Winning a Super Bowl, what is it like for the digital team? – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

Kenton Olson chats about Seahawks DigitalWhat @SportsGeek reads…..

Why Google’s CEO only buys companies that pass his crazy toothbrush test.

Ever tried networking when you’ve lost your voice?

What is it like running a digital team in lead up to Super Bowl?

It’s over: The rise & fall of google authorship for search results

Why it’s a mistake to piggyback on someone else’s business

How this man built a $3M business a year after four years in prison.

This is how the NFL is getting butts back in the bleachers

“Football passport” A great digital addition as the season kicks off…

AFL club memberships hit record mark but ACCC not happy.

See 43 years of Nike sneaker evolution in “The genealogy of innovation” video.

How iCloud flaw caused nude celeb pictures leak (this should concern coaches and agents)

Here’s a map of every device connected to the Internet

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 3rd September 2014

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SGP 058: Kenton Olson on Seahawks, Super Bowl & 12s

Kenton Olson chats about Seahawks DigitalLast time I caught up with Kenton Olson he was in the midst of a playoff run that saw the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. We discuss that experience and what they are planning for the season ahead.  On ABC Grandstand I chat with Francis Leach about the rumours that Google should be a bidder on upcoming AFL media rights.

On this podcast you’ll learn about:

  • What it is like running digital around the Super Bowl
  • What platform grabbed fan’s attention and engagement in Super Bowl lead up
  • Why the simplest content is sometimes the best
  • How the Seahawks digital team are ready to step up as Super Bowl champs
  • Why Google is interested in sports TV rights
  • Why the NBA turned away Google

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Podcast Transcription

Sean: Welcome to episode 58 of the Sports Geek podcast. NFL season is almost upon us and we catch up with the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. We’ll talk to Kenton Olson about Super Bowl week and the season ahead and NFL media rights. Is it time to Google it?

DJ Joe: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for the Sports Digital Marketer. And now here’s your host who just reset the Twitter password for your favorite athlete, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joe. Passwords, it is something that I regularly do when starting out with a team or an athlete is to get them to change their password. It might be an easy to remember password, it might be easy to type, but it definitely will not be the most secure password. So if you’re a team that has a password that includes the mascot name, potentially maybe the year your team was formed, I highly suggest you go and change those passwords to a stronger password. Fifteen characters, multiple variations, not easy to read.

It may be an inconvenience when you have to sign into a Twitter account, which we do once a year, if that. It’s really important to have those passwords strong. The last thing you want to do is have your account hacked on any platform. That also goes for Facebook. So you’re personal Facebook account has to have a strong password because that is the way that potential hackers will try to get access to your page. So there you go, I’m going to get off my set box.

On today’s show I catch up with a former guest. We caught up with him in the playoffs last year – Kenton Olson from the Seattle Seahawks. We’re going to have a chat about what it was like going through the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks and what he learned from it. And then later in my chat with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand we talk about NFL media rights and how Google is becoming a player in the Sports Media landscape and potentially might be a bidder for future league rights, not only in Australia but around the world. But first, here’s my chat with Kenton Olson from the Seattle Seahawks.

Very happy to welcome a previous guest who was on the podcast who joined me during the NFL playoffs last year and I’m going to catch up with him before the NFL season. Kenton Olson from the Seattle Seahawks, welcome to the podcast.

Kenton Olson: Sean, good to be with you again.

Sean: And last time we caught up with you, you were in the midst of the NFL playoffs. I think it was a couple of days before the NFC championship game. You had a couple of big weeks after that. Do you want to sort of take us through the whole Super Bowl experience and running an NFL digital team through that Super Bowl experience?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, I can certainly do my best. It was obviously, to say the least, definitely a blur. It seemed like it went so quick even though it was over three weeks there if you include the NFC championship game. We pretty much were on social media 24/7. As soon as that final whistle blew at the NFC championship game through the parade, I think it was the second or third week in February. We had our entire staff travel out to New York with the team and we were fully plugged in. I think a very big piece that we spent a lot of our effort focusing on during the Super Bowl run was really the interaction and responses to fans. I always noticed that a lot of sports teams, us in the past for sure, are always really good about talking about ourselves, but it is social media so it is really important that we actually engage with our community, so we had multiple people around the clock 24 hours a day just interacting with our fans and I think we did a really good job with that.

Sean: When you’re in that type of period, and we’ve been through final periods with teams, it’s really tough because it’s not only the national attention of the media that is on the Super Bowl, but it’s international, so you’ve got a really unique point of view because you have the access to the teams and the fans just want to feel a part of it. So do you think that whole doing the social connection, but then producing so much more content really got your fans? They’re going to be in, we talked about them being tapped in, but do you think that really sort of locked them in and still made this a destination for all your fans?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, absolutely. I think there were a couple of things that we focused on. I think, one, we were literally on the opposite side of the country. Seattle and New York, you can’t get much further away from Seattle than New York. I suppose if you went down to Florida, maybe. So for us it was really important to connect with all of our Seahawks fans back here at home, but then also all around the world. So we did a lot of behind the scenes access with photos from practices, interviews with guys all throughout the media days. Basically anything we saw we tried to convey that message and get it back to our folks here in Seattle.

A second piece of our overall content strategy was the fact that the Super Bowl is one that, if you’re a Broncos fan or a Seahawks fan, you certainly have your rooting interest, but a lot of other people didn’t. So for us we had to balance between doing tons of exclusive new content but as well as informing fans, maybe our more casual fans or fans that were new to the Seahawks, more about some different story lines that they’re seeing a lot but maybe don’t know much about. So why does Marshawn Lynch like Skittles? What’s the story behind the number 12? What are all these kinds of different stories that are going on and kind of update fans on those? Some of our most popular content, or our most trafficked content in terms of page views was actually just informing those new fans about some of that content that they may have missed.

Sean: That’s really important. That’s one of the things from my talk that I did. You’ve got the 12s, this super passionate fan base that love everything about the Seahawks and they’ll like and share and take part in things like your Hawk architecture thing where they’re all kidding at their house, but when you do have big events like the Super Bowl you do get all those band wagon fans, or those casual fans, and you’ve still got to produce content for them. So with that kind of stuff you’ve got to make sure that you’re not just producing content for those super avid fans because you know they’ll like it and share it and that kind of thing, but you’ve got this opportunity to reach completely new fans and start them on the journey to becoming more fully fledged Seahawks fans.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, I think absolutely. We’re lucky that we had a lot of eyeballs on us and certainly grew a lot in our social media following. For us the audience we have on social media is a great number. It’s great to say we’re now over 4 million user reads in social media. For us now and for us during the playoffs, which is where we really started focusing on, we looked at every post and we looked at what content was most engaging. So we kind of created an engagement metric around every single individual post we did and that was really helpful to try to figure out that this content is working, this content is not, let’s dial it down here, turn it up there, and that kind of really helped us really engage with our fans and kind of really figure out what works.

Sean: Effectively you built your own edge rank to a certain degree to say this is what we want out of this style post, and this is what the fans like, so you had your own formula of success rather than being a slave to what Facebook says is right or what Twitter says is right. You pretty much came up with your own homegrown formula to say, well, we put out this picture and the fans liked it or we put out this style of post and the fans liked it. Was that sort of what you worked through throughout the playoffs?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, mostly. We work really closely with a company here in Seattle called Simply Measured, and they have a great product and we kind of worked with them and used some of their tools. The way we define engagement, and obviously it’s different for every platform because how you engage in every platform is slightly different. On Twitter it’s a reply or a retweet or a favorite. On Facebook that’s a comment or a share or a like. On Instagram that’s a like your photo or a comment. In Google Plus that’s a different set of metrics altogether. It was really interesting just to see.

One reason we really liked that number, especially with Facebook’s algorithm where you’re not guaranteeing your entire audience is seeing your content, it really kind of helps validate what platforms are actually the most engaging and people are seeing the most content. I can’t remember exactly what our numbers were during the Super Bowl run but I do remember our engagement numbers. At the time we had well over 1 million followers on Facebook and we had just under 500,000 followers on Instagram, so notionally you’d think, oh, you’re going to get a lot more engagements on Facebook, but in reality, for us the average Instagram post during the time leading up to the Super Bowl had 39,700 engagements versus the average post on Facebook, even though we had more followers, of 26,600 engagement. So it was interesting for us just to see that in some ways people are engaging and seeing our content more on Instagram than maybe they are on Facebook or Twitter for that matter.

Sean: Well, you’ve already answered the next question I was going to ask. Was there a platform or a particular place where the content popped? You’ve obviously said in your answer that Instagram was one because it is built for engagement. It doesn’t have any other focus. It’s not like you can say, click this link and go back to our site. It’s a one action for the fan; they just have to double tap, and if you’re putting out content that’s right at the right time that’s all they have to do. There are so many fans who just want to be a part of it and that’s the way that they can go about doing it.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, certainly the platform was interesting but I think just the media that we posted across the platforms was also really, really interesting for us. That was really important for us that we were looking at everything. What content is the most engaging? A lot of people will say the video is in some ways the most engaging but for us during the Super Bowl run, photos were much more engaging, had a much higher engagement metric than the video content did and then obviously more than written content. So for us we just saw the importance of photos. In the past we may have posted out posts on Twitter that didn’t have any media attached and just based on the metrics we’ve shifted and now for the most part, everything we post has a piece of media attached. That really helps grow our engagement on Twitter and just helps guide what kind of content we want to invest our resources in.

Sean: One thing I did want to ask. Post Super Bowl, the way that the media circle works these days, it is a three-week lead up almost to the Super Bowl and it’s covered, ad nauseam almost, but once the result happens the media tends to move on whereas with the team itself the fans still want to revel and celebrate. You had things like the parade. What was it like post Super Bowl for your team as far as trying to figure out the right amount of content to put out and what to cover and how much the fans just kept coming and wanted to sort of still revel in the win?

Kenton Olson: Yeah. I think for us we all are competitors on the field, in the digital space, across leagues even within our league, we’re all resources for each other. I certainly reached out to other teams that had recently won championships and just kind of talked to them about their experience. One thing they all said was that after you win everything explodes, so just trying to keep up on everything. Maybe in the past you can kind of see what social media means or what content is traveling the fastest online. Well in reality everything is just traveling at such a high velocity. For us we basically had our content plan in place. If we win here are the four or five things that we’re going to focus all of our time and effort on and we really focused on that opposed to trying to let the chatter dictate where we went. We just focused on a couple things. We did still have folks on our team and we brought in some folks to assist us help focus on responding to fans and engaging and building morale in the community.

But for us we really focused on four or five things that were really important post game, or at least on the game day itself, and then we obviously built that up as we went throughout the parade. Obviously one of those four of five pieces, we tried to bank on what are things that no one else can get. So for us, granted there were a lot of people in the locker room, but we had a lot of great shots and a lot of great photos and video of guys celebrating in the locker room or walking off the field, from the post-game parties to all kinds of different stuff that in general the media doesn’t have. So we had a lot of success focusing on those.

Sean: Yeah, I was talking to Rich Clarke from Arsenal in Miami and he was talking about the same stuff with their FA Cup win, that some of the content that they produced in the celebration afterwards, and basking in the glory of the win was just as good as the lead up and the win itself, because they were the only ones covering that side of the story, and the fans had an insatiable appetite. They didn’t want the football season to end, it was the best season ever; if you win the Super Bowl you want to continue and revel in that.

Kenton Olson: One thing I want to point out, and I don’t remember the engagement metrics, but it was surprising, some of the things that had the most engagements. If you’ve ever been to our facility here in Renton outside of Seattle, we have Seahawks Way, the street we’re on and we have a sign that says, “Welcome to the Seahawks Complex.” Our facilities guy who’s back here had a guy who was basically ready to install a Super Bowl Champion plaque on that so he sent us that photo as soon as he had put it up, and that was a piece of content that was just shot with a camera phone by a person who was putting up a sign and the people in Seattle just loved seeing that first official piece of the championship back here in Seattle. So there are interesting things like that that you don’t expect to be huge that people get really excited about.

Sean: Well, that’s the thing. It gives your fans the opportunity to show their pride and brag about the win, and it is those small things for as much as we’re always trying to be the first with the news, sometimes those types of local angles or small little pieces are what the fans want to share.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, and I think specifically with social media there’s always the tendency that you have to be a breaking news outlet and I think in a lot of cases you certainly do, but in some cases you’re not going to be the first one to the story. A lot of times it’s what kind of spin or uniqueness can you add to the story and so that’s what we really focused on. Not Super Bowl related, but throughout the course of the regular season we’re not going to be the first ones to necessarily report transactions but we can certainly be the authority to have the official news and maybe get some access that no one else can get ahead of time.

Sean: Much like the players on the field you’re coming back as the returning champs. So from a digital team point of view you’ve got bigger expectations, you’ve got a bigger audience. You said before you had one million on Facebook and now you’re at just over two and half million, so what type of goals do you have coming into this season from a digital team’s point of view? Is there any particular content or platform you’ve got some goals around?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, I think one attitude is to kind of say our audience has grown. It took us five years to get to a million fans and it took us five months to get to two million. That just kind of shows you the hockey stick. For us we’re really taking a lot of the learnings we had during the Super Bowl in terms of focusing on engagement numbers, focusing on interacting and responding with our fans, which is obviously huge. Outside of that a piece that we’re really focused on is just being a mobile first organization across the board.

We’re certainly working on a new platform for a new website that we’re hoping to launch this season, some really great improvements to our mobile application that will be coming this season. We’re finding that a lot of fans don’t consume social media content on their traditional desktop machine; they’re doing it on phones and tablets. For us it’s a tremendous change of philosophy to be a mobile first. That means that with every page we construct we have to think about how it looks on a mobile device first and how it looks on a desktop device second. So just changing that mindset has certainly been a challenge but it’s something we’re focused on.

Sean: Yeah, I think the stats just came out this week that the switch has come over on MLB TV with more being watched on mobile devices than on big screens and stuff like that. Definitely everything is moving into a mobile space and that’s where fans are living, so you’ve got to make sure your content is consumable on those platforms.

Kenton Olson: It’s interesting to me. This is my 8th season, seven years. When I first would go around and talk to someone who didn’t know what I did, they’d go, “Oh, that’s awesome, you do the Seahawks website,” and that was always the first thing they went to. Now the first thing they go to is, “Oh, I have the Seahawks app. I love to check this app, did you do that?” So it’s interesting. I don’t have any metrics but I’d love to know what percentage of our fans maybe never come to our website and just get all of their content via their mobile app or via social media. I think that number would probably be surprisingly large. It’s just interesting in the shift of thinking and the ways that people are consuming our content.

Sean: I did want to ask you, I know that you guys have been sort of posting it away, the recent article in the last couple of days where Facebook has said they’re changing the way that EdgeRank is working again, and they’re trying to get rid of things like click bait and spammy type of headlines. Did you catch that article?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, I did.

Sean: What are your?

Kenton Olson: As a user of Facebook I’m excited about that.

Sean: Definitely, definitely. It’s something that we’d seen as a bit of a trend over the last six months and took a bit of Mark Zuckerberg when he says, “I want Facebook to be the personalized newspaper.” They want to be sharing those links, but once they fixed those thumbnail images so you’ve got those wide screen images and it looks good on mobile, it was a bit of a no-brainer to go to that space because people click on the photo of Russ Wilson on the front of the site cover and it sends them straight through to the site. Is that something that you again saw as, well, if we’re pushing out an article we want to share it that this way and have been doing that for a while with good results?

Kenton Olson: Yeah, it’s a constant battle. As you had mentioned about Instagram earlier, Instagram is really built for engagement. For the most part it’s really difficult to leave Instagram. I think there’s only one spot on the entire app where you can actually click a link and I think that’s the website on your bio page, but other than that there’s nowhere else to click on a link.

For us it was always interesting, it’s kind of a balance. We wanted to have these really engaging Facebook posts so we want a lot of likes, we want a lot of shares and all that stuff and we always saw that a photo with a link in the caption always performed better there, but at the end of the day using the link content always performed better for actually driving people to that piece of content. So we shifted to moving that link type, the two folks who do most of our Facebook posting, probably went that way shortly after the Super Bowl of kind of doing that the primary way.

We kind of saw it as another metric to kind of look at when we’re thinking about engagement. It’s not only likes plus shares plus comments. It’s also link clicks, so when we put that piece into our equation we saw that we were getting a much more engaging metric when we did. So we’ve been using that for a while. I think there are some cases where we would still use photos, but it’s an interesting game always trying to figure out what works best on Facebook. I think in some ways in the past we’ve always had some mistakes. Occasionally I feel like, and this is just my own philosophy, that in a lot of ways the news feed sometimes looks at content that is just more unique in a different way.

A prime example is a post we had, it was actually back when I was working with the founders towards the end of last year, that someone had posted but they had just forgot to attach the image to the post. That post had a much higher reach, much higher engagement, much higher everything than any other post we had. We couldn’t figure it out and our pet theory was that Facebook looked at it and just not many brands are just posting text posts, so they kind of looked at that and they just sort of prioritized that.

Sean: Yeah, I think that was a loophole or effectively a bug, and I think this latest change is to sort of close that one, but for me that was a lot of brands sort of chasing that phantom reach metric. I was looking at that from a user point of view, as a Facebook user, and I was seeing a lot of brands and teams doing that. If everyone’s doing that it becomes a very vanilla and boring feed.

Kenton Olson: Yep.

Sean: Whereas a fan you want to see an article and you want to see a bone crunching tackle or a player celebrating or whatever to get them through, because photos have always been more engaging and getting more likes and shares, but the fact now that you can share that link, the ability to re-share has a bit more virility to your content. But it is a balance. I’m still the same. If you can put up an image that says, “We’re fired up about the game, are you fired up about the game,” then fans will like it and share it. You’ve got to play that game. You’ve got to say, yes, I’m going to let you engage with these posts but this post is a post I want you to click through and read the article on. But it is a constant tweaking and watching what works and playing with it to get the results that you want, because one of the things you do want from a digital team is you still want people to read your content and see what you’ve got to say and get to your website.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a constantly changing world out there. In a lot of ways it’s similar to folks who are really focused on the search engine marketing world. It’s always changing.

Sean: And one thing I think where a team sort of fits in perfectly is, game day is obviously hyper aware. Everyone is focused in, but your job is filling that gap between game days with content and keeping the fans engaged, and that’s what all these channels do. Like you were saying before, tell those stories that aren’t getting told in the traditional media, whether it be a player’s favorite Skittles and those kinds of things to keep the fans coming back and giving those different kinds of content that aren’t strictly the football, the injuries, and those kinds of things, but to be a bit more of a content organization overall.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, I think that’s definitely the case. People look forward to game days but it’s how do we keep people connected with our brand throughout the course of the week, and for us producing the most engaging and compelling content that we can is certainly what we strive to do.

Sean: But you will not lack for amount of content next Thursday, September 4th, when your season kicks off. You’ve got Pharrell Williams performing at Century Link before the game and then you take on the Green Bay Packers, so it should be absolutely a buzz next week.

Kenton Olson: Yeah, it will be fun, and don’t forget our friends Soundgarden will also be playing pregame, so that will be pretty exciting for our fans here in Seattle to see a local group performing before the game as well.

Sean: Yeah, so there won’t be any lack of content coming from the Seahawks account and I’m sure the 12s will start firing up their Instagram and Facebook and Twitter accounts and we’ll be seeing a lot of action from Seattle next Thursday.

Kenton Olson: Absolutely. We’re excited for it.

Sean: We will keep an eye on everything Seahawks throughout the season and good luck for the season ahead and thanks for joining me on the podcast.

Kenton Olson: Thanks, Sean.

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Sean: Thanks again to Kenton Olson from the Seattle Seahawks. You can connect with Kenton and all of the guests that have been on the Sports Geek podcast. The number is now at 76, and thank you very much for every one of you that has been on the podcast. You simply go to, and you can connect with them on Twitter or Linkedin. As I said, they’re very smart and savvy sports biz folks and I recommend connecting with all of them.

One of those who has been on the show and we did catch up with at the SEAT Conference in Miami was Richard Clark, and talking about the FA Cup final win. Rich is pitching that story and that panel for South by Southwest, so if you could go to the South by Southwest panel picker, simply look up his panel, storytelling in soccer, and he’s going to talk about what Arsenal did around the FA Cup win. We spoke a little bit about it with Rich while I was in Miami, so if you are heading to South by Southwest and you want to see a really great talk about what Arsenal did, please vote for Rich’s panel.

I caught up with Francis this week after nominating him for the Ice Bucket Challenge. He wasn’t frosty on my return to the studio. We had a chat about the changing landscape in media rights and some of the speculation that Google may get involved with the AFL and with other leagues around the world. So this is Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Francis Leach: Sean Callanan the digital sports guru is in from Sports Geek HQ to talk sport and the digital world on a Saturday morning. Sean, how you going?

Sean: I’m good, thanks.

Francis Leach: You’ll be better when I turn your mic on. This has been an interesting week as we ease out from the AFL TV right being up for grabs, but it’s turned into like a Presidential election race now. Two or three years out we’re already talking about the price of potential purchase for AFL TV rights. The billion dollar deal was done last time, but the landscape is changing dramatically and there’s even suggestion that non-traditional players could go for a whole lot, lock, stock and barrel.

Sean: Yeah. It’s pretty much that way with most leagues. They’re always talking about when their next TV rights come up. The AFL rights come up again in 2016 and we’ve seen the CEO Gil McLachlan start the conversation and sort of talk about the different options that the AFL has. He was talking about splitting up their rights and selling their Friday nights as a ten-year. If a week is a long time in football, ten years is an exceptionally long time in TV rights and digital rights land. There was a really good article on Inside fully talking about Google potentially becoming a player in the space of digital rights and TV rights. It’s something that I think Google at least, as a global business, is looking at really hard because live sport is one of the only TV properties now that doesn’t have the live shifting, pausing, and time shifting that’s happening with a lot of TV with drama and those kinds of things.

Google is seeing this across the landscape, so why would Google want the AFL rights? Well, it could give them a platform to show one, that they can broadcast a high quality sport like the AFL, but then show their partners that they can monetize it. For people who don’t know, Google owns YouTube. YouTube is becoming more and more connected to our TVs. More smart TVs, you can just click a button and then you’re on a YouTube channel. Devices like Apple TV and Chromecast, a little USB stick you can stick in the side of your computer and you can stream straight from YouTube into your TV. That technology is just coming along in leaps and bounds. The opportunities that Google, who has the cash reserves and things like that could come and buy the rights and then effectively unsell the pieces that they don’t want.

Francis Leach: Would we have the capacity to deliver that product satisfactorily to the market? Would our current technology infrastructure be able to deliver the high definition television equivalent, football via non-traditional means?

Sean: Yeah, and that’s when it does become an infrastructure issue. It’s not Google’s issue, it’s not the AFL’s issue, it’s Australia’s infrastructure and things like the NBN and the fact that there would be nothing worse than to roll something out and half 60% of the. . .

Francis Leach: Have your game constantly buffering.

Sean: Yeah, exactly. That technology is getting better. I experienced watching the AFL on a computer and stuff, and on an IPad when I was in Europe and it was near HD quality. But yeah, it does take a bit more size and space and bandwidth to get it to the high def quality that you would like with the AFL. But, you know, we don’t have high def on AFL at the moment. That’s the current conundrum that only half the games are done in high definition.

Francis Leach: Is there any non-traditional player currently with rights to one of the big sports overseas?

Sean: Not as yet. That’s where Google are circling, so a bit of a digital rights history lesson. The NBA, now six years ago, before their previous deal, they went to Google and said, we’ve got our digital rights, would you like to do it? Google effectively said, “No, we don’t do that, we don’t do sports rights, we’re a search and YouTube,” and it wasn’t on their road map, which is a real technology term, where we want to head. So it ended up that the NBA went with Turner Broadcasting which is traditionally a TV company and they moved into digital and helped form NBA digital and built out a terrific website, great video archives and those kinds of things. Google changed their mind and came back to the NBA a couple years later and said, “We’d really like to do it,” and the NBA said, “Well, we just did a deal, we’ve got a four or five year deal with Turner.”

That sort of triggered Google to head into the IPL and do the live coverage of the first season of the IPL. So you could watch full IPL games streaming on YouTube, they had the highlight clips and things like that, and all the studies showed that having it online and having the full streaming games online didn’t cannibalize the traditional TV, it actually made them watch it more. Now Google is trying to figure out where they can fit. The crown jewel in sports TV would be the NFL. There is chatter that Google would like to get a Thursday night game and have that game on the NFL, and that’s going to cost them a lot of money.

Francis Leach: A massive leap of faith for everyone involved because nobody wants to be disappeared out of the media landscape, particularly not the franchises that rely on it to generate their revenue, so they’ve got to trust that the Google product gets to the people they want it to get to. There’d be a certain demographic within the community that doesn’t have or doesn’t use that technology. You’re sort of faulting yourself into the future a little bit, aren’t you?

Sean: You are, but it’s also this matter that the media market is fragmenting all over the place, so there are people watching a lot of games on devices. Apple’s talking about bringing out a maxi iPad. . .

Francis Leach: A sports IPad.

Sean: Yeah, I guess it’s going to be a bigger one and potentially maybe people are going to start watching on that kind of device, so it might be a different play. Unfortunately, I just don’t think Australia has the same population and population density and displacement of fans. A lot of fans are close to their team, they get access to their team and to their content via the TV or they go to the games. We don’t have, like you would in the States, Boston Red Sox fans in LA, and the only way they can consume that content is via these digital platforms. They’re not getting served in traditional TV, and we’re very much clustered around our major cities and not everyone’s spread out as much. We are geographically, but not from a town point of view, so I don’t know if the models that are currently rising and working in the US are going to work here. But from the AFL’s point of view, if they can get Google as a dance partner at the table that prods traditional media to go, oh hang on, we better pay that otherwise Google will come and steal it. That’s probably what’s at the play at the minute.

Francis Leach: Absolutely, the bidding price goes up as soon as there are a couple hands in the air.

DJ Joe: Need help with your content? Book in for a content brainstorming session with Sports Geek now. Go to

Sean: What do you guys think? Will Google be a major player for sports rights going forward? Will we see them be a big player in the digital rights space and will they be bidding against the TV networks for properties like the NFL, like the AFL, like the NRL. It just makes sense to me that they will start chipping away at that, and as I sort of said in last week’s podcast, Steve Sammartino’s book sort of sums it up, The Great Fragmentation, it’s definitely happening in the world of sports and Google is just trying to pry away just a few pieces of the puzzle because they know how to monetize those platforms.

Just on those content brainstorming sessions, it’s a bit of a season for that now. We’re either doing them at the end of the season as teams finish up, sort of reviewing their content, what they’ve done, what’s worked, what we want to tackle next year as well as putting in a bit of an off season content strategy, but then also the teams coming into summer here in Australia, or into the winter in the US, looking ahead at the content and what you’re planning for the season ahead around events, around holidays, around specific platforms and specific fans. So, if you want to have a content brainstorming session please just send me an email at I’d love to work with you.

There is the clock wound up which tells me it’s time to wrap up this podcast and get out and let you get on with your day. If you’re in the gym, if you’re running, please run a few more laps for me. I’m still trying to get back to a little bit of fitness. You can get the links to this episode as you can for all episodes by simply going to Thank you to Lance Wicks who provided this week’s sounds of the game, which you can here just beneath me.

[Fans cheering Audio Bite]

Thanks for that, Lance. That was actually from the World Judo Championships in Russia, so it would have been a good guess if you had got that one right. Thanks for sending that in. As always you can send in your audio clips from a game, and with the NFL season kicking off and finals season around the corner with the AFL I’d love to get some sounds from around the world. So please send them in.

A big thank you to the guys at the Australian International Hockey League who had me as a guest at their grand final or their championship game for the Good Old Cup, the Melvin Ice versus the Melvin Mustangs, and the Mustangs got up for their first win of the Good Old Cup. It was a great game, a packed stadium, so thanks again to Robert Benneman [SP] and Miles Harris for inviting me along. I look forward to next season.

One more thing, if you haven’t got the EBook from SEAT, please sign up for it just by signing up to the newsletter. Go to If you’re a subscriber and you didn’t get it, check your inbox or simply just email me at I’m happy to share it. There have been over 350 downloads so far and some really good feedback from that.

For this closing two cents, I’m going to read out a Tweet from Kenny Lauer who tweeted this recently. A staggering stat. He tweeted, “By 2020 the average mobile user will download over 1 terabyte annually which is more than 1,000 feature films.” So it just shows you the power of the mobile and the fact that it’s going to become our primary device, and I’ll share in the show notes a picture from famed graffiti artist Banksy that pretty much shows the current relationship we are currently having with our phone as it was completely intertwined with the hand and is becoming a device that is increasingly connected.

Until next podcast, my name is Sean Callanan and you can find me on Twitter. Please connect with me on Linkedin. If you’re a listener, please just a simple, quick request that I have is just simply write something in the Linkedin message if you’re doing an intro. Linkedin does not help itself by clicking the connect button and providing the auto text, but if you simply say, listen to the podcast, would like to connect, I have no problem doing so. Until next time, cheers.

DJ Joe: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at Find all Sports Geek podcasts at Please leave a review on ITunes. Go to Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.

Simple SEO Fixes

Thanks to good bloke Jim Stewart for reviewing on his weekly YouTube SEO series. (A must subscribe to know what is happening in SEO and Google land)

Watch Jim first

Read his suggestions for some simple fixes to clean up our SEO.

What did we do to fix SEO issues?

Following Jim’s lead I produced a quick YouTube video explaining what I did.

Fixing the problems included the following:

  • Removing plugins redirecting 404 errors to my very savvy WTF page they were causing issues with sitemap
  • Built a custom 404 page with my distracting rainbow if someone does get a 404.
  • Update Yoast SEO Plugin to remove tag & category from sitemap
  • Removed social media slideshow that was autoplaying YouTube clips in Jim’s video
  • Changes the Title on Sports Geek home page
  • Started project to reduce the amount of 404s Google is seeing

Follow Jim for more SEO goodness

Thanks again Jim, you can hear him school me further in episodes like Google it! on Beers, Blokes & Business podcast (I return the favour in Facebook and Linkedin episodes)

The L.A. Kings shift business strategy from ticket sales to fan engagement – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 17th June 2014

David Burtenshaw from Adelaide Crows on Sports Geek PodcastWhat @SportsGeek reads…..

The L.A. Kings shift business strategy from ticket sales to fan engagement

Pat Riley’s other master plan: Trademarking ‘Three-Peat’

The World Cup’s #AskPitbull Twitter campaign is a beautiful failure

Dunkin’ Donuts finds mobile offers and sports play well together

FIFA 2014 World Cup: Are Brazil’s Telecoms systems ready for social media overload?

New insights on NBA’s legal strategy on Donald Sterling

The future of Major League Baseball is not just about baseball, great read about MLBAM

Google, ESPN announce World Cup partnership

The man behind the L.A. Kings hilarious twitter account

NRL takes ownership of the Knights

Good luck ‘Mike”: Tony Abbott gets Socceroos skippers name wrong

GIF: van Persie scores ridiculous diving header for Netherlands

Nike Football: The Last Game – killer ad featuring Rinaldo, Rooney, Neymar Jnr, Iniesta and more

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

Real Madrid go to top of iTunes charts – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Thursday 29th May 2014

What @SportsGeek reads….

Enjoy Hala Madrid! And nothing else – you can now buy @RealMadrid players singing team song (currently #1 in Spain)

Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid: how the #UCL final played out on Twitter

2014 #WorldCup: What a Difference 4 Years Makes take a look at what Google thinks…

Should Twitter crack open its nest egg to acquire Soundcloud? Would be a bold move.

The Blackhawks and Kings made a phenomenal Twitter bet

Adidas launches #allin or Nothing campaign focussed on quality over quantity of customers

Facebook calls itself the ‘Biggest stadium in the World’

Brands build on Twitter video with new efforts, thoughts on Twitter offering longer video than 6 seconds?

Jack Dorsey’s refreshing memo to never sell idea’s with someone else’s name

The rise of the ‘Uberized economy’ and what it means for business

The ultimate time management lesson


Fan Zone 5-22-14

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

Mobile Battle of the Sexes – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 6th May 2014

Sean Arsenal
What @SportsGeek reads 
Eulogy for Twitter – good read on where Twitter is at, do you agree?
AFL reaping rewards from Adelaide Oval switchThe great Facebook deep-clean – should Facebook provide users with a reset button?

FC Barcelona supports Respect and says NO to racism

Leadership 101: Adam Silver’s teachable moment

Meet Swarm: Foursquare’s ambitious plan to split its app two

Battle of the mobile sexes: Women install 40% more apps, spend 87% more than men

Need more time?  Make time for this

Google+: Where it came from and where it’s headed

Nike Football: Winner stays featuring Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta & more

High School Teacher: Nothing has ever disrupted my classroom more than Snapchat’s new update

A thrill seeing Messi in action for FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona

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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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.

SGP 038: Dan McLaren on UK Sports Digital scene and latest from #Sochi2014

Dan McLaren from UK Sports NetworkOn this week’s podcast we chat with Dan McLaren from about the world of #digisport in the UK and Europe.  On ABC Grandstand I chat about #SochiProblems with Francis Leach and Rule 40 affecting Australia ski resorts.


Like this episode? please leave a review in iTunes.

On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • How evolved over the years
  • How UK sports teams are now using social media compared to 2010
  • Why did Manchester United wait so long to jump on Twitter
  • Importance of testing to find out what your fans is more important than social media numbers
  • Why fans follow all teams on Twitter but not on Facebook
  • Why UK teams are focussed on the fan at home to keep them engaged
  • What is the difference between #SportsBiz, #digisport and #smsport?
  • What are #SochiProblems and what could Sochi organisers have done better with social?
  • How did Google give Sochi Olympic organisers a message?
  • What is Rule 40 and why is it affecting Australia Ski Resorts?

@SochiProblems so many LOLsResources from the episode

Google makes a stand

Social Media Post of the Week

Here is the video discussed by Dan from Juventus celebrating 10M Facebook likes.  Not a bad kick from Carlos Tevez.

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

A message to IOC on Rule 40

Listening via iTunes?

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

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Follow Sports Geek on Soundcloud, all episodes available.

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to episode 38 of the Sports Geek Podcast. On this week’s podcast, we chat with Daniel McClaren from the UK Sports Network on all things digi-sport in the UK, and we take a look at what is happening online at the Sochi Olympics.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, a podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And now, here’s your host, currently crafting Facebook ads so your friends will find out about this podcast, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joel, and I do love a good, well-targeted Facebook ad. We’re going to talk about that Facebook fraud video a little bit later in the show, a really good response from my good friend, John Loomer.

On this week’s show we have a chat to Daniel McClaren from the on all things digi-sport, which is the way that they tag it. We do discuss the business of hash tags in our discussion.

And then also later on I’m going to catch up with Francis Leach on all things Sochi and Sochi problems, which is both, A, hash tag, and our Twitter account, and a little bit more on athlete activism.

But first, here’s my chat with Daniel McClaren, from the I’m very pleased to welcome to this week’s Sports Geek Podcast all the way from the UK from the, Dan McClaren. Welcome to the podcast, Dan.

Dan: Great to speak to you, Sean.

Sean: Not a problem. Well, first of all, I just wanted to give a bit of background into your website and sort of how it evolves so that the people who are listening who haven’t checked it out,, do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

Dan: Yeah, sure. It’s actually been going now for just over four years. We just had our first kind of anniversary last month, but originally it started, I’ve always worked in sports, so I did my degree in sports studies back in the late ’90s and I worked in sports event management for a few years. So I worked in table tennis and golf primarily, and then did a stint as a willing sponsorship at the Morgan Cricket Club. So it’s pretty much been sports, sports, sports all the way through.

And then I just started working for myself and I’d got, decided, got a little bit more into social media, got onto Twitter and then onto LinkedIn, and set up a group called UK Sports Network because no one else was really talking about anything on that platform at that time.

So, and then that was in December 2009, I think. And then the following month I thought, “What’s the next iteration from there?” So a website was kind of, the next obvious step for it. “What can I give back to people and what can I start talking about?” and it originally started off as a sports business website for six months.

My interests were getting more and more into social media and there were a lot of other people in the space talking about general sports business as well. So, literally, I didn’t look at my Google Analytics for a good three months after I made the switch and then when I did look I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that I was actually getting more traction then from before, which was superb.

So, yeah, from there, it’s been going for, since, yeah, three and a half years now of just talking social media, digital media and sports, and from there, I mean, it’s just kind of gone leaps and bounds and I’ve ended up working for some great companies, and now I’ve made the switch to it’s actually been my full-time project.

Sean: Well, it’s very similar to the Sports Geek story in that coming from an IT background and eventually just starting blogging about the space. And yeah, I remember back in those times, 2009, 2010, 2011, there wasn’t many players sort of out there putting out their opinions in that space, and you were one definitely doing that in the UK, the UK side of things.

How do you think, looking back in those early times when it was a lot of learning how to use the platforms and how to use it effectively and a few of the teams were skeptical, I mean, we’ve seen only in the last six months that Manchester United would finally, finally join Twitter.

How have you seen that evolve in the UK, where now, social, for mine, is completely integrated into digital if a team is doing it right and it’s not this little outpost where people are doing these cool, little things, it’s now going to be part of a broader strategy as part of your digital strategy? How have you seen that development over the past four years?

Dan: I remember one of the posts, one of the first posts that we did, which was by Ash Reed, who still writes and does some great things in the space as well, and he actually did a league table of who had Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, because we didn’t look further than that at that stage, and probably about two thirds of the top division, in the premier league, had a social media presence.

And now we’re talking all 92 teams are on both of them, at least, across numerous other platforms, non-league teams, amateur teams are all in there. So it’s gone from being a little bit of a novelty where a few teams, Liverpool, probably the one that picked up and ran with it more than most at the start. And I probably wrote a lot more about those guys.

Manchester United have always been the big brand and they’ve always sat and waited, and I still think that’s going to be their ploy now. Last year they employed their kind of first social-media specific person about, yeah, not even a year ago now, and they’re starting to talk more about what they’re doing, but they’re still going to be very, very cautious in what they do, sit there and wait and see what other people are doing well, and then seeing how they can do it better and what they can learn from it.

So, I mean, I think Manchester City have probably made the biggest splash in the last kind of two or three years. Richard Ayers, when he’s first started, their viewpoint was that they’re not, they were a local brand trying to go global, so they had to do something different.

They were never going to get the initial reach and traction of a Manchester United or a Liverpool or even an Arsenal, so they had to almost start from scratch, and social media lead the way for that, and they found hitting the numbers, which it was about then, “We’ve got 100,000 people on here,” or “one million, we’ve just broken a million on Facebook,” those were the stories about them.

Sean: Yep.

Dan: And we’ve seen it move on from there, and I think, yeah, I think, my views have certainly changed, and the more I’ve got to know about it I suppose the deeper the stories and the insights have tended to go as we kind of move away from those more simplistic, kind of almost, not lean by easy headlines that-

Sean: Yeah.

Dan: I desperately try and avoid those these days.

Sean: Yeah, I mean, I think one of the, I guess, key points for the Manchester United story for mine was they came out so strong on why they weren’t on Twitter early on. They sort of said something to the words of the effect of, “We don’t see an economic benefit or return on investment,” on why they were doing it, and there was a lot of leap of faith by a lot of teams, and there still is on using social, on why. “Why are we doing it? What is the return?”

And so they sort of put up this, “We’re not going on Twitter until we know we can make money off Twitter.” So everyone was sort of waiting. Well, as soon as Manchester, they must know how to do it, and, of course, they don’t. They’re now just tweeting like everybody else and realizing that it does drive traffic, it builds brand awareness, it raises a level of attachment to the club, and there does become revenue down the track of driving more people to your activations and things like that.

But making a bold statement like that to, “We’re not sending out, we’re not using this platform until we can figure out to monetize it-“

Dan: Yep.

Sean: It’s a much better strategy to follow the Liverpool, the Arsenal, the Man City of getting out there and testing and testing and testing, and that’s one of the key things to see what your fans like and you can monetize after that, and I think that’s where now, these fully, more fully fledged digital activations, where they’re sending people back to a responsive website so it works on mobile or back to a sponsor’s website or activation, that’s where they’re starting to monetize digital, and yeah, I agree. I think we’re getting away from the celebratory, “We’ve reached these many followers,” it’s not so much about that anymore, and the focus should be on delivering to the goals around the campaigns and driving traffic to your site because-

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: The numbers are going to keep going up.

Dan: The clubs will always celebrate the big numbers. I mean, Juventus have just hit 10,000,000 on Facebook and produced a video for that with Carlos Tevez. I mean, it’s a nice, little headline for them and it gives them something to kind of celebrate internally within the club and celebrate with the fans and get the fans involved.

Sean: Yeah. I do, I mean, I agree. It’s a great content piece, and the fans do celebrate it a bit. I know working with multiple clubs I still sometimes shake my head at how much they’re looking over the fence at the other clubs and what their numbers are, and we’ve done studies both from a Facebook and a Twitter point of view. There’s no way that you can convert a Man City fan to be a Man United fan.

So really, you should be really focused on your fans, and I think that Man City example before, you were giving, they’re not going to get the Manchester United numbers, but if they engage and find and reach all the Man City fans then they’re doing their job.

So, you can’t go and compare yourselves to the bigger clubs that have the bigger reach. You want to really make sure you focus on your fans completely.

Dan: Yeah, and they came up with quite a, they placed themselves as being an innovative brand. You almost created the brand perception through social media and what they were doing through that, and really pushed it on the PR front and what they were doing heavily as well. And it’s kind of worked for them.

Sean: Yeah. And it is different for different platforms. Like what we’ve found is, and I’m sure it’s the same in the UK, most sports followers will follow all the teams because it’s such, on Twitter, because it’s such, on Twitter, because it’s a new resource. They want to know what’s happening from that opposition team, especially when they’re playing against them.

They want to be able to take every opportunity to trash talk or put down that team if they make a mistake or have a bad game, but on Facebook we’re definitely finding, and again, I think it’s just the way that Mark Zuckerberg set it up, putting a “like” button on a team, and it’s like, from an AFL point of view, the Australian rules-

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: I’m a Collingwood fan, and so it’s very hard for me to say that I “like” my cross-town rivals the Carlton Football Club, because it goes against every single thing I do. And so I think the Facebook numbers have a truer representation of your fan base.

I think we are exceptions and most of the people listening to the podcast are exceptions because we follow and like every single page to keep up to date with what everyone’s doing, but I think the every day man in the street, from a Facebook point of view, they only just like their team.

So it just sort of shows that the numbers are different for different reasons on different platforms.

Dan: No, definitely. I mean, Facebook, it’s a lot more public isn’t it, because you have the, people can see what you’ve liked.

Sean: Yeah.

Dan: And you’re almost, a lot of people, that was one of the kind of downsides of Facebook, how they were doing it, to some respect, because fans really liking it, because, “I’m a Manchester United fan,” I would like it just to show my allegiance to the club, but never visit the page and never interact with anything.

Sean: Yeah.

Dan: So there’s a lot of late fans on there that are just doing it for the badge, whereas, yeah, it’s a bit, it’s not as public on Twitter, so you’re not doing it as a declaration. You are generally following it to have news on it or to try and interact with a Q and A or something like that.

Sean: So, one of the things that I always look to do, and I’ve done it a couple of times in the US, you can analyze social and digital from afar. The access to the Internet, you can see what all the teams are doing, but I’m a really big believer in offline is a really big part of digital.

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: And I’ve sort of really been banging a drum for a couple of years now, because when you go to the game you see the fans that are your super avid fans. They’re the ones that are taking money out of their pocket and buying tickets and merchandise. They’re the ones you want to engage with as opposed to potentially the lazier fan that’s just sitting on the couch that’s retweeting your tweets but not engaging financially with the club.

So again, if we’re looking at rewards and return on investment you want the fan that’s invested financially in your team. So, I’ve had a few trips to the States and I’m really looking forward to, in April and May, coming over to the UK and Europe and hopefully seeing a few, catching up with a few teams and also catching up with yourself.

You want to tell us a little bit about some of the, about the UK sports scene and, I guess, the London scene, and what I might expect?

Dan: Yeah, definitely. I mean, part of my background was in event management, so it’s one of the obvious thing to do is to start running events, and my other excuse was I’m a rubbish networker. So, if people, if you’re running the event, you don’t have to introduce yourself. People already know who you are.

So it kind of breaks down those barriers in conversation. So it’s kind of one of my lazier excuses. But we’ve running events for a good three years over here, so we’ve had some half day, full day events, and more recently we started Digital Sport London which runs at the end of every month and this month will be number five.

So it started kind of, as I concentrated on the UK Sports Network in the middle of last year. So we have different things for different ones, different special guests. So, last month we had a panel that included, it had a couple of people both from rugby and from football. So it was a really interesting one, looking at community management.

And then we had We Are Social, which is one of the big agencies, and they’re based, they have an office over in Sydney as well.

Sean: Yep.

Dan: And they did a, from my old editors team, came over and did a quick presentation on it. So we kind of look to vary them up a little bit. A couple of previous ones, we’ve done Skype calls with a couple of people. So one of them was Shegal from AS Roma, which is really entertaining just to get, as you want to come over and see what’s happening with the different teams over here, it proved a nice way of getting to know what different people were doing elsewhere in the world, whether it be in the States or in mainland Europe. A little bit harder with Australia with the time different though.

Sean: It is, it is. But if, I’m looking forward to, hopefully we can, we’re sort of in the process of trying to organize it. Hopefully I can make UDS London event when I’m there in April. It’ll definitely help me book less meetings if I can meet everybody in the one night.

Dan: There’s a good mix of agencies in there and as we get a few people from the old club and federation coming along as well, but I think you’ll find that some things will be quite familiar but other things will be quite different.

I mean, you mentioned before about being a big fan of the kind of offline and teams interacting with their kind of most loyal fans at the stadiums and those that are paying the money to come along. I think in the UK it’s almost gone the other way a little bit, so most of the social media effort, especially, is being concentrated on chasing new fans in new territories. So, we’re almost saying that, “We’ve got the fans who come every week. We don’t need to worry about them.”

Sean: Yeah.

Dan: “They’re taken care of. Let’s go and get, let’s go and entertain,” so all the second screen, all the interaction, is based around the people who are watching on TV, rather than those coming to the stadiums.

Sean: And it definitely, that strategy fits for whatever the team that you’re talking about. So it’s very similar to what we do with the West Coast Eagles, because they have a very similar setup to a lot of the UK football teams in that they’ve got a full stadium and they’ve got a season ticket waiting list and they can’t get any more people into the stadium.

That stadium, we spoke to Matt Jepp from the Eagles on the podcast previously, and that’s an older demographic that are in their stadium. So they’re not super tech savvy. So really, we’re using social to attract and retain that next generation of fans that will fill the stadium in 10 years time.

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: So, there’s different ways you can use social, and yeah, it’s just a matter of having that focus of what you’re trying to do.

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: I just wanted to ask you, I mean, what are your plans for the UK Sports Network going forward? Have you got anything on the horizon for the next 12 months that you’re looking to achieve?

Dan: A lot. There’s probably, it’s kind of, the site has looked the same for, apart from the old tweak here and there, it hasn’t changed in four years. So it’s definitely starting to creak a little bit. But, so the plan is this year I’m in the process of putting together a new website, which is going to be something very, very different. So, what it’s going to be is more of an aggregated, rather than just our own content.

Sean: Yep. Yep.

Dan: So hopefully we’ll feature some of your content on there as well.

Sean: I would be happy to.

Dan: So it involves some of the links, so, “Click after links to read other articles and other websites.” Some of our content that we’ll write for our website integrates some tweets, integrates some videos in there. It should just be a lot more, the phrase a lot of people use on websites, sticky.

Sean: Yeah.

Dan: So yeah, having different things happening during the day, because I sit there and read, I don’t know how many articles a day, from different websites. So, it’s not that much extra for me to just upload that onto my own website, so other people, so I’m always filtering the content. So we’re looking at doing that, doing more digital sport events, taking them around. So I’m hoping to go up to Glasgow soon and then roll them out to kind of Manchester and Newcastle and different areas around the UK. I’d love to try and roll it out globally as well and try and get some meetups going around the world.

Sean: Terrific.

Dan: And then the UK Sports Network, there’s a name, in a few months, all going to plan, won’t exist.

Sean: Okay.

Dan: So we will become just Digital Sport.

Sean: Cool. It actually does lead to, I guess, one discussion, being from the UK and you probably have seen it as well, is just the different hash tags around, I guess, the sports biz, and one of them is sports business is sort of the, overarching hash tag, I guess, for the industry overall, where you can get really, varied discussion, but there seems to be a real skew for the digi-sport hash tag, which I see that as the, again, encompasses everything from a digital sports point of view, to be really skewed to Europe and the UK and Australia.

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: And not so much in the US whereas they sort of intent to use the SM Sports hash tag. I mean, again, I see the SM Sports as social media in sports, and again, a second, a niche inside digital sport, as opposed to that. And there’s no right way of why you should use a hash tag.

Dan: Okay.

Sean: But I guess I thought I’d sort of explain it to everyone on the podcast. That’s how I use it, but I’ve definitely seen, because I do watch both the UK, US and Australian markets, that there is a definite slant that digi-sport seems to be European-Australian hash tag more so than the US.

Dan: Yeah, I follow both, and I have used digi-sports more, but I have to admit recently I’ve started using SM Sports more. I mean, digi-sport, it’s definitely seeing a sort of mainland European kind of feel to it. There’s a lot of French, German, Italian content on there.

Sean: Yep.

Dan: Which tends to, so you get a very diverse range of languages on there as well. So, the content’s very diverse and language is very diverse. SM Sports is very much, yeah, kind of US-led with some UK and Australian content. So it tends to be a lot more, kind of English language ones in there, but they’re both definitely worth a follow just to kind of keep up, A, have a tweet deck open and have them both side by side and see what’s happening.

Sean: Yeah. I mean, it is, yeah, they are the three sort of, people ask me what to, who to follow from a Twitter point of view, and to a lesser extent other platforms that allow hash tags, and I pretty much give those three hash tags as, “Start there,” and you’ll definitely start seeing.

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: I mean, again, it was definitely the case in 2009, 2010, and the like. That’s how we all connected and found each other because we all started using those hash tags.

Dan: Yeah, I think one thing that people who are just kind of doing more in the industry, especially the senior guys, they’re quite surprised in how small the industry is, that everyone knows everyone. So even around the world, you know, we’ll know a lot of guys. I think Melbourne is probably the place that I know more people outside of London in terms of cities.

Sean: Yep. Yep.

Dan: Because I know over at Richmond, and a good friend of mine, Adam Infanzini, who’s moved back from the UK, back to Melbourne as well.

Sean: Yep. Yeah.

Dan: So it’s definitely one of the places, I think, if anyone came up with a job offer and I was looking at something, I think Melbourne would probably be the one place that would take me away from where I am at the moment.

Sean: Well, we do have the, we do try to claim it’s the sporting capital of the world. I think if there’s any city that could vigorously debate that, I think it would be London. So-

Dan: Yeah.

Sean: I think, sorry to all my US friends, but you just don’t have enough major events and enough major sports teams in the one city, even if you stacked up New York to both London and Melbourne and they did a terrific job with the Super Bowl recently, they just don’t have as many football teams that run out every single week as well as having grand slam tennis and Formula One and all those kind of things. So, yeah, we’ll call it a draw because you’re a guest on the show, but I’ll still say that Melbourne’s the sporting capital of the world.

Dan: I’m not going to completely deny you that one, but London is great.

Sean: Okay, Dan. Well, thank you very much for joining me on the podcast. Look forward to seeing where the develops, and I look forward to catching up with you when I’m in the UK in April.

Dan: No, definitely, and thank you very much for having me, and we look forward to having you as a guest at the next Digital Sport London.

DJ Joel: Sign up for Sports Geek News at

Sean: Thanks again to Dan McClaren from the for that chat. I’m looking forward to catching up with him. We have now confirmed when DS London will happen. It’s going to be on April 22nd in London. So a couple of days after I arrive in London.

You can grab your tickets now. Just go to the link via I’m looking forward to catching up with a few people over in England, and learning a little bit more about the English digi-sport market and what’s happening over there.

This week on ABC Grandstand I had a chat to Francis just before the Olympics got started about all things Sochi and what was happening online. So here’s my chat with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Francis: Francis Leach with you here. Sean Callanan’s digital sports group from Sports Geek HQ, and he’s here to talk to us about sports in a digital realm once again. Hi Sean-y, how are you going?

Sean: I’m good. Thanks Frank.

Francis: The winter Olympics, and the Olympic movement’s militancy against media sharing is once again in the spotlight. We can’t play any audio from any Olympic events, and certainly ABC TV can only play snippets of it on the news, not to say tomorrow morning on Offsiders we’ll probably have to do a reenactment of some of the events with Lego or something.

But Sean, in the age of digital media, this can’t continue, and social media, where you can film things on your phone and send it around the world in the blink of an eye, these cake rules are surely going to crumble.

Sean: Well, oh, that’s definitely the case. I mean, everyone who’s there is just fans, can take photos, can take short form video now with both Instagram and Vine if they can get some coverage. I’ve got a friend over there who’s helping out with the ice skating as part of the technical team and she’s sharing photos and videos, just sort of daily updates, just for everyone and her friends.

So, there will be contact coming out. So, it does make it tough for the IOC, and it is a bit draconian, I guess, to a certain degree. They haven’t really caught up with what social media’s offering, but on the other side they also are promoting it with, like, they’ve got an athlete’s hub where you can go and see what all the athletes are sharing. So if you go to, I think its, you can see all the tweets and Instagram posts and all those kind of things from all the athletes.

Francis: Sounds like an information exchange where it all congregates and aggregates together and you can just sort of like be in the digital Olympic Village.

Sean: Yeah, effectively, effectively. Even though a lot of the athletes had a lot of restrictions, there was a bit of furor early with the Australian athletes sort of getting their back up and saying, “Well, I don’t want to be told what I can and can’t tweet,” there was some security reasons around that.

They didn’t want the athletes to be sort of giving away their location and those kind of things for security concerns, but I think once the games start the athletes will share their emotions and those kind of things, and as we saw with London, as long as they don’t spend too much time reading their own Twitter feed and concentrate on their events, they’ll do okay.

Francis: Elsewhere on Twitter, there’s a fascinating one going on here, because Sochi 2014 will be giving you the official view of how things are going, but there’s another Twitter account, Sochi Problem, which is outpacing it in terms of interest. It probably says a lot more about what people want from the Olympic Games, which are stories of disaster and problems.

Sean: Yeah, so the hash tag, #SochiProblems was something that was definitely trending early on as journalists and attendees and fans started arriving in Sochi, and so a young enterprising Toronto journalism student started the handle, as you do now, because Twitter finds itself in the parody space a lot, SochiProblems, and has pretty much just been retweeting and tweeting some of the comical things that are happening around the village and some of the issues, and now it has over a quarter million followers because its gone viral, and it has been sharing things like people turning on a tap thinking they’re getting warm apple cider and it’s, “No, that’s just the color of the water,” and if you haven’t seen, there’s the toilets with two toilets per stall.

Francis: I want to see that for myself. I still think that’s been Photoshopped.

Sean: No, well, no, I’ve seen a few photos of that from different angles.

Francis: I want to hear the logic behind the synchronized pooing.

Sean: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Hopefully that’s not a new Olympic sport, but it just, this is where the IOC doesn’t get to control, I guess, all the content that’s coming out.

Francis: No.

Sean: And the message. And so I’m sure the organizers had tried to get everything right, and hopefully when the actual games start, as they have, and the events start, that will be the main show, and hopefully this kind of content that’s coming out will die down, but as we sort of spoke about with the Super Bowl last week, social media presents a real opportunity and a risk from a customer service point of view, and this is, I think, where the IOC and the Sochi organizers have sort of let themselves down in that sense where there’s so much content being out there and not really being on top of it.

It’s not about stopping that content. You can’t stop people taking pictures of showers that are too short, holes in walls, windows that aren’t finished, that kind of thing, but if you have someone monitoring that and responding to that there’s a better chance that people will have a better experience.

Francis: Sean Callanan from SportsGeekHQ with us here on Grandstand Breakfast. The other element to this has been the political nature of these games. There’s no doubt that the issues, particularly around gay and lesbian rights is massive, and it’s sort of been something the IOC wants to avoid because it’s always tried to have a neutral political position, but inevitably people are finding ways online to express their discontent with Russia’s current laws.

Sean: Yeah. And so, I mean, I think that’s definitely going to be the case. There’s been a few athletes that have sort of bit their tongue for the time being, but they also know that if they do get their moment on the Olympic stage that they do have an opportunity to make a statement, and one organization’s already made a rather big statement, I think, is Google, and this is where they’re operating, I guess, the IOC’s guidelines and each day when you go to, they’ll come to you wherever you go.

They normally will change their header, and it’s called the Google Doodle, and it’s just a little artwork that they put to represent their logo, and they normally change it out for Christmas and big events and that kind of thing. And so yesterday they changed it out with an Olympic-themed header, but it was in rainbow colors. So it was a really not so subtle statement and a dig to the Olympic movement that they were supporting gay and lesbian rights and those kind of things, and they didn’t have to adhere to the IOC.

Francis: Subtle and very clear what the message was, and before we let you go, Ambush Marketing’s massive when it comes to these events.

Sean: Yeah, and I think it extends to the activism online. So a lot of the marketers around the Olympics, especially in the US, so McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, ran some campaigns on Twitter with specific hash tags and the gay and lesbian rights movement sort of wanted to make, put them back in their place, to say, “Well, hang on, you’re supporting these Olympics that are having these issues in Sochi and not really presenting-” and they’ve got, both of those campaigns had to sort of just get pulled because activists were saying, “We don’t-“

Francis: You can’t walk both sides of the street.

Sean: Exactly. Exactly. So, I guess, the opportunity there is for people to have their say, and athletes will do the same. So, from a marketing point of view, you’ve got to be careful of what type of events you’re going to support.

Francis: Where can we find you online today?

Sean: or Sports Geek Podcast on iTunes.

Francis: And just, finally, what Olympic sport in the winter realm are you looking forward to most?

Sean: I’m looking forward to seeing David Morris in the aerial skiing.

Francis: Are you a skier yourself?

Sean: No, I’m not a skier, never been a skier, but his dad got in trouble for holding up the boxing kangaroo and defended it staunchly, so I’m behind him.

Francis: His old man. We’re right behind you. Good on you Sean.

DJ Joel: Like the Sports Geek Podcast? Find us on

Sean: So Sochi games are in full swing, an absolute stack of content coming out of the games, as expected. But one little hiccup that’s sort of happened here in Australia is around rule 40, and rule 40 is in place to protect, as part of the Olympic Charter, to protect Olympic sponsors. And so the Olympic rule 40 is, “No competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic games may not allow his person, name, picture or sports performance be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic games blackout period.”

Now obviously there are rules around what media outlets can use the footage and things like that around the games, but this is where the story has sort of developed, where it appears the Australian Olympic Committee has been policing rule 40 and telling Australian ski resorts to stop tweeting about the performances of the athletes, which is quite strange, because pretty much everyone on Twitter is congratulating the athletes, and unfortunately for Mount Bulla and Hotham and the like, they’re trying to thank the athletes who train and they support via their resorts, and it’s sitting there in a protected, trying to protect the sponsors, but for mine, it just seems to have gone a little bit too far, and as far as what protection Olympic sponsors need.

So, I do pity the person who has to troll through every single tweet to find out if they’re breaking rule 40, but what I did after reading Ms. Know-It-All’s blog, what I did wonder was, “Well, where does Twitter itself sit in this place? Is it quite okay for Twitter or Twitter Australia to send out a tweet congratulating Tora Bright?”

They are a commercial platform; they’re making money off people advertising and tweeting during the Olympics. It’s a very murky area from a legal point of view, and it’s just, it’s a bit too far in this day and age, and it’s a case where rule 40 hasn’t quite caught up with what social media offers from a sports point of view.

A really funny parody video from the guys at Perisher, which I have a link to the show notes, where they thank non-athletes by not naming them at the non-Olympics.

So, that leads me to the sounds of the game, and sticking to the Olympic theme, here are some sounds of the game.

Yes, that’s right. I was going to take some audio from an Instagram video from people sharing around the stadium, but that would break the IOC’s guidelines. I did have a friend send through some sound from the half pipe competition, but again, I did not want to get her in trouble. Again, cancerous enough that it is just an opportunity wasted by the IOC not letting fans share content and just loosen their lay of rights a little bit.
But that’s enough of that. For those of you who thought I’d broken the podcast like I did last week, thank you to David and Dan who notified me that I’d left a whole track on silent. So if you were listening to episode 37 and you wondered where the audio went, it is and has been fixed. So apologies there. If you re-download that episode, you can hear that interview that was missing.

So, that’s pretty much it for, on all things Olympics, and I’m not going to talk any more about the Olympics in case I do get in trouble. One of the things, for the social media post of the week, I’m going to nominate, I’m going to give it to Carlos Tevez from Dan’s nomination in our interview. Have a check out of the YouTube clip for their 10,000,000 likes on Facebook. Well worth looking at.

And on Facebook, I don’t know if you have seen, if you’ve been living under a rock you wouldn’t have seen it, but you should have seen the Facebook fraud video that was doing the rounds and pretty much saying Facebook advertising is terrible and you get poor results by using Facebook advertising.

I watched the video and did my own studies, and then I also then followed up with John Loomer, and I’ve spoken about John Loomer before. I’ll put his link to the show note. His response has been the best response I’ve seen to that Facebook fraud video. I completely agree. If you write bad ads and you target bad ads, then you will get bad fans, if that’s a proper way to put it, or a disengaged fan base.

So, yeah, I definitely suggest you listen to John. He actually did a podcast on it, sort of explaining his things. It primarily was around the targeting. There are so many more options available. As I said in the opener, the ability for me to target fans now for this podcast have changed in the last 18 months dramatically. One of the latest thing, our website, custom audiences. I have turned that on. I haven’t started running ads, but you can start now, building a list of people who have visited your site, and do it natively in Facebook, not using Ad Roll or a third party product.

So, plenty of options there from a sports point of view. I’m looking forward to both using them myself and also implementing them with clients. So if you’re interested in the Facebook ad space, it’s definitely developing and it’s very exciting what it can offer, and the targeting options give you terrific value for your money with what you’re looking for.

So, the clock wind up tells me it is time to dedicate this episode, episode 38. It is getting tougher and tougher to nominate. To keep the English theme, 38 is the number of games each team in the English Premiership plays in a season, but I’m not going to use that as the number, because the other famous 38 is Kurt Shilling, major league baseballer, who probably, his sock is almost as well known as his baseball ability, the bloody sock from the 2004 World Series where the Boston Red Socks reversed the curse and finally won the World Series.

Other news, coming up, I haven’t got the full details of it just yet; I’m going to be running a Sports Geek ODE. So you also know what an ODI is, a one-day international and a 50-50 over match in cricket. So I’m having an ODE. I’m calling it a one day educational.

So it’s going to be a one-day educational event sessions on all things social and digital. It’s going to most likely be in early April before I go to the UK. It’s going to have four sessions run by me on social media, understanding Facebook, looking, diving into that ad stuff that I was just discussing, how to build a community and conversation on Twitter, and how to use Instagram to tell your business story and engage with your audience, as well as looking at all the tools that you need to develop your business or your team online. So it’ll be a bit wider audience than just sports, but I expect some grassroots sports and some business owners to be attending.

So, I’m only going to, I’m going to keep the class pretty limited. I’m not going to make it a massive event. And additionally, so it’s not me all day, and to give me a little bit of a break, I’m going to bring in two experts for some interviews on their take on digital strategy and content marketing and the like. So, just locking all of that in now. I expect to have that out there probably next week.

So if you’re not on the Sports Geek News email list, you won’t find out about it first. That’s where I’m going to be launching it first and letting everybody know about it, and they’ll also be some early bird offers for the email newsletter list, and also for you, my podcast listeners.

So, thanks again for all the support. You’ll get all the details for that, but you can sign up for Sports Geek News at And again, I’ve reconfigured, if you want to go into the archives I’ve had to split up the archive, I’ve now got the Sports Geek Podcast archive is at

You can get all the episodes at, and you can also connect and find out who the guests are who have been on the show, and again, thank you very much, I’ll add Dan McClaren to that list that week. Go to

That’s it for this week. If you’ve got any feedback or anything or sounds of the game or anything, please, send me an email,

Closing two cents, this one goes out to the IOC and rule 40. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Yes, I just quoted Ferris Bueller. They need to change the rule.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Find all Sports Geek Podcasts at Want to maximize returns from your digital team? Contact Sports Geek about content and commercialization workshops. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.

#WarriorsLive a Google Hangout at @warriors practice

Golden State Warriors hosted a live Google Hangout from their Practice facility on a Google+ Hangout.

I was invited to represent Andrew Bogut’s hometown Melbourne Australia and give the Hangout an international flavour. After visiting the Warriors in March and touring an empty practice facility it was good to see the players in action.

Warriors promoted #WarriorsLive on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

#WarriorsLive on Facebook

#WarriorsLive on Twitter

The guests on the #WarriorsLive Hangout were:





#WarriorsLive on Vine

The #WarriorsLive event ended with Andrew Bogut initiating the rookies…

#WarriorsLive Google+ and YouTube

The event was promoted on Golden State Warriors Google+ Page and all digital channels, you can watch the replay of the Google Hangout which was available immediately after the live hangout at includes a tour of the locker room with Steph Curry.

And on Google+

Thanks @Warriors

Thanks to Kevan Akers, Kenny Lauer and Kevin Cote from the Warriors for extending me the invitation it was worth getting up at 5am for.

Do you want the @NBA to bring the Warriors to Australia?

Let them know via Twitter

ABC Grandstand – Twitter Vs Instagram, Myspace and Google+ Communities


Today on ABC Grandstand, Sean spoke to Francis Leach about the issues between Twitter and Instagram, Google+’s new communities and the potential revamp of MySpace.

 Download mp3

Twitter and Instagram

There were some issues during the week of Instagram photos disappearing from Twitter timelines due to the photo-sharing app turned off all support for Twitter integration. In what’s turning into a “battle for eyeballs”, the turning off of any Twitter integration availability may stem from the fact that Instagram is soon to be owned by Twitter rival, Facebook.

It could also have to do with the development of Twitter Cards, as Sean discusses.

Google+ launches Communities

Google+ is currently trying to make up ground on Facebook and Twitter by launching Google+ communities, which is similar to Facebook’s groups mechanism.

The communities section lets users create and invite like-minded individuals into a private community where they can share and discuss their common interests, post photos, videos and have discussions.

MySpace Revamped

Once a large player in social media, the forgotten MySpace has undergone a revamp recently. Sean discusses the potential benefits of it’s redesign and it’s focus on the music industry could drive it back to the heights it once knew.

Until next week

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

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

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

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

Podcast transcription

Francis: Grandstand Breakfast on this Saturday morning, Sean Callanan’s our friend from Sports Geek HQ to talk sport in the digital space. How are you Sean? Welcome back to the show.

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

Francis: Now I use both Instagram and Twitter but I do believe that the two giants of the social media, they’re at a bit of logger heads at the moment?

Sean: Yeah they’re having a little bit of a spat, Instagram effectively shut off a little bit of access to Twitter during the week. So Twitter have been integrating what they call Twitter Cards, which automatically embeds the content in your Twitter stream. So you could be zooming along and you see an Instagram shot and click it, and you would see the Instagram shot inside both the Twitter app and on the web. But Instagram turned off that access to Twitter, so effectively now you have to click through and end up on the Instagram site. So it’s a battle for eye balls, it’s a strange decision by Instagram since Twitter is one of the main reasons for it’s large growth. A lot of the initial users were from Twitter and pretty much everyone who does Instagram does share it, but we do know now – and we’ve spoken about it – that Instagram is soon to be owned by Facebook. That deal is still in the process of going through, so Facebook and Twitter are main rivals so there is a bit of, I guess positioning. But really the only losers out of it are the actual users.

Francis: And they will just get peeved that both Instagram and Twitter to the extent that – whether it’s fair or not – that they’re not being given instant access to the material.

Sean: Yeah, and that’s all Twitter is trying to do. Twitter is trying to give access to everything, so the Twitter Card stuff works with some news articles, with media outlets, YouTube videos, those kinds of things.

Francis: Explain what that is. So say somebody posts a YouTube video on Twitter and says ‘Check this out’, you press the…?

Sean: They’re rolling out this thing called Twitter Cards so you can effectively – if you’re on your computer and you’re looking through Twitter on your stream – you can watch the video there and then.

Francis: So it doesn’t take you away to the next site?

Sean: It doesn’t take you away, which is great for the Twitter experience but there are potentially people like Instagram – and potentially YouTube might do the same – and might say ‘Actually we want our eye balls on our site, because that’s where we monetise it’. So that’s most likely where the battle lines have started to be drawn. But the cool thing about social overall, not just talking Twitter, is that persuasive nature of sharing. And if all they social networks start putting up walls around it, it will – not be the end of the world as we know it, it won’t be too drastic – but it goes against that sharing mechanism that has made social so everywhere.

Francis: And so easy to use as well and so accessible. You don’t have to jump little garden walls to get to the material and content that you want.

Sean: It’ll be interesting to see if that kind of thing… So Instagram and Twitter have had a bit of backwards and forwards. Instagram wasn’t allowed to use Twitter to find out who other people you should follow on Instagram from your Twitter followers, that was turned off a while ago. There has been a bit of backwards and forwards, but really, is there a case that potentially if they both were to work in unison – and now it is tough because they are a Facebook partner – would they both continue to grow? So watch this space.
Francis: Watch this space, indeed. Google Plus has been trying to introduce it’s own form of social media as well, and social communities online. It didn’t really take off in the way that it would have hoped.

Sean: Yes, Google Plus is there and a lot of people look at it and see it and think it’s a different version of Facebook, which is sort of one way of looking at it. I think that’s mainly the problem, a lot of people went over and said ‘We’re getting what we’re getting with Facebook’. What they are trying to do is launch different products that diversify it a little bit more. Because that’s the thing, if you’re a team on Facebook and you’re a team on Google Plus, if you’re just pumping out the same content to both platforms, then there’s no differentiation there’s only ‘Why should you be there?’ Some of the things that are different for Google Plus are the hang outs and events work quite well, and once they just launched yesterday is Communities. And this is to a certain degree countering Facebook Groups, where there is a little bit of unwritten, underground power to Facebook Groups. A lot of teenage kids will be in Facebook Groups with all their mates, and that’s where they’re having their conversations in a private manner, so their parents – who are on Facebook as well – don’t see it. So Communities sort of offers that in that you can set up interest groups and effectively have a forum slash conversation about that, rather than having it on a stream.
It will be interesting to see how… I opened it up yesterday so there’s a flurry of community invites as people set them up. I set one up for Sports Digital and invited all the people who were in my circle of Sports Digital, and it’s the most activity I’ve seen on Google Plus for six months. So I did think it was funny, I think Will Anderson described Google Plus as a ‘Witness relocation program’ because at the moment there just aren’t the people there for it…

Francis: It requires critical mass for it to work.

Sean: And that’s what all the networks are looking at. If we look at Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, all of them need the mainstream people. So if you were a financialist the ‘mums and dads’, or the mainstream audience. But the mainstream audience needs a reason to go there, so you need these killer content producers. That’s why Twitter loves the sports market because fans love their sports and love their athletes, so you’re looking at athletes, celebrities, music artists and the like. Wherever they start gravitating towards, that’s where the people will be. At the moment that hotter space is Twitter, that’s where a lot of athletes and celebs and that are getting traction and getting benefit. But that’s where the battle between the networks is, to get those big guys.
Francis: It’s that splintering isn’t it? If there isn’t a critical mass of users where you can have a conversation that is wide ranging with a lot of people, and it starts to splinter off into a whole bunch of little groups, it defeats the purpose of it and dilutes the whole power of the platforms.

Sean: Yeah, definitely. And another one that hasn’t gone away but it’s gone through a bit of a re-brand is MySpace.

Francis: That’s like the flares of social media, isn’t it? It went out of fashion and it’s back!

Sean: It is, it’s had a bit of a revamp and it’s definitely sticking to it’s music roots.

Francis: It’s found a niche for itself, hasn’t it, as a music portal. So if you see a band like we just played Django Django – a Scottish band that I like the sound of – they’ll probably have a MySpace where you can listen to their material, their bio will be on there and you can probably even download some of their songs as well.

Sean: Yeah, I think they’re definitely starting from that base of ‘Let’s get the artists’, because the artists were always big MySpace fans and that’s where it generated from. I think the fact that Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Jay-Z – all the big names – have been drawn back into MySpace, doesn’t mean that everyone will go back. But potentially, if they’re finding that they’re getting better cut-through and better interaction with their fans on MySpace – and we’ve spoken before about Mark Cuban and the Edge Rank and people not being able to make connections with Facebook – we might see the music scene grow in that space. What I try to do at Sports Geek is say well ‘How can sports learn from music? Can sports use that space? Does it make sense, and is it a way for them to connect?’ Again, I think MySpace will be a little bit of ‘Watch this space’, see how music works for it and see if there is a demand. If there are people there then potentially there’s an opportunity for sports to jump into that space.

Francis: It’s always the trend leaders that will provide the opportunity and maybe show the way with an example on how to get the best of the space. Good on you, Sean. We can find you at Sports Geek HQ?

Sean: or ‘@SportsGeek’ on Twitter or ‘@SeanCallanan’.