By now, everyone is either using Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ layout, or will have to change to it when Facebook makes Timeline their default format on March 31st. The most noticeable change with the new Facebook Timeline is the ability for pages to have ‘cover photos’ as well as their profile picture, as well as having apps that people can click on, that will link to another page.
We’ve seen how our friends and family are using Facebook Timeline, but how about the professional sports teams that have changed over? Let’s explore.
NBA: Leading the way with Facebook Timeline
We’ll kick off our look at the new Facebook Timeline in the National Basketball Association, who are definitely among the world leaders in social media usage.
The Celtics go green
As you can see below, the Boston Celtics are one of the frontrunners with Facebook Timeline, using their “I am a Celtic” slogan for the cover photo with the effective parquet floor design, while using the apps as an easy-acces place for Cs photos, video highlights and tickets.
#KobeMask is the hero of LA’s Timeline
Like their cross-country rivals the Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers are a keen user of Facebook Timeline. Though they don’t have the best use of apps or history like the English Premier League teams that will feature below, they do have, arguably, the best cover photo of any team on Facebook. Check it out:
Two-time MVP Steve Nash is the centre of the Suns universe
Like LA with Kobe, guard Steve Nash epitomises the Phoenix Suns franchise, so what better player to have grace the cover of their Facebook Timeline than M-V-Steve?
Portland are helping the NBA blaze a trail in social media
The last NBA example here is the Portland Trail Blazers who intelligently use their apps features for deals of the week in Portland, and creating a great community feel with a, “We are Rip City” page for fans to upload their photos from the games.
The Barclay’s English Premier League
Manchester City delight their fans
Moving over to England now, where Manchester City in the English Premier League are one of the premier users of Facebook Timeline, no pun intended. As you can see, they have a very attractive cover photo on their Timeline, as well as using their Apps extremely well, with links to their Twitter feed, the club video channel and their upcoming events.
On top of that, City, having a history that dates back to the 1880s, have made great use of the “history” aspect of Timeline, with fans being able to go back through the clubs history and see the major events that have shaped the club. Below is a picture of the club’s formation, which started as St. Mark’s Church Football Team.
The boastful Red Devils use the EPL title to grace their Timeline
Not to be outdone by their crosstown rivals, the league leading Manchester United also use Timeline. As you will see below, their cover photo is fantastic, and their apps, although it won’t link to a Twitter account, does show video highlights, which is a great addition for international fans who have limited access to televised games, and an astronomical 23.3 million likes.
You’ll never walk alone with this Facebook Timeline, Liverpool fans
Fresh off their Carling Cup victory earlier this month, the EPL’s Liverpool Football Club has also started using Facebook Timeline and, like Manchester City, use the Facebook page as a great place to link fans to their Twitter feed, Club website, and video highlights. Lastly, another great initiative LFC had was, as part of their apps, create a linked page where fans can buy all their Liverpool merchandise, from their official iPhone app, to the online store.
FC Barcelona: Leaders on and off the pitch
We leave the EPL now for Spain’s La Liga, and who else to start with but Barcelona. The Catalan giants use Facebook in a similar way to the Trail Blazers, with their main app being a place for Barça fans to post their team pictures. Unfortunately for a club with so much history, they aren’t utilising Timeline’s history function as well as United or City. That doesn’t stop them from having over 28 million likes, though!
The sun smiles down on the Madridistas
Not to be outstripped by their bitter rivals, the La Liga-leading Real Madrid have an amazing cover photo, with the sun shining through and virtually smiling at the Madridistas, with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s number prominent in the photo. The Real Madrid team use great creativity in their apps section, including the basic photo and video pages, but also using a page to display their roster as well as links through to players’ personal websites, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels. Very creative linking from Real.
Sevilla FC keep in touch with the Spanish Super Clubs
The last La Liga team to feature is Sevilla FC, whose best Facebook app is a very popular fantasy football manager game. In a country dominated by two supergiant football clubs, Sevilla are doing very well to have over 115,000 likes.
The New York Franchises show the NFL how it’s done
In the NFL, the leaders of the pack both reside in New York, with the Jets and Super Bowl Champion Giants having great apps for fans. The Jets have a page where fans can live chat with each other about the directions the franchise need to take to come good on coach Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl guarantee, while the Giants thought outside the square with “Tolly Cam”. Check it out below;
The Cincinnati Bengals: Making great moves, franchise-wide
The last NFL example here are the Cincinnati Bengals. Long been known as a downtrodden franchise, the Bengals have a great presence in social media, and their Timeline, with a classy cover pic and apps like the fan zone, with links to player twitter feeds and promotional and viral videos.
The classy Chargers pay tribute to a loyal player
Our last NFL example belongs to the San Diego Chargers. While their apps are the basic like, video stream and photo album, their cover picture is very classy, showing the recently retired Kris Dielman running onto the field. A brilliant use of the cover photo, indeed.
The USC Trojans show their historic side
Moving on to the NCAA now, where we start with the USC Trojans. With the Timeline encompassing all athletics at the prestigious school, the apps feature a ‘buy tickets’ section for the school’s major sporting programs, while the cover photo promotes USC’s sporting successes and culture.
Miami Hurricanes: School-wide spirit
Another NCAA giant is the University of Miami. Also known as the Miami Hurricanes. Like the Trojans, the ‘Canes have many sporting programs at the university, meaning that they need to encompass this on their Facebook Timeline.
The Bruins win on the ice and on Facebook
The next North American and Canadians teams we will look at all reside in the NHL. For the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, they use their Facebook Timeline like Sevilla in La Liga, with a Fantasy Challenge for fans to take part in, as well as a link to the team’s Instagram feed.
Detroit: Hockeytown goes digital
The next NHL team are the Detroit Red Wings, whose Timeline is a link to their Twitter feed and YouTube channel. To top it off, their cover photo is wonderfully boastful of their extremely successful past.
The Ottawa Senators fly the flag for Canada
Our last NHL franchise is the Ottawa Senators, whose best app is their mosaic, which you can see below;
Favourite Son Nathan Buckley gives Collingwood’s Timeline a fierce determination
We head back home to the AFL for our last three examples of the teams that have adopted Facebook Timeline, with the Collingwood Football Club being now of the leaders in adoption. While there are no ‘wow’ factor apps yet, the cover image for the Pies will definitely excite their army of supporters!
The Gold Coast Suns are building a great community
Even though they are the new boys of the AFL, the Gold Coast Suns are setting the standard of Facebook Timeline usage. Like the teams above that have been praised, the Suns’ Timeline links to exclusive new, the membership sign-up page, their Twitter feed and the team’s YouTube channel.
Adelaide Crows – Showing off the silverware
Fresh off their 2012 NAB Cup Grand Final win, the Adelaide Crows display the cup in all it’s glory on their timeline, while using the app section to link supporters to their membership ad campaign and membership sign-up page.
The Eagles are swooping in and making a splash on Facebook
One of Sports Geek’s clients, the West Coast Eagles have an attractive cover picture and a link to The Swoop for fans to reach the top of Eagles fandom.
The Tigers are roaring!
The Tigers have done a great job with an extensive timeline full of Tigers history.
Geelong uses their courageous new captain to great effect
The reigning premiers know exactly how to rile up their fans, using a great picture that has the unflinching Joel Selwood leading their flag defense.
The Blues appeal to their fans’ sense of history
And they do it spectacularly, having Chris Judd standing at the forefront of some inspirational former captains. The time is now for the Blues, and they aren’t taking a backward step.
For Swans it’s all about the team
The Swans’ Timeline cover photo shows all the men that will strive for premiership glory this year, while their apps give fans some quick access to YouTube & Twitter.
Star power drives Hawthorn’s Timeline
What three better players could Hawthorn feature, than Cyril Rioli, Luke Hodge and Lance “Buddy” Franklin, the biggest drawcard in the AFL? The Timeline apps have links to YouTube highlights (where you can watch replays of Buddy) and the e-calendar, that shows you when you can see Buddy live!
The Greater Western Sydney Giants get off on the right foot
Yet to even play their first home and away match in the AFL, the new-kids-on-the-block GWS Giants make great use of their marquee names here, and should be ecstatic with a great start to their social media campaigns.
Australian Sports using Timeline
Other than the AFL clubs, a number of other Australian professional sporting organisations have embraced Timeline.
The Wildcats are leaders in the NBL clubhouse
The first NBL team to adopt Timeline was the Perth Wildcats, and feature their Instagram feed in a featured Timeline app.
The Melbourne Stars use their star power
When Shane Warne is part of your team, why not promote it? The Stars use Warnie perfectly, as the centre of their cover photo, clearly after taking a wicket. Brilliant.
The Broncos are at the front of the NRL pack
The NRL’s Brisbane Broncos have a great shot of the current team as cover photo but aren;t taking advantage of the Timeline apps.
The Wallabies have a great cover photo, displaying their “one team” mentality to build on their popularity as one of our best performing teams on the international scene.
The MCG, the Home of Football, uses their Facebook Timeline wonderfully well, with apps linking to their upcoming events and a videos tab that, among other things, shows how the groundskeepers keep the turf in world-class condition.
The AFL joins the craze
The Australian Football League has just launched Facebook Timeline today. It has some great content and history on the Timeline and a DreamTeam app for it’s legions of players, but could have put a little bit more detail when trying to link back to their parent site. All in all, it’s a great launch, ahead of giant leagues of the NFL and NBA, and should be a must-see for all AFL fans. It will be good to see what historic videos & pictures get added to the Timeline over the year.
Sports stars building their personal brands on Timeline
To finish off, we have a look at a few professional sports stars from around the world who have taken advantage of their exposure to build their own personal brand. A brand that can be helped by implementing an effective Facebook Timeline.
We start off large here, with the Big Aristotle. Big Diesel. Superman. Whatever you know him as, Shaquille O’Neal is a pioneer when it comes to sports stars using social media. His Timeline unfortunately falls short of the mark he has step for himself. Shaq breaks the rules here and uses his Facebook Timeline cover photo to promote his new YouTube channel, Comedy Shaq. No cover photo should ever be used to promote special offers or competitions. That should be added as part of the content, Shaqtus! Perhaps he should read the Facebook cover guidelines.
Adelaide Crows talented forward Kurt Tippett has launched Facebook Timeline recently, and seems set on a huge career as both a footballer and with his own personal brand!
Once one of the biggest names in the entire world, golfing great Tiger Woods has a Timeline, yet it’s an extremely simple page that doesn’t offer much beyond a few photos and some quick videos.
The inspirational multiple Tour de France winner has a great cover photo on his Timeline, as well as brilliant links of some really great photos from his races and a link through to his foundation, Livestrong.
The 2006 NBA Finals MVP has a great understanding of how his personal brand can grow if he does the right things. Well, his Facebook Timeline is the right thing. It shows Wade as a man other than the NBA player, while also including video of his on-court triumphs. For those die-hard fans, it includes a link to his UStream channel.
The Black Mamba
Long time Lakers guard Kobe Bryant uses Timeline to sell merchandise for his charity, and as a hub for all his TV commercials.
With an absolutely gobsmacking 41.6 million fans, Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal Facebook Timeline has the most fans of any in this post. It’s astounding, really, that one man can reach so many. The apps are great, being used for YouTube, Twitter, the CR7 store and exclusive video content of Ronaldo, exclusive to his Facebook Timeline.
So there you have it, folks. A look at the various sporting teams, stars and leagues that have adopted Facebook Timeline, how they are using it, and if it is effective. Hopefully, if you’re planning on upgrading to Timeline, this post has given you some great insight on how to create an effective (and attractive) Facebook Timeline.
Any that really strike your fancy or that we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know!