SGP 044: Josh Tucker from LA Dodgers & AJ Maestes on sports social media fans

Josh Tucker Dodgers Social Media Manager #ITFDBBeen a busy few weeks at Sports Geek, last weekend at the SCG I caught up with LA Dodgers Social Media Manager Josh Tucker who was in town for Opening Series.  AJ Maestes from Navigate Research for a chat about his study into sports and social media fans.


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On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • How Josh manages Twitter and engages Dodger fans
  • The importance of using favorite button on Twitter
  • What tools Josh uses to manage Dodgers social accounts
  • Why engagement is the metric of importance in MLB
  • How sponsors are clamouring to be involved with sports teams social media
  • How fans are influenced by sports teams and athletes
  • The importance of understanding the value of social media in sponsorship

Resources from the episode

Social Media Post of the Week

Nice slow motion video work by Josh on @Dodgers Twitter and Vine accounts.

Watch Jerry West teach kids how to shoot

Jerry West “I haven’t shot a basketball in years”


Closing 2 Cents

Marcia Hines did a terrific job singing the national anthem at the SCG Opening Series but then made this mistake on Twitter.  She confused former Australian Cricket captain Ian Chappell (pictured) with former English Captain Tony Greig (deceased in 2012) it went viral on Twitter.  Always know who you are tweeting about.


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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to episode 44 of the Sports Geek podcast. And, this week, we’re talking baseball. As we caught up with Josh Tucker from the LA Dodgers, while his team was out here to play the Diamondbacks at the SCG. And, I catch up with AJ from Navigate Research and talk a little bit about the social media scoreboard.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And, now here’s your host, who once took four out of 15 bowling leg breaks as a teenager, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek and thank you again for listening to Sports Geek podcast, where the on the site on iTunes, on Stat Cloud, on Stitcher or any other good pod catcher – even the bad ones. We should be there.

Thanks again, DJ Joel. Slight correction on my bowling figures – four wickets, 415 – not four out of 15, as there are 20 wickets. But, I would take a whole podcast to explain cricket to Americans – in the same way that a lot of Australians were learning a lot about baseball when the Dodgers and Diamondbacks came to the SCG to open the MLB season. And, I was lucky enough to be there helping out the SCG with the All Things Social media and was lucky enough to catch up with Josh Tucker, who runs Social for the Dodgers. So, we had a little bit of a chat with Josh on today’s show.

Later on, I talked to AJ Maestes from Navigate Research on a study project that he has done on sports fans and social media and the way that they engage with the teams and the way that sponsors can engage with fans on social media and what kind of results sponsors and teams can get with social media.

And, then another quick shout-out and a big thank you to everyone who attended the Sports Geek one day educational or the Sports Geek ODE, if you are following along on twitter, a big thanks to Steve Ellis from the Honey Bar for hosting us. And, also Steve Sammartino and Josh Rowe for attending and providing a little bit of light colored humour with a few conversations to break up the day. To all those attended, thank you very much. You’ve really inspired me to do more of them. So, I’ll look to do some later in the year in Melbourne, potentially in other parts of Australia.

But, first, here’s my chat with Josh Tucker from the LA Dodgers.

Sean: So, here we are at the SCG in the new press box in the oval stand, ready for the second game. I’m here with Josh Tucker from the Dodgers. Welcome to Sydney.

Josh: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Sean: No, it’s alright. And, how have you found the trip so far?

Josh: Without sounding too cliche, I want to say it’s the trip of a lifetime. I studied abroad here in 2009.

Sean: So, where did you study?

Josh: New Southwest and it was less studying, more working on my tan.

Josh: But, the way that we’ve been treated here from the stewardesses on the plane to the arrival committee, everything has been beyond belief and top notch and a truly remarkable experience.

Sean: So, you want to tell everybody who’s missing – what’s your role at the Dodgers and what it entails?

Josh: So, I handle social media and we have a digital department so all under that. I produce most of the majority of the content from Facebook, twitter, Instagram design and Google plus. So, it’s strategy to play by play on twitter and really just trying to provide valuable content for our fans.

Sean: So, I’ve spoken with some of the guys in MLB Land before and you get a lot of support from our band and you use a lot of content. So, really social is a spot where you get to have a little creativity and you can do, because band produces so much of the stand in content with recaps and video and replays and stuff like that.

So, what do you look to do from a creative point of view?

Josh: The one way that we can differentiate ourselves is through axels. And, I think we really try and be leaders in that space and give our fans not only unprecedented access, but try and tell the story of our players. And, I think we are a baseball team, but really the chemistry in the clubhouse is what I’d try and portray as much as possible. Our guys – I think a good example is Juan Rive, who speaks barely any English and some of the guys have probably questioned some of his Spanish. Of course, it’s the on field play, but it’s that daily interactions that we try to give off.

Sean: So, from a clubhouse point of view – because, we’ve worked with clubs before and different managers and different coaches have a different take on the inner sanctum of the locker room or clubhouses in magic baseball with the Cowboys – they put a new coach in here. He put it to his plays and his trainer says, “He doesn’t have the right to be in this locker room. That’s our inner sanctum. We don’t want to share it with everything else. We can share.”

Do you have that kind of restriction or – how much, how far, as far as getting into that clubhouse sanctum?

Josh: I think there’s a real buy it on from the top and that’s been real important. The new ownership came in and said, “Yeah, it’s a priority,” and that extends all the way down. So, I think one – you have to be mindful of that sanctity and we don’t want guys to feel like we’re ever -

Sean: You’re not stalking them. You’re not taking photos when they’re in a quiet moment and all that kind of stuff.

Josh: Yeah, and I really want to be a fly on the wall as much as possible. And, I think the more that the players see that we’re respecting them, the more that they’ll give us. And, it’s really that there’s a fine line between trying to be there and give our fans content and getting too in the player’s face.

Sean: So, I want to talk a bit about the platform. You do a lot of the super slow mo vines – a crucial one that I’ll put in the show notes. It’s a bit like a lava lamp. You can just keep watching it over and over and over.

So, from a fan point of view, is it just a matter of getting that more content to the fans and that short snippet stuff?

Josh: Every piece of content that we post to any platform needs to provide some kind of value to our fans. And, Clayton Kershaw is the most exciting player in major league baseball. It’s trying to give a different perspective into his preparations. So, trying to get him walking out onto the field and him warming up. But, not in the typical angles that you’re used to seeing.

So, he can typically have a camera on the front of the player as they’re walking onto the field. So, I tried to get behind. Or, the team photo last week – all the photographers are in front, so I try and get -

Sean: That 45 degree angle and get the stadium in the background.

Josh: Exactly – because, they’re going to be 15 AP Getty – even our team photographer there. So, it’s really trying to find that different angle and different glimpse into the personalities, characters and just images.

Sean: So, for vine week, we’re working with teams and they’re really pretty much just using it as a video and – are you using any engagement on vine itself? Or, is it just pretty much a way to do video and sending it to twitter networks and getting instruction?

Josh: I think – and, this is just based off an eyeball test. And, this isn’t necessarily for the Dodgers. But, vine is an incredible – incredible social network. You see some of these American vines and a lot of them are kids. And, they’re getting two million ravines on a post, which is absolutely insane. So, I think people are consuming vines on their own. It really is an incredible – incredible tool for twitter in that it’s playing natively on the timeline. A lot of times – and, we see a higher interaction rate with photos than we do with vines.

Sean: And, so how do you handle the mix between? Because, we know that Instagram and twitter – those don’t get along. You send out a link and it’s in that play. So, do you keep them out separate or do you put something up on the Dodgers Instagram and it’s just sort of just in the Instagram space and it has its own life there?

Josh: We see very low engagement rate on Instagram videos. And, I say that with – we don’t know what the actual engagement is with a video because you don’t know how many sites and so that is an engagement. I think people are watching their videos. It’s sometimes a bit tricky, depending on your Wi-Fi or data situation.

Sean: Well, you’re on the bus and it’s telling people looking at silly videos and that kind of thing.

Josh: But, I think that the strength is Instagram is that it’s a photo sharing network and we get so much content that I think there’s sometimes – one video is appropriate. But, really I view Instagram as a photo sharing platform.

Sean: Yeah, and just the major league baseball games in Sydney – I’ve been keeping track of MLB and yesterday the first game just blew up. As soon as the top came off the diamond, everyone’s pulled out their phone and click – click – click – click.

Josh: It’s amazing.

Sean: It’s great from a stadium point of view because you get to tell the story of, “This is the story of how this is a great game.” And, it’s very hard to be negative on Instagram. You might get someone complaining or something, but really most of it – the content coming out of there is – this is an awesome experience.

Josh: I wish there were filters on Instagram comments. We have a couple hundred words automatically filtered out on Facebook. So I wish Instagram had similar filters because there is sometimes an unfortunate language used there.

Sean: We had a quick chat yesterday. You want to take me through some of the tools that you use day-to-day when you’re out in the field and when you get back to your mac? So, you’re a mac guy?

Josh: I’m a mac guy. The rest of the organization are PC people, I guess.

Sean: You have to be in the digital space. You’re being a bit creative and you want to be out plugging. So, what phone have you got?

Josh: I have an iPhone 5S. And, that’s how I get the slow-mo video. Alana Rizzo, our twitter extraordinaire and broadcaster is laughing at me down there.

Sean: And, now you’re part of the podcast. Thank you.

Josh: Alana Rizzo, everybody – so, I use tweet deck as my number one tool. And, I have about 50 columns varying from dodger to @dodgers to dodgers, verified users, non-verified users – our players or broadcasters -

Sean: So, from a twitter point of view, from Australia’s point of view, are you trying to celebrity tweet? Are you trying to amplify that? And, then make sure they’re feeling part of the Dodgers or what’s your strategy around engaging fans? Because, over a million followers, it’s a little hard to be saying thank you to everybody every time there’s a tweet.

Josh: I think that the most under-utilized tool on twitter, from a brand perspective is the favorite. It means that not only did we see it, but we recognize it. I think that people get a lot of praise, often, for engagement with a reply. But, the power of a favorite is the points.

Sean: It affected, now, the twitter app highlights it. Like, nine months ago, you didn’t know that someone favorite your tweet. You had to check somewhere. But, now it comes up and says, “Oh, the dodgers favorite your tweet,” and you’re like, “Oh,” you get a little bit of pep in your step.

Josh: That’s something that – I try and read every tweet that comes through and mentions @dodgers and even the word dodgers. We are watching. We’re listening.

Sean: In that – one thing I do want to ask you about is – you’ve got the hash tag dodgers and your handle is @dodgers. Why the same thing? Why haven’t you got a dodger nation that you hash tag?

Josh: Our hash tag that we use most is – #it’stimefordodgerbaseball. And, that’s something that is born from the broadcast and Scully and we brought to social. So, last Saturday, actually, at game time in the states, Vin Scully, hash tag ITFDB, dodgers Australia and Kershaw were trending in the US, which is pretty remarkable. Then, ITFDB was trending world-wide, which is also pretty cool.

Sean: And, it’s frequently like an inside joke with Dodger fans. Most people see it and go, “Is it a New Kids on the Block reforming?” It’s all these characters together.

Josh: You have to be a Dodgers fan to really know that. And, I think it’s now becoming a little bigger than that. It’s amazing that a baseball team from America can be playing in Sydney and our hash tag is trending world-wide at 1AM in the morning, Pacific Time.

Sean: When it’s our time in Australia, everyone else is asleep.

Josh: Right, I know. This cheapens all of that.

Sean: It doesn’t cheapen it a bit.

Sean: It has happened before where we’ll have a BTV show on in Australia. A show called Hey Hey. So the so Hey Hey was trending because we were watching a show we had watched 20 years ago.

Josh: Yeah.

Sean: And then the U.S. wakes up and they start going Hey Hey. It just ripping off that not knowing that we were talking about a TV show 20 years ago.

Josh: On Reddit, in injure there is always a late night host. America is sleeping so let’s let Australia and the U.K. get after this.

Sean: So what would you say your goals are for a social point of view for this season?

Josh: From a social stand point? It’s all about engagement for us. And because of our relationship with Bam there is a sponsorship and technique component. But for me and in my role it’s always been about providing content.

Sean: So that’s you using Adobe Social? Is that sort of how you are measuring engagement or and tracking traffic and things like that?

Josh: Yeah. Major League Baseball, they came up with this metric called the Engagement per Fan. And so we lead Major League Baseball in all platforms in 2013. And I think that’s a goal we would like to meet again. So engagement is our number 1 KPI. And that’s really providing great content for our fans. And winning on the field, really.

Sean: Exactly. It’s always a great marketing strategy. Winning on the field, you throw K’s all day.

Josh: Yeah.

Sean: Yeah. This is an easy job. I think Bryce Raven and the Giants are, after the Giants went to the championship, that’s the best marketing strategy you can have.

Josh: Right. There’s not a better one.

Sean: But you still got to make sure you can have the strategy in place to take advantage when those things happen. Like if it’s a no hitter or something amazing happens.

Josh: Yeah.

Sean: When your fans are using that hashtag you are wanting to amplify it. You want to do it. Now I’m taking among our– I’m hoping this is recorded.

Josh: Yeah.

Sean: Because it would be very disappointing if we had this discussion and it hasn’t recorded. So I thank you very much. Good Luck for the second game. And next time I’ll drop by.

Josh: That would be fantastic. Every one follow Alana Rizzo on twitter @Alana Rizzo.

DJ Joel: Sign up for Sports Geek news at

Sean: Thanks again to Josh from the Dodgers in the new SCG media center. Really nice set up in the new centre. I was lucky enough to see how it operated from the patron’s point of view but the SCG absolutely transformed. The pictures on social media did not do it justice. There was a lot of chatter from what I was following along from the SCG. Both the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks and MLB did a terrific job of bringing the game out. And all the fans absolutely loved the experience. And yes, the 24 inch hotdogs were ridiculously over-sized. But exceptionally popular. I was also very lucky, absolutely honored. I’m not normally overawed when meeting sports stars and celebrities but I was very lucky to meet a guy, Vince Scully. A legend of the game. He is entering– This is his 65th season with the Dodgers. So you can completely understand why Josh has driven the hashtag #ForDodgers of Vince Scully’s catch phrase. I am absolutely humble to meet a legend.

Sean: So next, I was lucky enough to get an interview with A.J. from Navigate Research recently to talk about a social media sports study that he did recently. Which you can check out at And we just talk a little bit about understand the value of fan engagement in sports and digital. But primarily on social media and what it means for fans using social media and also what it means for the sports teams and their sponsors. Here’s my chat with A.J.

Sean: I am very happy to welcome on to the Sports Geek podcast A.J. If I’ve got that correct from Navigate Research. Welcome to the podcast A.J.

A.J.: Thank you Sean. Happy to be here. And you got the name correct. Thank you for that.

Sean: Alright. Well extra points for me. We met when you were last in Melbon and before we started recording you’ve been backwards and forwards in Australia doing some work. I wanted to get you on the call to talk about the A research project you did analyzing and talking to fans and how they use– sports fans in particular on how they use social media. You want to tell us a little background on the Social Media School Board?

A.J.: Yeah. I’d be happy to. Well we think we’ve essentially created the bible for how fans what, who, when, where, and why on all forms of social media. Now of course leave it to an American to call it the bible. Biblical is a little bit of a stretch. But there wasn’t existing research on the marketplace comprehensively looked at the many different ways that fans interact with social media. What the market place is paying for and where the opportunities that would better amplify the positive impact of how you use social, digital, and mobile media.

So we teamed up with Launch Man Media Group, one of the strategy followers here in North America. And they’re rapidly growing globally. So you’ll see them soon beyond just their athlete representation business in Australia. As it is now they are a partner in this study. And they helped us combine and bring in the more practical attributes. What are the normal market research studies? But that is the jist of it. Answering those questions that many people have on what is it worth and how does it impact fans and their behavior.

Sean: Yeah. It is a question that I get a lot on radio just last week. People are saying why bother with social media? Does it actually return? Is it worth the investment? That kind of thing. You’ve been able to come back with some numbers. Things like social media has driven 42% of fans to watch the game on TV or 29% of fans followed a play team or league. Especially for getting numbers on driving business for sports teams. And how social has helped sports teams and leagues do that. Do you want to give us bit of inside on what you found out on the research?

A.J.: Yeah. Absolutely. I would love to. The quick answer is yes, there is our lie. And I agree that many people are asking those questions. That’s why we launched the study and have made it for re-sale. We feel like there is a great number of people who need to make this business case. Just as you would in any business case, it starts with our lie and most people have been falling back on basic metrics like total impressions. But I can tell you with strong confidence that there is a return on investment when you look at measures like how influential social media is. As a matter of fact, it ranks number 1 or 2 in just about every slice or category that you can imagine. Driving people that become a fan, following a team, watch on television and in person. They can connect to the corporate sponsor and feel positively about that corporate partner or even buy their services. It’s just off the charts. Just about any metric yo think you need commercially motivated to drive. And it comes at an incredibly low cost. Internal programs can cost next to nothing, just time and effort. Even in the market place it is being sold for far too little. We found that the average CPM overall social media mediums average around $7 a CPM. And if I were to tell you that I had found a medium that had great impact on sports then you wouldn’t think it would have sold for such a low price. Yes, we rely on social media and the crux of the study is to highlight what is most effective and efficient to do with social media.

Sean: And that’s really important because a lot of digital departments and sales departments are trying to sell these properties. Like the fact that yes we can set up a Facebook page and post. It doesn’t cost them anything. But one of the things that the teams and the leagues have to realize is to put some way on those posts. It’s an evaluation of what it’s worth. Not that it doesn’t take much to send out. And we’ve got these brands that are trying to reach out to fans that have been drawn in by the big numbers. But it’s now realizing if a post is done correctly and the right offer is presented to fans, that they do get really good returns from activating sports teams and leagues.

AJ.: And that is exactly correct. And there is no question about it. It’s most difficult for media entities and what works in the United States. All of the major media networks are all clients of ours have a hard time getting ale cart value. They are often treating it as a value act to throw in the large–

Sean: Yeah. The steak knives of the teams. So to speak.

AJ: That is exactly right. And I can tell you in speaking only for their domestic business in the United States. ESPN seems to be more ahead of the other folks in the states. They’ve been selling their deals on a cross platform basis for over 10 years now. They don’t do deals that do not involve cross second and third that don’t utilize social media. Assets that they have under their control. It’s to the benefit of their sponsors. We do a great deal of research involving the impact of sponsorship and advertisement deals through sports with ESPN. And there is a very clear and positive impact when an advertiser integrates social, mobile, digital rather than more traditional aspects. Now on the 30 second television spots. Signage that is on television, etc. So the truth is, is that not only is it a shame to give something so valuable for free, but you’re actually doing a favor to an advertiser and sponsor if you can get them to buy an integrated package.

Sean: Yeah. I think that’s crucial. If you’re presenting your proposals and there’s all these line items the sponsors can pick and choose which items they take out. It’s not very effective. Now if you say digital and social is just part of the whole solution it’s not something they can pick apart and try to get the proposition they want. Because for it to work it has to be cross all your platforms.

AJ: That’s exactly right. And we’ve made this same mistake before in the industry. When websites were relatively new they were an extra throw in. And how silly would that concept be today. But if you look at the rate of global movement there’s no question about the future’s first screen and where it’s going to be. That first point of contact with consumers is going to be smartphones. And going further into the future of television and ways that people interact day to day with contact. And to think that you might be the late adopter, even just middle of the pack, it would be a pretty tragic mistake in my opinion. You need to be involved and committed to be in the middle of the pact in this stage.

Sean: So looking at the commercial side, how do we manage social media? Is it selling from a tweet or post? And that’s what you can do with your sponsors. But the other side of social that it really, and a reason a lot of teams were not on board at first was the fan development side. And the study showed how fans are feeling more connected with their sport via social media. You’ve got 32% of fans saying they felt closer to their sport by social media. Do you think because they are outside the big 4, they put more effort into social media?

AJ: You know, it’s a combination of both. There’s a lot of work with all those different sports in the United States. So I’m able to speak a little bit to their fan base being different. NHL fans are naturally inclined to be early adopters to technology. They have always been skewed with codes to be more likely to adopt this technology. So a little bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy there. A little bit is true with major league soccer in the United States.

AJ: A little bit is true with major league soccer in the United States where their fan-based queues were younger and more Hispanic than other sports which again puts a little bias in there for social digital mobile media, but we also found that those clubs were making a greater effort. They had almost doubled the number of Tweets or social media posts for their fans.

So it’s difficult to perfectly isolate the chick or the egg there, but there’s no question that we didn’t find any abnormalities in why they were performing better based on who their fans where and what they wanted. The beauty of research and what we do every day with Navigate is to investigate not what we think by gut feel but what is factual out there.

I can share an Australian-specific statistic that Australian consumers, even if a lot of the stadium are lagging behind in Wi-Fi and other technology. I know some of your clients are on the front edge. By the way, Sean, I recognized the things that are going on at the S.C.G., Allianz and ANZ, but that’s coming on a few other places, right? In Australian consumers despite not having that quality of bandwidth or connectivity in many of the stadia in the country actually have a higher propensity to want to follow the team that way and a higher likelihood to watch streaming via digital, etc., etc. It bucks some conventional wisdom that would say your fans would be a little less eager for some of these rights and benefits as they would in the U.S. where it’s a pretty common place to be able to have quality bandwidth at a stadium.

Sean: Yeah, it is something that is a problem. It has been a worldwide problem and it’s slightly being solved by partners. Yeah, there are a few that have been at the SCG and Allianz among the few. We saw how much extra data that we’re sharing once that problem got solved.

One of the things I wanted to ask you about is I guess just having a look at the different platforms that fans are using. One of the steps there is you sort of looked at where fans are getting their sports info and it sort of ranged Facebook at 36%, Twitter at 21%, and Google at 16% and then Instagram at 7%. Is it pretty much that across the board?

Google to a certain degree for a lot of teams that I speak to, they’re sort of doing it because Google is a really big giant but not really seeing the engagement but it’s still something that people are accessing their news from. Is it something that could catch fire or become a viable third position or a third social media platform for teams?

AJ: You know, that’s hard to say if it’s early stage. It’s more being treated like a passport on the internet for people who are users of Google platforms. I would say it looks like there’s already a winner in the mobile software game and that is Google. So Droid has a dominant global share and higher growth rates than iOS or Apple. So I wouldn’t bet against Google but clearly it’s not the same kind of social media platform that Facebook is even if that may have been or have not been one of their original intentions.

I’m glad you brought up Cisco actually. We’re a really big fan of the work that Cisco does because that’s an example of the flexibility that you need inside a stadium to anticipate future needs. There’s things that we don’t know of today that you’re going to want to do and be flexible enough to handle to satisfy your fans’ wants and needs.

How many people were on Twitter five years ago? How many people were on Facebook 12 years ago? It’s that quick – these two dominant players. To give you a Facebook versus Twitter example, that’s just a little PR highlight from our team from the study which is raw statistics.

As you dive deeper into that and when we’re delivering these results, we’re working with the NRL on this. We’re really proud to say the NRL. is the first Australian client to purchase the study which releases next week. When you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that if you look at just the basic user base of Facebook and Twitter, you’d say, “Well, those are large.” If you look on a proportionate basis, people disproportionately prefer to receive their news through Twitter which makes sense of course intuitively. If you just blindly set up your social media platforms based on how large the user base, those are the ones we’re supposed to be involved in, you might misuse them.

There’s very little actual purchases that take place on a Facebook but there’s a lot of influence and coordination of groups for social events. Twitter is disproportionately the favored way for sports fans to receive their news and updates. It is just behind Facebook and how I want to follow my team, but when you look at the size of the user base, again it’s the way that your fans would like to get the inside scoop, updates, etc.

Sean: Yeah, I mean we just recently just looked at all the teams. The only thing with Twitter, once you’re in, you understand it and you are getting the info. At the moment, it’s just from an Australian point of view unless we extend around the world is that Twitter is still having that growth issue of not having as many fans on to be able to get that data.

From the studies and I guess looking at our client’s traffic drivers, Facebook is still firing above the big driver from a traffic point of view for fans and that’s partly because the user base that they have and the amount of fans that they reach.

AJ: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. The keys to doing the kind of research that are in the study are to understand what tool is appropriate or what kind. There is no question that a sledgehammer can drive a nail into a piece of wood, but is that the most efficient tool to use? Is that the way your customers want to receive that information?

Really intelligent practitioners of C.R.M. or customer relationship management practices know exactly what part of their database to hit with what kind of message at what time so as to keep them connected, to not cause a [inaudible 00:06:18] in that database and relationship, but to still maximize openly revenue and fandom and connectivity to that customer base.

There’s a little bit of an art and there’s a little bit of a science to that.

Sean: So what are the next things that you’re looking at post the social media score board as far as getting a bit more analysis of what sports fans are doing?

AJ: Well, it’s a study we intend to continue into the future and that data becomes powerful overtime being able to look at change overtime. So certainly it is on our long-term radar. At the rate of change in this space, it should be on anybody’s. It’s not a short-term thing. It’s going away.

One interesting thing that we have a lot of interest in the Australian-specific market with is a fan experience research – a study we’re coming up later this year. We’ll address what are the drivers for someone attending sporting events in person versus watching at home. Inside of that fan experience, what is it that they want out of the technology of the stadium using the Cisco example or out of the actual facilities they’re visiting?

Certainly it’s something we expect to be used by commercial partners and agencies to understand how to best interact with fans and make a connection with fans for those commercial partners as well as those own and operate facilities that are looking to draw revenue out of attendees whether it be food service or what have you.

We think it’s a question that doesn’t appear to be a really strong and consistent answer in the industry for which is, “What makes these people come? How do I get them to come back?” Versus all their alternatives in the sports entertainment world including sitting at home and watching that same club play on television.

Sean: Yeah, so looking at solving that problem of it’s easier for me to stay at home and watch on my high definition screen than sit in the rain or trouble with public transport. So trying to find some of those answers in that space and where the things around technology improvements and mobile app support and having greater connectivity whether these are some of the tipping points that stadiums or teams can invest in to drive more people to the games. That’s sort of the thing you’re looking for.

AJ: No question. Great marketers take risks. Because marketing is often a combination of science and the things we do with Navigate Research and the arch and the intuition and the things that great marketers are willing to do and take risks on, it means that only those that are really on the cutting edge are there right now. You named a few of them – ANZ, S.C.G. and Allianz.

We think there’s an incredible amount of room for improvement. It’s one of those things where early at the game sometimes immeasurable leads because it takes time. It takes time. It’s a serious investment – people, resources, talent, intellectual property, physical actual assets and technology, and implementation. There’s a lot of behind this stuff.

We work with Populous on a global basis. They’re the global leader in architecture around stadium design. They’re certainly one of the people we’re having in-depth conversations with the study to understand what fans want when they come on site. We’re working with a number of clubs in the United States here to help bridge that gap to make the immeasurable, the unique thing about attending in person that we all know make us attend in person to protect those while at the same time bridging the gap between some of the conveniences you have at home that are missing from many of the stadia in Australia as an example.

Sean: Well, thank you very much for joining me on the podcast, AJ. I’ll have a link to the social media,, in the show as well as some of the stats from the study. I’ll also link to you on LinkedIn. So if people want to say, they can simply just go to the site and enter the details and you will follow up with them.

AJ: Yeah, no question. I’m always looking for excuses to talk to folks in Australia. I love the people. I love the country. I’ll even be there next week in a couple of conferences. So hopefully I’ll see you all in person for those who get the chance to listen to the podcast.

Sean: Okay, thanks a lot, AJ.

AJ: Thank you, Sean. Bye-bye.

DJ Joel: Please subscribe to the Sports Geek Podcast on iTunes. Go to

Sean: Thanks again to AJ for joining the podcast. If you’re lucky enough to catch up with him on his mini business tour to Australia, say hi for me and get him a beer. He is a really good bloke. That wraps up this show.

As I said, it’s been a really busy week working both with the SCG around the major league. Thanks for kicking off the season. Getting two wins to kick off the season always helps and working with the guys and girls, the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras, in teaching a little bit about social media and how they can use it and also manage it as an athlete. This week serves the game.

As you would expect, I’ve gone for a game at the SCG. Major League Baseball. As I said earlier, everybody who attended the game had an absolute ball. Again from a podcast point of view, it’s very hard for me to paint the picture that was the SCG. All I can tell you is go to Instagram, check out M.L.B. in Oz 3-point 3800 Instagram photos we’ve shared over the two days with shots of extra-long hot dogs, terrific-looking ballpark.

Check them out – some tremendous work which leads me into my social media post of the week and I’m going to give it to our guest, Josh Tucker. It’s one of the post we actually talked about in the interview – a slowmo vine of Clayton Kershaw in the ball peen. So check that out. That is in the show notes. The show notes can be found as always using the number. This is episode 44 and so that clock tells me it is time to wind up the show and dedicate this show.

You can get the show notes at I’m going to dedicate this episode to the man himself, The Logo. The man is known as The Logo, Jerry West, Laker legend. I’ll actually link to a video I saw recently of Jerry West teaching young kids how to shoot a basketball. Even though he’s on the news, Jerry West can still shoot a basketball. He doesn’t miss one shot in a whole demonstration. Again a couple of L.A. legends featured in this podcast. We have Jerry West and Vin Scully.

That’s it for this week. Like I said, apologies for this one link being a little bit late but it has been a busy week especially with the one day educational yesterday at the Honey Bar.

So time for the Closing 2 Cents. I’m sure you saw these on the Sports Geek Facebook page, but remember always know who you’re Tweeting about.

DJ Joel: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at Listen to beers, blokes and business at Go to for more sports digital marketing resources. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.

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

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

What @SportsGeek reads…

Olympic snowboarders find advertising loophole at Sochi

House of Lakers: What if Frank Underwood where the Los Angeles GM?

Facebook to buy Whatsapp for $16 Billion

Do your players have a game day social media plan?

The world’s top 10 most innovative companies in sport

NBA, tech execs gather in New Orleans to debate role of mobile technology in live sports

“Pitino: Social media largely a waste of time” – I’d like to debate that!

LinkedIn, Love it or Hate it?

Daytona Rising will turn speedway in first-ever racing stadium

Sochi 2014: Team GB want social media protection

Nice work by @Pacers to capture Danny Granger saying goodbye to his team mates

17 GIFS of most painfully awkward high fives in sport

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

Social Media gives us a glimpse into the heart and mind of Kobe Bryant


“What’s the purpose of social media if I won’t bring it to you Real No Image” – Kobe Bryant

As the regular season of the NBA comes to an end and the excitement of playoff basketball begins, there seems to be a familiar figure missing. Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant will be watching, posting and tweeting from the sidelines while he recovers from Achilles tendon surgery.

Since the injury occurred against the Golden State Warriors, fans have been given a glimpse into the heart, mind and brand of an athlete who has over the course of his career, earned world wide status as one of the most recognised athletes in sport. Bryant has increased his online presence dramatically of late, and has proved an intriguing addition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for Lakers and NBA fans alike.


Bryant joined Twitter on January 4th, announcing the ‘Antisocial has become Social #mambatweets.’ Yet given how forthcoming he has been via this platform, you could be forgiven for feeling confused by his ‘antisocial’ self-assessment. His tweeting habits have included words of encouragement to team mates, recognition of opponent’s performances and insight into his daily activities and rehabilitation. Bryant is honest and engaging on Twitter, and has a clear handle on hash tag use; first describing himself as a fine red aging #VINO, then incorporating #countonkobe in his tweets to illustrate, despite his setback, he was as competitive as ever:

That Facebook Post…

Following the Golden State game, but prior to receiving any MRI scans to diagnose the severity of the injury, a sleep deprived and frustrated Kobe took to Facebook at 3:30am to vent his thoughts:


This was a very emotional and raw ‘status update’, which gave fans and supporters a rare view into his thoughts at a time in which he was vulnerable and questioning the longevity of his career. Kobe’s desire to succeed and his forever present determination was also on display as he vowed to return, but not before affirming that for now he was to assume the role of the aforementioned ‘Coach Vino’.

Reading it over again, you can’t help feel the emotional outpouring in what was a genuinely heart-felt update. This is what social media platforms offer, an avenue for users to share their thoughts and feelings to their friends and followers. Sporting organisations and players are using these avenues more effectively to further develop their brand, as the many platforms allows them to have a ‘personality’ which fans, customers and clients can relate to and connect with.

Kobe on Instagram: 14 posts, 650,000+ followers & 1 person followed

Kobe’s all-star status as one of the greatest athletes on social media grew even more the following day as he started an Instagram account. His first post came as he was getting his MRI, followed by a shot of him getting ready for surgery. Kobe continued with his love of hashtags using #highasakite and #mambaout to humorously convey his pre-surgery thoughts:

MRI time!

Surgery prep time. Lookin like Mrs Doubtfire with a jerri curl cap lol Anesthesia next #highasakite #mambaout

Bryant’s personality is consistent through all his accounts. He is honest and likes to speak his mind, has fun with his hashtags and doesn’t shy away from showing his disappointment. This glimpse into the heart and mind in turn elevates Kobe Bryant as a brand.

Bryant has turned a tough time in his life into a positive and is taking us on the emotional ride with him. He has also done an incredible job in presenting himself professionally, which could not be said for other athletes (case in point, NRL Josh Dugan). As a result of opening the doors into his life, people can now relate to the Kobe brand on a personal level. They have seen the hardship and now understand what makes the superstar tick; solidifying the ideas of the #KOBESYSTEM and he will ‘Dominate Achilles’

YES! Dominate the boot. Dominate tendons. Dominate the cast. Dominate rehab. Dominate dominating demure dominants domination. Wtf u ask?!? "Your Welcome" #dominatehashtags

I’ll be following Kobe’s #mambaisms on Twitter and all his other social media activity and strongly advise you do too, as I am sure he will have a lot to tweet, post and share over the playoffs.

Breaking News: Kobe WILL NOT be tweeting during Playoff games

UPDATE: The unthinkable has happened. After receiving national attention during the ABC broadcast, Bryant announced that he wouldn’t be tweeting during games:

Upon hearing the news, the Los Angeles Times ran a poll to gauge fans’ reaction to the news. Six hours in, and it seems they want Kobe to keep live tweeting during games:

LA Times Poll

Fingers crossed he’ll still provide pre and post-game thoughts via his social media platforms; he may even decide to tweet during playoff matchups that don’t involve the Lakers, even if he still has a bit to learn when it comes to sharing images (and a sneak peek of the new Facebook timeline):

Kobe Phone screenshot of Facebook post of Tweet

But you’ve got to admire a man who has winning at the forefront of his mind and continually wants to do what’s best for his team.

Have a listen to the discussion Sean had with Harf on Harf Time about Kobe Bryant.

Download MP3

Subscribe to  or Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes.

Value of old-school social networking


This week on ABC Grandstand, Sports Geek was in the studio to discuss Tweetups and the teams taking part in the new craze.

Download mp3

What is a Tweetup?

To put it simply, a tweetup is a meet up of Twitter friends and/or fans of a team. It’s a great way for teams to drive online fans into offline events. It’s a great way for fans to connect in person, not just online.

In the world of sport, more and more teams are looking to drive online fans offline using events like Tweetups.

Team implementation

The Melbourne Storm had a tweet-up earlier this month, hosting fans in the Storm Social Suite with a special guest Batman for the Dark Knight themed game.
The Western Bulldogs also hosted a tweet up before their game against Hawthorn, with Ed Wyatt on a panel discussing opportunities in sports and digital, while the NRL’s Canterbury Bulldogs invited socially savvy members into the “Dog Box”.
In the US, the Cleveland Indians have run the Indian Social Suite, that has been very successful the last few seasons, along with the Sacramento Kings using Klout scores to bring in influencers and run events.

Why do they work?

The main reason many teams are now having social media nights is to drive ticket sales and build fan engagement.  Helping fans meet in real life (IRL) connects the fans and helps to continue the conversation after the game ends and official club tweets stop.
Listen to the podcast to find out how Sean used Twitter & Linkedin to meet Brad Mayne CEO of American Airlines Center  home of the Dallas Mavericks, which led to the photo (right)

Until next week

Catch it 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.

Special mention – The Aussie hurdler turned internet sensation

Not many have heard of Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke, but she’s turned into an overnight sensation. Not hard to see why, unfortunately she isn’t competing in London.

Podcast transcription

FRANCIS: Sean Callanan is our man when it comes to all things digital media and sports. How are you Sean?

SEAN: I’m good thanks Frank.

FRANCIS: Tweet ups and meet ups. You talk to people online, you might have common interests with them, but it’s another step to actually go and meet them.

SEAN: Yes it’s funny everyone calls it social networking and – and really meeting people in real life and having a chat to them is the old school social networking.

FRANCIS: Face time.

SEAN: Exactly.

FRANCIS: Real face time.

SEAN: Real face time, not – not using it over a computer. So more and more teams are doing things like meet ups and tweet ups, and I think it’s really important to get those fans to connect, because you know we’ve all tweeted with people or had conversations and then you think oh it would be good to you know meet them in real life and talk about other things. And it really solidifies that connection, you know, so for a sports team it’s really great and we ran one last – last week at the Melbourne Storm, they had a Dark Knight Rises themed – themed game, I actually got to meet Batman, which was a bit of the thrill, I did get told off by my girlfriend for sharing a picture of me and Batman on Facebook, but hey you’re never too old to have a photo with Batman. But what we did – what we were able to do is to talk to all the – the Storm fans in this case and tell them what the digital guys wanted, and why we were doing certain hash tags and why we were doing certain things on Twitter and why we were doing things on Facebook and what’s good is now all these you know Storm fans there was about 20 of them that were in the Storm Social Suite, all know what the team wants from them, but now they’re also connected in that they’re tweeting and still continuing the conversation, you know after the guys at the Storm are doing the tweeting, they’re still talking, they’re still using all the official hash tags, they’re talking to the players in a certain way. So it really helps extend the reach of the team.

FRANCIS: Is there a specific demographic that turns up? I mean you get a sense of who actually is hooked into social media by having an event like that?

SEAN: A little bit, because a lot – there was actually a few there that weren’t terribly vocal because not everyone on social is – is – is a you know going to be tweeting every single action or — – -

FRANCIS: No there’s a lot of people that just like to read what’s going on.

SEAN: – – – yeah exactly. So they’re using it to consume and to a certain degree you know they started talking to other people and it sort of maybe draws them out a little bit as well, so they might you know now that they know 5 or 6 other people, you know they’ve got a face to the cartoon avatar or whatever they’re display picture might be, now they can have a bit of backwards and forwards, so it might draw them out to be you know converse a little bit more. But it is a really diverse thing. Like we had some people that were you know love their Twitter and do that all the time, but they’re not on Facebook at all, it’s just not their cup of tea. They had others that were trying different platforms. So yeah there is not sort of set demographic, I mean obviously they’re people with you know most of them all had a smartphone of some kind, and you know they use social to connect with their – to connect with their teams.

FRANCIS: Other clubs doing it as well in the AFL?

SEAN: Yeah so the AFL, Essendon ran one a couple of years ago where they had a guest panel talking about it. The Western Bulldogs ran one last week with Ed Wire was actually on the panel and they were talking about sports and social and sort of getting people in – getting people involved, from a pro team in the States point of view, the Cleveland Indians have run the Social Suite, similar to what the Storm did and they’ve done it for a while, they’ve actually had a sort of bloggers area where they’ve tried to activate their digital fans. And also the Sacramento Kings used a product called Clout, which measures your influence. So they – they brought in influential people from the Sacramento area, obviously if you put them you know give – put them in a nice suite and treat them to a good time, they’re going to talk about the Sacramento Kings in a positive light and generate a bit more reach. So there’s a few different ways of doing it, a lot of the – a lot of the teams now doing specific social media nights where they will sell a ticket and have an event either prior or after the game, maybe a meet and greet with the players and that kind of thing. But yeah the – if you’re out there and you’re tweeting and you’re just – just pretty much refining it to your couch I say get out there and – and meet people.

FRANCIS: Well we do it professionally too. I mean we have a dinner every couple of months for people in the digital sports media as well and it’s a great way of people who have probably connected via the social media platforms who share a similar professional interest to get together and talk about what they do and better ways to do it as well. So in terms of you know professional development it’s been really powerful tool.

SEAN: Yeah and I mean my best I guess taking online/offline is when I did a trip a couple of years ago I was tweeting away at Dodgers Stadium and someone, Jill, replied back you should come to a game sometime. I said I’d love too, and then my next port of call was Dallas and I was going to a game to watch the Dallas Mavericks and LA Lakers and Jill said I’m in Dallas too we should meet at half time, and I said that’s cool and I hadn’t met we just connected via Twitter. At the same point I trying to connect with Mark Cuban who owns the Mavericks and I’d connected with the CEO of – of the arena saying hey I’m checking out your venue I’d love a tour. Half way through the second quarter Brad Mayne the CEO of the American Airlines Centre comes down, because I tweeted where I was sitting, he goes Sean come up to the suite. And so at half time I was in the dilemma do I go see Brad and go into the suite or do I meet my new Twitter friend Jill.

FRANCIS: What did you do?

SEAN: Well what – what do you think I did?

FRANCIS: You went and got two tickets and took Jill.

SEAN: No I – no I went up – I went up – actually I didn’t think of that scenario, but I went up to the suite and Brad was introducing me to people in the suite that work in the different facilities around – around America, he was very kind he said we’ve got some Fosters on ice for you Sean.

FRANCIS: Thanks for that Brad.

SEAN: I said thanks Brad I’ll be very polite I’ll drink them all but Australians don’t drink Fosters. But while he was doing the introductions he’s going oh and this is Jill. Jill who tweeted me 3 days earlier when I was at Dodgers Stadium was in the suite with Brad and what I didn’t know was that Jill ran effectively what’s – – -

FRANCIS: Sounds like a conspiracy.

SEAN: – – – it does sound like a conspiracy, she ran the Venue Managers Association effectively in America – – -

FRANCIS: You walked into the honey trap.

SEAN: – – – it was. So it was quite funny and she was in the suite.

FRANCIS: Did you say you stood me up.

SEAN: Yeah she did. She said you stood me up but she was the one that was encouraging Brad to go hey get this guy up here, I’ve been tweeting with him he’s checking out all the stadiums. So it sort of shows you a way that you can take those online connections and they might be completely random. Like I didn’t talk to Jill or you know she talked to me first and I didn’t talk to her because she said I work in sports or anything, she you know didn’t say anything in her bio that led me to that and you know that random connection, you know helped me watch the Lakers/Mavs in the Super Box and I saw Dirk Nowitzki score his 20,000th NBA point. So just shows you — –

FRANCIS: Magic day.

SEAN: – – -how you can get those connections happening.

FRANCIS: You never know who’s out there. Before we let you go speaking of random connections, I reckon there’s a young Australian sprinter who’s going to have a few of those in the next little while. A video that’s going to go viral or already has.

SEAN: It already has gone viral. I actually got told about this from a guy in Boston who was saying I’ve got that video of that Aussie hurdler, and I just assumed like every Australian would, that there’s some video of Sally Pearson and he goes no, Michelle Jenneke, so if you Google Michelle Jenneke.

FRANCIS: How do we spell her name properly?


FRANCIS: Now this is a video that was shot I think recently in Barcelona at the World Junior Champs.

SEAN: Yes. Yeah and so she’s got a bit of a dance, pre-match – pre-race routine.

FRANCIS: It is pretty special, I have seen it.

SEAN: And you know she just fires up and she’s happy go lucky and loose and ready to go and someone’s put some cheesy music over the top of it and yeah you can see why it’s gone – it’s gone viral and you know unfortunately she won’t beat the Olympics, but if the you know the video’s anything she’ll have a lot fans when she next has an international meet.

FRANCIS: She sure will. Sean how can we find you in the Twitter universe?

SEAN: Well you can tweet me @seancallanan or

Sports YouTube Merry Christmas message

We love a good sports Christmas message here is a few to watch while you wait for Santa to arrive…

From Collingwood Magpies

From the Perth Wildcats

From West Coast Eagles

From South Sydney Rabbitohs

From Adelaide Crows

From Melbourne Storm

From Melbourne Demons

From GWS Giants

From North Melbourne Kangaroos

From Hawthorn Hawks

From Cairns Taipans

From Western Bulldogs

From Sydney Swans

From LeBron James

From the YouTube Time Machine…

From Chicago Bulls

From Los Angeles Lakers

From Denver Nuggets

From Houston Rockets

NBA teams are busy preparing to play this Christmas here’s last year’s message

But here is the best present…

What are your faves?
Hit us up in the comments with more sports holiday messages we can add.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday from Sports Geek.

NBA Finals, #worldcup, Tiger Woods & NASCAR #bodsw

Best of Digital Sports World #9

While World Cup teams have banned players from using social media, others are using it as a launch platform for endorsement exposure.  In Cristiano Ronaldo‘s case exposure is exactly the right word with his Armani photo getting 32k likes and 11,780 comments.

Twitter reports the massive spikes in traffic from the #worldcup but it was the Lakers’ win in the NBA Finals that broke records.

NBA Championship between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The Lakers’ victory generated a record 3,085 TPS as the game ended.

Darren Rovell reports IMG lost $4.6M in income due to Tiger Woods’ issues.

Big brands are following the lead of sports teams befriending Facebook.

Great tips from @ChrisBrogan on using Twitter.

@BrianGainor releases another Partnership Activation newsletter if you don’t subscribe to it I suggest you do.

Fox Sports take a peek behind the scenes of the NBA use of social media, it’s a slam dunk.

Good advice from @TrevorYoungI Urge You to Ignore Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare et al

Amazing game at Wimbledon

Can’t got past without mentioning the amazing 5 set match between Isner & Mahut that took 3 days to complete and ended with a 70-68 Isnet win in the 5th.

But here is the tweet of the tournament so far from Andy Roddick.

met the queen of england today …. she said she loved me in the american pie moviesThu Jun 24 16:06:49 via web

Best On Ground

Toyota Racing have done well offering NASCAR fans the ability to create their very own NASCAR, great sport-sponsor digital promotion with Sponsafier 2.

Video Clip of the Week

NBA using Vimeo to as part of broadcast package of the NBA Finals…

Book your ticket for SRG Conferences
Got your ticket yet? HUGE lineup with speakers from Real Madrid, NBA (Trailblazers & Timberwolves) & Tottenham…
Engaging Fans & Participants in the Digital Age Sydney – Star City – July 13 & 14

Twitter & Facebook World Cup, Crazy Sports Fans & NCAA marketing

Best of Digital Sports World #8

Sports on Facebook is tracking the Facebook activities of World Cup fans by passion, popularity, intensity, region & group.

World Cup getting strong TV ratings in the US after the draw with England.  Even 2M+ Australians got up at 4:30am to watch the Socceroos fail against the Germans.

From the world of NBA USA Today talks to Jeanie Buss about Twitter, Phil Jackson and working in the NBA.

32 Creative and Clever Sports Posters to Inspire You

@Mashable took us Inside Gatorade’s Social Media Command Center

Andy Pawlowski (@pawlow34) uses his learning from the Digital Disciple series with Facebook: 5 Things NCAA Programs could steal from the NBA

A look at the roles involved in social media in college athletics from @ZachLassiter, what do you think of the Protector, the Entertainer, and the Interactor?

Dwight Howard building his endorsement base via his Superman persona from @sports_business

@Harry_O is running another competition via Twitter engaging with his fans looking for a “fresh” photo.

If you didn’t catch it, here is our look at the Andrew Johns saga and how the Australian Twitter community responded, a must read fro any athlete manager.

Welcome to Twitter – AFL Insider

Good to see the @AFL mix it up engaging with fans via different Twitter accounts. Waiting for @NRLHQ to tweet…

We’re launching a fan fixture forum called My AFL Season on tomorrow. Join the conversation on the hashtag: #AFLfixtureThu Jun 17 08:50:44 via TweetDeck

Best On Ground

Twitter is doing it’s best to bring World Cup fans together with it World Cup 2010 page.  You can track tweets from games providing a twitter commentary when you mute the TV for vuvuzela relief.

Video Clip of the Week

Kobe Bryant fan needs to be seen to be believed…

Book your ticket for SRG Conferences
Got your ticket yet? HUGE lineup with speakers from Real Madrid, NBA (Trailblazers & Timberwolves) & Tottenham…
Engaging Fans & Participants in the Digital Age Sydney – Star City – July 13 & 14

#WriteTheFuture, Foursquare Search, Amare & Steele

New form of Athlete endorsement?

Edition 5 of #BODSW, welcome to SportsGeek V2.0, what do you think?

Socceroos left for South Africa this week but it was a their Facebook page getting praise gaining 30K+ fans via #WriteTheFuture campaign. (Hat tip to @bryonycole)

Digital and social media pose biggest challenge, admits FC Barcelona CMO “We want to be pioneers in football.  This is our core business.  But we have to look what other elements interests our fans and our members.  And we realise that social networking and digital media, it is important, and we are on that.” (hat tip to @shane_harmon)

It’s always about the balls, Adidas promises more scoring and frustrated goalies at the FIFA World Cup (Thx to @khuda1)

Social Media in Small Business is Anything But Small great advice from @BrianSolis just as relevant for sports team as small business.

A nice study on time spent on social media marketing.  How much time do you spend promoting your sport or team via social media?  It is very easy to fall into “social notworking” mode, that’s why you need a strategy, start with a Sports Geek workshop!

Looking for new ways to look at Foursquare? Try 4sqSearch (via @AdamVincenzini)  While we are talking search you can now search Facebook with logging in at Open Facebook Search

Australian sports fans continue to show support for Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom in the Name of the Year competition last week he beat Charity Beaver, this week it’s the finals against Banana Yaya. Vote now for Steele.

Best On Ground

This week’s Best On Ground goes to Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudamire not only for his play against the LA Lakers in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals but for leveraging his Facebook fan page to sell playoff tickets to his fans.

From Darren Rovell at Athlete Social Media Value Could Be Realized Through Retail – CNBC

Through a partnership with RazorGator and a technology platform called, Stoudemire is currently selling playoff tickets on his own Facebook page.

YouTube Clip of the Week

Here are some funny sports commercials to liven up your Friday, enjoy!

Got your ticket yet? HUGE lineup with speakers from Real Madrid, NBA & Tottenham…

Engaging Fans & Participants in the Digital Age Sydney – Star City – July 13 & 14
Sport is Fantastic 2010 Auckland – Eden Park – July 19 & 20

Connect with Sports Geek on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook & LinkedIn
Contact Sports Geek
to activate your sports brand & connect with your fans

Facebook & SSMI – feedback from Adelaide

Thanks to news alerts I found an article in the Adelaide Advertiser “Crows Facebook page scores high with fans” which the Sports Social Media Index (SSMI) gets a mention.

As I said to Crows communications manager David Burtenshaw after SSMI was discussed by the boys at 5AA it was unfortunate they did not ask why the Crows pulled in 121 points in the pre-season assessment.  The SSMI showed 4 clubs Essendon, Melbourne , North Melbourne & Hawthorn as a leading pack and 5 clubs bring up the rear with the Brisbane Lions still investigating what to do.

Quick Assessment of Adelaide Crows

The Crows were rated highly in the Facebook component of SSMI with their execution of a custom Welcome page (below) and great interaction with fans.  Like North Melbourne they have thought outside the box with a fan page for Mascot Claude the Crow (Although secretly I wanted it to be Claude from Shirl’s Neighbourhood).  Outside Facebook I was impressed with the Blog Squad initiative to include fan reports on the Club’s site.  David admitted that Facebook has been a strong focus and it definitely shows with a great Facebook Fan Page.  The Crows fell back to the pack with their implementation of Twitter at @Adelaide_FC taking a broadcast approach to the platform which go against the conversational and inclusive nature of the Twitter, look at how NBA champion @Lakers interact with over 1.4M followers.  I look forward to seeing how the Crows develop their presence on other social media platforms.  The SSMI will be back mid season to assess how AFL teams have fared during the season.

Why SSMI was developed

After returning from Sports Geek Trip I collated my notes from the franchises I met with in the NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL.  After seeing the tools & techniques being applied behind the scenes I wanted a way to compare each franchise on the key success factors they had identified proved successful for them.

SSMI looks at 4 major things

  • Implementation – How each social platform is set up
  • Fan Engagement – Are the fans part of the conversation?
  • Content – What content is provided on each platform? Is there variety? Is it delivered when fans want it?
  • Innovation – Pushing the boundaries creatively & via different technologies.

Want to learn more about latest trends?

I’m looking forward to getting some more insights on how international teams are using social media at the Sport Research Group conferences in Sydney & Auckland in July.

Follow @SportConference for updates on the conference and news from the sports world.  I’ll be previewing some of the talented lineup over the coming weeks.

Connect with Sports Geek on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook & LinkedIn
Contact Sports Geek
for more info on SSMI and ways to develop your sports brand



Sports Social Media Index – AFL

A look at the AFL pre-season Sports Social Media Index (SSMI) developed by Sports Geek sees a vastly different ladder than most AFL pundits are predicting for the 2010 AFL Season.

Bombers, Dees & Kangas lead

Essendon are front runners in the social media stakes engaging their fans via Twitter & Facebook then backing it up with “The Hangar” developed to bring fans to the club web site.  With an updated website expected soon look for more improvements from the Bombers.

Melbourne is proving itself in social media led by CEO Cameron Schwab (@CamSchwab) tweeting news and presenting Demons strategic plans on YouTube on Whiteboard Wednesday.

North Melbourne have a well rounded approach to social media they even have a Facebook fan page for CEO Eugene Arocca linked from their Facebook fan page.

Hawthorn had success on YouTube with a video poking fun at the new myki system getting 24,000 views even though it may have caused president Jeff Kennett some grief:

Middle of the pack

Some of the clubs in the middle of the SSMI ladder have gone through the steps on setting up on social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter but are yet to truly engage with their online fan base.  Sports Geek will be keen to see what social media advances these teams make in the 2010 season.

Social Media Cellar Dwellers

Brisbane, Western Bulldogs & Geelong are dragging their feet with little or no social media presence.  They already find themselves behind AFL newcomers Gold Coast & Greater Western Sydney who are both developing fan bases via social media.

About SSMI

Sports Geek has developed the Sports Social Media Index (SSMI) to rate the performance of sports franchise using social media. The SSMI cover the key platforms of sports social media, how each platform is used and how they engage their fan base.

The key to the SSMI is not about comparing Facebook fans or Twitter followers but how teams connect with their fans and increase the value of their brand using social media.  SSMI was developed after meeting with US franchises in the NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL seeing how they are engaging fans using social media. US sports franchises are reaping the rewards from social media efforts securing sponsors for social media driven events as well as high fan satisfaction ratings from fan surveys.

If you want more information on SSMI please contact Sean on 0407047200.

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