Retired NBA player not broke, now worth $400M – ICYMI – @Sports Geek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 16th April 2014

AFL Variable Ticket Pricing ExplainedHow the Red Sox social strategy won Washington

Instead Of Going Broke Like Most Retired NBA Players, Junior Bridgeman Built A $400 Million Fast Food Empire

Stadiums race to digitize: how sports teams are scrambling to keep Milllenials coming to games

Coming to your Twitter feed: 15 new types of ads

Fan memberships growing in the United States

Facebook, if you’re serious about privacy controls, let me control them

LinkedIn introduces ‘Content Marketing Score’ to help B2Bs measure their content efforts

Twitter now lets you easily search for tweets by date range

News Feed FYI: Cleaning up news feed spam and more Facebook changes on the way

How 20 popular websites looked when they launched

Talkin’ like Talls with Dikembe Mutombo

Game of Footy Thrones - AFL footy 2014

The Psychology of Language: which words matter most when we talk

Anyone got a time machine? Great sale at Venture on footy gear!

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See you at Digital Sport London

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Analysis of NBA Stadium wi-fi and fans – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 9th April 2014

Premier League: How NBC Sports got soccer fans out of bed

Coming to Your Twitter Feed: 15 New Types of Ads

Red Bull Media House trials second screen participation TV for football fans

Which MLB teams overperform in popularity?

American owners oversee a soccer renaissance in Rome

Manchester City becomes first Premier League Club to introduce free Wi-Fi throughout the stadium

Stadium tech report: Is the NBA the stadium Wi-Fi winner?

Facebook Ads vs Google Ads - Jim Stewart tries some of the tricks from Sports Geek ODE

23 years with Quicksilver, here is how they say goodbye to Kelly Slater - “See you in the lineup Kelly Slater”

Australia’s first professional Instagrammer, Lauren Bath, shares her secrets for career success

How much does it cost to propose in each MLB ballpark?

Lorde – “Royals” Parody for Kansas City

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LeBron James invites HS basketball player with cancer to pre-game warmups – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

Josh Tucker Dodgers Social Media Manager #ITFDB

 In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 2nd April 2014

LeBron James invites HS basketball player with cancer to pre-game warmups

Instagram announces 6x Growth since Facebook takeover

Twitter losing sight of what makes it so great - the Tweetbook?

Whatever’s best for the people, that’s what we do - good insight into Facebook news feed

AFL club bosses urge the league to review the controversial variable pricing ticket system

Facebook algorithim tweaks hurt viral sites more than any other publishers

Junk food and alcohol exposure more prevalent during sports broadcasts than advertising, study finds

A person with an hour commute has to earn 40% more to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office - The secrets of the world’s happiest cities

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What will sports look like in the future? – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 18th March 2014

What @SportsGeek reads…

Tyson Densley AFL Social Media Manager

What will sports look like in the future? How science & technology are changing the limits of the human body and the shape of the competition

Breaking down AFL & NRL social media numbers

The Wizard of Spurs: Meet the man who is curating the team’s social media

So you want to work in sports? These pros tell how they made it

Social media’s role in making NASCAR’s changes for 2014

Are you attending a #SBWeek event in your city?

Nice gameday infographics by Liverpool

Newcastle United relaunch Twitter account in a bid to improve fan engagement

Facebook page redesign: the good, the bad and the ugly. All you need to know

Why every business should spend at least $1 per day on Facebook Ads

How Google Glass is building new venues for sports sponsors

13 things you can do with the Galaxy S5 that you can’t do with an iPhone 5S

The habits of successful people: they start small

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SGP 042: A look behind @AFL with Tyson Densley

Tyson Densley AFL Social Media ManagerOn this week’s podcast I chat with Tyson Densley from the AFL (Australian Football League) about the goals of the AFL social media team and what they are looking for in season 2014.  On SEN I chat with Kevin Hillier about the AFL and NRL social media fan bases and what does it say about each league.


Like this episode? please leave a review in iTunes.

Looking to improve your skills in social media? Come along to our Sports Geek Social Media One Day Educational on March 31st listen to podcast for promo code ($50 off).

On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • How the AFL have engaged fans via user generated content
  • What the AFL plans to do with live replays during games on social platforms
  • How the social media team is gaining attention in AFL Media
  • The tough balance of banter and content the AFL manages every day
  • Which Paris Saint-Germain striker took Twitter by storm
  • What NRL and AFL teams lead the way on Facebook and Twitter
  • What do the latest Facebook pages changes mean for sports teams
  • Which football code provided the best atmosphere for Sounds of The Game

Resources from the episode

AFL Social Media numbers by team

AFL 2014 Social Media Numbers

Social Media Post of the Week

Have you been following Zlatan Ibrahimović’s tweets? Arrogant or not, they have been very funny.

Closing 2 Cents

Lebron James Samsung Tweet

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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to episode 42 of the Sports Geek podcast. On this week’s podcast, I catch up with AFL social media manager, Tyson Densley, ready for the start of the AFL season and we look at the world of football twitter banter. Do you dare to Zlatan?

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer.
And now, here’s your host, who’s looking forward to playing a game of pickup in Miami in July, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel, yes, I am pretty much focusing all my rehab to be ready to hit the blacktop in Miami when I’m over there for SEAT 2014. So, if you’re thinking about coming along, definitely do so. It’s going to be a great conference. I’ve been looking over the agenda with Christina over the last couple of weeks and it’s really coming along nicely. So, simply go to and get your tickets. This week’s show, I have a chat with Tyson Densley, social media manager for the AFL, look at user-generated content campaigns, finding the balance on platforms as a league as opposed to a team, and which platforms are delivering results for the AFL. Later in the podcast, I’ll have a chat with Kevin Hilliard from SEN Harf Time on those social media numbers that we chat about with Tys in the AFL and the NRL, and look at Facebook versus Twitter, and then also look at the world of football, some fun between the English football camp and the Socceroos, some sounds of the game from a really big A-league game. I’ll have a look at the latest changes to Facebook pages. And, yes, it is a tongue-twister, but do you dare to Zlatan? Some really funny tweets in a Nike campaign coming up and more about the Sports Geek one day educational later in the show, but first, here’s my chat with Tyson Densley from the AFL.

Ok, very happy welcome on the Sports Geek podcast as the AFL season is about to kick off, the social media manager for the AFL, Tyson Densley. Welcome to the podcast, Tys.

Tyson: Thanks, Sean. Glad to be here.

Sean: Very busy week, AFL season kicks off with this damn split round that takes forever with Collingwood kicking off on Friday night versus Fremantle. What’s it like at AFL headquarters this week?

Tyson: Yeah, it’s been pretty hectic. The long weekend we had in Victoria doesn’t really help us. Leading into round one we want as much time as we can to get everything together. So basically, what we are finding this year, that we probably haven’t found other years, is that everyone, every stakeholder in the AFL wants social integration So we’ve been trying to drive it for years, obviously, but everybody is starting to see the sort of tangible results now and we’re starting to get more and more requests. Which is both great and more challenging for us to squeeze everything in and get all their campaigns ready in time for round one.

Sean: I was talking to Michael Briggs from the ARU in the previous episode, last week. Give us an idea of what is the team at AFL Media and then diving more into the social team.

Tyson: Yes, we have a team of about 105 at AFL Media. There is a huge content on there, so we’ve got about 25 people in the editorial team, a journo, sort of covering edge team, some of those based interstate where we have a couple of teams in WA, South Australia, and Queensland, New South Wales. Then, we have a pretty big video department as well, so we produce a lot of studio shows, both our own and for clubs and for non-football related stuff as well. So, it’s really a bit of a publishing house. We have a custom publishing team as well, so a really big design team, and then the social team we’re trying to grow. We have grown this season we have gone from a huge 2 members up to 3. We’re really looking to being able to devote more time to it. We’ve been stretching ourselves a little bit with one of us to look after the strategy and work Monday to Friday and Dion Bennett and Ann Fedorowytsch cover the games. Dion, last year did every game, and the year before that I did every game, so looking forward to splitting that up and making things a little bit less crazy for Ann and Dion.

Sean: Well, people who listen to the podcast and have read stuff on the site will know that Dion is a former Sports Geeker. It’s good to see that he’s succeeding, doing quite well, in the AFL space. So, effectively, AFL Media, for the people who are listening who are not in Australia, it’s very similar to a Major League Baseball event’s media model. We are building up that business and providing more support to the clubs as well as providing your own media outlet for AFL themselves.

Tyson, Yeah, that’s probably right, NFL Network as well as MLB Advanced Media. We’re seeing it all around the world that content is so, so rich for every organization that makes sense for someone like the AFL with such a huge fan base to produce the content and we’re seeing results with being the biggest sports site in Australia.

Sean: And it has been, you were saying before how social is now becoming the thing that everyone wants and you’re becoming a, “Hey, we want social to be part of it.” What was it, 3 years ago; it was Jonno Simpson was running AFL Media now he’s at Twitter. Now, you’re doing more campaigns that are integrated across all things. You want to take us through some of the stuff that you’ve been doing in this off-season leading into the season?

Tyson: Yes, it’s probably nothing entirely new. We’ve been doing a lot of user-generated campaigns just as a way to generate interest in the season, to get everyone talking about footy, getting out there and showing us that they’re huge footy fans. We ran the number one AFL fan comp across February where we put out a search for an official fan ambassador in each club so we asked fans to share videos and photos just showing us that they were crazy footy fans.

Sean: What platforms were being engaged in that? I saw a few of my mates, saying “Vote for my photo!” I’m like, “You’re 40, nearly 40, you’re not 12!” But, you do get all types when you run those kind of things. What platforms were you using for that?

Tyson: We asked fans to send in content on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Youtube, we didn’t use Facebook for that campaign. We used Stackla to aggregate all the content. It’s a little bit more difficult with Facebook and the privacy settings so we didn’t have Facebook, we had all the other major platforms and we aggregated those with Stackla on a page on the website. And we also had prizes not just for showing you are the number 1 fan but also prizes just for voting as well. So we had a ton of fans jumping on just to vote. They weren’t in footy mode yet, it was still cricket season for them, they didn’t want to get out there and have a kick or throw on all their heavy winter merchandise. They were still able to vote for their other favorites and make sure that the fan that won for their club was the right representative.

Sean: You’re saying it’s a year-long thing, how are those fans going to be part of the content plan for AFL going forward?

Tyson: The competition was just leading up to the NAB challenge for the preseason but the major winners at each club are going to get some behind the scenes access, running out with their team, getting into the rooms, that kind of thing as well as the usual merchandise and sharings to pump up the season as well. Number 1 AFL fan, that ran throughout the NAB challenge and finished a couple of weeks ago and we’ve turned that around and launched a trick kicks comp straightaway, again that’s using Stackla, but we’ve enable Facebook integration with this one. We had switched off the capability for fans to post on our Facebook wall just because we’ve got such a huge audience and we didn’t have the resources to answer all the questions that were coming in.

Sean: And it’s pretty common, once you do get to a certain volume, things like letting people post on your wall, again being a league, you’re a big target. If you happen to have any beef it’s easy to get, yourself, and Ann, and Dion read the AFL tweets every week of complaining about things, it’s natural now, we’re turned off for nearly every club because you can’t manage it.

Tyson: Yeah. We’ve turned it back on at the moment just as an experiment, as a way just to collect the entries for the trick kicks competition where we’re just asking fans to film their videos of some trick kicks. We’ve had some players send in videos as well. But we did find it difficult because we’d post so often to Facebook. We’ve got so much content. Our key role is to drive fans to to consume our content. We have so much content that we need to post out that we found that we had posts from 3 days ago or 20 posts ago that fans were still asking questions on that it was just a little bit difficult to track those. We don’t guarantee that we’ll respond to every question on Facebook, we try to do that on Twitter. It’s easier for us to follow the mention stream. We’re probably at a point where we need to invest in some software with Facebook that we can better track those.

Sean: That monitoring and customer service side. The thing is, you’ve got 18 clubs that are doing a lot of that customer service side with their fans. Then you’re splitting out from a social point of view to have AFL members manage via AFL member type, social account. How much has that grown from that initial AFL and AFL Facebook page to start splitting the focus of that kind of stuff.

Tyson: We’ve stayed pretty narrow and focused on Facebook. The only other page that we run is the AFL fantasy page. And when I say, “we run” we’ve actually got the Dream Team Talk boys looking after it.

Sean: Adam is a listener, he is following the same path as Leigh Ellis who is now on the Starters, to be taken in by the league.

Tyson: Yeah. They are doing a great job with those accounts. Last year we just couldn’t do it justice because fantasy is so enormous. The year before we had a journo dedicated to interacting with the fans, helping with the trades and their decisions leading into each round. And last year we didn’t have that journo so we just couldn’t do it justice. I’m really glad we’ve got the guys in this year and it’s been fantastic.

Sean: You’ve done the trick shots kind of stuff. The other stuff I wanted to ask you about was, you ran and asked the coach. And coaches, I’ve trained a few and explained to them why social media is there and why they should be on it and how they should engage. In the AFL, there’s a few on social media and there’s a few that are not. How did they find the, as a coach, thing and take us through it? And then what was the fans reaction?

Tyson: I must admit I was a little bit nervous when I threw out the idea. I knew we had the coaches coming in to do a bit of the preseason media segment, to film some video segments, chat to our journos, that kind of thing. I asked if we were able to have some access, have the coaches for half an hour to answer questions with the fans. We did that just on twitter with the ask the coach hashtag. I was a bit nervous, but some of the younger coaches are on there, and know how to use it well, but when it comes to Mick Malthouse and Ross Lyon and some of those guys that can be pretty cold and short in press conferences, I thought they might not be great on Twitter when it comes to answering fan questions but they all bought into it. They actually enjoyed that they were getting different questions that they wouldn’t usually get. Fans just wanted to know what book they were enjoying at the moment, some funny stuff around the club, who’s the most annoying player, all that kind of stuff that fans love to hear about. And once the coaches sat down, we had so many questions rolling in that they enjoyed, sometimes, being able to pick and choose which questions they were able to answer, but the majority of them said, “No, you tell me which one you want me to answer and we’ll get to it.” That worked really well. Fans just don’t usually have that direct access.

Sean: We’ve done Twitter chats and those kind of things with clubs, did you then take that content, because Twitter is great if you’re on Twitter, but there’s still a lot of people that haven’t yet figured out what Twitter is? We’ve got the stats there of comparing the AFL and NRL and Twitter’s numbers compared to Facebook are 3 to 1 in the AFL from a clubland point of view. Did you take that content and then re-purpose it back on Say if you weren’t online or if you weren’t tweeting at that time here’s all the answers that Mick Malthouse or Paul Roos answered.

Tyson: Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what we did. We used Twitter custom timelines for some as an experiment. Others we just used the more traditional, embedding the fan question and then embedding the tweet, and put that straight up on the website. Because there’s some of the coaches, we could only grab them when they are in from interstate, we can only grab them when they are over here for the no-challenge games. They might come in really early in the morning and we know that that’s not prime time for Twitter so we made sure that we re-purposed that on the website and those articles are really popular.

Sean: Again, similar question to what I had for Michael last week with the Wallabies and similar to what we do with the A-league, at a league level, social is a different beast than at a club level. So, if you’re Collingwood or Carlton or Essendon or whatever, you are for your fans and you don’t really care about the other fans. Whereas, you’re Switzerland in this. You’ve got to be neutral and you’ve got to bear it for the gang. How tough is that balance on what you provide on social to be as impartial as you can be?

Tyson: Yeah, that is a challenge. As far as the content that we put out there, we know that the stuff that involves all 18 clubs is going to be far more popular. And we also have a bit of a challenge in that we don’t have the access that some people might think we do have. We have a really big community, but we’re not at training every day, we’re not always at every game which is a resource issue. Whereas, the clubs are out there every step of the way. So, we don’t try to produce the same content as clubs. We try to complement what the clubs are doing. We work together to support their campaigns and they support the campaigns that we’re running as well. But it is that we’re pushing to get more of, and that’s access at games, which is going to come when we have more members of our team. Because as the traditional round works, there’s so many overlapping games, that we need to be able to provide coverage of all the games and not just focus on the blockbusters or anything like that.

Sean: Yeah. It is a fine line because you are part league custodian/information provider, but then also you’re the curator of all the news. So, again, Essendon has a big win, that’s probably a bad example Essendon and the relationship from last year, but Essendon, big win, and you retweet that and everyone starts going, “Oh, the AFL are playing favorites” or you promote a tweet that the Giants are doing because they are doing a great activation and it’s like, “Oh, you’re promoting them over my team” because every fan is looking at it through their one eye.

Tyson: It’s an interesting balance, because we do see it within the AFL media team which, technically, is independent of the AFL and is really working towards becoming independent and for the most part it really is. At the same time we claim to be the official account of the AFL so it’s an interesting balance. We watch with interest when cricketer Shea set up their independent arm and they’ve really diversified that they are independent. Whereas, we think we’ve got the balance right and think that it can be the official account of the league. That you can also provide independent articles.

Sean: Yeah.

Tyson: Andover might be having a bit of a joke about something that’s happened on the ground and the next day we might be tweeting about an official press release that’s something that’s really important news and nothing to joke around about. But we see it the same way as you might watch a news bulletin on TV, you’ll have your serious info at the start and then you might have some more entertaining stuff towards the end of that. We think that it’s something that we’re striking the right balance with, but it is a constant challenge. But I think all community managers have those challenges with fans where they’ll often think that you’re driving an agenda that I can guarantee you that we’re not. We’re just trying to provide coverage and act as if we are fans. We have a great job in that we are able to sit there and consume games and tweet about it as though we’re a fan and really that’s all we’re trying to do. We’re just trying to produce the content we know we’d like to see if we were a fan.

Sean: You’re pretty much following the same league as the NBA, the NFL, MLB, you’re still the official account even though you are a separate arm and those kinds of things. When people read it from the AFL, it is from the AFL. That whole Cricket changing their Twitter handle and saying it’s digital, I understood the reasons behind it to be independent, but to me, now I can’t bear it for Cricket Australia, because it’s not the Australian cricket team, it’s a digital department.

So you don’t want to say “I love my iPhone” and go hang on, that’s means it’s iPhone media. So you take that same sort of premise when people say they love MLB they’re not talking about loving them. They’re talking about loving the game. So I think that’s a distinction that is really important. I’m actually looking forward to taking time to talk to the guys at CA about the reason behind that decision and why it came about.

Tyson: Yeah, we think as long as we educate the fans and reckon with the fans about who we claim to be, so the official account, you know you can add Twitter by it, but we say, as well as the latest news analysis, opinion, that kind of thing, so, I think fans know by the game they get from us.

Sean: And so going back to, sort of touched on before, the size of you know, Facebook numbers, and Twitter numbers and, you know I’ve got the stats here for all the clubs. And you know there’s a few clubs that have gone over 200K, same two clubs, have gone over 50,000 in Twitter followers. You know Facebook is still, it’s like three to one at that club level.

What are you seeing from the platforms, just from a trends point of view, are you seeing a spike in traffic, are you seeing more engagement with the latest changes, those sort of things?

Tyson: Yes, we went through, we spent a lot of time studying Facebook’s ad algorithm, ‘cause we have so much content to promote that we don’t want to post too often, so we know that as soon as we post again, it’s more likely to drop our previous post out of the feed. And on any given day we might have 10 videos and 50 articles that hit the website that we have choose whether or not we want to put it to Facebook or not.

So we studied the algorithm a lot, we were still finding that, you know we find that text-only posts on Facebook are not… I hope I’m not getting too technical, but text-only posts on Facebook reach a lot more fans, and for us that’s great. Posts with photos, again, get more engagement, but as a general rule, they’ll reach less people, so we want to reach as many people as we can, but we still want to provide those great photos, again.

Sean: So, again, one thing that we’ve found. Like one thing I took was don’t fall in love with the reach stats, ‘cause sometimes they’re, you know they’re always changing. But what we’ve found, especially in the last three months, since Facebook made that tweak to its news feed, is that they do want links as opposed to a text feed, so we’ve been sort of migrating a lot of our teams of course, to say, use links more.

If you put a picture up, it’s easy to share and people are going like it if it’s a picture of their favorite player, obviously.

But the difference between the model that we used to do and the model that I taught Deon was, he had Deon use it, you know, he did all the testing of what was the best sized image that would work and look great, and we came up with it, it was like 404 X 404 square, and it was a nice big image. And he still probably using it, because that’s the biggest one.

But now, if you share a link and you bring in that upload image or put in your own custom one, that whole image is clickable to back to the website, so they’re not clicking the image to look at the image again, and you can customize the link underneath it. So, what we’re seeing is Facebook is serving up that more, so it’s tweaking the edgerank a little bit, serving that up more means more fans like it, and we’re really seeing a big spike in the number of likes in the like the last three months, so it’s not just because footy season is coming around, we’re seeing it both in AFL land and NRO land and cricket, that that like spike is really, really happening, and part of that is the story-bumping stuff that Facebook has, but I’ve sort of been telling all my teams to play around with it, but they’re really pushing the link side of it to be the way that they go about it.

Tyson: Yeah, and page managers need to be really mindful and just sort of remember what their key objectives are, so we, our key objectives that drive traffic to the website. So we are pretty heavy on links, but we also have some awesome videos and photos to share. So, we mix it up all the time.

We find that, and when I say text-only, I mean with a link included, but we’ll generally remove the thumbnail because we find that reaches almost twice as many people as the post with the thumbnail. But we really like to mix it up.

And one of the latest trends we’re finding is that Facebook is giving a lot more preference to native videos than YouTube videos.

Sean: Oh, definitely, yeah.

Tyson: And I think that’s because they’re about to roll their video ad product, so I think they want people to become familiar with their native ads.

Sean: So, I mean everything with Facebook is always native, and yeah, the videos, like again, I have seen you put out a few short videos in the Facebook native lead. We’ve done it as well. Especially when you’re rolling out a brand campaign or something that’s super, as a way to put a bit of a tease there, so.

Tyson: That’s, one product we’re just about to launch for this season is instant highlights, instant videos with Snappytv. So that’s…

Sean: Sort of Twitter amplify stuff?

Tyson: Yeah, so we’ve seen the NBA use it with the slam dunk contest, and it’s just those instant replays, so they have those up on Twitter, and you can also embed them in Facebook within about 15 seconds of it happening. So over the next two or three weeks, that should be rolling out to us, and we’re really looking forward to being able to sort of get some great hangers and great goals out there on Twitter within, you know hopefully 30 seconds and then…

Sean: Yeah, so we spoke a bit, they had that VLC Open, and that’s where it is, tune-in TV. It’s like wow, I saw that, oh, better tune in.

Tyson: Absolutely.

Sean: The quicker you can turn it around, the better it is.

Tyson: Yeah, and I remember when I first started there was some, you know some hesitation as to whether we should be providing video highlights, is it taking away from the broadcast, but it’s that education process in showing that, you know, if a fan sees a five second highlight video on Twitter, then they’ll decide, oh, I need to watch the game now cause I saw a great mark. They’re going to tune in if they think… so that’s something we’re really looking forward to rolling out this season.

Sean: Well yeah, I mean it’s good, ‘cause yeah, initially, oh, it’s going stop people watching, no it’s not. People see something, you know, if you find out that, you know, Gary Ablett’s on fire, you tune in. You don’t go and say, it’s not enough.

And so the good thing about the amplified product is that you can say tune in here and send them to the app, and get an app subscription and so if I am in a bar and I can’t get to a TV, I can watch it there and then.

Tyson: Exactly, yeah.

Sean: Everything that teams do randomly around the world as far as, you know, sharing highlight clips on YouTube and stuff like that, none of that has come back and say, oh, that stops people watching TV.

Tyson: No, no.

Sean: If anything, it makes them watch it more.

Tyson: Yeah, and when you see those instant highlight videos, you’ll know there’ll be some directives in the banners above and below the video driving you to download the app, AFL Live, and just on that there’s been a huge update to our app in the last couple of days, so, there’s a new AFL Live pass where, and you know everyone’s interested in data at the moment, obviously that’s something that is in our long-term objectives to get to know our fans better.

So there’s a new way for a login process where when fans join AFL Live Pass, it’s not just live streaming now, it’s also advanced stats. Well, it’s advanced in the world of AFL with shot charts and heat maps and those kinds of things, so that’s something that is rolling out over the next few days. Obviously that’ll be in time for round one, so if you haven’t updated your AFL app, make sure you do it.

Sean: Well, I will include the links to the official AFL app on all platforms, so it’s on Apple, Android, Tablets.

Tyson: Yes.

Sean: And, I’ll include them and looking forward to the season hit. And I want, just to finish up, what are your goals from a social point of view for the AFL?

Tyson: Yeah, so we still feel like there’s a lot of AFL fans out there that we can add to our community, so we’re still driving that growth agenda with social media accounts. But I think this video, instant video product is something that we’re really looking forward to, so we’re also, as well as, we’re hoping the instant replays will drive more conversation during the game and we’re hoping to take that and use that in a lot more of our products, so The 10, which is a weekly video, it’s the top 10 highlights of the round up, something that we’re going to crowd-source this season, so if you see a huge highlight, we want fans to tweet #AFLThe10.

Sean: So similar to SportsInAt10, yeah?

Tyson: That’s right, so. Using Twitter custom timelines and the more live shootout shows we’re doing, we’re looking at ways to bring in fan Tweets. One of our Gen Os, Ash Brown is writing a Sunday column that’s effectively just answering fan questions that are coming through Twitter. So with the hashtag #AfterTheSiren he’s looking for the questions every week.

We’ve just explained to our media department that we have this huge community, we should be using it. We’ve got such a passionate fanbase that they’re talking to us all the time. Let’s use some of those great questions we’re getting from the fans and great interaction and enhance the products that we’re already doing. So, that’s something that we’re looking forward to improving this season. Is just the use of that fan engagement that we love.

Sean: Terrific. Well, thank you very much for coming on the podcast, I’m sure I’ll see you at the footy some time during the year.

Tyson: Absolutely.

Sean: And, good luck the season ahead.

Tyson: Yes, good luck with the course

Recording: Sign up for Sports Geek news at

Sean: Thanks again to Tyson for joining me and coming into SportGeekHQ for that chat, I know it’s a busy week, the week before the season kicks off. As I said, kicks off tonight, so I have to actually get this podcast out today, Friday, with my beloved Pies taking on grand finalist Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, so both AFL and the NFL will be in full swing here in Australia and really dominating the sports social landscape.

Just a few things on that thing, have you found a Facebook posting? What strategies are working for you, are you going with the text-only posts that Tyson was talking about and seeing the extra reach? Or are you moving towards what we’re seeing, especially with some of our clubs, is moving towards using more links and really pushing that news feed changes that Zuck seems to want everyone to have. A personalized newspaper, so they’re really pushing links.

Love to hear your notes in the comments or send me a tweet @SeanCallanan, love to know what you think.

Also, have you gone with user-generated campaigns like Tyson was talking about there with their trick shots campaign and, number one fan campaign? I’ll actually be putting out a bit of a call for great campaigns. I’m actually putting together a keynote for a seat similar to the one that I did last year around digital campaigns and I really want to showcase some of the best around the world, so I’ll be putting a form up on the website. I do my best to get keep track of what everybody is doing. But if you’ve done a really great campaign and you don’t think it’s got the limelight it deserves? Please send me an email,, tell me about it, I’d love to know about it.

But also I’ll be setting up a form to capture some of that detail, cause I want to really showcase some of the best campaigns from around the world for my SEAT keynote. So my next discussion is Kevin Healy, I was filling in for Harf this week, and the discussion we had there with Tyson we talked about AFL and NRL social media numbers. I chatted with Kevin about that on SEN.

Recording: Sean Callanan our sports digital media guru for

Kevin: 14 to 3, Daniel Harford with a family commitment today, so I’m here, good day, Sean.

Sean: Good day, Kevin, how you doin’?

Kevin: I’m going very well, thank you. Now we’ve got the NRL season underway, and we got the AFL season starting this week. Are we going to see a massive impact on social media with these two monoliths about to collide?

Sean: Well, it is a good time to just check in with the numbers and see where everyone’s sitting. As you said, the NRL are off to a really good start online if not in the stands. A bit of concern about the crowd sizes and things like that.

Kevin: No one went!

Sean: But online, going gangbusters. Both leagues. So just a really good comparison of how the fans of different leagues tackling the two major platforms, Facebook and Twitter.

Kevin: It’s always been the difference between the two sports and having worked in rugby leagues and obviously down here and born here and stuff, people do want to know about the NRL, but they don’t’ necessarily want to go.

Sean: Well I think that’s a historical thing, it’s more made-for-TV, it’s a product that does work very well on TV. Eddies travel issues, they don’t have the convenience of being able to walk down to the MCG straight from a pub in the CBD, they’ve got to you know catch a train out to ANZ stadium and things like that so there are other difficulties there and it’s… you know the fact that they can just sit at home watch the NRL in high def, at home or in a pub, does make a bit of a difference.

But from a social point of view, it’s interesting to see that from a Facebook point of view, the NRL fans love their NRL on Facebook. But from a Twitter point of view, The AFL sort of holds the lead.

Kevin: Does that surprise you, that there’s that demarcation between the two?

Sean: Not really, there’s a few little outliers there that always help twist the stats, so the Broncos are well way out in front as far as overall numbers. With nearly over, they’re about to approach 350,000 Facebook fans, which is an amazing number, but you’ve also got to remember the historical significance the Broncos pretty much had Queensland as a whole state behind them for a good 20 years.

And it also shows that the one team, the one team town who I think does help. So the Melbourne Storm, same, pretty much have everyone in Melbourne behind them lead the way.

Kevin: Geez, you know, 300,000.

Sean: Yeah, well when, you know, when you’ve got the, and really the uptick is Facebook has been really big in the last couple months in the changes that Facebook’s made to try to get more content out to fans. So it’s really become a real big content platform.

Kevin: There’s two levels here isn’t there, there’s the way the league uses two platforms and then there’s the way the clubs use the two platforms. Is the leagues using them well?

Sean: Oh yeah definitely, I mean again from a league point of view, the, I hope it’s not evil, but the NRL are at 666.

Kevin: The devil’s game!

Sean: The devil’s game. And the AFL will I’m sure get an up-tick once the season starts, but it’s a real traffic driver, Facebook, you know. That’s where fans are getting a lot of their news. And what we’re finding is a lot of fans will follow their team. So you know you’ll follow the Doggies, and I think that’s partly because there’s a like button, you know. As a Collingwood fan it’s very hard to hit the Like button next to a Carlton logo, so, from a Facebook point of view, most fans are following their own team. But from a Twitter point of view, because it is a bit of breaking news, it’s conversational, it’s something you can watch while you’re watching your TV shows and listening to SEN, a lot of people are following multiple teams. So they’re getting their news, finding out, and those kinds of things, cause the teams are really good and that’s where the breaking news is.

But the concern is there’s only, again, our only estimate because we don’t have the numbers is 11, you know, 30 million people now on Facebook or around about that number, but there’s only around 3 million on Twitter.

Kevin: Why is that? Because Twitter, I’m sorry, Twitter is great, I’m not an indirective person as far as putting stuff up, but in terms of garnering information, Twitter’s fantastic.

Sean: Oh yeah, completely agree, and you are in the camp of, once you’re in Twitter it’s awesome, but it’s the ‘getting the person that’s not on Twitter’ to figure out why, yeah, why am I doing that? Why are you, why are you looking at these messages? So that’s a problem that Twitter is trying to solve both here in Australia and also around the world, is you know, what is it like being a new person on Twitter. Like it’s not like it was ages ago when you’d come on, it was a small community and knew a lot of people. Now there are a lot of people, there’s a lot of noise, so who do you follow, that kind of thing.

So part of what sports has done well has said, you know, jump on Twitter cause you’re going get a bit of extra information, you’re going find that the changes to the teams, so that’s one of the reasons people get on Twitter, but then they sort of, what do I do next, how do I use this platform and that’s something… you know as it gets integrated with TV, gets put in, you know the conversation happens with things like a block and a voice, and that kind of thing that’s when more people will start jumping on we saw, you know last week with the Oscars and Ellen doing a selfie and it got 3 million retweets. It’s those kind of moments that Twitter needs to get more people on board.

But at the moment, all the numbers say, you know, in the AFL, there’s three-to-one Facebook to Twitter numbers, and in the NRL, it’s like five-to-one. So there’s real opportunity from a growth point of view from a Twitter audience point of view…

Kevin: Are people a bit scared of Twitter? To get on Twitter, that they think it’s going, you know, take over their lives, or potentially?

Sean: Potentially, you know, there’s some who say they don’t want to do it ‘cause he doesn’t want to share what he’s having for lunch. And that’s a really old style thought of what Twitter is, and it’s not that.

Kevin: But you can be passive on it, you don’t have to…

Sean: And that’s being 40 percent of people on Twitter don’t tweet. So they do use it as a news resource, so they would follow their footy teams, they would follow ESN they would follow to hear his commentary on the game. So once people do get that, understand that fact, you know that growth will come. But at the moment, you know there’s only two teams out of that whole list that have more than 50,000 Twitter followers and that’s Collingwood and Essendon, so you know and they know we need the numbers of you know 100,000 that kind of thing in Facebook land.

Kevin: So I mean from a business point of view, for a club, that’s great upside.

Sean: It is a great upside and the main thing is it’s not necessarily about these numbers, it’s about converting these numbers. So even though, you know, Collingwood and Essendon have got 200,000, it’s about converting them into members. So these numbers are great little benchmark to say yes, we’ve ticked these off, but it’s really how can you convert and how can you tell the story for your fans to convert them to become a member, so it might not necessarily need to have the 350,000 that the Broncos have, if you can get a really high conversion rate to get more people to be members, then that’s great and that’s what you’re focused on.

So that’s the thing that those numbers don’t show, they don’t show the conversion of a fan seeing all your content, building that relationship, and then when you say, hey there’s a mini membership or come to our games and start converting.

Kevin: There’s a Twitter membership that you can do.

Sean: Yeah, potentially, but there’s a few teams that are working towards, you know, digital-only memberships, so if you can’t come to the game, that kind of thing, but, you know you want to build a relationship with your fans, and keep them in touch to the club and that’s what Facebook and Twitter and that offer.

Kevin: Pete is giving us a buzz, good day, Pete.

Pete: Hey guys, I am a little bit ambivalent about the whole social media, and I think it’s very easy for people to criticize, you know, Andrew Demetriou as being old fashioned about Twitter, but the reality is, a lot of social media is just whispers in a crowd. You know, yes you do have people engaging, but at the end of the day, it’s all about dollars. And I wonder whether the amount of the expenditure on Twitter justifies the returns, because yes, Collingwood might have 200,000 Facebook followers or whatever the gentleman said, but the reality is unless you can prove that you know you’re converting these people into memberships and therefore generating revenue, all you’re doing is enabling them to talk, and that can be a very expensive exercise in terms of moderating, monitoring, responding, etcetera etcetera.

Sean: I completely agree Pete, and that’s what I was just saying, that you’ve gotta have a strategy to convert, I mean, I can give you plenty of case studies of teams engaging their fans, driving more traffic, getting more eyeballs to their website and driving more fans into their database so they can start sending them email newsletters. It definitely has helped the bottom line for clubs, because it does drive membership, it does drive merchandise aisle and it does drive ticketing.

But you’re right, if you don’t have a strategy behind that, you are just someone just creating noise and not driving your goals.

Kevin: Good on ya Pete, thanks for your call, and you’ve got a workshop coming up?

Sean: Yes, we’ve got a one day educational, so I’m going do a one-day workshop sort of taking everyday businesses through how they can do it. And again, same as what Peter was just saying, there’s no point just saying I’m going to be on Facebook because everybody else is. It’s like why are you on Facebook, why would you Twitter, and why would you use things like Instagram. And they’re not going fit for every business, and they’re not going fit for every strategy that you’re trying to do, but there is some really cool and innovative and cost-effective ways for businesses to reach customers more so than fans, not talking about ham and cheese squads and things like that for footy, but there is the ability for you to grow your own fan base and grow your own customers.

Kevin: And when is it, and how do they find out about it?

Sean: So it’s March 31st, if you go to and for Harf Time listeners, if they use their special code “Harf” they get 50 dollars off.

Kevin: Oh, really? Good offer.

Sean: So send me a tweet @SeanCallanan if you’ve got any questions.

Kevin: All right, good on ya Sean, thanks for coming’ in as per usual.

Recording: Learn from Sports Geek at our Sports Geek ODE one-day educational. Go to

Sean: So I will link in the show night’s to that AFL and NFL post comparing the Facebook and Twitter numbers of all the teams. Check it out, any comments you have, much appreciated. I’ll probably be breaking that down with a few other leagues and have a good look at how they are going around the world in the next coming weeks.

Social media post of the week. Congratulations and a really nice Twitter bed between the New England Football account and the Socceroos. I’ll have a link to that in the show notes, good work there. But I really have to go with the Nike campaign led by Sweden and Paris St. Germaine Striker. Zlatan Ibrahimovic I think I’m getting that wrong completely, but check out the data’s left hand tweets, really having a lot of fun with the platform. Even asking Twitter to change the 140 character limit because he wanted to say more to his fans. Had a lot of fun with it.

This week’s ‘Sounds of the Game”, thanks to Brian Gibson for sending it through, it’s from the A-league Derby match between Sydney FC and the West City Wanderers, 40,000 people sounded like this.

Yeah, some quite amazing scenes there at AON Stadium with both the Wanderers fans and the Sydney FC fans getting right up behind, really great club atmosphere. Speaking of Brian, during the week, he did say it was one of the best games he’s’ been to live, and it was the best way to experience the sport in my humble opinion I’m looking forward to catching a few games this weekend.

So that leaves me to dedicating this episode and that is why you can hear that clock ticking in the background. This is episode 42, so you can find the show notes and taking the nomination from Mattwell60 on Twitter, who nominated Collingwood legend and great who is unfortunately killed in a car accident age 26 in 1991, he wore the number 42 with distinction as now been retired by the Collingwood football club. Darren Millane, is who I’m dedicating this episode to.

Okay, wrapping up this episode, don’t forget the Sports Geek one-day educational as I said there on the spot with Harftime. That’s on March 31, we’ll be covering things like Facebook advertising, how to use custom audiences, how to reach new fans, we’ll be running a few campaigns in a few clubs around membership, and brand campaigns for the start of the season. So really on top of that at the moment.

You would’ve also seen and I’ll put a link in the show notes that Facebook are changing pages once again, and news feed again. So it’s an ever-moving target, Facebook. Primarily they’re making pages look more like personal pages. So single column. Tabs, effectively getting the boot. But that doesn’t really matter most tabs and applications are really died off recently. It’s all about using mobile phones more-so than apps.

So yeah, some changes there, again link in the show notes, they’re going to be rolling out soon, it’s something to be really aware of what changes and where they’re headed.

And just a quick reminder, don’t forget the Manchester United Google Plus front row activation that we discussed back on episode 40 with Oscar Ugaz. That’s happening on March 16th, so keep an eye on Man United’s Google page, or all their properties, they’ll put it on all their properties let’s see how that goes I’m really interested to see how it looks and how it looks at Old Trafford with the fan’s heads there bobbing along next to the pitch.

So the final plug, is for the podcast. Again, thank you very much for all the tweets and the messages that I get about the podcast. Any feedback, please and more than welcome to get it either by Twitter or by email. If you want to ever listen to sort of the insights of podcasting itself, we did a podcast on podcasting on Beers, Blokes and Business. So if you go to where I do take a little bit behind the scenes of how I built this podcast and also how I’ve built the Blokes podcast. So if you’re looking at podcasting, have a listen to that one.

Well it’s time for the closing two cents, this one goes out to the king. King James. And their message is, be careful what you tweet. LeBron was unfortunately having problems with his mobile phone and he tweeted that his phone had died. But unfortunately his sponsor is Samsung. He deleted the tweet, but nevertheless, you’ve got to be careful.

Unknown: You know, I love what you’ve done with the name by the way [inaudible 00:45:14] March 31, 2014 at the Honey Bar, pick it up. is the place to go to find out a whole lot more about it.

Recording: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Listen to Beers, Blokes, and Business at Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.

Should more sports follow WWE’s lead? – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 11th March 2014

What @SportsGeek reads…

Michael Briggs Wallabies Online & Social Media Manager

Welcome to the WWE network - a model for all sports to follow? (So successful they crashed MLBAM’s servers)

Learn how ARU engaged fans using Rugby Rewards

How Michael Jordan made $90 million last year!

Alan Thicke, the most interesting man in the sports world

Guide to Facebook reach: what marketers need to know

5 Hashtag tracking tools for Twitter, Facebook and beyond

What can you learn from looking at the data of over 2.2 million email campaigns?

Twitter steps up efforts to woo users as growth slackens

Getty images makes photo library free for use on social media and blogs

The awkward ‘privacy talk’ parents should have with their kids

Blokes discuss podcasting as endorsed by Shane Warne

The career ladder isn’t in the office, learning never stops

5 reasons why the Ellen tweet worked (and 1 key question)

What’s wrong with down-playing your success?

Sign up for Sports Geek News

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

Breaking down @AFL & @NRL social media numbers

The NRL 2014 season has kicked off and AFL 2014 season starts this Friday. Here is a breakdown of some of the social media numbers from a team point of view.

Facebook likes and Twitter follower numbers are just one metric to gauge the success of a digital team working for a sports team.  At Sports Geek we focus on building the overall audience and reach for a team and then focus on engaging the fans to drive business outcomes.

Some findings on these numbers:

  • NRL fans like Facebook more than AFL fans, 2.3M fans vs 2.0M fans with two less teams
  • When it comes to Twitter AFL fans out pace NRL by 22% more per club
  • Ten teams have more than 200K fans across Facebook and Twitter, while 10 teams have under 100K fans
  • Brisbane Broncos & Melbourne Storm lead the way in the NRL edging out Collingwood & Essendon in overall numbers
  • However NRL teams average 29% more fans on Facebook than AFL counterparts
  • Twitter lags behind Facebook numbers by a far margin 3:1 in AFL and 5:1 in NRL
  • The lack of penetration for Twitter into Facebook numbers is alarming, 23% on AFL average and just 16% for NRL teams
  • A total of 4.5M fans like NRL & AFL teams this is not a unique fans number though
  • At a League level NRL has 666K Facebook fans compared to AFL’s 583K
  • On Twitter at a League level @AFL has 209K followers compared to @NRL which has 159K

For terms of comparison there are 13.2M Australians on Facebook (via Facebook Ad Tool) and an estimate of 2.9M Australians on Twitter as there has been no official numbers released by Twitter (Sensis 2013 report)

Please look back at previous analysis of AFL and NRL social media numbers in 2013 comparing leagues around the world and 2011 (battle for social media fans back in March 2011) and (September 2011) as well as SSMI in 2010 in AFL.

AFL Teams Social Media Audience

AFL 2014 Social Media Numbers

NRL Teams Social Media Audience

NRL 2014 Social Media Numbers

AFL teams on Facebook

How many AFL teams have reached the 200,000 Facebook fan barrier?  Collingwood & Essendon
11% of AFL Teams have more than  200,000 Facebook fans

50% of AFL teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans
50% of AFL Teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans

What about AFL team averages n Facebook? Sports Geek clients up 51% on AFL average
AFL 2014 Facebook team average compared to Sports Geek clients

What about the big number? How many fans like AFL teams on Facebook?
AFL Teams are liked by 2,075,000 Facebook fans

NRL teams on Facebook

How many NRL teams have reached the 200,000 Facebook fan barrier?  Broncos, Storm, Warriors & Rabbitohs.
25% of NRL Teams have more than  200,000 Facebook fans

69% of NRL teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans
69% of NRL Teams have more than  100,000 Facebook fans

31% of NRL Teams have less than  100,000 Facebook fans

What about NRL team averages on Facebook? Sports Geek clients up 13% on NRL average
NRL  teams average  Facebook  fan base is 149,500

What about the big number? How many fans like NRL teams on Facebook? Over 300K more fans like NRL teams.
NRL Teams are liked by 2,392,000 Facebook fans

AFL teams on Twitter

Only 2 teams have more than 50,000 Twitter followers, Collingwood and Essendon.
TWO AFL Teams have more than  50,000 Twitter Followers

8 AFL teams are yet to reach 40,000 Twitter followers
44% of AFL Teams have less than  30,000 Twitter Followers

What about AFL team averages on Twitter? Sports Geek clients up 25% on AFL average
AFL teams average  Twitter  fan base is 34,967

What about the big number? How many fans follow AFL teams on Twitter?
AFL Teams are followed by 629,400 Twitter accounts

NRL teams on Twitter

No NRL teams have more than 50,000 Twitter followers, but 5 have more than 30,000 followers. Storm, Warriors, Eels, Broncos and Rabbitohs.
FIVE NRL Teams have more than  30,000 Twitter Followers
11 NRL teams are yet to reach 30,000 Twitter followers
69% of NRL Teams have less than  30,000 Twitter Followers

What about AFL team averages on Twitter? Sports Geek clients up 15% on AFL average
NRL  teams average  Twitter  fan base is 28,625

What about the big number? How many fans follow NRL teams on Twitter?

NRL Teams are followed by 458,000 Twitter accounts

Want more analysis?

Please contact Sean at Sports Geek to help your team reach and engage more fans via digital and social.

Available on Slideshare

Disclaimer: Sports Geek works with and has worked with AFL and NRL clubs listed here but numbers are accurate for Facebook and Twitter for 10th March 2014.

Learn what we teach sports teams?

Sports Geek Social Media Training One Day EducationalOn March 31 we are hosting a One Day Educational to teach business owners and marketers how to leverage social media for business outcomes.

Sessions include:

  • Review social media platforms which can work for you
  • Facebook – Content, Community & Cost
  • Joining the conversation on Twitter & Instagram
  • Pulling together a strategy that will deliver business results

Special guests Josh Rowe and Steve Sammartino will demonstrate how they have used social media in corporate and advertising world.  If you want a leg up on your social media marketing then we’d love to see you there.

Grab your ticket to Sports Geek ODE

Mark Cuban on stadium sports marketing – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 5th March 2014

What @SportsGeek reads…

Oscar Ugaz chats about his time at Real Madrid on Sports Geek Podcast

Great read by Mark Cuban “My 2 cents on sports marketing and what I learnt from SMU basketball this week”

Twitter’s user growth is tapering off, should they be worried?

NRL promote digital pass with 70s rock

Sports Leagues form digital super team to challenge

Whoops! Cardinals tell their players to use social media the right way

Heineken is turning to Foursquare to target US fans of European football

What happens to our brains when we exercise and how it makes us happier

David Morris appears on Beers, Blokes & Business, subscribe on iTunesThe first Samsung wearable has a legitimate chance of catching on

David Morris, Sochi Silver Medalist, chats with the Blokes

Apple investigating mood based ad delivery system

Facebook ad targeting to include location, demographic, interests, off-site behaviour

Squat a 30, ride for free

Ellen DeGeneres breaks Twitter with first tweet to be retweeted over 1M+ times

So you want to be an eBay millionaire?

Sign up for Sports Geek News

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

SGP 040: Oscar Ugaz on #digisport trends and David Morris #Sochi2014 Silver Medallist

Oscar Ugaz chats about his time at Real Madrid on Sports Geek PodcastOn this week’s podcast we chat with Oscar Ugaz about the European sports digital scene and his time at Real Madrid.  Included in this episode is a sneak peek at our interview with David Morris Sochi silver medalist in the aerials from our chat on Beers, Blokes & Business.


Like this episode? please leave a review in iTunes.

Looking to improve your skills in social media? Come along to our Sports Geek Social Media One Day Educational on March 31st listen to podcast for promo code ($50 off).

On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • What Oscar thinks the keys are behind connected stadiums
  • How Real Madrid used Facebook gaming to raise money
  • Why YouTube is perfect fit for sports content
  • What the Australian Olympic team learned about social media after London
  • How athletes like David Morris dealt with huge influx of social media attention
  • How Google+ is finding it’s way into sports market
  • How digital fans will be given the Front Row treatment at Old Trafford

David Morris appears on Beers, Blokes & Business, subscribe on iTunesResources from the episode

Social Media Post of the Week

Manchester United announced Front Row an initiative to bring digital fans closer to the players at Old Trafford using Google Hangouts.

Send in your nominations for best social media post of the week – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine… for whatever reason fan engagement, sponsorship activation, cool content….

Closing 2 Cents

 YouTube is ready to take on sports market.  Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube.  That's almost an hour for every person on Earth  @seancallanan from @SportsGeek

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Learn how your business, brand or team can use social media to drive business results.

Find out how I used social media to build Sports Geek and what I teach sports teams to engage fans and sell memberships and tickets.

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Find out more

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 40 of the Sports Geek podcast. On this week’s podcast, we chat with Oscar Ugaz about his time at Real Madrid and what’s next in the world of sports digital in Europe.

We have a quick chat to Olympian and silver medalist, Dave Morris.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And now, here’s your host, who suggests you should really rethink that bad password, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. That’s right, my name is Sean Callanan, from Sports Geek, and welcome to Episode 40. We’ve made it to the big four-zero. Thank you to everyone who has listened from the get-go. And if you’re just new and checking out the back catalogue, thank you for joining us.

This week on the podcast I chat with a good friend of mine, Oscar Ugaz, who works in digital marketing in Europe. He’s in France at the moment. We talk about his time when he was working with Real Madrid, and some of the things he did there.

Also some of the trends that he is spotting in the world of sports digital, not only in Europe, but also in Latin America. We talk about topics like connected stadium and why YouTube is ready to disrupt the world of sports.

Also a little bit of a sneak peak, we are lucky enough to chat with Winter Olympian and overall good bloke, David Morris. He recently came back from Sochi, winning a silver medal in aerial skiing.

We chatted with him on Beers, Blokes, and Business. That’s going to come out tomorrow, on Monday, so we’ll have a little bit of a snippet of that episode, where we talk about social media and the reaction from fans, and how he dealt with it.

Don’t forget the Sports Geek One-Day Educational is now out. You can check that out at Stay tuned for some more info on that later in the podcast. We’re going to give you a special promo code. But first, here’s my chat with Oscar Ugaz from France.

I’m very pleased to welcome Oscar onto the Sports Geek podcast. I caught up to him a couple of years ago via Skype before I had a podcast, so I’m really happy to have him on. Oscar Ugaz is in France today. Oscar, welcome to the podcast.

Oscar: Thank you very much, Sean. Thanks for having me.

Sean: And you are in France today?

Oscar: Yes, today we are in a winter day in France. Very, very nice.

Sean: First of all, just to introduce yourself to the listeners, if they follow @SportsBiz on Twitter, or @DigiSport, they might have seen your Twitter handle, @OscarUgaz, pop up every now and again. But do you want to give everyone a little bit of a background of your story in sports and digital?

Oscar: Oh, yes, of course. I have an experience of 15 years in digital. I am a former advertising executive working for Wunderman; I am still working with them. But in 2007, I was hired by Real Madrid to be the Digital Business Manager, and I worked with them for several years establishing the digital strategy that nowadays the club has in place.

From that point on, I have been in the sports field and I have been working on advising other sports organization since then, since I left the club.

Sean: It must have been a really exciting phase, because you’re really in that spot around the same time I started Sports Geek. It was a little bit after that, but it was really around the time that social networks really developed. Facebook came along and Twitter came along, and sports teams started to adapt that. Were there some real lessons in those early years in moving from pure digital to what we now know as social media?

Oscar: Yes, indeed. We are talking about 2007. Now in 2007, where Facebook and Twitter are not the size that they are nowadays. They are not as well known as they are nowadays. In that time also, for example, Real Madrid, the data case that I worked on, Real Madrid has not developed a big digital strategy.

They have their portal. They have made some very, very specific analytics for mobile. When we started to develop this new strategy for them, the first thing we do is the website, and stuff like that.

But at some moment, we say, “You know, we are in 2007 and there are these new behaviors in people. People are using these new platforms, this new social media. People are engaging; people are talking. Why don’t we enter into that sphere?”

There was also always a fear – and this is still a fear in most sports organizations and in some brands – that we don’t want to go there because we are afraid of losing contracts, stuff like that.

But after a discussion, and we insist, insist, and we convince them. We start to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, just like a test. At the beginning it was a test to see how fans behave in these environments where they can speak and have an opinion.

Then we will see if we can translate that to our website, our official web portals. At the end of the day, the social media and the social media environments became a big monster on their own. They had their own lives, so we decided to start creating strategies, and created a specific force and a specific business around these social media environments.

Sean: So you’ve moved on from Real now. You’re in a consulting business working in digital marketing. How much of your work now is still in the sports space?

Oscar: Nowadays I work in Latin America and in Europe. Let’s say that around 50% of the job that I am doing right now is related to sports. We are working with some sports clubs in Latin America, and we are also advising some organizations in Germany, and also in Spain.

It is 50% of our job right now, but it is most of the same. It is based on digital and how these organizations can take advantage of these new platforms, and these new solutions.

Sean: So how has the transition for you been a different go from what we would call “Club Land,” working for a team, and just for their purposes to, one, being in the same space as me, working with multiple teams? But then, also, working with these multiple industries, or brands, and governments, and those kinds of things? How much of that digital strategy and the work that you are doing in digital is applicable and transferable across those industries?

Oscar: I think that many, many things are very transferable. For example, when they’re related to sports, at the end of the day, it is a business. You need to develop some kind of value. It is obvious that you need that.

But at the end of the day, all of the things nowadays in digital are based in content. It doesn’t matter if you are selling sports, if you are selling a country, a tourist destination, or a car. I am working in all of these industries.

What you need in all of these situations is content. If you don’t have relevant and remarkable content, it is very difficult to have an impact in digital or in social media. Because nowadays, it’s a word that everyone is using, it’s “content”, but it’s real.

If you don’t have nowadays something interesting to tell in the digital sphere, you have nothing. Because you are not getting attention, and without attention, you are not going to be able to transform that into eventual sales, or into eventual value to the company.

That’s a problem that you confront in any business that you are in nowadays, that if you want to activate it in digital. So I think that experience that we have with a brand like Real that is very big and has all the attention, but in some ways has big difficulties to create content beyond the football match.

You have the football match; it is big content, but its content has already been sold to that tenant of the rights. It is the guy who is paying you the big amounts for broadcast rights.

You say, “Okay, how can I create more content? Something different to try to bring more attention, and try to transform that new attention into money. Because how can I create additional business out of the social media?”

That’s the same problem that, for example, tourist boards, or car dealers, or whoever you think of, all have the same content problem.

Sean: Definitely over the last three to four years, that explosion of content has happened across the board. Sports teams are overflowing with content, but still you’ve got to shape that content for your fans in a way that they can consume it. Because all sports teams, whether they be Real Madrid or the Melbourne Storm or the LA Lakers, they’re competing against these other content engines and content companies that are now coming up and competing with sports teams.

Whether they be USA For The Win, or, or anything like that, the sports teams can’t just be putting out the vanilla met report, or the press conference, they’ve got to be in that – like you just said – remarkable and interesting content to engage their fans. Otherwise, the fans just start tuning out.

Oscar: Yes, that’s very true. The problem is, I am talking about football clubs in Europe and in Latin America. These people have very big difficulties creating relevant and remarkable content. I am not talking about the United States, for example, because in the States, they have been very creative, and they are willing to test new stuff.

In Europe and football in Latin America, beyond the match, the highlights, the training footage or stuff like that, there are very, very few examples of people creating some content by thinking out of the box.

I think that one of the very great and big examples are Manchester City, for example. Manchester City is a club that is creating concepts like the tunnel cam, or are creating concepts like, “Okay, we are going to play the training match using GoPro cameras.” Stuff like that.

I think because they are not in the front lines–they are not the first, and the biggest, and the most popular football club in the premier¬¬–I know it is important but they don’t have anything to lose. They say, “Okay, we are going to test things.” That is the attitude. That is the attitude that you have to take, you know I think that they are doing pretty, pretty well.

Sean: We have definitely seen an insatiable appetite for sports fans, definitely here in Australia, and the same in the States, in the U.S., in the pro teams in the more content the teams produce. We’ve seen it as digital teams have grown. They’ve gone from one to two-person man teams.

As they put in more content producers, the numbers, the traffic, it all increases because the fans have this insatiable desire. From what you are saying, to me, that sounds like a massive opportunity for all the teams to follow the leads of the Manchester Cities, to produce that extra content. Because their fans are craving for it. They just don’t know if the opportunity was there, if that content was produced for them, that they would be consuming that more and more.

Oscar: There is also a big constraint there. It is not only based in the resources you have to pour inside the club more producers and more budget to create that. It is also, I think, about attitude and about conceptual openness to do these types of tasks. Because most of the content created by the club is created by press areas that are very traditional in the way that they manage.

The guys who, for example, are creating outstanding and incredible content around football, in YouTube, for example. It is driving millions and millions and millions of fans of people who are not football clubs. I don’t know if you know them.

Sean: Yes.

Oscar: These are guys who are creating relevant content. They are creating concepts like the football fan, the guy who goes around the games and shows the behind-the-scenes, or the bowels, of the club. Or, I don’t know, the guys who make fans and make rap battles between Ronaldo and Messi, and stuff like that. It is driving huge, huge, huge amounts of traffic and of attention.

That is an arena in which a football club finds it very difficult to enter. Not only because they are traditional. It is also because they have, “Okay, now, we have to protect the image of the players. We have to protect the image of this thing and the other.” You have a lot of constraints, and that’s why you are sometimes forced to create not so interesting and relevant content.

That is a barrier that in some moment needs to be broken down, because if not, all the traffic is going to go to these other creative types, you know, who are creating the content that people nowadays are following.

Sean: Another question that I’m really looking forward to when I’m in Europe is checking out some of the stadiums and seeing what the trends are at stadiums, both in London and in Europe. There is a really big debate in the U.S. at the minute, around connected stadiums.

As you know, I’m part of SEAT Conference where I run the digital track. They’re always talking about Wi-Fi and DAS, and can the fans get access to the Internet. It’s becoming a necessity in the States. We’ve also got CISCO rolling out some networks with some of the major stadiums in Australia, because of the demands that so many fans with smartphones want to be able to do things.

There have been an interesting, I guess, opposing points of view. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks is really in the camp of, “I don’t want my fans using their phones. I want them to be engaged with the action.”

Then you’ve got the new Kings’ owner, who wants to provide that fan as much Internet as they need, so they can have that extra, contextual benefit of being at the game. It might be live replays that you can pull up on your smartphone.

So they are sort of the two opposite ends of the spectrum that are currently happening in the U.S.. What’s the connected stadium debate like, happening in Europe and in Latin America?

Oscar: I think that in Latin America they are still not in that level of connecting the stadiums. In Europe there are many, many things that are entering into this environment. I think, not because they are thinking in a strategic way, like in the States. But mostly because other ones are doing it.

That is a bad thing about all this digital. “Oh, because my competitor is doing it, I am going to do it also. Because I cannot say that I am not a connected stadium and the team that I fight every Sunday, the other team has it.”

That is the situation right now. I think that both Mr. Cuban and the people who are opposite to him in these things are both right. I think that in these stadiums you have this big problem of people saying “Why go to the stadium if I can sit on my coach, or in my armchair, and I have my big, plasma screen, with my tablet, and all the things, and I get all the information there?”

You have to give them reasons to go to the stadium. Some of the reasons will be that you have the same connectivity and you are going to use the same multimedia options in the stadium. “Come on over here.”

On the other hand, I think that Mr. Cuban is very right. The thing that you cannot do is go to the stadium – and I think that that is happening in some of the stadiums in the States – that you go to the stadium and you sit down in a very big room, like at your house.

You sit down there and you pass all the time watching not the game, but also watching what is happening in other four or five games, at the same time, and playing fantasy games. Because at the end of the day, that is not the experience of a match. I think that both are extremes, that you cannot fall in one extreme or the other, because it is not healthy.

The other thing I think about connected stadiums is that it’s great, you have to provide this content to the fans, these services. But I think that is something that is very expensive. And if the football clubs do not have a good strategy on how to extract money out of it, or how to extract value–and believe me, many, many clubs do not have them, at least in Europe–it is going to be a very big, and expensive, nice-to-have thing.

I think if you want to extract value out of a connected stadium, the first thing that you must have is a very compelling and very well-established CRM strategy. To know, okay, these guys came in, they bought these things. I can put that in the database; I can have all this information. I can see how I can construct insights and information, and I can create new products to sell these guys. Because this is not just, “Okay, I have it; it’s very nice, but it’s very expensive. But I have connection, Wi-Fi in the stadium.” It does not make any sense.

There are football teams, for example, in Europe, where these are projects that are developed by the IT department of the club. But for example, the guys and the sponsorship do not know how to extract value out of that. They don’t have the tools to say, “Okay, how can I use this Internet connection inside the stadium to maybe sell some new products for the sponsor?”

It’s part of the silo culture of many clubs in Europe, you know. IT is one area, and it is totally separated from sponsorship, and it’s totally separated from digital marketing. They work separately; they don’t talk to each other.

One of these projects is a totally technical, IT project. The other guys don’t know how to activate it. So that is one of the other big constraints about this.

Sean: Definitely, yes. It is something that even the first time I went to SEAT in 2011, it was all the IT guys. That was one of my first conversations with Christine after that, saying, “We really need to get the marketers in here at this same conference”, because the IT guys will set up the great systems, but it is the marketing guys who will implement these activations and sponsorships that close the loop.

Oscar: That is not happening, right now. Unfortunately, from my experience, that is not happening, right now.

Sean: Yes, so last year in Kansas City, the guys at Sporting KC, and Sporting Innovations, pretty much used the sporting park, where Sporting KC play, as a really good example of, one, what a connected stadium can be, in that their smartphone app would connect to their Wi-Fi.

As you walked around the stadium, different offers would come to your phone because they knew where you were in the stadium. I think there was a shot-on-goal, and literally, by the time I had taken the phone out of my pocket and brought it up, I was able to see a replay of that.

Now, they are in a really great situation, and I’ve got to get Asim from Sporting Innovations on the podcast to talk about it. But it is that N2N solution, and there are so many moving parts of getting the TV guys to work with your digital, getting the infrastructure of the stadium, but when it does come off, it does fit really well for the fan. That’s the end.

But the other thing is, with the Sporting KC model, it was all connected to their CRM. So they were always getting more data about their fan, to better serve that fan better offers, better deals, those kinds of things, while always profiling those fans.

Oscar: At the end of day, you have to envision some type of return, because we are talking about a very, very expensive investment to create this infrastructure. So who is going to pay for that party? Someone needs to pay for that.

Maybe it’s a sponsor, okay, but the sponsor will need to have options, and will need to have tools to activate that. “Okay, I am going to sponsor, and I am going to pay for this. How am I going to have a return?”

It’s something that needs to be very clear. I think that very few people are making that exercise nowadays in the sports properties. They are just implementing the infrastructure because everyone is doing it. And it is something that is very, very sad to have happening.

Sean: It does take you to that ROI question. We’ve all been playing – I don’t know if I want to say “playing” – but working in social for a couple of years, now, and that ROI question keeps coming up. I think social, overall, is a longer game, and you can measure the ROI on a campaign-by-campaign basis, running specific things. That’s how you can start measuring ROI. But what are some of the things you look for when somebody says, “We want to run this campaign, but we want to make sure it brings in returns?”

Oscar: I think that one of the things on which you need to focus here is how are you’re going to measure value, when you create these companies.

For example, it’s a sponsor campaign, and the sponsor says, “I’m going to measure my values in,” I don’t know, “‘likes’ or comments.” Well, it is this problem; I think that is the most superficial thing that you can do.

I think that you have to create experiences for the fans, but that have a revenue stream behind them. That’s the thing that happened when we created, for example, in Madrid, the Real Madrid Fantasy Manager.

We said, “We have all these millions of fans on Facebook and we have all these thousands of guys that are using our mobile application. Where are these people in 2010? What are these people doing now in social platforms or in mobile?

They are playing FarmVille, or they are playing Mafia Wars. Now we are talking about 2010, when Zynga was very popular. Okay, if we have this, why don’t we create, again, a social media game?

The thing that we do is we act like normal, licensing guys. We go and we talk with Zynga and they say to us, “We are not interested. We are focusing on our own games.”

So we decided that we would make a complete reverse engineering of that game. We sit down with the developers of those games, who have experience creating fantasy games. Together with these guys, we make a reverse engineering of these Mafia Wars, of this FarmVille, and we mix that with a social media game.

And we create the Fantasy Manager, a game that has been very popular and has demonstrated that Real can extract money out of that fan base, because we started bringing real money out of that thing.

So that is something is not in any other clubs. You have people that have the capacity to sit down, do that exercise, and do that reverse-engineering of a game. Because at the end of the day, you say, “No, you are digital guys. What you need to do is start to close licenses.”

You have to think in some other way, you know. You have to think in some other way. At the end of the day, also, this Fantasy Manager game nowadays is played by over 30 teams around the world. You know, because Real created that game, we the team of digital, created that game, Real earns a royalty for each one of these games.

You are playing a game, for example, the AC Milan Fantasy Game, and you are making money out of that. A percentage of the money that AC Milan is making goes to Real, because Real was the creator of the game. So Real Madrid transformed themselves into a publisher of games. Who says that a football club needs to be a publisher of games? Why not?

Sean: And we have seen that with Major League Baseball events media, a lot of teams and leagues are setting up their own digital media departments, both as a content producing house, but then also spinning off and doing those games and fantasy games, and those kinds of things because it is still focused on revenue.

Fantasy is still one of the biggest traffic drivers on a lot of sports. So there is money to be made form an advertising point of view, having premium versions.

I’ve heard Peter Stringer talk about similarly, their 3-Point Play Facebook app around the same time, was a really great way early on, when those games on Facebook were starting to really catch on. It worked really well and tied into their CRM strategy perfectly.

Oscar: Yes, but there you are thinking out of the box, you know. The other example is the all-night video. We arrive in Madrid, we say, “We are the only football club that does not have a paying, all-night, video channel. We are the only club who does not have it. Why don’t we make it?

So we started making all the analysis, and we discover that we lose money. We lose money because we are asking all the other people, all the other clubs that have these types of solutions. And they say, “People nowadays are pirating the content, so we are losing money.”

We say, “We don’t have the content. We are not going to have the possibility of creating a channel. We are going to lose money.” And what happened?

It was 2010. YouTube appears, with YouTube Partner Program. You can upload your content and what do you do? YouTube will start selling advertising over the content that you create. What happens, 50% is for you, and 50% is for YouTube.

But the most interesting thing is that YouTube has this technology that allows you to say, if someone is using your content – let’s say that I, a football club upload my match, and I don’t publish it to YouTube. It’s there.

But there is a guy who takes five seconds to make, I don’t know what, a resume of the best goals. The system identifies that he is using five seconds of my content. They say, “This is the content of Real.” And “Real, you have two options. You can say ‘Block it’, or you can say ‘Sell advertising, and I want to have 50%’.”

At the end of the day, you are using this great technology of YouTube, not to fight with the fans. Because the fans want to take the content, want to take the match. They want to take the interview; they want to make their version. They want to make match-ups.

You say, “Do the match-ups. I am not going to fight you, because it’s impossible to fight with thousands of guys. Do it, you are free, but in the meantime, I am going to make money out of it.”

Sean: Definitely, I’m a big believer. I think YouTube will become a bigger player in sports. They had a very successful campaign with the IPL doing that. And it is rumored that they may try to get some of the NFL, which would be a really big reach.

But yes, the fact that it’s a platform that works; it’s a platform that everyone is consuming their video on. And yes, the ID-matching ability they’ve got, we went through the same when we launched the Lego Car video.

It pretty much says, “Yes, we found another video that someone stole it.” And you have that option to get it shut down and send everyone back to your site, or leave it out there and let the fans consume it. I think that’s a really progressive way of thinking about it. Why wouldn’t you want to monetize your content on all these different ways?

Oscar: And the thing that you have just said is very, very important. Because, indeed, maybe in the future, YouTube is going to be a potential tenant of rights. It is going to be a dealer of the rights, okay. And there is the opportunity; there is where you’re going to take the revenue.

If YouTube, let’s say, in five years, came to a football club and said, “I want to buy your rights. I’m going to pay you $10. And you are going to remain in that position today.” “No, no, no. The value of that is not $10; the value of that is $15.”

You Tube is going to ask you how you know that, and you are going to say, “I now that because over the past five years I have been on your platform and I know the real value of that.” That is the moment when all these efforts and details are going to pay off. It is not going to pay off now.

It’s the same thing that happened with Real, for example. Five years ago, Real started doing all these social media platforms, and one of the guys that entered more into this type of thing was Bwin.

Bwin is company that is in betting, but it is also in entertaining and being the entertainment. It was a sponsor of the shirts. Last year the shirt contract ended, but Bwin did not walk away. Bwin said, “I am out of the shirt, but I want to be the official partner/sponsor of digital Real Madrid.

That happened after five years, before, of working with these guys, working with them, making the Fantasy Manager. Showing it to them and saying, “Here you have insight; here you have information. I am not just sending you an email at the end of the campaign saying how many ‘likes’ you have, how many ‘comments’.”

“No, I am sending you a deck, a complete deck, telling you and informing you of the things that you did in the campaign. Maybe next time you have to do this to obtain more revenue, or more results.” Stuff like that.

That creates a different relationship with that partner. That’s why now, five years after that, after you have started making all those social media that don’t pay off, nowadays, it is paying off. Because you have retained a sponsor that is paying you for this digital platform, and because of these digital efforts that you are making, that were not paying off, now are paying off, after five years.

It’s not money, right now. It’s not, “I am going to create an application and I’m going to make money, money, money all the days, as usual.” No, you have to think differently. You are going to take the value in some other, different way, in the middle- to long-term.

Sean: Definitely, I think we’re on the same page. I definitely think it is long game. The thing that social allows you to do is it allows you to take your fans along on that journey. And wherever you end up, they are already going to be there, because they’re going to be following you on all those different platforms that they’re following you on now. And who knows, there might be a couple of platforms that are being built right now. Whether that’s in Silicon Valley, or somewhere in Europe, or even in Australia.

Oscar: This is called the “innovator’s dilemma”. It happens in any industry. The innovation comes in little segments, in little business models that don’t work, that bring in very little money. So big companies don’t pay attention to that. Obviously, they don’t pay attention to that because the big money is in some other place.

Football clubs don’t pay attention nowadays to the Internet, because the say, “How much are you making? You are making maybe $20,000,000 a year. I make $20,000,000 just signing a deal with a sponsor.” No, they don’t pay attention.

The problem is, when this social media, this digital, begins transforming something big and you are not prepared. That is what has happened, you name it, it has happened with the book industry, the music industry. It has happened with the mining industries. Any industry where technology has entered, it has happened.

It is something that is called the “innovator’s dilemma”, and it is a concept that has been around for many, many years. Now it is happening here. What is happening here is going to happen.

You have to be prepared. It is normal. It is normal that marketing doesn’t pay attention to you. It is normal that you are just five guys in digital, the five crazy guys in digital that no one is paying attention to, that no one is giving you a budget. It’s normal. But the thing is that they need to fight against this innovation dilemma.

One big example, and great example, that did this ten years ago, in breaking the innovation dilemma in sports and now are doing great is MLB. MLBAM are a great example of breaking the innovation dilemma and doing great things for the Major League of Baseball. It is a great example of this.

Sean: Exactly, and that gives me a good time to wrap up our discussion. I know we could talk longer, but I hope that our schedules allow us to catch up when I’m in Europe. But if not, I hope that you can make it down to Miami for SEAT. Maybe that is when we continue this discussion.

Oscar: Okay, I hope so. I hope so.

Sean: Thank you very much for coming on the podcast, Oscar. I will have links to your Twitter handle, @OscarUgaz and you’re LinkedIn, so if anyone wants to catch up with you, they will be in the show notes for this podcast.

Oscar: Thank you very much, for having me, Sean. See you soon.

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Sean: Thanks, again, to Oscar, for joining me on the podcast, all the way from France. Hopefully, I will catch up with him when I’m over in Europe. We’re just trying to organize our diaries to see if we can connect. But as I sort of said there in the conversation, we’re also hoping that he can make it down to SEAT, in Miami in July.

Don’t forget, you can still register for SEAT. I’m working on the digital tracks, and spoke to Christine last week. It looks like it’s going to be a really fun conference. The agenda for the conference, for both the digital, the CIO, the IT track, and also the CRM track run by guys like Russell Scibetti. I hope I got Russell’s name right.

It will be really good to go. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Oscar to come in and sit on a couple of the panels. You can also check that out at And all the links to Oscar will be in the show notes. So definitely connect with him and follow what he does on Twitter, and LinkedIn, and the like.

This week, also, we had an Olympian turn up to the Sports Geek offices. Dave Morris, who, if you’ve been following the Sochi Olympics, especially in Australia, he won the silver medal for the aerial skiing. He is a friend of one of the blokes, so we had a chat with him, and here is a little bit of a snippet from that chat.

Unfortunately, we had some technical difficulties when recording, so it was recording on our back-up track, so it’s a little bit tinny. But he does give up some insights on what it’s like when you are inundated with social media mentions and requests around a big event like the Olympics. Dave Morris, Olympian.

Sean: So I have a question from a Sports Geek point of view. At the London Olympics, the swimmers and swimming team sort of blamed social media for their downfall. In that they were reading too many tweets; it got in their heads. I guess, you have just now lived that. What was it like in the lead-up to? We’ve already said that you were flying under the radar, but there would have been tweets coming in.

Dave: Absolutely, yes.

Sean: And stuff like that. What did you do to manage that? And the second question is, what was it like afterwards?

Dave: The Australian Olympic Committee really learned from London and the mistakes – I say “mistakes” – the stuff that went wrong there. Yes, the social media got to a lot of athletes and it was very overwhelming.

So they had what they called basically a “media black out”, which was amped up a little bit more than it was. But it was basically they didn’t want you tweeting or doing any social media while you were at your training venue, whether you were training or competing. Which is very, very fair. People got all arced up about it. I’m like, “But why would you want to be tweeting as you’re ready to go down the end run?” You’re just not concentrating.

Sean: There was a security issue, too, because there was some security issues.

Dave: They didn’t want people saying, “I’m going to this bar.” And then having anyone turn up. I thought it was very fair. You were allowed to tweet in photos, and whatever, once you went back to your room and stuff. That was fine, but they just suggested that it was the best option to just stay totally away from it. Because you do get overwhelmed by it.

Once I got the medal, I got the full brunt of social media in my face. It was three whole days of basically, non-stop. And there’s no way I could have done that before my event, if I’d had any exposure whatsoever. Because, you know, I went under the radar, which was the plan. But guys like, they’re like, “BAM! These guys got a win.” That’s very overwhelming.

Sean: That’s the advice that I’ve given my clients, as sports teams, or with football clubs. They get, you know, I just did a training session with North Queensland Cowboys, and they get that intense pressure over 30 weeks.

Dave: Yes.

Sean: Over a 30-week season. So if Jonathan Thurston has a good game, he gets a flood of tweets coming in. But with the Olympics, you know, they did make a mistake in London and they needed to correct it. They tell you, “Don’t read all the newspapers before you go in.” And that’s all obvious, but they weren’t ready for this new media, to say, “Don’t listen, don’t be tweeting.”

Man: Internet trolls.

Dave: I’ve had the Internet trolls, and my brother helps manage my Facebook fan page. I’ve got people who are just hating me, and I’m like, “What have I done?”

Man: What could they say wrong?

Dave: He deletes it before I read it, because I was going to say before, “Thank you, very much.” But I’m just like, “What have I done to do that?” But I take it as a compliment someone writing to flip me off.

Man: They make fun of you, like the fact that you wear the girls’ uniform, instead of your pants.

Dave: Well, that’s the truth.

Man: Oh, is it true?

Dave: Yes. I wore a woman’s uniform for a couple of years, then you have a boy’s one on. You know, people want to take the time.

Man: We haven’t meant you any kind of trouble.

Sean: You mentioned that your brother helps you with your Facebook fan page. Do you run your Twitter and your Instagram accounts?

Dave: Yes, I do manage my own Twitter, but Dad and my brothers, Pete and Josh, help me out. But that’s true, it’s nice to have them take the load off that. But I make sure I know what’s going on.

But in the games, I went, “You know, I’ll read just a little bit in there.” Because that’s what I do on a daily basis. That’s the routine. But I did really step back from it. I took my pictures as I normally would, but I left it all up until the end. Then, once the matter was done, 980 emails the next morning.

Sean: Wow.

Dave: Like, “All right. Here we go.”

Announcer: Learn from Sports Geek at our Sports Geek ODE One-Day Educational. Got to

Sean: Thanks, again, to Dave Morris, for coming in to Sports Geek HQ. Again, apologies. Kicking myself for the technical difficulties with the audio. But I guess after 70 episodes, you’re going to have one or two glitches every now and again. But it just shows, especially with audio and video, always have a back-up, and always have a secondary option, otherwise we would have lost it completely.

You can follow Dave @AerialSkier on most platforms. And you can hear that episode in full at, or you can get that on iTunes and Stitcher. But if you just go to @BeersBlokesBiz on Twitter, you’ll get the latest links for the show.

This week’s social media post of the week, and it’s actually quite topical, considering the conversation I had with Oscar around YouTube and some of the options in that space.

YouTube have announced, from YouTube and Google+, I effectively using the two terms interchangeably, Google+ with Google Hangouts, which is effectively a YouTube product. I see it as a YouTube product. They have announced Google+ Front Row with Manchester United, a means to bring fans from the digital space to Old Trafford.

So I’ll have a link to the show notes of Manchester United announcing that on Facebook and Google+, and the video that Google UK produced to promote the event. The fans will be able to dial in using Google Hangout, and that will actually be shown on the front row at Old Trafford.

So it’s a really good way of connecting digital fans from an online point of view, to the off line, connecting them to the stadium.

Again, I think Google Hangouts, and we’re seeing more and more teams do them, I do think the invite-only and hand-picked fans is the way to go. Manchester United is running effectively a competition to decide which fans will be in that front row.

I think it’s a really great way to engage your fans and bring them back. So I think, everything I’m seeing, from what the Google+ team, and what the Google+ sports team are doing – you saw it with the #sportsconference – they are really trying to push into that sports vertical.

So if you haven’t checked out Google Hangouts and how you could use them, I highly suggest you do because I do think it is going to be, I guess, the one thing that may potentially come out of Google+.

I’m not saying that Google+ is dead, or it’s the next platform to explode, but I definitely like Google Hangouts and the products it offers in the YouTube space. So check that out, Google+ Front Row with Manchester United.

I don’t want to run too long. I’m trying to keep my episodes under 45 minutes, so that clock is ticking to tell me to dedicate Episode 40.

I did have a nomination for Steve Menzies, Manly Sea Eagles legend, coming back at the age of 40 to play in the Sevens Tournament. I was going to talk about the 40-yard dash, considering it has been the NFL combine recently.

But as a Detroit bad boys Pistons fans, I can’t go past one of the biggest bad boys of them all, Bill Laimbeer, especially since I was lucky enough to meet him on one of my earlier trips to Detroit. I caught him at an airport and got his autograph. I’ll take a photo of that and put it in the show notes. So I’m going to dedicate this episode to Bill Laimbeer.

You can get all the show notes, all the links of everything that was discussed today at As it is, you can track down and stalk, or I should say follow and connect with all of the guests – over 50 now. Simply go to

And please, look at the episode catalog. Like I said, I’m very proud to get to 40 episodes. Thank you for all the support, for all of the people who have tweeted in, posted, and replied that they are listening to the podcast.

If I’m not getting that feedback, I won’t be doing the podcast, is probably one way of putting it. It really does spur me on to continue to produce this episode.

One example of that is from Richard, from Canberra, who is asking about IFTTs in one of the emails that I respond to. When you sign up for Sports Geek news, if you go to and sign up now, I’ll actually send you a few tips around how to use IFTT.

He asked, “Is IFFT more like a curation service?” IFTT is; it’s If This Then That. I use it as a bit of a traffic controller and an archive for all things social.

So I’ll put a link in the show notes to my IFTT profile. It does things like automatically sending Instagram photos I like to my Drop box, or I’ve got an archive of which photos I’ve liked.

I’m also saving them in a Google spread sheet. So if I want to reference them later, I might send them off to Tumblr. If I like a YouTube clip on YouTube, it will be sent to my Tumblr, and things like that.

So it’s pretty much you set up a bunch of channels and then it allows you to either archive, or send those posts to other platforms. I use it a lot with Instagram. I use it a lot with YouTube. And just I use it a lot from an engagement point of view.

So if I’m engaged with a client and we want to keep track of all the Instagram photos that are coming up around an event, I’ll set up an IFTT rule that will save all of those “likes”. So we have a record of how many we liked and what pictures we liked, and what type of users were sharing the photos of note.

One last thing, I did promise a special promo code for our One-Day Educational. For those of you in Melbourne, I would love to see you there. If you know someone who is running a business, working in the social media, or the marketing space, and want to get a good feel for how they can use social media in their marketing mix, we’d love you to recommend and tell them about the Sports Geek One-Day Educational.

So for this week, for this episode, I’m going to put out a promo code The promo code is going to be “Oscar.” That will get you $50 off the registration price. So thank you for listening. I’m more than happy for you to pass that on; that promo code, again, is “Oscar.”

Hope to see you there, March 31, at Honey Bar. It will be pretty much four, really deep-dive sessions of all the material that I’ve been using in sharing and training sports teams. But really I’ve looked to adapt it to any kind of business. So if you’re looking to use social media for your business, or if you know someone who does need to do that, I would love it if you would share it with them.

Simply go to You can get all the information there. Find out about Josh and Steve, who are also going to be there, talking about their experience in using social, as well.

Okay. Time for the closing two cents. I’m going to dedicate this one to YouTube. YouTube is really ready to take on the sports market. A quick stat: over 6,000,000,000 hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. That is almost one hour for every person on Earth.

Announcer: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Give Beers, Blokes, and Business a listen, where Sean catches up with some savvy blokes. Listen to Beers, Blokes, and Business at

Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.

Man: I love what you’ve done with the name, by the way. The One-Day International, the One-Day Educational. Monday, the 31st of March, 2014, at the Honey Bar. Check your local guides for more details. is the place to go to find out a whole lot more about it.

The psychology of being a Sports Fan – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 25th February 2014

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