and prod you and get your comments on the game. So Twitter allows us to be instantaneous as you both know. It allows us to essentially just have that conversation. The way I talk about it is like the conversation we’re having right now, just facilitated through Twitter. So we’re certainly seeing more success. I think we’re getting better at Facebook with the help of . . .

Sean: Yeah, I think it does lend itself to Twitter. I mean Twitter lends itself to live sports, and it’s conversational. Facebook is still a little bit one way. Still a little bit of broadcast and you engage. Whereas Twitter is everyone’s all in, and you will definitely see that this Tuesday and next Tuesday.

If you don’t know the Socceroos game is on and you’re on Twitter, then you’re doing something wrong, because you know, seven degrees of separation, you will have a Socceroos fan in your feed that starts talking about the game. We were talking to the guys at the SBS about the tune in factor and the broadcasters, it is really powerful. I’m sure a whole bunch of people change channels, when Tommy Orr kicked that goal to find out what happened.

Francis: Is there a case also that once you had engaged people through social media, the challenge is to make them feel like they belong and therefore, they are engaged for the long haul? It’s one thing to invite them to the front door and it’s another thing for them to come and sit inside the house.

Rob: Definitely. From our point of view, I guess a lot of brands try to commercialize social and we a long time ago, realized that’s not the way to do it.

Francis: It’s a turn off.

Rob: That’s right. So we are more about telling the story. So once we have you engaged, we want to tell you the story. We want to educate you more and bring you closer to the brand, not necessarily always the players, but bring you closer to what the Socceroos represent.

Francis: Well, it’s going to be a great night Tuesday night and then the following Tuesday as well. So you are going to be a very busy man, Robert.

Rob: That’s right.

Francis: And hopefully the trip to Brazil on the back of that, and then I guess that’s when it goes to a whole new level if the Socceroos qualify for 2014 in Brazil in terms of the public engagement with the team and with the concept of football.

Rob: No doubt. Making the World Cup is certainly our objective. We’ve got two big games as you say, one on Tuesday night against Jordan and then the following week against Iraq. We are very, very excited. The team is very, very excited as well and very focused, I must say. When we get to the World Cup, we’re certainly do and we’re already working on planning how we can try and gravitate ourselves towards that interest and bring people together and directly connect with them through digital.

Francis: Devastating news for the whole team is that Sean Callanan is unavailable for the remainder of this series though with this nasty injury. Sean, thanks for coming.

Sean: Thank you very much Francis. I’ll be tweeting photos as I do, following Kobe Bryant’s lead.

Francis: Good luck, mate. Thank you very much for coming, and Sean Callanan, our sports geek. Robert Squillacioti from FFA, Marketing Manager, Rob, thanks for being here, and good luck over the next few weeks.

Rob: No problem.

DJ Joel: You’re listening to the Sports Geek Podcast, tag your tweets, SGP.

Sean: Thanks to Rob for that chat and congrats to the Socceroos for winning last week against Jordan, 4, zip, and they play Iraq this Tuesday night. As I said before, if they win, they’re in. Some of the other things we’ve been doing with the Soccerros is some definite influence and outreach, making sure that celebrities and influences, but the main influences are the players. Using the main hashtag, which is Go Socceroos, it’s good to have the guys at SBS and Fox Sports onboard pushing that hashtag and getting the players involved.

The other one was actually having a Socceroos Chat, which we ran on Wednesday when we had the Socceroos captain, Lucas O’Neil actually answering the fans questions for a quick half hour chat with the fans. It went very well and was very well received by the fans. But when we’re talking about Twitter, pretty much everyone was talking about the LA Kings last year during the Stanley Cup and the way that they took a brash trash talking attitude all the way to a Stanley Cup win.

Francis and I caught up with Dewayne Hankins from the LA Kings. He was at the LA Kings when we spoke to him. He is now at the Portland Trailblazers. So here is our discussion with Dewayne about what the LA Kings did and why they took that strategy during the playoffs. I hope you enjoy.

Francis: Good morning Sean Callanan, sports geek, digital guru, how are you this morning?

Sean: I’m good, thanks. Good to be here.

Francis: Good Sean. It’s good to have you on. I wonder if the Leeds won. I did a bit of an old fashioned on Twitter. We should check.

Sean: I haven’t checked. I do know that the Storm, Dan from the Storm is over there providing live tweets from the game. Check the hashtag WCC. I sure do think the leagues are on Twitter.

Francis: It’s so old school. I thought they’d still be sending telegrams.

Sean: Yeah, no. I would put a bet on that Leeds are on as a guess.

Francis: Most good sporting franchises around the world do use it, but sometimes, that’s funny, Manchester United doesn’t.

Sean: Manchester United is still one of the ones that’s standing alone in not having a twitter account.

Francis: What’s that about?

Sean: Officially they said that they didn’t see any commercial benefit for that, and it’s actually a strange one. Occasionally I would sort of hear people say that about different platforms. Why should we . . . Manchester and I were saying why should we be on Twitter?

Francis: Well, apparently you can make any money out of it.

Sean: Yeah, exactly, or why should we be doing Instagram. And sometimes we don’t have a direct commercial benefit in that. Oh, we’ll send out a tweet or we’ll sell stuff. Now, that said . . .

Francis: Is it because Alex Ferguson can’t operate a mobile phone?

Sean: Again, he doesn’t need to do it. It’s not necessary for Alex to be on. But there definitely is commercial benefit to building that relationship with your fans, building their brand and then there is that opportunities to put that Call to Action to sell tickets, sell merchandise, all of those kinds of things. But the main thing is building that relationship with your fans and you’re communicating with them more.

So that’s the commercial benefit for all of these forms, whether it’s Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest or whatever it is. It’s like that’s the opportunity to do it right. You can find those different markets and build up that fan base and if that fan base, and then if that fan base comes more enamored with you, that’s what you want to do.
Francis: And I can confirm that Leeds United have moved to the digital age, with 30,000 followers, and I just joined to be the next one.

Sean: We just might have to have an assessment of how they are going against the Melbourne Storm online while the match is actually happening and look a little bit at their game day coverage.

Francis: If you use it clever, and you’re funny and witty, and you know how to connect with your tribe, as you call it, you can get massive mileage out of it, and we’re going to speak to somebody whose job it is to do just that with a couple of American sporting franchises.

Sean: Well, exactly, and especially when you’re running a club account as opposed to say a league account. You’re really talking directly to your fans, and that’s how we sort of advice all of our clubs. I mean, you’re in our league, you’re our fans, and you’ll be deciding to follow it, but their key market that their talking to is their fan. Now they might have casual fans or someone that’s just following along to keep up with the news, but you really wanting to talk to your super avid fan that love everything you do. I love the term from positive deviance. It just describes sports fans perfectly. Like they are just so wanting to express their passions, say how much they love the team, do whatever you want as far as please retweet, use our hashtag, show how much you support us, so you want to be talking to those kinds of fans.

If the opposition fan don’t love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter, because you’re serving your fans, the one’s that you’re monetizing, as everyone likes to say. They want to monetize social media. They are the ones that’s going to bring money in your club, and give love to your sponsors, and turn up to your events and games so they are your key customers. They are the ones that you have to look after.

Francis: And that’s exactly the job that Dewayne has.

Sean: Yeah, so I think we’ve got Dewayne Hankins from the LA Kings. He works at AAG Sports and is one of the guys behind the LA Kings and the digital strategy behind of what the LA Kings have been doing. Good day, Dewayne.

Dewayne: Good morning gentlemen, how are you?

Francis: Really well, Dewayne. The Kings had an amazing last year in the run to the Stanley Cup, and I guess when you come into focus, when you make the playoffs, did you notice at the time that the interest in the Kings’ Twitter account went through the roof around that time?

Dewayne: Yes. I believe our first sort of effort to kind of get the ordinary NHL fan to notice would have probably after Game One, when we tweeted to the fans at Vancouver. I think it was something along the lines of, to everybody outside of the DC, you’re welcome. And that was a bit of a dig at the Canucks, because, for those of you who are not familiar, Vancouver has an incredible following in their home province of British Columbia, but outside of their province, most of the other Canadian teams really don’t like them. So we fit right into that political minefield, if you will.

Francis: Did you cop a lot of hate for that tweet?

Dewayne: Yeah. I think if there wasn’t a line before, I think we definitely found the line then in terms of agitating our opponent for sure. But there was more written about the tweet the next day than the actual game itself in the newspaper. So that’s something that it’s funny and everything, and you can laugh about it, but really the story should have been about the guys on the ice and the win that they had over that team, not about what we were saying.

Sean: Hi Dewayne, there are a lot of teams that say that kind of thing and see the potential risk if you don’t continue to win, your account is going to cop it, but at the time, it was one of the most re-tweeted tweets of all times. And since, it was surpassed by T. J. Ford and his comments on the NFL for a Monday night football game. But obviously, your fans completely rallied around it, and it rallied around the attitude that you guys showed throughout those playoffs.

Dewayne: Absolutely, and I think for us, we took a bit of a tone going into the playoffs that said, you know what, we’re the eight seed. We barely made it into these playoffs. Let’s play the underdog card and let’s go out there. And again, you have to give most of the credit to the team obviously, because they went 16 and four and did not look like an eighth seed. We had a 3 and 0 lead in every one of our best of seven series. So they really allowed us to do our job really, really effectively, because our fans were just really enjoying the ride. There was really no point at which our team look like it was going to be in any kind of trouble until the Stanley Cup Final, when we actually did get pushed to a Game Six for the first time.

Francis: Dewayne, in this sports market credit is the one that you’re in even though LA doesn’t have a NFL team, they’re interested in the American football massive and college sports are big, and hockey has to find its corner probably more than almost any of the professional sports, do you have to look for a point of difference in your social media strategy to connect with fans to galvanize those that are onboard already and give them a sense of tribal identity, but also try to attract new fans?

Dewayne: Yeah, that’s exactly what we do. So we’re certainly not as large of a fan base as the Lakers, even the Clippers at this point, and definitely not the Dodgers, a very crowded marketplace. You also have UFC Football, but we have a very, very passionate fan base, a tribe. I like that term that you guys use to call it, because that’s exactly what they are to us and if we play to their strength on social media, especially on Twitter, we converse with them, if we get them to rally behind us, as a tribe, we can become a very loud minority. And we definitely saw that with the last playoffs season for sure.

Sean: After the Stanley Cup win, there was obviously the issue with the lockout. How much of that was very tough? We spoke to the NBA guys as they were going through the lockout. How tough was that as a team. You had all of this momentum that effective stopped with the work stoppage. How did you guys handle that and obviously how you are wrapping things up with the season progressing?

Dewayne: You know I think we had it easier than the other teams in the league, obviously coming off of the Stanley Cup title. The one thing that we did really well on the ground here in Los Angeles is, we had, the lockout certainly went on longer than it should have, but that meant we were able to have the Stanley Cup longer than we should had. So we had a lot of events locally to make sure that fans got their time in with the Cup. Although we obviously couldn’t utilize the players, we did want our fans to know that there was a passionate relationship that we share with them.

That honeymoon did start to die down, I’ll be honest, around December and January when the season wasn’t getting up and running. Once the season was announced, our President CEO Tim Leiweke, he did say, you know what, we don’t want to apologize over what we did, we want to go out and win another championship for you guys. And so what we did when the lockout ended, I think we donated a million dollars to local charities and said I hope this is the end of it, and now let’s go out and win another Stanley Cup.

Francis: Dewayne Hankins is with us. He’s the senior director of the Digital Strategy at AAG Sports, which includes the LA Kings, the current Stanley Cup holder in here in America’s National Hockey League. Dewayne, in terms of the fans that you attract, what is the demographic? Can you get a really good sense of who become King fans? And are you surprised? Does Twitter open your eyes to the fact that you might have a different fan base than to the one you thought you might have had?

Dewayne: No. I mean it actually does register pretty well with our actual demographics that we see on the ticketing side. It’s 70% males, that males 25 -40, so that plays right into the wheel house of Twitter. We definitely have a loud and loyal minority fan base that’s female as well. But yeah, those are the people that come to games and they engage with us in social media.

Francis: Great to talk to you. The season so far for you guys?

Dewayne: We got off to a bit of a slow start. Our team would not want to be referred to as a Stanley Cup hangover, because as our coach says, he did not have one. He knows what they are, but he did not have one. And I think the team is kind of getting off and running. I do think it’s interesting; the Kings were a team, as I said last year that barely made it into the post season. And this year, it’s a shorter season, a slower start, but I think they’ve won our last couple of games. We’ve got a game here on Saturday against Colorado, so we’ll see what happens. I think either way for us, it’s trying to keep it fun, trying to keep it entertaining. As much as we take digs from other teams and other fans of teams, we also know when we can take digs at ourselves.

Sean: That’s the thing now is that you can’t be playing the underdog tag when you’ve got the Cup back at the LA Kings headquarters.

Dewayne: That’s correct. So it would be like the Yankees, if they had sort of that mentality. So that still doesn’t mean we can’t be humorous, interact with our fans, have fun with our fans, and so we’ll probably become a bit more modest with our rings on our fingers, but we certainly still have fun.

Francis: Good luck with the remainder of the year, and we’ll follow closely on Twitter. Thank you for talking to us today, Dewayne.

Sean: Thanks Dewayne.

Dewayne: Thank you gentlemen. Always a pleasure.

Francis: Dewayne Hankins, who is as I said, Digital Strategy Manager at AEG Sports which includes the LA Kings, who are the current Stanley Cup holders. It’s good of you to come in again, Sean.

Sean: No problem.

Francis: How can we find you while we’re flipping through our Leeds rhinos tweets today?

Sean: @Sean Callanan or @Sports Geek or

DJ Joel: Go to for more digital marketing resources.

Sean: Thanks to Dewayne for that chat. As I said Dewayne is no longer with AEG Sports. He’s now at the Portland Trailblazers, and I really should mention the other guy who’s behind the LA Kings, Pat Donohue, Jr., who is now still running things behind the Kings and doing a fine job, although they did go out before the Stanley Cup Finals.

So a couple of other things, big news this week from Facebook is to follow the lead of Twitter, introducing hashtags on Facebook. For mine, I think this is one where we are going to freak out the general public that are on Facebook that don’t know what a hashtag is. I definitely think that Facebook botched the launch sending out the press release saying that hashtags are on Facebook when they were not active for another 18 to 24 hours. I definitely think they should have just installed them, let people find them naturally as they have with other networks, and then done the press release to show off that they are working.

The other thing is Facebook privacy or little privacy options that they do have do make the hashtag a little bit harder to implement. Twitter, obviously everyone is in a public sphere unless you’ve got a protected account, but in Facebook, everyone has different privacy settings, so that will definitely change what you find when you’re using a hashtag.

But it will be interesting to see if you get your fans to be using your team’s hashtags in their Facebook feed. If that’s the case, I would say it makes sense to throw one of your hashtags on your Facebook post every now and again. But for mine, I would not go hashtag crazy, because if we know anything from Facebook fans, the do not like change, and putting more hashtags into your Facebook post might actually annoy more fans than bring them onboard. So that’s pretty much it for Facebook on hashtags.

Lastly, I’ve been playing with the Twitter Ads with Melbourne Storm recently in trying to sell season tickets and game tickets with Melbourne Storm. In just looking at their model, and their model is primarily cost per engagement so it’s not actually cost per click. You actually pay for replies, re-tweets, and the like so you’re not actually paying for the click, so there are definitely some options right there. You want to make sure you’re creating tweets that don’t enforce people to click on a hashtag or to do another action, because you might not actually get the action that you want.

From what we’ve seen so far, using them with Melbourne Storm, we’ve got some pretty good results as far as getting the impressions out there, and primarily most of the clicks have been on the link for the ticketing link. We’ve got a check ticketing data to see how they actually went from a sales point of view.

The main thing is the targeting options you have for Twitter Ads, and I’m actually thinking about doing a longer pod, maybe getting some of the Twitter Ads teams on to discuss some of the different products available. Primarily, you’re pretty much targeting on followers of other accounts. So you’re pretty much trying to target other accounts on who you want your message in front.

One of the things that I do like is the tweet that’s not a tweet. So with the Twitter Ad product, you can actually set up a tweet that won’t actually appear in your timeline and it won’t actually appear in your tweet, but it will appear as a promoted tweet to the people you are targeting. So it allows you to mix up your message a little bit and not effectively expand your timeline. Whereas most of the other tweets will be promoted tweets or tweets that you’ve already done, and just give them a little bit more life in the same way that a promoted post works on Facebook.

So as I’ve said, we were doing this for two weeks. I’ve got a little bit more analysis to do to come back to you, but so far it’s been interesting, definitely interesting to look at the analytics. We did see the Twitter release analytics. If you do have Analytics, you should be able to pin a tweet, and that tweet will appear promoted on your Twitter Page.

Never fear, that’s just an added extra for anyone who’s got Analytics. You don’t actually have to pay for that tweet. So if you think for some reason that Twitter is going to start charging you for promoting your tweets, that is not the case. It’s just the fact that you’ve got Analytics, and if you pin a tweet to the top, it will appear that it is promoted by you, but it really is just keeping that tweet to the top of your Twitter page.

So that’s it for this week. A couple of things just to wrap up, now taking listeners’ Q&A via SpeakPipe. So if you go to, there is a little icon on the side there, you can leave a voicemail. I would love to get some questions into this podcast and take them on board, so please send them in.

Alternatively, if you don’t like the sound of your own voice, just send us a tweet, tag it Sport Geek. And lastly, good luck to the Socceroos. That’s it for today’s show. As I said, hopefully next week, I’ll be back on track at the end of the week, and we’ll launching on Fridays from Australia in the States.

I’m going to leave you with at the end, there are bonus materials at the end just to give you an idea of what it’s like at the end of an AFL game when the crowd starts cheering and singing the Club’s song. This is from a couple of weeks ago before I lost my phone and had to put it in for repairs, but this is after recording with one, and you can a feel for the Australian culture of sports and the fact that we all get up and sing the Club song after the match.

My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. Thank you very much for all of the reviews and comments from iTunes. I really appreciate them. If you can leave a comment or a rating, that would be great. Until next week, I will speak to you soon.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Go to for more sports digital marketing resources. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.

SGP 003: Sports and Geolocation, Social Media Personalities & Beckham

Try Time at Rebels Game at AAMI Park - one of the many stadiums I have checked intoAnother week, that means another Sports Geek Podcast! Thanks for the feedback once again, I’ve included some of your feedback on the Podcast page and will include more as it comes in, thanks for sharing.  Please let me know what you want in this podcast and I’ll do my best to provide – interviews, case studies, campaign reviews, app & tools reviews.


In this podcast we discuss the world of location based social networks or geolocation with Tariq Ahmad from Sport Shadow on ABC Grandstand Digital with Francis Leach.  On HarfTime with Daniel Harford we discuss the 12 types of social media personalities.  Since David Beckham announced his retirement last week we go back to our archives and ask Lisa Bregman from LA Galaxy about the impact Beckham had on the Galaxy’s digital platforms.

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

  • How sports fans are using location based social networks
  • What are the 12 types of personalities on social media and what does this mean for sports marketers
  • What was it like having a sports mega brand like David Beckham on LA Galaxy squad
  • How to design and prototype your next mobile app using pen and paper
  • How athletes should behave on Twitter and why swearing is sometimes OK

Download the episode here

Resources from the episode

On iTunes? Subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes, if you liked the episode please leave comment or rating.

Don’t use iTunes? Subscribe using this feed, we are also available on Stitcher

Thanks for tuning in, I’d love your feedback in the comments or send me a tweet @seancallanan

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to the episode 3 of the Sports Geek Podcast. On today’s show, we’ll be talking geo location, social media personalities, David Beckham and L.A. Galaxy, when it’s okay for athletes to swear on social media and how you can design your next mobile app using a paper and pen.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the “Sports Geek” podcast: the podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now, here’s your host, currently holding his phone up to get a better signal, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thank you, DJ Joel, for the nice introduction, the new voice-over introduction for “Sports Geek” podcast. Thanks again for all the feedback we’ve had on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and text and messages. Again, your feedback will help mold this podcast, so if you want interviews, if you want case studies, if you want campaigns reviewed, if you want apps, please let us know.

And if you want something reviewed that I’m not talking about or haven’t tweeted about, please send me a link and say, “Hey, Sean. Check this out. I want you to talk about it on the podcast.”

Our first segment today, we are talking about geolocation and location-based services. Foursquare, Yelp and the like and how they fit with sports. Talking with a good friend of mine that I’ve met via Twitter, Tariq Ahmad from, about the studies he’s done with location-based services and how sports teams are using them.

Here is the interview from ABC Grandstand with Francis Leach that happens on Saturday mornings or Friday afternoons if you’re in the U.S.

Francis: Sean Callanan is from Sports Geek HQ, each week talking sports in the digital media. Good day, Sean. How are you going?

Sean: I’m good, thanks, Francis.

Francis: Good. Today, he’s taking us to a different space, a different way to use this space.

Sean: Yeah. What I’m talking about today is the space itself is called geolocation and it’s all about checking in and telling people you’re there.

Francis: I’ve never really understood the impulse to do it. I love social media, I use it a lot, but I don’t check in to places. I’ve never been to Foursquare or anything like that. A lot of people love it, though.

Sean: A lot of people do. I’m a checker-inner. And my English teacher will probably say that’s not a correct term. But we come up with new terms with social media. Foursquare would be the main one from a geolocation point of view.

And the main thing is, you check in, tell people where you are from your locations point of view. And then, you would share it with your network. So, you can share it to Foursquare, but then, you can to share it to Twitter and Facebook.

Francis: It’s like you’re stalking yourself.

Sean: It is a little bit like that. And that’s the problem that the geolocation is. Myself, I use Foursquare; I’ve used it a lot. And Foursquare hasn’t had as much penetration in the Australian market as it has in the States.

I mean, other ones like Yelp, which is more restaurant review-style that you’re checking in and telling people what it’s like. But sports is probably one of the places. Because geolocation is all about the bragging.

Places that people check in on the Strip at Las Vegas. “Hey, look at me, I’m in Vegas.”

Francis: It’s a brag.

Sean: It is a brag. It’s like “Hey, look at me. I’m at the game. I’m at the Rebels game or I’m at the MCG.” That kind of thing. I know people were following along and that’s what I was doing on Sports Geek. “Hey, I’m at the Warriors. I’m at Oracle Arena. And now, I’m at the Rose Garden in Portland.”

So, it is a developing space and it’s still a space that both the sports marketer and the sports fan are still figuring out. Because as we’ve talked about before, there’s the issue of you have a very successful sports event and you actually can’t check in.

Francis: So frustrating.

Sean: It is. Because you don’t have the coverage.

Francis: Now, we’re going to meet someone who might be able tell us more about it.

Sean: Yeah. Who we’ve got on the line is Tariq Ahmad and he’s in the States. He’s actually developed a site called And he’s done a lot of studies on location-based networks.

So, I wanted to chat to him about his thoughts on the space and where it’s headed.

Francis: Good day, Tariq. Welcome to Grandstand Breakfast. How are you?

Tariq: Good. How you guys doing?

Francis: Not too bad. I’m fascinated as to why people would be attracted to using geolocation and checking in. We’ve just spoke then about the bragging rights. “I’m at Fenway Park,” you can brag about that because other people aren’t there. Is that the only reason why people use it?

Tariq: No. There are a few other reasons. You guys have hit the nail on the head in terms of bragging rights. There are a couple different points, especially with sports that I see why people check in. One is status, as was mentioned. “Hey, look at me. I’m at the airport because I’m traveling somewhere. That makes me cool and that makes you not cool because you’re not at the airport like I am.”

Or same thing. “I’m at the game. I’m at this huge event. I’m at the Final Four. I’m at the Super Bowl. Look at me. I’m cool and you’re not.”

Another thing. Especially with sports infrequency as well, it seems to be that people will be less likely to go to a game or a big stadium on an everyday basis than they would as compared to a coffee shop or a restaurant or the grocery store. So, you still have people checking into these places regularly.

But it could be the infrequency of it makes it more valuable. So, people are more likely to check in at these big events where they know they’re not going to go very often.

So, there was actually information shared from Facebook and Foursquare a couple of years ago that said, “Airports are the number one most checked-in place on our site. And sports venues are the number two most checked-in place.”

Because, again, the same thing, it’s infrequent. You don’t go to the airport that often. Even if you’re a regular traveler, you’re not going every day. And then, the second thing is the status thing. “Hey, look at me. I’m traveling and that makes me cool.” Or, “I’m at the game. I want to let everybody know I’m at the game.”

So, in addition to the infrequency and status, sometimes, you have companies or organizations that will give you a benefit for checking in. “Hey, thanks for checking in. The first 100 people to check in on Foursquare and show us your check-in will get a free T-shirt.” Or coupon at the concession stand.

Or maybe they’ll scale up the prize. If you’re one of the first five people to check in, maybe you’ll get a tour of the locker room.

Sean: If you saw Kevin Cote, who’s the social digital guide at the Warriors. He tweeted out yesterday and the Warriors have been doing a great job. They’ve been averaging 6,000 check-ins per game during the playoffs.

And I actually have a specific Facebook place, which is effectively the check-in desk. And that’s where, if you want to get the foam finger or the rally tower or the thunder sticks or the giveaway, that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to check in.

There’s a picture and I’ll re-tweet it again of absolute mayhem around the Warriors check-in desk. I’m just showing Francis. How many teams have you found that are using that incentive base and are sort of tying in sponsors to sort of drive check-ins? And what teams have you found along with the Warriors that are doing that kind of promotion well?

Tariq: Well, I’m glad you mentioned the Warriors. I did see the picture; I re-tweeted it out last night myself. It’s crazy. 6,000 checked in on Facebook and the arena holds 20,000 people. So, you’re looking at 25 percent of the crowd actually checked in, which is pretty phenomenal.

I mean, the data that we get from our site. On a percentage, you’re looking at maybe 5% of attendees to any given stadium, assuming that it’s sold out, will check in. So, a pretty great job by Kevin and his team there.

The Warriors do a good job. I know the Tampa Bay Lightning have done some good work with Foursquare as well, tying in check-ins either to an autographed jersey or something free at the concession stand or a discount there.

I know some teams are hesitant to do it. As you guys have mentioned with the Wi-Fi connection. If you have 50,000 people in a stadium, that’s 50,000 cell phones that are trying to be used. So, I know a lot of teams are pretty hesitant with that.

I know that the Carolina Panthers in the NFL, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks actually have a Foursquare badge that they actually reward their users for checking in. Redskins do a pretty job with Foursquare as well. Last year, they did something where you could check in to the game and then you could check in to the some of the bars and restaurants after the game.

And then, you were able to bring your ticket stub, show them that you checked in on Foursquare and they can give you this discount on appetizers or food or beverages or whatnot. So, those are definitely some of the teams that are doing great work with geolocations.

Francis: Tariq Ahmad is with us from talking to us about geolocation and checking in at big events. Is there something that’s in it for the big sports clubs and franchises? The old trick was to get people to give you their e-mail address so they could build a database.

And then, you’ve got direct access to fans, to sell it to them and to cultivate them as fans. What about checking in and that sort of information? Is that something you can warehouse, cultivate and use?

Tariq: You can partner with Foursquare and Facebook, depending on your level of partnership with them in order to get that kind of data. Where it could be that,”Okay, we saw 500 people check in to our game. So, now, that’s 500 people either we can target with further advertising or ticket discounts or even something to do with location-based services.”

Or it could be that, “Hey, we saw 500 of you checked in to our game on Saturday. If you check in to another game in the next month, maybe we’ll give you 25% off the concession stand or 40% tickets to another game or 50% off something else.”

So, I think the key with that is that you can hopefully leverage that data in order to provide fans something good. And then, hopefully, those fans will get their friends to start using as well.

Sean: I think that’s where all those networks are. Facebook with Facebook places and Foursquare. They are developing that space definitely from an advertising point of view. There’s talk that Foursquare will start allowing you to effectively purchase ads that target people who may have been at your venue or close to your venue, that kind of thing.

So, again. One of the key things that Foursquare has is the amount of data of where people are going. So, they know people that went to a game. They know the bars that traffic flow is going and things like that. So, one of the networks, which is in that geolocation space, Waze, which is a social mapping system. Facebook is in the proposal to buy them to sort of be in that space.

So, it’s still a developing space as far as how the fans and the sports marketer can use it. But it’s very interesting how fans are using it. But it is pretty much the “brag thing.”

What I want to know is it going to become some kind of, I want someone to develop a leaderboard and say, “I’ve been to all these different stadiums.”

Francis: “More venues than anyone.” Does that exist?

Sean: It does exist. There is a little bit of a badge of how many stadiums you’ve been to. But I would love to be able to check in. Because everyone has a bucket list. People have a bucket list. “I want to be able to go to every MLB stadium.”

Maybe SportShadow should develop a little bit of a, “Congratulations, Sean. You’ve done 90% of the NBA western conference. You’ve got a few more to go.”

Francis: You’re onto something now, Tariq. We’re going to have to wind it up for the news. But I reckon what we need to do is set a timeframe. And actually start a race, a race around America. To all the stadiums, you’ve got a month to get there and we can track it.

Tariq: There you go.

Francis: There you go. We’re onto something. Thanks for talking to us.

Tariq: You got it. Thank you so much for having me, guys. I appreciate it.

Francis: Tariq Ahmad from That’s a good idea,

Sean: Yeah, exactly. You can check out all the stats there, but I’m actually now going to go back through my Foursquare feed and I’ll come back for at least next week of all the stadiums I’ve been to, Francis.

Francis: You do that. Make sure you check in to Grandstand Breakfast as well.

Sean: I’m the mayor. I’m the mayor of ABC, thank you very much.

Francis: Good to hear.

DJ Joel: You’re listening to the Sports Geek Podcast. Tag your tweets #SGP.

Sean: Thanks to Tariq there for the interview on ABC Grandstand. There are links in the show notes to Also, another link to Kevin Cote’s tweet from the Golden State Warriors. Doing an amazing job with their check-ins at Warriors games.

And I did create a list of Foursquare venues that I have checked into. But I’m pretty sure it’s much more than the 20 that I’ve listed there. So, I might need to go back and look at other stadiums I’ve been to. Maybe even prior to Foursquare.

My next segment, I’m talking to Daniel Harford on Harf Time about the 12 different personality types. There was a study done recently and we discussed the 12 different types. And after the interview, we’ll come back and talk about how we can frame those types in a sports marketing sense and where we see those types as social media executioners when we’re running sports brands.

Daniel: He’s in early because we love him. Sean Callanan, great to have you from Sports Geek HQ Hello, mate.

Sean: Good day, Harf. How you doing?

Daniel: Doing really well. Great to have you in. And a very important subject today. We can find out a bit more about ourselves today.

Sean: Yes. There’s been a study that has analyzed the personality types on social media. So, the different types of people. And we have discussed it before, how there are people who are waiting who are on social because they want the deals or they want the news, all those kind of things.

So, everyone’s on it for different reasons. And Dr. David Giles at Winchester University has done a study and has come up with 12 different personality types. And he’s got some really good names for them. Of the different types of the way people are using social media.

Daniel: So, who are they?

Sean: First of all, you’ve got the ultras. They’re the ultra-fanatic. They’re checking Facebook; they’re checking Twitter. They’re spending up to two hours a day.

Daniel: That’s Rita.

Sean: That might be Rita. There are the deniers. “Social media doesn’t control my life. But take away 3G and they start getting the shakes.”

Daniel: That might be Rita.

Sean: Then you’ve got the dippers.

Daniel: $4.99.

Sean: Exactly. Every now and then, they can just dip into social media. Gorge and take it all in and then, they can give it a rest for a couple of days or a week. So, they just dip it in and out every now and again.

Daniel: I could be a dipper, I think.

Sean: You could be a dipper. Then, there are the virgins: the ones that are adjusting and struggling to find out. We’ve spoken about that before, how 40% of people who have got a Twitter account actually haven’t Tweeted. So, they would be in that category.

Another category is the lurkers.

Daniel: Oh, they’re in this category?

Sean: All of them in this category, the lurkers. They’re the ones that are just reading every single tweet. They’re watching every single thing you do. So, there’s that category.

Then, there are the peacocks. The, “Look at me,” and, “I’m all about the numbers,” and, “I’ve got get the re-tweets and that kind of thing.” And then there’s the other one, which we have spoken about before: the ranters. They just get on and they give it all hell, whether it be on Facebook. And we spoke about them the other week, that use it to complain and sometimes, people do it for certain reasons. But some people just have that in their nature.

Daniel: I’m really feeling I fit a lot of these categories.

Sean: Well, that’s the thing. I don’t think you need to stay in the one box. But you can sort of float between them in some sense.

Sean: Then, there are the ghosts, the anonymous ones. They’re really protective of their privacy, which is quite valid. And they don’t want to let any information out. So, you don’t really know anything about them.

Sean: And then there’s changelings, which is a little bit further than a ghost. And a changeling completely changes their personality. So, they completely go the opposite of what they might be and come up with a completely different personality when they’re online.

So, you might see them on Twitter and they’re all bubbly and up and about and everything. But then you meet them in real life and their dullards. I haven’t put you in this, I apologize, Rita.

Then, there are the quizzers, the people who are too lazy to use Google. Who ask Twitter and ask things of this. Then, there are the informers, the ones that want to be sharing news, sharing links, keeping people informed. They want to break news in sort of that journalism type of space, the informers.

And then, the last one is the approval-seekers, the ones that tell you how bad their life is going and, “Woe is me.” “Oh, I’ve had a terrible day. Please like my status. Look at me.” They’re the 12 types. And it’s a good way to show the personalities behind social.

But as we sort of said, if you like, you can be all 12. It’s just a matter of depending on your mood. What do you think you are?

Daniel: I’m a dipper.

Sean: You’re a dipper? Just every now and again, Friday night footy is your thing.

Daniel: Friday night’s my thing. But I don’t really need it every other day. I’ve got other things to do. What are you?

Sean: I think most people would say I would be an ultra. I’m on a fair bit; it’s part of the job. But I’m also in that informer category, trying to keep people informed.

Daniel: You know what I love? Honesty from our listeners. I’m definitely a lurker from anonymous.

Sean: A few people text in, “I’m a lurker as well.” They’re popping their heads up every now and again.

Daniel: If you want to find out where you fit in this game of social media, go to and you’ll find out the 12 types of social media personalities. Sean, great to see you, mate.

Sean: No worries, mate.

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

Sean: Go ahead and take a look at that 12 personality types in social media. You’ll definitely recognize some of them from your own personal experience using social media. And you might want to decide what you are. But also, look at it from the fans that you’re currently engaging on your social media platforms as part of your sports team or sports brand.

Because I think for some, they have a tendency to worry about the ultras and the ranters a little bit too much and not realize that there’s a whole bunch of different types of personalities that are also consuming.

One of the slides that I have been using for a long while now is one from ExactTarget: the profile, the social consumption and the social contribution of fans. And it profiled the fans in a different means to the one described with the 12 types.

And again, they have ones like “Megaphone” and “Open Book” which again, everyone sees, which is in that ranters and the ultras component. But we’ve also got to be aware of the lurkers and the people who are just consuming your content or waiting for a deal, or cautious because they’re new to social media in that space as well.

So, between the both of those, remember that you’re catering to a whole bunch of different types of fans. And don’t just focus on the ones that complain the most or praise you the most. Both camps. It’s very important that you’re catering for all audiences there.

So, just going to change a little bit and have a bit of discussion. In Australia at least, there was a big story around one of the cricketers, David Warner, who unfortunately, got into a bit of a Twitter argument with a journalist. And again, it appeared the classic, “Oh, he’s either drunk or his account has been hacked.”

And unfortunately, it was neither. He was actually just very angry at the reports that were made and he got into a bit of a Twitter fight with a couple of journalists who quite enjoyed the backwards and forwards.

Now, Dave Warner was just trying to get his point across that he didn’t like being associated the article that was put forward by Robert Craddock. He just did it in the wrong way and he didn’t address the issue in the right manner.

And social pretty much provides athletes a really strong voice. They can say, “That wasn’t me. That’s a lie. I disagree with that point of view.” But they’ve got to do it in the right way.

Dave Warner did it in the wrong way. He did it at an inappropriate time; he did it with inappropriate language. And effectively, everyone just thought he was drunk or over the top mad or both.

Now, again, I’ll link to both his tweets and also his apology on YouTube. It’s all been resolved. I mean he did get a bit of a whack and a fine for his efforts.

But in contrast, if you look at how Harry O’Brien, Collingwood footballer, responding to what were Twitter rumors at the time, a TV viewer who thought they could lip read thought Harry O’Brien said something on the telecast, a homophobic slur.

And there was a bit of Twitter chatter during the game. And at the end of the game, what did Harry really say? And Harry effectively came out on Twitter and said, “Sorry, I did not use that phrase. I actually called him a fat bleep,” and he actually did censor his own tweet, but he effectively swore on Twitter. But he effectively nipped that whole issue in the bud by addressing it.

He addressed it in a manner that was appropriate and effectively put that matter to bed using Twitter. So, a bit of a best case and worst case scenario there from how athletes can use social media. I’ll link to both Dave Warner’s tweets and Harry O’Brien’s tweets in the show notes if you wanted to follow up. But it’s a good lesson there for both athlete managers and also media managers for clubs on what athletes should be doing and how they should be using social media.

The last segment today is a bit of a bonus segment. I’ve gone into the Sports Geek ABC Grandstand archives. Because just last week, David Beckham retired from football and announced his retirement. There was obviously a lot of press around it.

Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to talk to Lisa Bregman from the L.A. Galaxy about what it was like having an absolute mega brand like David Beckham on the roster with the L.A. Galaxy. And here’s what she had to say about trying to integrate David Beckham into the L.A. Galaxy’s digital plans.

How did you, Lisa, sort of leverage a guy like David Beckham sort of to bring the fans in? But then, tell them, effectively, the Galaxy story?

Lisa: As I mentioned, David didn’t have a Twitter account. And touching back on that, that was actually a decision by his management team. So, we worked with them hand in hand for his social media, really for Facebook. So, I would send them content from the team’s side whenever we had it.

And that was great for us just because I could send them links to our website and he’s got 24 million followers right now on Facebook. So, that drove considerable traffic for us to the website.

But touching on what you said, Sean, leveraging someone like him is definitely important. And leveraging the 24 million fans on his Facebook page is definitely important. But telling that story of the Galaxy and trying to take all of those David Beckham fans and turn them into Galaxy fans was definitely a challenge and something we worked hard on.

Even to this day, he’s not with us. But any time we mentioned his name, those are still the posts on Facebook or on Twitter that are getting the most engagement. But I think, for the most part, the way that we helped educate a lot of those fans is really integrating David in with everyone else on the team. Mentioning him a lot of times in the same breath as all of our other players so that more than just his name became the kind of those common household names.

He definitely helped us increase our brand exposure globally. And I would argue that L.A. Galaxy is probably, if not the most known brand in MLS globally, maybe even over the league itself. And that was definitely, large in part, if not completely, because of him.

Sean: That wraps up another Sports Geek Podcast. I did promise you how to design an iPhone app using, of all things, pen and paper. Check out an app called POP: Prototyping on Paper. It’s a really cool app where you can actually design your app, as you should, with a paper and pen.

But then you take a screenshot, and then you take photos of your mock-ups. And you can actually link it all up and effectively have a prototype up and running in short amount of time. So, it’s a really good way if you really want to sketch out and show how you want your app to work to your developers, again, just using paper and pen.

Check it out; the links to the POP app are in the show notes. They will be at

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.

SGP 002: #ThankYouSirAlex, Tools of the Trade & Clarity

#thankyousiralexFirst of all THANK YOU, I was blown away with the response to SGP 001!  Thank you so much for the tweets, likes, comments, texts and yes even the plus ones.  Humbled by the feedback and look forward to speaking with you on future podcasts.


In this podcast I discuss the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United on ABC Grandstand Digital with Francis Leach.  On HarfTime with Tony Schibeci filling in for Harf we discuss the some of the social media and digital tools we use at Sports Geek and recommend to out clients.  We are also joined by BJ Scott on a Clarity call discussing Linkedin and how I built Sports Geek using Linkedin.

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

  • How many fans said #ThankYouSirAlex on Twitter and how much traffic was generated from Facebook
  • What to do when you accidentally tweet big news too early
  • What tools do we use at Sports Geek
  • How to save Instagram photos you like to your Dropbox
  • How to get a phone call with Mark Cuban

Download the episode here

Resources from the episode

On iTunes? Subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes, if you liked the episode please leave comment or rating.

Don’t use iTunes? Subscribe using this feed, we are also available on Stitcher

Thanks for tuning in, I’d love your feedback in the comments or send me a tweet @seancallanan

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode two of the Sports Geek podcast. Where we’ll talk about Alex Ferguson’s retirement. We thank you, Sir Alex. We’ll look at some of the tools of the trade, and we’ll get some clarity on how to do LinkedIn networking.

Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. First of all, I must say an absolute massive thank you everyone who listened to the first podcast and gave us plenty of feedback on Twitter at @SportsGeek or to my personal account at @SeanCallanan.

I’m absolutely blown away with the response from the people, both in Australia, U.K., the U.S. Terrific response, and it really inspires me to keep delivering awesome content for you guys in this form. Because I’m really becoming a big fan of podcasting, which leads us into our first segment, where we start talking about the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson from Man United, how did they do it and what happened when they did? So here is my discussion is with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand. You can catch that on Saturday mornings on ABC Grand Digital.

Francis: Sean Callanan is our regular companion on a Saturday morning to talk sports and digital media from Sports Geek HQ. Crazy week. Whenever a big announcement is made, we see social media and the dynamics of it played for all to see the good and the bad. I think last night, it had an experience of both this week.

Sean: Definitely, so the big news is obviously the retirement of Sir Alex, and by and large, I think Man U handled the retirement really well. The hash tag, #ThankYouSirAlex, was pretty well populated. Now Man U had a pretty funny relationship with Twitter. They don’t have a Twitter account.

Francis: Well, how do they explain that? Because I imagine they have one of the hottest points of discussions for football fans around the world.

Sean: Oh yeah, it’s a bit like, as far as being on Twitter, they are a bit like being half pregnant. So the Man United Press Office is on Twitter. So @ManUnited_PO, but @ManUnited, I think, isn’t theirs. And I think it was about two years ago they said, “We don’t see a reason for being on Twitter. There wasn’t a commercial reason.” I think it was the thought that they put forward.

Francis: That’s just dumb. From an organization that is so savvy, that’s plain dumb.

Sean: It is. From brand recognition and all of these things, the global reach, and all of the things that we discuss every week. So the Man United press office account, which is verified by the guys at U.K., they put out, “Sir Alex retires, #ThankYouSirAlex.” And that generated, in one hour, 1.4 million mentions of the Sir Alex hash tag. It was trending worldwide in eight minutes; that tweet alone had 33,000 retweets. So again, it should show them the power of Twitter from a reach point of view, because Twitter does go viral

Francis: Let’s just back up here. So 1.4 million mentions in total.

Sean: 1.4 after one hour.

Francis: That’s what I’m saying, within eight minutes it was trending worldwide. Just think about the pairing of the medium itself and the devices that do it. We’re talking about this information traveling around the world. And rather than being in a central point of viral television or radio, radio is portable, I guess that makes it a little easy, but people should be walking on streets and towns all over the world sharing this information virtually simultaneously. It is extraordinary.

Sean: Yeah, it peaked at 13,000 tweets per minute around the “thank you Sir Alex” hash tag. So, again, yeah, we live in this world where our smart phone is with us all of the time, and this is this real sense of everyone is almost like a digital journalist, and everyone wants to break news. So when you see something, they want to send it out and they want to make sure everyone knows, obviously, and then pass on their messages.

Francis: So they should be feeling good at this point that everyone has locked into their hash tag, and has gotten onboard with what they were trying to . . .

Sean: Yeah, you know Facebook, which is a platform they had been on, they did their worldwide doctor, and they did get millions and millions of fans very quickly.

Francis: I can say I’m not one of them.

Sean: Well actually, I should have checked out 33 million or something ridiculous from a Facebook fan point of view. They put up a post where they said, “Please leave Sir Alex your messages of support.” Simple and good, left them a little link, and it sent them to a Facebook app, which again was a terrific play, because it was like, “Francis, please leave your name, your email address, and your message for Sir Alex.”

Now whether Sir Alex read the messages, they just got an absolute bump of load of email addresses and built their database, which is one of key things that you’ve got to do in sports marketing using social. So had a 190,000 people click on that link.

Francis: Who will be getting an email advertising their new Manchester United goods for next year.

Sean: Potentially, but the fascinating thing, and this again goes to the global trends, only 11% of those were in the U.K. So again, it just shows you the worldwide nature of the Man United fan base, and the fact that Twitter is great from a viral reach point of view, but Facebook is also great from a traffic driver point of view. All of these people went and they went to this Facebook app to wish Sir Alex, “thank you very much.”

Francis: How do they stuff it up?

Sean: So then obviously, then they had to control the message of who is the next manager, and they set up a similar Facebook app to say congratulations. “Send your message of congratulations or please give us your email when you congratulate the new manager David Moyes in a Facebook app.” They obviously were in the process of setting that app, and the Twitter account sent out a Tweet saying United connected and they send out a tweet with the link, and it said, “Welcome David Moyes.”

This was before they made any announcement. So someone slipped on a tweet button, and it was quickly deleted, but it was picked up by, and it bumped. And again, Twitter being Twitter, it went viral, and they lost control of that story. They didn’t get the first user advantage of “We’re going to be the ones to break it.” Because from a sporting team’s point of view, you want to be the one that’s in front of that curve and have everyone else report off of that.

Francis: And the politics are different too, because Bill Kentwright, if he’s sincere, can say, “I didn’t agree to this. I haven’t made this announcement. He’s our manager still. Their noses are out of joint. David Moyes is wrong footed and embarrassed.”

Sean: It’s a tough position going into to begin with and then to mishandle that transition. So yeah, it’s the best-case scenario and worst-case scenario within 24 hours at Man U. So it just sort of shows how much from a social media standpoint, it’s got to be completely part of your comms plan and the execution has to be completely switched on and well planned and well thought out.

Francis: And it reminds us also that as soon as you tweet something out, you might delete it, but if someone gets their hands on it and retweets, it’s gone.

Sean: It’ll be in someone’s cache. It’ll be in someone’s phone. So deleting something like that isn’t worthwhile. It is a matter of “Quick, let’s fire up that comms team and put the story out.” But it has generated a whole bunch of stories, even I saw today a story from Wayne Rooney, where they are now writing up, Wayne Rooney has changed because it is rumored that he has been asked to leave.

Francis: Because he had a falling out with David Moyes. He wrote about David Moyes in his biography as his former manager in Everton.

Sean: Exactly, and they said that he removed Man U from his Twitter bio. And we know it’s the biggest bio change since Lance Armstrong removed “seven-time winner.” And in return he goes, “No I didn’t. I just changed it three months ago to say I was a Nike U.K. athlete to do with the rules around social media and sponsorship and being open about your partnerships.”

He said he never changed it, but it was again, the big story that they’re trying to make something, and they’re making something, in this case, that wasn’t there. But at least via Twitter, Wayne Rooney is allowed to say, “Just noting on my bio, that’s rubbish. Check out my website which pretty much says that’s rubbish.” But again, it gives him the voice to say and call out the lazy journalists that have just gone and want to stir the pot.

Francis: Sir A isn’t on twitter, is he?

Sean: No. he’s not on Twitter. I don’t think he’ll be on Twitter anytime soon. Although he might look at Phil Jackson who’s still sort of struggling with Twitter with his first quite obscure tweet, where his first tweet was a bunch of characters that just looked like a mashing of keyboards, and it got revealed in a video, gee, it’s really hard to type on a keyboard with 11 rings on your fingers. So it was a very good tweet. I think he’s a bit too obscure for most of the Twitter audience.

Francis: Lost in translation a little. Hey, Sean, you got a new podcast that people can check out soon?

Sean: They can. It was with our discussion with James last week. You can go to for the first episode.

Francis: The numeral one. Excellent. Go and check it out. Thanks for coming in this morning.

Sean: No worries, mate.

Francis: Sean Callanan from the Sports Geek with us here, talking sports in the digital media of Manchester’s United’s pleasure and pain in the social media world trying to deal with the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the arrival of David Moyes.

Sean: Well, you really couldn’t have been on the internet last week without seeing the Thank You, Sir Alex campaign, what we all thought on how ManU rolled it out, and then also, a little unfortunate that early tweet went out, but we’ve all been there when something has gone a little bit wrong in what we’ve done digitally.

The key thing is to own up to it, manage it, and move forward. Obviously it was a difficult situation there with the signings not quite happening, and the comms team just getting on with the prep, you can only imagine the panic that might have been happening.

Also, what are your thoughts on Man U not yet on Twitter? I must thank Lewis Wiltshire from Twitter U.K. He blogs there from the Twitter’s sport blog, and did provide a lot of stats on that Thank You, Sir Alex, campaign. And one of those tools that was used in how I analyzed it was the Bitly tool. Everyone uses Bitly. It’s a terrific way to, one, shorten urls for Twitter, but then also to track where your traffic is coming from and how successful things are going. And so all I had to do was put a plus symbol at the end of the Bitly link to be able to analyze how the Man U campaign went.

I’ll put that link in the show notes, but it leads me to the discussion that I had on Harf Time on different tools that we’re using at Sports Geek and also our clients are using. We actually created a list using Listly on the Sports Geek website. You can check it out at, and here is my discussion with Tony Schibeci on Harf Time SEN on some of the tools that we like using.


Tony: Good day, Sean.

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

Tony: I’m very well, mate. Very well. What’s happening out there in the world of social media?

Sean: Well, there is a lot. Obviously, the NBA playoffs is trending nightly these days, so is the same in the NHL to a lesser extent with the fight for the Stanley Cup. All things sport over here, so a very busy time in the world of sport and sports digital.

Tony: And the people are keeping themselves nice.

Sean: Yeah, primarily, although it’s a little bit of byplay between Tim Duncan and Andrew Bogut, but Tim Duncan is not on Twitter. He hasn’t gone in the digital sphere, but a lot of backwards and frontwards between the big men is fine.

Tony: A quick question to about Brendon Goddard and the tweet he put out about after the hit he got from James Kelly. Obviously the AFL hasn’t said anything about it. I don’t think there is any problem about it. He would have said it on radio. It’s good for the fans to see the interaction between plays, and he was just saying respect for the bump. It doesn’t bother me.

Sean: Yeah, that is exactly what is the good side of Twitter and seeing the players engaged in that space.

Tony: Okay, now I’m looking at your iPad; I got mine in front of me. You’ve got this amazing writing App. What in the hell is that?

Sean: That’s what I wanted to discuss today. Some of the different tools that we recommend for our clients and the guys who are sort of out there on the road and out there on the sidelines, sort of helping their team promote, whether it’s by Twitter, Facebook , or all of the different channels. And it does take a veritable sports geek toolbox, and most of it does come in your iPad or your iPhone or an Android phone.

This App that I’m using here is called Pen Ultimate, and it’s an add-on App for Evernote, so I’m a messy fan for Evernote, for clipping notes and taking notes, screen shots and all of that staff, and it becomes your little personal store. So Pen Ultimate, you have to use a stylus on your iPad, and you just write. It’s an old-school style to actually use your own handwriting, and it’s good because it recognizes your handwriting. And if you wanted to, you could use it like a digital autograph book. You could hand your stylus over and anyone could sign it.

They actually did something similar with their App. You could get to play the autograph on the App and tape a button and email that autograph to you mate. So Pen Ultimate, I find that I’m using my iPad a lot longer now, because I’m just kind of writing notes on it and things like that, so that’s one of the, we’ve compiled a list of Go there, check out the list, see what one’s you’ve used, what one’s you haven’t. We love to hear from people, what tools they’ve used.

Some of the one’s I’ve listed here I’ve actually created with a product called Listly and it allows you to, as the name suggest, build a list together so you could do it for plays of the week and then allow the fans to vote on them and things like that or here’s the latest news you’ve missed, and that sort of kind of thing. We also use a product called Sprout Social, and that allows you to have just a little bit more of control and have a bit of vision of your Twitter stream, and you can say, “I want to follow this hash tag. I want to take some notes on key fans.”

Some other ones is one called Phoster, and it allows you to take a photo of anything, which is why the name comes up, and then it make a poster of it whether it be one night only or whatever. It allows you to quickly make up a bit of graphical magic just on your phone right there.

Some other ones that we have been using, Drop Box is a great tool that from a storage point of view, you can take a photo, save it to your Drop Box and by the time you’re back in the press box to your computer, that photo will be in your drop box and you can then post it on Facebook so it’s a really good way, again, touch wood that you’ve got WI-FI coverage in the state you’re in. We’ve discussed previously another one that I really like a lot and it takes a little bit of getting used to in how you can do it is a website called IFTTT with three Ts, and it stands for and it stands for If This, Then, and what it allows you to do . . .

Tony: A flow chart.

Sean: Exactly. It is exactly that. So it allows you to say if this happens over here, I want this to happen over there. So one of the ways that I use it is say for instance, I’m on Instagram, and I see some really cool shots on an Instagram feed from a pro sports franchise, and I want to profile them later. So I’ll note for myself, I’ll double tap as you do on Instagram to say I like it, but I’ve got a if rule that say if I like a photo on this Sports Geek HQ Instagram feed, grab that photo, save it to my drop box into a folder that’s called Instagram Likes, and then there is the team. And so, I automatically I’m getting a back up and resource of all of these Instagram photos.

So a lot of our teams will use that functionality to save all of the great fan photos and then they’ll repurpose and put a fan album up for the fans to say, “Hey, that’s my shot of Etihad Stadium or the MCG.” So again, just a few shortcuts that you can get with some of the tools that work very well.

Tony: All available at . . .

Sean: is where you will find that list.

Tony: Thanks, Sean. Catch you again next week.

Sean: No worries, Shabeck.

Tony: Sean Callanan, our digital media sports geek.


Sean: I would love your feedback on that tools list. All of the tools there, I’ve used at a variety of levels, some daily, some weekly, some monthly, some just for projects. But I’m always on the look out for new tools the help make the job of the digital sports professional far easier. I’ve made the jump from iPhone to Android so I’ve tested tools from both sides of force, if you will. So please, let me know what tools you’re using and what’s making your job easier, because we want more people to know what these tools are.

For the final segment on the show, I want to tell you about a product and a new web service called Clarity and you can go to their website It’s a way for you to get access to experienced mentors, business owner’s expertise, via phone, and you can book people on a permanent basis. I’ve signed up so there you can find me at, but you can also find people far more experienced and smarter than me: Chris Brogan. If you’re in the web marketing space, you’ll want Chris’ work.

My good friend Shawn Malarkey who does some really good work in incidence marketing space, and you can even book a call with Dallas Maverick’s owner and star of “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban. He does charge $166 per minute, but if you’ve got the money to spend, you can call Mark Cuban. So here is a chat that I had with BJ Scott, who was an intern at the conference last year, and he reached out to me to say how can he build his network just as he comes up to his graduation, and congratulations BJ and good luck for all of your efforts in the future. So here is our chat on Clarity.


BJ: So when I’m looking at my network, as far as the expanding network, not necessarily your focus network, but my expanded network as far as everyone is concerned, so I try to keep it limited to people who are within the field in which I am trying to go. Or should I keep it as broad as possible and keep my network as wide as everyone I know?

Sean: That’s a good question, and I guess LinkedIn to a certain degree sort of fits into that space. Who do I connect with on LinkedIn? I’m of the approach, because I come from a couple of the different industries, so as a sports geek, previously I was a geek and now I’m into sports, so I used LinkedIn for six or seven years. So my LinkedIn just turned ten, but I think I was on LinkedIn quite early because I was in the IT space.

So I’ve connected with all of these people that I worked with at that time. So my philosophy is, and when I first moved into sports, I’ve connected with people all across the sports spectrum, because it has some value. Open networking is a little bit of a dirty word in some circles from LinkedIn. I’m just opened to networking with anybody, because I don’t know where the opportunity might lay.

Again, if I am sharing information, and again, I’ve been using Buffer App, and it’s been very good, because I can share it to Twitter, and I can share it to LinkedIn. It’s been very good in staying in touch with people all around the world, and you also don’t know how closely your network is following you. So one of the stats that Twitter rolled out is that 40% of people that have a Twitter account don’t tweet. So it doesn’t mean that they’re not using Twitter.

BJ: They’re just watching.

Sean: They’re just watching and consuming. So for instance, I’ll go to Seat this August, and I know some of the guys aren’t really active on social and Twitter and things like that, but I know that they’ll walk up to me, not to pump up my own tires, but they’ll walk up to me and ask me how things are going and how was my last trip, because they’ve been following me; they’re just not interacting.

BJ: Right, because they know.

Sean: Yeah, and so it gives you that familiarity and so you might . . .

BJ: Because they are engaged.

Sean: They’re engaged, but you might be going for a job or asking someone for an opportunity, and someone will say, “Oh yeah, BJ, I’ve been following you on Twitter. It sounds like Seat was interesting. What did you learn?” And automatically, you’ve gone from a complete cold call type scenario whether it be for a job, or a sales, or an opportunity to having some sort of semi-relationship, whether it’s just, “Yes, I follow your tweets. I know a little bit about you.”

So yes, anyway to answer your question about how wide your network should be, I would make it as wide as possible. Because again, you don’t know, all of your classmates, you don’t know where they might in up, because you can’t predict what industry or what opportunity. And again, someone might be in a completely different industry, and then they might come back to you for, “Oh, our company wants to sponsor a sports team.” And you’re like, “Cool, I’m working in sports,” and they are your first port off call, because they will look at their LinkedIn feed, and you’ve already got that connection with them.


Sean: Thanks to BJ Scott there for allowing me to use that clip from our call. What are your thoughts of my LinkedIn strategies around connecting with everyone that I think might be beneficial down the track? It’s been very beneficial in the way that I’ve gone about building Sports Geek, making connections both here and around the world, and so if you’re not connected on LinkedIn, please fire me an invite. You can find me at Sean Callanan on LinkedIn or check out the Sports Geek company page by going to, and find Sports Geek on LinkedIn.

But I think the other thing from our little chat with BJ is that 40% of people on Twitter don’t tweet. So what you’ve got to remember when you are tweeting as a team, as a brand, or as an athlete, you’ve got to remember that there are a lot of people who are just consuming. And so you’ve got to remember to be checking those stats. Use something like Bitly or Hootsuite or something that checks the stats to see what people are clicking on and where they are going, because there is a tendency, especially with Twitter, to listen to the chatter, and to listen to the mentions and the people who are chatting a lot. And they are great fans, they’re super-avid, they are what we would called your digital cheer squad.

You also have got to be aware that there are a lot of people just consuming your content. That’s it for Episode 2. Please give me some feedback on the format. I am going to try to get interviews and features with sports digital professionals around the world each week if I can. Hopefully, they’re not all as joint heavy. That’s probably what I should have said when I was standing on the scales, but they won’t all be me every week. You can tune into the live radio spots on ABC Grandstand on Saturday mornings or Friday afternoons in the U.S and Wednesday afternoons on Halftime on SEN.

One more shot out to a fellow podcaster and one of the guys that sort of inspired me to get in and start doing podcasts, Troy Kirby of Tower Sports. He actually had me on as a guest a couple of weeks ago. That podcast is now live, all linked to the Tower of Sports. But again, if you are in the sports business space, and you’re looking for more information and more material, Troy does an absolute great podcast. He absolutely puts out so much content. It’s quite scary for me doing one a week when I see the amount of podcasts that Troy is producing, but it’s all quality and it’s really interesting people that he chats to. He’s already chatted to a couple of friends of mine, Christine Stoffel from Seat, Ted Johnson from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So go back into his archives, find the ones that you want to listen to, and give him a subscribe. And that’s it for Episode 2. Again, I’d love your feedback. Send me a tweet using the hash tag #SGP for Sports Geek Podcast. You can tweet me at @SeanCallanan or at @SportsGeek. Until next week, have a great week, and hopefully your team wins.

ABC Grandstand – What is Facebook Graph Search?


This weekend’s ABC Grandstand segment discussed the new changes to Facebook as I talked Francis through their new Graph Search feature.

Download mp3

The new graph search will see the name ‘Stalkbook’ being used when discussing the social networking platform. You can read about the new feature straight from Facebook in their introduction of graph search, as well as reading a step-by-step analysis of Graph Search’s capabilities by Search Engine Journal.

Until next time

Sean’s segment is on a break at the moment put check back for more segments throughout 2013. You can follow Francis Leach and ABC Grandstand on Twitter.

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

Podcast transcription

Francis: Grandstand Talk, this is what we’ve got on this Saturday morning. Francis Leach here, we’d like to catch up with Sean Callanan from Sports Geek HQ to talk sport, digital media and social media as well. Sean, welcome back to the Grandstand Breakfast Studio. How are you mate?

Sean: Good, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Francis: Facebook. Stalkbook. It used to be called Stalkbook and now I think it’s official. It is.

Sean: Yeah, over the last couple of weeks, Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook launched a new product, they’re going to do something more mobile, they’re going to do this, that and the other and they launched Facebook Graph Search, the ability to search the Facebook ecosystem is probably a good way of putting it. The term Stalkbook has sort of come back. In its early days, Facebook was just profiles and walls and to communicate and to check out people, you would have to go to their wall and check out their wall and write on their wall. So it actually became a Stalkbook because if you liked someone, you would constantly be checking out their wall and watching their stuff. The feed has effectively taken that over and you get everything now in your feed. But Graph Search allows you search for anything that Facebook knows about in effect.

Francis: So you could sort of profile search someone, some would say, with relative ease?

Sean: Yeah, so I guess, first of all, the way Facebook sees it being useful, like ‘What restaurants are nearby have my friends been to a lot?’ That’s fair enough. Or ‘What movies have my friends seen?’ because Facebook is moving away from life and bringing you other adjectives of…

Francis: Ways of knowledge?

Sean: Yeah or ‘I’ve listened to,’ ‘I’ve read it,’ so rather than life, it’ll be like ‘I read this book. I’ve listened to this song. I’ve eaten this kind of food.’ They’re trying to get you to put more of your information into the system. But yeah, the Graph Search allows you to say, ‘What photos of mine did my friends comment on?’ and you can find the photos and that’s cool. Or ‘What places have my friends been to?’ Then when you start diving into it, you can say, ‘Find friends of my friends that like the same things I like,’ and again you might be like, ‘Oh cool, I’ve just found other supporters of football clubs I’m a supporter of,’ so it makes it very easy to find someone in Facebook. Previously you just had the name. So if you were looking up someone, if you were looking up Sean Callanan, you’d come up and you find all the Sean Callanan’s on Facebook and you’d have to sort of sift through it until you saw the avatar or you can see the name.

Francis: It was a bit of work.

Sean: It was a bit of work and whereas now, you can say, ‘People who went to school at…’ and put the school name in and it will list everyone who went to school. So those high school friends you thought you didn’t have to worry about anymore, they’ll come back. But also from an employment point of you, you can say, “People who work at…”

Francis: The ABC.

Sean: The ABC. So it’s currently in the process of being rolled out and I’ve signed up for the beta and gotten access to it, but yeah, I’ve already taken my teenage kids through it and said, ‘Look. This is what you’re employers are going to look for and they’re just going to go and they’re going to know how to find you and all the embarrassing photos, they’ll be able to find the photos that you’ve commented on. So they might not be your ones but you might see someone in an embarrassing photo that you’ve commented on it or liked it. They can see what groups you’ve been in.’

Francis: It’s once again a reminder that Facebook can be like pulling your pants down in the town square.

Sean: It can be, so you have really got to be aware from a personal point of view. Anything you do can be used against you in the court of Facebook. That’s pretty much how it’s going to be now so if you’re liking or connecting with suspect groups, from a sports point of view, journos have already spoken to a couple of coaches who are really scared. They know their players are using Facebook and using it to connect and I’ve always said that’s fine. You’ve got everyone else on Facebook, why shouldn’t an athlete, politician for instance, the election coming up, why shouldn’t they be on Facebook to see their friends and families? But if they join the wrong group or like or engage the wrong photo, it will be quite easy for the news men or me or anyone to do that piece of, ‘Oh look here, the players from X Club are partying at the Big Day Out.’ It might just be seeing them all standing, watching the latest band or something and it’s pretty innocent but we all know that the media can beat it up a little bit. So there is a concern there.

Francis: Is there a way to avoid being caught up in this? Do the user’s privacy settings deny people access to your information?

Sean: Yes and no. Previously they had privacy settings to not let anyone search for me and you could click that and people wouldn’t find you when they put your name in. Now, they will find you if they put your name and so one of the ways to fix this is to have a fan page and so someone puts your name in or a celebrity’s and they’ll find the fan page. The problem is there are so many other things that I can search on that aren’t blocked. I can search where you work, where you went to school, all of those kinds of things. It’s fairly easy to search your way around. Just warn people to check what they’re sharing and how far they’re sharing and when they’re sharing it.

Francis: And don’t share what you wouldn’t share with your nearest and dearest [Laughs].

Sean: Well previously it used to be ‘don’t befriend someone on Facebook who you think might sell your photos to New Idea for 100 dollars. Now it doesn’t matter because now New Idea can get it anyway.

Francis: They can get it for free. Thanks for coming in mate. Where can people find you and catch up with everything that’s happening up in the world of sport digital media and beyond?

Sean: They find me at @seancallanan or @sportsgeek

Francis: Sean Callanan in with us talking sport and social media.

ABC Grandstand – Wrap of the 2012 year in Sports and Social


The last ABC Grandstand segment for 2012 was a wrap of the hits and misses in the sports social world from all the big sporting events.   Francis and I discussed the biggest moments, hits and misses from around the globe.

 Download mp3


London Olympics

Of course, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s 100m and 200m races were the peak of traffic on social media from the Social Olympics, and as a point of interest, Foxtel’s 8 channels offered great coverage.

Euro 2012

The European Championships in 2012 smashed Twitter records, showing the global nature of both football and Twitter. The apex of tweeting for Euro 2012 was with Spain’s fourth and final goal in the final against Italy, which generated more than 15,000 tweets per second worldwide.

NRL’s new digital deal

The new NRL Digital deal is quite groundbreaking in Australia. It’s not carrier specific so everyone can see it, so it makes watching NRL easier and is a win for both Telstra and the NRL.

NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski tweeting during a race.

He was stationary at the time, but NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski tweeted a picture from the racetrack. It gave fans a great insight and a view of the race from the athlete’s perspective.



Instagram v Twitter

The Instagram v Twitter dispute has been happening for a while. Twitter didn’t allow Instagram to use Twitter to find friends and then Instagram have stopped showing Instagram pics in Twitter natively via Twitter cards meaning traffic goes to their site. There’s also been some trouble about Instagram’s new privacy guidelines.

TJ Lang’s anti-replacement ref tirade

We can’t post it here because it was profanity laced, but Green Bay Packers guard TJ Lang was quite upset with the NFL when it’s replacement refs blew a call that cost them an early season win against the Seattle Seahawks.

His tirade earned him a large fine from the NFL and around 98,000 retweets from just-as-angry Packer fans.

Blaming social media

The Australian Swimming Team came under fire for their poor performance in the pool at the London Olympics, prompting a few to blame social media as the distraction that stopped them performing their best.

Athletes buying followers

There were a few athletes in 2012 who bought Twitter followers to boost their numbers. In the end, it does nothing for their personal brand and, as Wil Anderson said at #TwitterBrekky, “It’s like putting a sock down your pants”.

Until next time

Sean’s segment is on a break at the moment put check back for more segments throughout 2013. You can follow Francis Leach and ABC Grandstand on Twitter.

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

Podcast transcription

Francis: Good morning Sean Callanan from Sports Geek HQ, welcome back to the studio, how are you?

Sean: I’m good thanks, fired up for a big day of Christmas shopping, get it all done in one day.

Francis: Well you can do it online! I’m surprised you’re actually going to bricks and mortar retail.

Sean: Yeah, I actually still prefer to see it, I do a bit online but I prefer to actually see it and be inspired by what I see.

Francis: Check what everybody else is…

Sean: Got to support the bricks and mortar retail.

Francis: You do and I was doing it yesterday. Good luck with that! Sean has been with us all year talking about sports in the digital space and today we’re doing Hits and Misses of 2012 and so much has happened over the year. And some big events too, like in all sectors of life, big events or big challenges often bring breakthroughs and solutions and the London Olympics for digital sports media coverage was a real watershed moment wasn’t it?

Sean: Oh definitely. Even from some of the small things from the fan’s point of view, not really talking about the things that happened in the pool and on the pitch and on the track. The fact that the fans at the stadium were able to tweet and send Instagrams and tell people what the event was like. So getting stuff like the Wi-Fi coverage, when you talk about it was going so well that it was affecting the TV coverage. So it was great for the people at the event to be able to share the event.

Francis: So what were they doing differently to say some of our big sporting stadiums here in Australia that really struggle with capacity?

Sean: They definitely put a lot of money into the infrastructure to be able to support it. As we’ve spoken about with really tech savvy stadiums like AT&T Park in the San Francisco Giants in the major league baseball, it can be done. It just needs to have one, the right tech partners involved and from a ‘how do we pay for it’ point of view, making sure those partners get credit in bringing it. So they would have had to put in a lot of technical infrastructure, especially around the Olympic stadium and probably do some extra things around some of the venues to make sure people can use it. But it really made for a great experience because we got a lot of great content, even just from athletes. There was a little bit of common sense around the social media policy.

Francis: Because the Olympics have a fairly hard line when it comes to all sorts of content that has Olympic ground ramifications. You can’t even show seven seconds or more of an Olympic event if you’re not a rights holder and they are militant in enforcing that. And they were going to try that with social media weren’t they?

Sean: They were.

Francis: They threatened it.

Sean: They threatened it. And to a large degree everyone knows their forms and to adhere to it. Video was still a bit no-no, no one was allowed to be shooting any kind of video but they definitely loosened the rules a little bit. And just by the volume it would have been too hard for them to follow up and say “you can’t be tweeting”, that kind of thing. So it did provide a highlight on the track, we had Usain Bolt, he’s 100 and 200 being the peak of traffic on Twitter.

Francis: What sort of numbers do you remember was he trafficking?

Sean: It wasn’t as big as it could have been because I was in the US at the time with the delay.

Francis: Oh the delay!

Sean: The delay of coverage. So it wasn’t as big as it could have been. I think from my brown slides a couple of weeks ago at the Twitter Brekkie, I think it’s the third biggest Twitter event, still behind Euro 2012. So Twitter is still really a global game, so Euro 2012 was the biggest Twitter event from a tweets-per-second point of view. But also the other part of the digital side of it was just the coverage we got from a TV perspective.

Francis: It revolutionised television coverage, the Foxtel coverage of the Olympic games.

Sean: Yeah, so being able to watch the eight, or keep track of the eight channels via your iPad and the TV was this two screen experience. We had a lot of people talk about it and they sort of talk about the Twitter and Facebook as our second screen but with Foxtel we actually had that two screen and frankly a third screen, because you were watching one channel there keeping an eye on the hockey or swimming races coming up and you had that third device following Twitter and seeing what it was doing. So it definitely shows what they’re capable of. It will just be interesting to see if that gets applied to smaller sports, the new NRL deal that they’ve done. Expect to see something similar to that by the guy at Fox Sports and Foxtel and NRL because they pay a lot of money and they really want to make sure that they deliver to fans.

Francis: And they’re delivering sport live to mobile platforms in full, so that’s an interesting way to do it.

Sean: In full. And what’s really groundbreaking from a sport’s point of view, they’re not tied to a particular mobile carrier. So everybody will be able to see it and that’s a really big leap and I think it’s a great move for Telstra who have bought the rights. You’re going to go and use all your data; it will be a good way to draw people across to their networks. And it’s great for the NRL because it just grows the game for them.

Francis: And Nascar has been a bit of an innovated issue when it comes to digital sports media isn’t it?

Sean: Well it has, we’re lucky enough to have Brad Keselowski tweet during a race. Now, occasionally…

Francis: You could get arrested by the cops doing that!

Sean: Tweet only at the lights! But yeah, there was actually a car crash and why a race car driver had his iPhone, I don’t even know where there’s a pocket, did he have a specific pouch? He probably has a sponsor patch on it somewhere but he pulled out his iPhone, took a picture of the crash in front of him and tweeted it and it obviously went viral. It was really an opportune time, Twitter had just done their first TV ad with Nascar and they had a specific Nascar page on Twitter so it was really good for them.

Francis: How long before we see Buddy Franklin or Sonny Bill Williams pull an iPhone or pull a device out of their sock after they score a goal or a try and just take a photo of the crowd and just tweet that.

Sean: Unfortunately I think the time has passed. I think social media policies don’t allow that, they could schedule a tweet that goes halfway through the game but they will get in trouble and we would like to see a little bit of fun with that but I don’t think we’ll see that anymore.

Francis: Damn! We’re with Sean Callanan from Sports Geek HQ talking about sport and the digital media in 2012, that’s the good stuff. Some people have missed the boat though.
Sean: A little bit. Instagram and Twitter have been a little bit backwards and forwards fight ever since Instagram was bought by Facebook. So they’re always competitors but now.

Francis: The gloves are off!

Sean: Now the gloves are off, it’s a bit like someone moved from Carlton to Collingwood kind of thing, it just spices it up a little bit more and so they’ve been having a bit of a fight. Twitter didn’t allow Instagram to find friends and then just in the last couple of weeks Instagram have stopped showing Instagram pictures in your Twitter feed natively via the Twitter cards. Which doesn’t seem too much but…

Francis: It’s a statement of intent.

Sean: It is, they want the traffic to go to their site and to their app which is quite valid, that’s what they want to do but it does make for a poor Twitter experience if you’re seeing a picture and you have to click on a link and go out of Twitter. It will have a detrimental effect on the growth from a Twitter point of view. And then we had Instagram release the new terms of service, or at least try to where they were saying they’re your photos but we’ve got rights to them forever and if we want to use them in ads we will. They’ve done a little bit of back pedalling.

Francis: Because the reaction was fierce from a lot of people.

Sean: There was a Richmond Football Club, ‘I’m going to microwave my phone’ type of response that they might do after a bad loss. So yeah there was people saying ‘I’m going to delete my Instagram account, how dare you take pictures of my poached eggs and use them in an ad’. So it was a bit irrational.

Francis: Yeah the cover of Vogue, suddenly your fried eggs will be on the cover of Vogue and you’ll get nothing for it!

Sean: Yeah exactly. There will be pictures of your legs while you’re sitting at a beach. So I think common sense will prevail. Instagram have to make money, they’ve been bought by Facebook but the idea is they’re going to be an ongoing business. So there will be some advertising in there. Mostly it will be around the data around what you’re doing. So what you’re liking and why you’re liking and there will be some way for them to embed content in there. So that will be something that will be interesting for the next year.

Francis: Sean, because Twitter is and social media is publishing and inevitably in publishing someone is going to get themselves in trouble by saying something they shouldn’t have, who won the price for the biggest ‘oops’ of the year?
Sean: I think TJ Lang of the Green Bay packers. Earlier on in the season the NFL had the replacement refs on Monday night football, they made a little bit of a mistake, put my disclaimer there, I’m a Green Bay packers fan, I tend to agree with TJ. It was an end of game play and cost Green Bay the game and TJ decided to go on Twitter and drop the F bomb, said ‘F the NFL, get rid of the refs, if you fine me give it to the proper refs’, is pretty much what he said in a couple of tweets.

Francis: And they did fine him, how much?

Sean: They fined him, I think it was, it was over a hundred grand, it was a fair chunk of change but he did get 90,000 re-tweets for his message. So he got a bit notoriety and funnily enough, the refs, it got a bit more coverage for the NFL refs who were getting a lot of support on Twitter and a couple of weeks later they were back at work so maybe put that down to the power of social media and he might get a few Christmas cards from some NFL refs that got a bigger pay payment thanks to TJ Lang.

Francis: And closer to home probably the sports organisational body that missed the boat with social media this year or got it wrong?

Sean: I guess the main thing going back to the Olympics was the Australian swimmers.

Francis: Blaming Facebook for being too late at night.

Sean: And blaming Twitter and reading a bit too much of their own mentions and getting caught up in their own mentions feed a little bit and they really just didn’t have the people in place to say ‘Hey guys you don’t sit there scouring every single newspaper and listening to every single radio about how you’re going’, and it just crept into the village. So it was great from the fans point of view to be able to connect and say congratulations and good work. But when they were just falling short or when they did well early it did affect their preparation later on. It was a good experience for the Olympic team to understand that and it’s another part of preparation that athletes have to do going forward.

Francis: And I guess the other one in that sphere is be careful who follows you and don’t try to buy them. We had the incidents of athletes this year of basically having an auction of followers on Twitter in an unseemly battle of egos.

Sean: And again that’s the disappointing thing of buying Twitter followers, because athletes don’t need to and it’s a bit of an ugly part of Twitter. It’s not Twitter’s fault. There’s people offering these services that create these dummy accounts and inflate your numbers and I think Will Anderson put it best at the Twitter Brekkie said “Buying Twitter followers is like putting a footy sock down your shorts”. I won’t go through the rest of the joke because you’ve probably figured it out, but it is just a bit of false bravado. There’s a few out there and there’s other people that do it but it’s much better if it’s a genuine connection and you have a bit of backwards and forwards. It doesn’t matter what you tweet, Shane Warne, you might not agree with what he tweets but every now and then he does make a bit of sense on Twitter. I think just a couple of weeks go he said ‘If you don’t like what I’m tweeting, unfollow me’. And that’s a great philosophy. A lot of people do because they don’t want their bon-bon jokes spoiled because of the amount of bad jokes that Warne does on Twitter, but the other thing is he does provide a little bit of, like we see on the coverage of the big bash, every now and again he offers a little bit of insight that he proves he wouldn’t have got.

Francis: And that’s what it’s there for. Good on you Sean, thanks for coming in again today and have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and we’ll see you in 2013.

Sean: We will thank you very much.

Francis: Sean Callanan, you can find him at Sports Geek HQ or follow @SeanCallanan on Twitter and keep up to date with the latest in social media.

LinkedIn’s new updates and the San Diego ‘Chill Pill’ controversy


This week’s ABC Grandstand segment focused on LinkedIn. Sean and Francis discussed the social networking website for professionals, the changes it has undergone recently and how company pages are being set up and work as an online resource.

Download mp3

If you want to know more, you can read about the new changes to LinkedIn’s profile pages as described by LinkedIn Product Manager, Aaron Bronzan or check out a third-party review of the changes by Tim Peterson of AdWeek. For an example of a company LinkedIn profile, check out the Sports Geek profile. You can also see Sean’s LinkedIn profile and connect with him.

San Diego’s PR mishap

The fanbase of the San Diego Chargers weren’t in high spirits after their team’s epic collapse versus Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, with many taking to Twitter and the team’s official Facebook page to vent their frustration.

The Chargers’ response: ‘Take a chill pill”. Bill Johnston, Director of Public Relations for the Chargers, took to the team’s website and published this article. Starting his piece with an accusatory, “What’s with you people?” rhetorical question, Johnston goes on to describe Twitter as a faux-tough guy tool, saying, “Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face”.

While some of the vitriol spewed at the players and franchise across social media might hit a nerve, Johnston’s response is almost a perfect “what not to do” example of communication between franchise and fans.

The article went crazy on social media, with many people tweeting the link, while media outlets Yahoo!, USA Today and the NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal weighed in on the story. Probably a lesson for others in similar positions to not take their frustrations out on fans.

Until next week

Catch the segment live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand. Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

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

Podcast transcription

Frank: Grandstand Breakfast welcomes Sean Callanan from Sports Geek HQ to talk Digital Sports. Good day Sean, how are you mate?

Sean: Good thanks Frank:, yourself?

Frank Not too bad. Now LinkedIn, it’s everywhere but how do you use it? I get requested all the time to be LinkedIn with people and I’m still working out the best way to do it. And for sports clubs looking for connections and to build I guess this critical mass of people that they can work with and just share knowledge and IP, all that sort of stuff. It must be really useful if you get it right?

Sean: Yeah. I’ll give you a bit of background to what is LinkedIn, it’s effectively a professional social network. Scott Kilmartin from Haul actually describes it as ‘Facebook for suits’, so if you take that sort of tact it’s a professional network to grow a way for you to profile you as a professional person.

Frank: So it’s like a new kind of digital CV for you?

Sean: It is, it’s got an IT background and I’ve got an IT background. I’ve been on LinkedIn for six or seven years now and so I’ve stopped creating a resume because LinkedIn had everywhere I’ve worked, who I worked with, what I did in those roles, what kind of skills I have. And I thought ‘Why do I have to keep updating this Word document to send it out?’, if you got to my LinkedIn page you see everything. So from that point of view, it’s great from a professional development point of view and if you want to be looking for your next job it’s a great place. But also for business development and getting yourself new business and that’s what sport’s always doing, it’s looking for new sponsors or sometimes new owners, or trying to find the right people to recruit. LinkedIn is really valuable in that sense of if you are looking for a sponsorship deal in some manner, rather than just hitting up people cold, you can get some really decisive research into who you should be calling but, more importantly, who you might be connected to that actually knows them. So rather than hitting them up directly and saying ‘We’ve got this sponsorship proposal’, ‘A friend of mine knows you…’, you can call them and you can say ‘What’s this guy like? Can you do an introduction?’ and start a conversation that way.
So LinkedIn is growing rapidly, it’s now at 3 million people in Australia and there’s over 100 million people worldwide, because it’s just professional. If we looked at the demographic for Facebook there are obviously kids on Facebook and stuff that are dominating all the likes and the engagement and there’s people who are interested but who aren’t in the workforce anymore. But LinkedIn is pretty much the workforce.

Frank: How best to curate it though because you get maybe requests from people you don’t know or you don’t have a lot of information about, and if you just click yes to everything you find yourself with a whole bunch of people that just mean nothing to you?

Sean: Yeah. There is that, there’s three ways to look at LinkedIn. There’s your own professional point of view so you connect with people that are of interest. Then there’s the professional point of view that this might help me in my work career or the business that I’m working in. And then the other side of it – and LinkedIn is trying to move into and they have over the last 18 months – is into a company focus side of things. So if someone looks up your company there will be a company page, so in the same way that Facebook has fan pages, LinkedIn now has personal profile pages. Which are getting a bit of an upgrade lately – starting to look a little bit Facebooky – but they’re also creating these company pages. I actually had a call from one of my clients saying ‘What do we need to do on this company page? Do we put up the same stuff on that we put up on Facebook?’ and it’s like no it’s a completely different market. But what you should be putting on is ‘We launched our membership campaign’ or ‘We’ve got some sponsorship options, there’s some great event hospitality.’ So with that company page you effectively create this pseudo corporate brochure of ‘Here are the options that are available for you at our team’, but also ‘Here are the actual people who will contact you and sell to you about it.’ So those corporate sales execs need to make sure that their LinkedIn profile and everything is all looking nice.

Frank: They can probably be more efficient, no broad acre I guess sprooking to just everybody
hoping that you’ll land somebody that’s interested, but then you can target more specifically people at your sports organisation that might actually be able to make a contribution|.

Sean: Yeah exactly, if you were going to approach someone in the LinkedIn environment it allows you to come back to that company page and you say ‘There’s all the options’. And again you’ve got this idea of recommendations so people can recommend you as a person, but they can also recommend you as a company or service.

Frank: Or endorse you and say ‘Yes, what Frank: says he does is actually true.’

Sean: Exactly, it gives you a bit of that social proof and helps everything go around. It’s still getting refitted out with a bit more news and stuff, the idea is that you can share your professional life or your professional stories as far as ‘This is what we’re doing in business’ or ‘We’re launching a new campaign’, so people start seeing that story coming through and you give them a bit of insight into what’s happening behind the scenes.

Frank: I better get out there and clean up my LinkedIn.

Sean: Clean up your LinkedIn, connect with everybody. I’ve got a bunch of guys in the States at the moment – Matt from The Eagles, Dan from The Storm, Jess from The Bulldogs, Dave from The Crows – they’ve all copied the old Sports Geek trip and we’ve set up a lot of meetings about that via LinkedIn, connecting with people. Hopefully they manage to catch up with Brad Mayne who was the American Airlines centre and got me into the Dallas Mavericks Lakers game, but now he’s the CEO of the MetLife Stadium which is where The Giants and The Jets play.

Frank: That’s how those connections are made.

Sean: I’m connected with Brad on LinkedIn, I’ve made the introduction and that’s how you can do this professional networking. And LinkedIn is the place to do it.

Frank: Now how not to do it comes from Bill Johnson, director of public relations at The Chargers in the NFL. Please explain this fantastic letter that you’ve shown me this morning.

Sean: So if you go to, Bill Johnson – the director of PR – has written a piece called ‘Take a Chill pill’.

Frank: And it starts, people – and this is after The Chargers lost a game – ‘What’s with you people?’ and that’s the opening line and it goes from there, Sean, read a bit of it for us.

Sean: ‘Yes, Monday’s loss was bad, horrible, embarrassing. Now get over it, it was a loss, one loss’ and the line I like ‘Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they’d never say to someone’s face.’

Frank: And then talk radio, don’t get me started. So this is the head of PR for The Chargers, on the official website… [Laughs]

Sean: He’s just a little bit upset at the fan feedback that’s coming back after a loss. In my position we’re lucky enough to see the good and bad of sports, and it’s great when you see The Melbourne Storm win and all the positive stuff. But you do have teams having bad seasons and it’s very hard to take it, but you really have to restrain yourself from having a crack at the fans as Bill’s done here. He’s gone down this path of – and this has gone a little bit viral – we’ve seen some accounts of replies to fans by DMs or telling them to shut up. You really just can’t, especially when they’re at their most vulnerable, they’re just showing their passion for your team and they’re upset. Next week before the game they’ll be up and ready to go again so you don’t want to be bashing your fans. As much as you want to, I accept angry texts all the time from my clients saying ‘I want to do this’, it’s like no, I tell him ‘Take a chill pill.’ So I think what Bill should do is he should take his own advice and he should take a chill pill himself.

Frank: Good on you, Sean. Sean Callanan from The Sports Geek HQ with us here on Grandstand Breakfast talking to us about sport in the digital space.

Live is where Sports & Twitter thrive, so why can’t TV join the conversation?


Sports is best when the stakes are high and Twitter thrives as fans move to the edge of their seats so why can’t TV join in?

Sean & Francis discussed why Twitter’s growth has been linked with the success sports teams are having using Twitter.

 Download MP3

Take a look at the evidence

Thanks to Twitter’s Laura King who presented at SEAT Conference we can see the top 8 Twitter moments, 6 are sport 2 from music and ALL were live on TV.

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 Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

Follow @saintfrankly

Follow @abcgrandstand

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

Podcast transcription

Francis: Sean Callanan is the man when it comes to all things Digital Sports and he’s with us again from Sports Geek HQ. Good day Sean, how are you?

Sean: I’m good thanks, Francis.

Francis: Good to have you back in mate. Twitter and sport have become synonymous with each other, it’s fascinating to watch at the moment to see the big media companies trying to engage Twitter and use it, say on television in their broadcasts. And some of them are better at it than others but the sports broadcasters seem to be struggling with it here in Australia.

Sean: Well that’s the thing, one of the phrases I always use when I’m doing a presentation is ‘Twitter is where life happens’ and that’s where sport’s at it’s best as well, we’ve seen the AFL go to live TV, no delays and everyone loving it. Whether it affects attendance and things like that may be something that has to be decided, but it’s definitely given Twitter a massive boost. Because people can talk about the game and be having that, I like to see it as the second special comments guy. You’ve got your two guys in the box corner at the game, but Twitter provides a different point of view whether it’s tactical, humorous or observational, it’s providing that. So it’s something that at the moment TV networks over here, and even in a lesser extent in the States and the UK, are still trying to figure out how to best integrate Twitter. They’re in to getting that whole sports TV, we keep hearing the ‘Second screen experience’ is to get that ‘I play by the fans’ into the interaction that they’re doing on Twitter anyway.

Francis: Radio’s always had it because radio has talk back and it’s one of the great dynamics of the radio experience and why it probably lasts, it’s not unilateral it’s not just the one platform delivery, you have a conversation with your audience. Television’s never really been comfortable with that and this is a big challenge for them.

Sean: Yeah, one of Twitter’s main slogans is ‘Join the conversation’ and what we’re seeing at the moment is, we might have an AFL game or an NFL game or a cricket match happening and people are using the hash tags. Whether they are the game day hash tags or the club hash tags, but there’s a conversation happening at this place. And then what we’re seeing is the TV networks trying to do is ‘Use our hash tag and we’ll have a conversation around this’

Francis: They’re trying to own the conversation?

Sean: They’re trying to own the conversation, they’re trying to effectively in competition to the leagues and the teams running the event.

Francis: So is that like Fango?

Sean: It is a little bit, that walled garden approach of ‘Hey come in to our little digital world and talk in our space.’

Francis: Which is counter-intuitive to what Twitter is about, which is an open conversation and an opportunity to meet like-minded people that you would never encounter.

Sean: Exactly and there is a few of those apps popping up that are like ‘Oh it’s a sports version of Twitter’, no Twitter is the sports version of Twitter, you don’t need to replicate that. So what we need to do from a networks point of view is to get the networks to realise that that’s where the conversation’s happening, and if they do want to do that social curation and post up the best Tweets on their network, then that will actually help them be part of the conversation and drive traffic. So if Dave Warner is winding up and opening up the shoulders, and everyone who has been trained to be Tweeting this specific hash tag and know that it’s on Channel 9, will flick the channel and start watching it, so it’s a really big channel changer.

Francis: It really is and we say that Olympic Games on a couple of occasions, didn’t we, where people decided to tune in for specific moments at the Games because it just lit up on Twitter.

Sean: Yeah, exactly, it’s just a matter of going ‘Hang on, I better change the channel to watch that’.

Francis: I remember it specifically happening during that hour when Great Britain won three gold medals at the track in the space of sixty minutes, and Twitter just went bananas, ‘You’ve got to watch this’ and Wayne Farrell was the last one to win. By the time Farrell had ran his race, the whole world had bee alerted to it on Twitter as much has anything else. The Twitterverse was on it and it was just a critical mass.

Sean: Yeah and it was pretty much a watershed moment for Twitter in the UK, for everyone it was like the light bulb went off and ‘Ah, that’s what Twitter’s for’. And to give a bit of integration thing, we’ve talked about how in the US the Olympics was delayed, but the way Twitter helped NBC from an integration point of view was if you searched for the Olympics on Twitter in the US, you actually ended up on a branded NBC Olympics Twitter page. Which again did absolute wonders for the NBC Olympics, it put NBC’s Twitter properties in the front of fans looking for information on the Olympics. It also pushed up the athletes and gave them a lot more lift and drove traffic back both to the digital properties but also back to the website. So what Twitter’s trying to do at the moment – and using sports as one of their key planks – is helping people understand what Twitter is. It’s not log on and tell people what you had for lunch. What we see Twitter as is it’s replacing the new idea and the newspapers of a time where you might follow Warnie and Liz Hurley for your gossip columns and you’ll follow your sports team, some of the athletes and celebrities and some of the news breakers and automatically you’ve got a little bit of ‘This is my flavour of life’ and I might be into sports, wine, technology, whatever it is and you can get that feed.
Then what happens is, when you’re in the live moment, you start seeing people who are talking about the stuff you want to talk about and you can actually have that backwards and forwards with people. And that’s when, for me, that’s when Twitter goes off when people start going ‘I can have this, it doesn’t have to be conversations right there and then’, you can have a long form conversation every couple of days with someone and keep up with what they’re doing.

Francis: Sports Geek HQ is the company Sean Callanan runs, he’s here with us again on Grandstand Breakfast again and we’re talking about Twitter and sport. And there are some events that lend themselves a bit better to it, I guess the Tour de France is one because it’s a long form event and you can have a conversation over an extended period of time. I’m finding with the Major League baseball playoffs it’s perfect for that as well. Say some of the field games like Australian football and other games that are really quick, is it more difficult because the dynamic changes every five, ten seconds?

Sean: Yeah it is, that one is a tough one for the broadcasters. Even with the baseball you can tweet ‘That was an awesome shot’ or ‘That was a great mark’ or whatever, and then by the time broadcasting get it that even has happened and past. So that does make it tough to get live Tweets to stream, it’s not like Q&A where you’re putting on your commentary of how it’s going. But when you’ve got a longer form game, like baseball or cricket, someone will say ‘Ricky’s looking menacing here, he could get a big score’ and that’s a Tweet that a producer could go ‘That’s a great one, we can put that up, hopefully it doesn’t get out straight after’

Francis: [Laughs] That’s the Twitter jinx, that’s going to happen soon.

Sean: It’s going to happen, ‘Oh my goodness you put that Tweet up and then he went out’, I’m sure there’ll be some one, Michael Clark will storm the dressing room ‘No more Tweets about me’

Francis: ‘You hash tagged me’

Sean: Yeah exactly, so that’ll most likely happen down the track but it will be good for the engagement.

Francis: It’s going to be fascinating watching it develop. How can people find you online?

Sean: ‘@SeanCallanan’ or ‘@SportsGeek’ or at

Monday Night Meltdown – How fans, players & NFL handled it on social media


Monday Night Football meltdown was discussed with Francis on ABC Grandstand on Saturday , how the fans, players & NFL handled the controversialMonday Night Football finish between Green Bay & Seattle.

 Download MP3

How the Internet covered the NFL MNF meltdown

Mashable – Packer’s Tweet Goes Mega-Viral After Insane NFL Ending

Mashable – On Facebook, NFL Can’t Decide What to Do About Controversial Ending

Adweek – 5 New Social Media Measures of an NFL Fiasco

How the Packers responded on Social Media


We discussed Clay Matthews posting Roger Goodell’s phone number on Facebook, the number was legit but the Facebook page was run by a fan not Clay Matthews.  It resulted in 70,000 voicemails being left at NFL Head Office.

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 Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

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

Social September – Who wins @AFL Vs @NRL? Where does your team stand?


We first look at the battle for social media fans back in March 2011 when the AFL reached the magical 1M milestone on Facebook with the NRL in close pursuit we looked at the social media fan numbers again in September 2011. Both Leagues have smashed through the 1M barrier are are in a race to reach 2M Facebook fans across the league.

The AFL & it’s clubs have maintained a strong following on Twitter with a far more Twitter followers than in the NRL shown by the stark gap in the club averages 19,398 compared to the NRL 13,012. However on Facebook the NRL holds a lead in the club averages lead by Broncos with a whopping 260K Facebook fans with Collingwood & Essendon both joining the 200K club recently & the top 10 split evenly but the AFL teams are getting slightly more engagement via Facebook’s “Talking About This” metric. AFL does have 2 more teams with Gold Coast & GWS Giants joining the AFL in the past 2 seasons.

Given 5.8M people on on Facebook in Australia, it will be interesting to see what numbers both leagues can grow to. Thanks to SportsFanGraph for helping us compile these numbers, you can check our live rankings for NRL & AFL and other sports.

We discussed the Social September with Francis on ABC Grandstand on Saturday as well as the “Talking About This” number and the mysterious Facebook Edgerank.
Download MP3
Where does your team sit on the Footy social media ladder?

Embed Social September on Your Site

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 Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

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