Televised AFL Draft… we’d like to see that

There have already been a few reviews on the Fox Sports coverage of the AFL Draft.  To say reviews were mixed would be kind. Rather than point out what went wrong, here is the Sports Geek suggestions for AFL Draft 2011 (which by the way will be a tough cover with every 2nd pick going to the Gold Coast).

  1. Lose the reverse order top 10 announcements – It doesn’t “build anticipation” when most question marks on picks start at 7 or 8 but you announce pick 10 first.
  2. Move to a bigger venue – I would hold the draft at a venue like Rod Laver Arena, tickets could be sold to fans and make the draft an entertaining night.
  3. Let Andrew Demetriou announce all picks - Following the NBA & NFL model, apologies to recruiting managers in the future you will submit your picks in allocated time to be read out by AFL CEO who would then greet and congratulate each pick.
  4. Slow down – Allow the broadcasters some time to report on and analyze the picks.  The pace was furious making it hard for TV producers and web producers alike.
  5. Build drama – Quite surprising that one of the bigger stories of the night being Luke Ball was largely overlooked in the Fox coverage.
  6. Discover draft stars – Agree with Ed Wyatt allow some fresh TV talent be discovered as a Draft Expert.
  7. Integrate the fans in the coverage – Why not embrace the chatter on Twitter & Facebook and work it into the coverage with a ticker the same way MTV does?
  8. Use technology available – Costs are involved but the AFL Draft is a perfect vehicle to showcase the multi-channel options on Fox Sports.  e.g. Highlights, Interviews, Stats, Multiple Audio are just a few that would’ve fit well.
  9. Talk to the players – The stars of the night are the players yet we didn’t hear from many of them at all.  Sure they are kids but most would’ve been interviewed a few times during the lead up.  A few standard “How excited are you?” questions give the fans a little insight into their new recruits.
  10. Who’d we pick? – Answer the most important question of the night, ALL NIGHT.  Make sure the talent on hand knows the players picked and can give some info to the fans.  Remember all footy fans want is hope and it goes a long way in selling memberships.

Do you want assistance planning your next televised draft?
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AFL Draft… #afldraft

At Sports Geek we’ll be following the AFL Draft coverage from an online & TV perspective as a followup to our review of AFL Draft Machine.

Please tweet using #afldraft hashtag and add your comments on AFL Draft coverage.

#afldraft Twitterfountain

The tweets shown in the Twitterfountain are from the public Twitter stream and are not associated with Sports Geek (with the exception of our tweets from @seancallanan & @_SportsGeek_).

Tonight also sees the AFL Draft go up against the Arias keep an eye on which event will win on the Twitter battlefield.

#afldraft

#arias

Thanks to TwitterFountain and Trendsitic for some great Twitter visualisations.

Want to learn more integrating social media with your web site?
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Sports Geek knows… social media

SportsGeek_FB_Logo_smallGood to see mainstream media catching up with the issue facing many athletes with identity theft.

As discussed previously on Sports Geek on “Fake sports stars can damage a personal brand” there are ways athletes, agents, clubs and leagues can take control.

If you don’t know the social media space, it’s OK.

[Breaking news: Hear Sean talk about Facebook & Athletes on SEN 1116 The Run Home this afternoon]

Sports Geek knows:

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • youtube
  • myspace
  • tumblr
  • email
  • blogging
  • iPhone

Hat tip to Nike & Bo Jackson for inspiring this post… enjoy.

Want to learn more about protecting your athlete’s online persona?
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AFL Draft Machine, keeping fans involved

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

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

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

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

How sports can use new Twitter lists

NHLTwitterListsTwitter recently released new functionality to allow Twitter users to be grouped into “Lists” to provide easier access to follow groups of your followers.  If you want a full Twitter run down check out this TwipTip post.

At Sports Geek this new feature is a great way to help connect fans, a leader in this area is the NHL who have transformed the NHL Twitter account into a giant fan connection platform.  A simple tweet from the NHL got hockey fans into action.

@NHL Hey guys–we want to create lists of #NHL fans by team! Please Tweet @NHL your favorite team or teams w the hashtag #myfavoriteNHLteam

This allows more fans to connect with their favorite hockey team, which will only help create more buzz around the NHL.  It’s this kind of internet buzz that Mark Cuban believes (as do we) that can enhance the sports TV experience and ratings.

Unfortunately Twitter only allows 20 lists to be created so not all NHL teams are currently listed but it is a great start in building a strong passionate fan base.  The lists allow the fans to engage each other allowing more discussion and creating a strong social media voice for the franchises and league.

Lists also can help leagues and franchises solve the problems of fakes (previous post) by providing their own “Verified” lists like the AFLPA have done for AFL players.

We’ve been playing with lists with our SportsGeeksStars account which follows all Twitter account that interest Sports Geek – sports, leagues, athletes, brands, geeks.  Check them out.

Sports Geek business cards – the ultimate tracking device

Sports Geek business cardsThose who have met me at a networking event like Tweetup Mellers or Melbourne Entrepreneurs may have been “lucky” to get one of my Sports Geek business cards.  For those I have not met, you will when we do, but I better now describe them.

Being Sports Geek I have been a sports fan all my life, I ran a successful sports card trading store when trading cards were big business in the 90s (in Melbourne, still is big business in the USA).   I have collected a few over the years, although I do wish I bought a Michael Jordan Rookie Card 15 years ago now worth $650US.

So when I started Sports Geek I decided to put my trading card collection to good use as business cards.  I have seen contacts trading them after I’ve handed them over. “Aww, I got Phil Smyth and you got Charles Barkley, that’s not fair” was the call and the trade happened.  Additionally I’ve seen people excited getting a player from their team which makes for a great start to the conversation.

However, to explain the headline I got a call today that floored me, someone found one of my cards and called me to ask if I wanted it back!  They found it on the floor at a coffee shop and assumed that the stickers were to ensure my cards would not get lost.  I explained that it was OK she could keep it but I do know who I gave that card to and will be in touch soon as I know he no longer has my details.