Jeremy Lin Fan Appreciation Week Review

What has Social Media provided for athletes? For some it has assisted with their career and for others it’s had a detrimental effect. The positives and negatives all relate and impact on the athlete’s ‘Personal Branding’. The growth of social media has changed the way professional athletes develop their personal brand. This aspect of their career is exceptionally important as it affects their marketability, popularity and sponsorship/endorsement opportunities.

Catalyst Public Relations published a study which found that sports fans are 55% more likely to purchase a particular brand that their favourite athlete, whom they are following mentions it on Facebook or Twitter

Jeremy Lin, NBA point guard of the Houston Rockets is a prime example of an athlete who has effectively managed his brand since he shot to stardom after an impressive run of performances for the New York Knicks. In the mecca of basketball, New York City, Lin’s sudden rise won him thousands and thousands of fans worldwide and the ‘LINSANITY’ craze caught on.

During the NBA playoffs Jeremy Lin hosted ‘Fan Appreciation Week’ using different social media platforms, giving him the opportunity to give back to his fans that have supported him throughout his career. A simple gesture which goes a long way in maintaining and building his popularity.

Jeremy Lin - Fan Appreciation Week

Facebook Q&A

Monday started with the Facebook Q&A, which featured 18,424 Likes, 124 Shares and 5605 Comments. As Jeremy Lin is of Taiwanese descent he has a large following of fans around Asia. To capitalise on this he has an English and Chinese Facebook page which reaches both fan bases. Unfortunately Lin wasn’t able to respond to all comments, but seemed to answer as many as he could during the time.

The Q&A was a simple and effective way for Lin to reach and engage with his fans while giving his followers the opportunity to ask any question, within reason and be answered. Questions ranged from obscure ones like “Chuck Norris VS Liam Neeson in a fight ….. Who wins?” to “Funniest guy in the Rockets?

Jeremy Lin - Fan Appreciation Week - Day 1 Facebook Q&A

Rockets Artwork Contest

This was the first contest of the ‘Appreciation Week’, which involved Twitter. Followers were required to send in any Rockets artwork they had created with five followers chosen to win a signed ‘Linsanity Movie Poster’.

This contest also had a dual purpose. Not only did it promote fans to interact with Lin, it also created an avenue to promote the upcoming ‘Linsanity Movie’. We have also seen this occur in posts from Teams such as the Golden State Warriors, where they promoted sponsors while engaging and interacting with their fans, providing the ever present dual purpose of social media. As we can see from the graph below the @JLin7 handle was mentioned 941 times during the day two contest.

Jeremy Lin - Fan Appreciation Week - @JLin7 mentions

Instagram Impersonation Contest

Fan Appreciation Week Day 3: Rockets Impersonation Contest! Post (and tag @jlin7) a picture on instagram of you impersonating a Rockets player(s). Heres my sample of @jharden13 on the left and @chandler_parsons on the right. Be creative and winners announced tonight!

Let the impersonations begin! Day 3 featured a Rockets impersonation contest via Instagram.

SINA Weibo Q&A

Lin hosted another Q&A, this time on the Chinese micro blogging site SINA Weibo. It was evident that Lin made a major effort to maintain his global appeal especially in Asia. In 2012 Lin returned to Taiwan to participate and instruct a local youth basketball camp with the assistance of NBA player David Lee – making good on a promise he made earlier in the year.

Multiple Choice Quiz via Facebook

We are back on Facebook for the final day of ‘Appreciation Week’ and the fans have to answer a Multiple Choice Quiz and the first person to answer them all right wins a signed pair of shoes.

Jeremy Lin - Fan Appreciation Week - Day 5 - Facebook Quiz

While this post received 7518 Likes, 137 Shares and 629 Comments, it didn’t experience the same success as the Day 1 Q&A. Besides the dilemma of going through the comments to find the winners of the competition (Lin mentioned he got a headache looking through the submissions), the quiz format would only reach those who waited for the post, thus limiting it’s reach. When social media competitions prompt followers to be the first to answer or post you are neglecting your casual followers who aren’t constantly connected. Having a competition which allows followers to post a simple entry such as the Twitter art work and Instagram impersonation you are now allowing the majority of your followers to participate.

Looking over the events of ‘Appreciation Week’, Lin has proved how simple it is using social media to interact with his fans and in the process thank them for their support. The ‘LINSANITY’ craze may have been lighting in a bottle with Lin’s move to Houston but through the use of simple and effective competitions and the continual interaction on a regular basis, Lin has be able maintained his popularity globally. The great use of social media combined with regular visits and accommodating his Asian fan base has in turn increased his marketability and improved his chances of garnering endorsements.

Lin’s Volvo Commercial

Lin heads out for some ‘street-ball’ with David Lee

Athletes in many sports worldwide have a short career span. What social media has provided is another avenue off the field or court to develop an athlete’s brand. It has also allowed middle tier players in many leagues to increase their popularity with their personality and social media savvy competitions to increase their name recognition to heights only reserved for the superstars.

Have a read of the ‘Social Media Guidelines’ post, which outlines what athletes need to consider when posting to maintain a positive image.

What other athletes do you feel have done a great job in maintaining their personal brand through Social Media? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Lin takes part in #HerosHangout on Google+

Lin also recently took part in a Google Hangout as a part of the Veteran’s United channel, where he discussed life as an NBA player and conversed with military heroes from across the US.

Social Media Guidelines simplified

On the 7th of June a tweet went out from @soldierUK providing servicemen and women a simple guide to follow regarding online behaviour. There are three categories which the guide followed; Green, Amber and Red. The guide is specifically related to military content and reducing the risk of sensitive service information being published online.

Let’s have a look at how the ‘unofficial’ online guide for the military can be adapted to a sporting organisation and its players and athletes.

GREEN: Be aware of what content you post!

Social Media Green Guide

Category ‘green’, is all about being aware of how your information/ posted content shared on social media affects the organisation, yourself, family and friends. This has been an issue for many athletes not thinking about ‘who can see their account’ and not protecting their own privacy. Earlier in the year we saw Josh Dugan stood down by the Canberra Raiders for posting a photo on Instagram of himself and Blake Ferguson drinking, the final straw for the club. This was followed weeks later by an abusive comment directed at a fan which resulted in the Brisbane Broncos pulling contract negotiations with Dugan. Would a similar summary such as the Green category be mandatory in all athletes’ houses?


It’s important for athletes in particular to be aware of who can see their social media account. If an athlete’s settings are on private they to, still need to be sure that content posted is appropriate. For those who are public, due diligence needs to be taken prior to posting. Athletes need to be constantly aware of how others may view their posted content and interpret it in a positive or negative way; if they think it could go either way don’t post it.

Be Polite

Posts and content will reflect your personality, your likes and dislikes, and followers will be able to see this. That’s what has lead to the rapid growth in social media, is that sense of voyeurism which attracts use as humans to these different digital platforms. Portraying yourself as ‘Polite, Constructive and Honest’ is essential as followers will be given a glimpse into your world and in turn the organisation / team you represent.

Fact vs Opinion

Athletes and sports organisations need to be aware of the difference, as it can lead to misrepresented news and information. Twitter for example we see staff of organisations often explicitly display that their tweets are their own not that of the organisation they represent, but is that enough. If both parties do their research prior to posting content this would solve the problem. Social media is about the conversations you have with your followers and supporters and if the information is fiction or false it could potentially have a negative influence on followers as they may feel that this “official” post isn’t genuine.

Keep it official

This is a GREAT point which needs to be followed up with an effective process in place for athletes representing an organisation which have an established avenue, which IS NOT online, to ask questions about ‘official’ and private matters.

Protect privacy of family

Not only do posts affect the individual posting them but also their family and friends. Within social media athletes aren’t just representing themselves, the sporting team but also their family and friends whom which they engage with online. Being aware of when it its appropriate and necessary to mention them in a post is extremely important and the inclusion of ‘being as carefully as your own’ summaries that perfectly.

Quality Vs Quantity

Providing information through social media which reflects your likes and personality is a great way for athletes to connect with followers. Being aware of the necessary steps in portraying a positive brand goes along way for athletes through content posted.

Follow club rules

The final point would be included in a Teams social media guidelines as there would be a governing body which would have their own guidelines which players still need to follow and abide by.

AMBER: When in Doubt . . . . . ASK

The Amber category looks at when it is necessary to ask or seek permission prior to posting online. This is extremely important for an organisation such as the military which handles highly sensitive information, but can these guidelines be adapted to a sporting organisation?

Social Media Amber Guide

Game Plans

Athletes and organisational staff need to be aware when posting content relating to procedures and processes, if it’s appropriate to post. An example would be if an athlete were to post information regarding plays or adjustments made before their game or competition. This information would be regarded as giving the team or opponent a competitive advantage and we all know how important that is (Bill Belichick 2007 ‘Spy-Gate’).

Keep company line

Opinions regarding the organisation from an athlete or staff member whether or not positive or negative should be kept to themselves. Posting comments online is not the avenue or platform to vent and we have seen many athletes do this. An Ohio State quarter back decided to tweet about how he came to college to play football and shouldn’t be attending classes, this resulted in him receiving a one game suspension.

Be very clear

This is point refers to posting content and explicitly making it known to followers that the information is either your own opinion or sourced from someone else which credit needs to be given. This is important for sporting organisations who report on numerous new sources for information and post the content online. For example quotes from player interviews need to accurate and not misconstrued.

Be politically correct and don’t offend

This point speaks for its self and I believe it is a must for all social media guidelines. One case which comes to mind was during the London Olympics in which a Greek athlete posted a tweet which was seen as tasteless and racist. Greece’s Olympic Committee then saw it fit to expel the athlete from the games, making her the first due to social media use.

RED: Do not, Do not, Do not!

Category RED focuses on what definitely should not be posted at any time. A guide which explicitly outlines what shouldn’t be posted will greatly assist all parties (athletes and staff) of an organisation as there are now no grey areas where they can potentially go wrong with content posted online. This also holds them accountable to their actions as what is expected of them is clearly stated.


Social Media Red Guide

You could follow a tried and true rule Sean uses in athlete training, below:

Don't be a dickhead! (if you are social media isn't for you)

Closing Thoughts:

Social media provides athletes and sporting organisations an opportunity to connect with followers and supports on a consistent on ‘real-time’ basis. As a result it is paramount that there are a set guidelines to follow which outline what is acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to posting content online. What we have seen from @soldierUK is a simple summary of those expectations broken into three colour coded categories as an easy to read guide. As we have shown these points aren’t just exclusively for the military and can be applied to a sports setting. From this we can see that no matter what the area of profession it is important that the brand image of an organisation is upheld by all employees, volunteers, contractors, athletes and everyone involved. Maybe a simple summary such as these colour-coded points maybe a solution to solve athletes posting inappropriate content online.

For more on Social Media Guidelines checkout the previously posted Do’s and Don’ts , with some great tips from players on their own social media guidelines they have given themselves.

Let us know what you think could potentially safeguard an organisation and its athletes.

Olympic Sports Digital Update Day 5 – Phelps, Visa, Channel 9 & Lolo Jones

Sports Digital Olympic news you may have missed

Day 5 – Competition

Have you checked out the London 2012 Social Media Dashboard?  You should!

How much power do 140 characters have?

Are Olympic Organisers wishing these games were a little less social?

Keep Calm and Tweet? What approach should athletes take to social media during the games

Can athletes turn a profit with social media?

US Gold winning female Gymnasts are tweeting with everyone!

Is social media by elite athletes distracting them from the job at hand?

38 Million Cheers worldwide for Visa

Has social media taken gold these Olympics

Sports Geek’s Dion brought the L2012 Twitter cam account to you first on his post, scooping the Mashable story on Stadium Cam accounts!

More on the Australian Channel 9 Facebook coverage outcry

Twitter Medals – Day 5

Bronze Medal -

Silver Medal – Lolo Jones

Gold Medal – Barack Obama

#digifail Medal

Not #digifail but a fail to us…..

Chinese Divers family hide grandmothers death and mothers cancer for over a year until after she won gold

Instagram Of The Day

Action shot from the Women’s Volleyball

Source: via Anna on Pinterest


From Google+

19 medals – congratulations to Michael Phelps on becoming the all-time most decorated Olympic athlete.

Source: via Anna on Pinterest


Keep those nominations coming in

Each day we’ll update you with best sports digital news, tweets & pictures from #London2012.

Also tune into @ABCGrandstand each morning to hear Sean give you the latest update from #London2012.

Send a tweet to me @amcal or @SportsGeekHQ if you see something we should add.
Sign up to Sports Geek News to stay in touch with the sports digital world.

#BODSW is back with #SuperBowl XLVI, Pinterest, and some #Linsanity

Welcome back, again, to Sports Geek’s #BODSW. After a hefty break over the summer months while I was following in Sean’s footsteps,

Excuse the hat, but wouldn’t you be wearing it in minus-16 degree weather?!

conducting my own #sportsgeektrip in the USA, including watching Green Bay’s Matt Flynn throw 6 touchdowns in minus-16 degree weather, the (at the time) 2-12 Washington Wizards upset the 12-2 OKC Thunder, and catching a Knicks game before all the #Linsanity, we are back and better than ever, as this week we have a look at the social media impact in Indianapolis during Super Bowl XLVI, the growing popularity of Pinterest (along with a quick review), and athletes and social media. Along with this, we’ll have a look at who gets best on ground this week for excellence in combining sports and social media. So sit back and enjoy 2012’s first #bodsw and remember to keep an eye out on my Pinterest site for photos of my very own #sportsgeektrip across America.

Social Media at #SuperBowl XLVI

We know who won Super Bowl XLVI, with the New York Giants’ Eli Manning again being a thorn in Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots’ side, but who won the social media battle from Super Bowl 46? To get an idea of the link between social media and sport, check out this cool info graphic and story on the big dance in Indianapolis earlier this month, which included an unfathomable 5.6 million Super Bowl-related tweets!

Pinterest: Have you started pinning?

Arguably the fastest growing new social media platform on the internet, Pinterest is gaining more users seemingly by the second. With comScore estimating the website gains over 10 million unique viewers monthly, the online pinboard needs to be investigated to see how sporting organisations can incorporate it into their digital marketing strategies. If you aren’t sure what Pinterest is, check out New York Times’ tech columnist David Pogue‘s review on the revolution.

Be sure to check out Sports Geek’s Pinterest page, as well as Sean’s own page for some great sports-related pins. And remember, Pinners, images are the key to pinning items, so find some great images and get pinning.

In case you missed it, Sean was on ABC Grandstand last week with Francis Leach and Amanda Shalala, discussing the growth of Pinterest, and remember to tune into ABC Grandstand at 7:45am  to hear the latest news from the digital sports world.

How not to use Twitter

With Twitter such a huge part of our lives now, including our sporting lives, the US state of Maryland has taken a somewhat radical approach to their student-athletes and Twitter; banning it. Towson University football coach Rob Ambrose has banned his players from tweeting after one of his players tweeted a racial slur before a football game. Check out this list of schools in Maryland, created by, that have some interesting policies on social media access for athletes.

The AFL and Telstra join forces, leave Optus out

Big news from the AFL  this week with their new deal with Telstra that will allow fans to watch every game this season straight from their smartphone or tablet device. With the NFL, NBA and MLB having such great success with channels such as NFL Game Pass and the NBA’s League Pass, it’s great to see the AFL starting to catch up to the world leaders in online content.

On the other side of the AFL/Telstra deal, rival telecommunications giant Optus is seeking legal action against Andrew Demetriou and the AFL over comments made by the AFL CEO during an interview with the Sunday Herald Sun. Be sure to keep an eye on how this one pans out.

Best on Ground

The first best on ground for 2012 goes to Sports Illustrated for their March Madness Cover Challenge, where readers can enter a competition to get their own picture on the cover of the March 19 edition of the long-running sports magazine. It’s an excellent initiative by an iconic sporting magazine, and one that is sure to excite it’s fans worldwide. Check out Sports Illustrated’s cover challenge on it’s Facebook page now. Entries close March 5th, 2012.

Video of the Week

By now, you’ve probably heard all about Jeremy Lin and all the terrible puns (Linsanity, Lincredible, Super Lintendo, etc.) that have crept into the vocabulary of NBA fans worldwide. If you haven’t heard about the young Harvard graduate who took the road less travelled to the NBA, then check out this video of his game-winner against the Toronto Raptors that sent the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy. Be sure to check out how Sports Geek linked the New York Knicks with a New York-based info graphic artist - all the way from Melbourne. Enjoy!

#BODSW – Best of Digital Sports World compiled with the help of @Dion_Bennett

LeBron to New York Knicks worth $1bn

From What The Knicks Told LeBron: Come To New York And Make $1 Billion

Here is the InterBrand presentation that backs up the numbers that the New York Knicks should be the destination for @KingJames.

Perhaps the Knicks could’ve used this fan photo added to LeBron’s Facebook page to the presentation as well? ;)

Importance of branding your events

Just a quick post to understand the importance of branding your events.  With so many channels available sometimes fundamentals of event branding can get lost.

Effective use of team’s logos and colour is crucial to your event.  Your fans display their affiliation and pride in your team by wearing your logos & merchandise.  BUILD ON THAT!

Any venue can quickly become “home-ground territory” which your fans will love to soak up.

Additionally connect your event with your online fans using hashtags like #jetsrally.  Extending your event branding to your online platforms helps your fans to show support for your event.  What you will find is fans will be engaged online both at the event and away from the event (at home or on the move).

Take a look what the NY Jets did on a very large scale with their Jets Championship Rally held in Times Square before their big game against the Chargers earlier this year when I was in New York on #SportsGeekTrip.  Not only were the fans excited about the upcoming game (which they lost unfortunately) but when all the billboards started to change to Jets green the energy in Times Square was magnified.  You could say the fans loved the branding of the event as they tore down the sponsor signs (as pictured above) and walked back to the subway with them, then again that may be Jets fans ;)

What have been the non-game sports events you’ve been to?  What made them special?

For more photos of #sportsgeektrip become a fan of Sports Geek on Facebook
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Demons CEO shares insights via YouTube

Good work by Cam Schwab (@camschwab) of the Melbourne Demons starting “Whiteboard Wednesday” discussing strategy behind running a sports franchise.

I’m sure Demon fans are stoked to get this level of access to their club’s CEO.

It’s a great use of YouTube as a video sharing platform I’ll look forward to more Whiteboard Wednesdays.

If you’re looking for the book mentioned in first video then look no further, Management Secrets of the New England Patriots Volume 2

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AFL “officially” enters iPhone market

The AFL has launched it’s “official” iPhone application from the social media chatter we’ve monitored footy fans are not happy with the pricing of the app at a recurring $6 every 30 days.   Unfortunately for the AFL there is already iPhone applications that provide similar functionality for free  (Footy Lite sponsored by Triple M, Aussie Rules Live 2010 sponsored by

The subscription-based iPhone application is relatively new concept as Apple has opened up the ability for in-app purchases.  In-app purchases allow upgrades inside the application rather than purchasing a new application in the App Store, a good example of this is extra levels or upgrades in a game.  As a contrast to the subscription model the MLB delivers one of world’s finest sports iPhone application MLB At Bat at a premium one-off price of $17.99 which has been a big hit with baseball fans despite the higher than standard price.

As sports fans what do you think? Have the AFL price this app correctly?

Do you think more iPhone apps will follow a subscription model?

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Building community via sport

Last night I presented to club presidents at the Southern Football League about the impact social media can have on local sports.

It was great to see the passion for the game at grassroots and it will be great creating a strong social media strategy for these clubs.

Social media can allow sporting clubs to become an online community hub for sports, families & local business if executed correctly in the same way they have been an “offline” community hub for many years.

And because the Slideshare – YouTube embed seems to playing up here is the video I played, an oldie but a goodie for people who are not quite understanding the impact social media is having on the world:

Sports Geek Social Media Workshop comes in 2 forms:

Social Media Heavy Hitters – Comprehensive workshop targeted to leagues, franchises & facilities who want to grow and manage their social media presence.

Small Sports Big Opportunities – Sports Geek gives back to local clubs & leagues to help them find new sponsorship opportunities via social media.

Check out Sports Geek Social Media Workshop for more info.

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Athlete Twitter fakes!!! Ah who is real?

Identifying Twitter fakesThe issue of athlete identity theft hit the papers again this week regarding fake athlete (AFL) accounts on Twitter.   Last time I spoke about this issue on SEN’s The Run Home regarding identity theft on Facebook.   If you want Sports Geek’s take on how athletes can handle the problem of online impersonators then check out my post – Fake sports stars can damage a personal brand. Kudos to Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien extending his social media work from Twitter to Facebook to Harry’s World website and taking control of his online brand.

How do you get rid of these fake athlete accounts?  Contact Sports Geek for more info on how to eliminate fake accounts in your sport.

What about the general public – how do you know who to follow & who to listen to?  Who is real?

Sports Geek’s Twitter Quick Follow Guide

What is their username?

Is it a real person or a real brand?  It may be nickname or an online name but if the name looks suspect don’t bother following.

What is their Twitter avatar?

Same question – is it a real person or logo? Admittedly some people use cartoon avatars or non-descript pictures but they maybe just shy.

Some fakes use the same avatar on multiple accounts if you see the avatar repeated in may be a fake or an automated account.

What is their bio say?

Gives you some insight into what they will tweet about and how that might interest you to follow back.

How many followers do they have?

This one is more subjective as some people relate follower numbers with influence & expertise.  This is where you look at the follower to following ratio.  High following numbers can be automated via tools to automatically follow people on keywords.  Twitter tries to restrict this by implementing rules & guidelines but they can be exploited by third-party follower tools.  How can you spot an inflated follower count?  They are following as many people as they have following them – maintaining the Twitter 1:1 ratio. However many of those accounts may be automatically following back to increase their follower counts as well.  These accounts use technology that works on following people & unfollowing them 24 hours later if they haven’t followed back, churning through the Twitterverse looking for accounts that automatically follow back.

Sports Geek Tip: High follower numbers does not automatically equal expertise or influence.

What do they tweet about?

This is the main criteria I use to decide whether I follow back.

What are they tweeting about? Is it topics of interest to you?
Who do they tweet with? Do other people you know tweet with them?
If they just broadcast and never engage in discussion, will it provide value to me?

Now that might seem like too much to check, yet it only takes 10-15 seconds and allows you to have a stream of quality tweets in your field of interest.

Fake accounts crave attention and followers if you don’t follow them you don’t have to worry about them.

If you want to follow me please do so @seancallanan (I talk about sports & tech funnily enough) or for article & blog posts from @_sportsgeek_.

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