065: Ted Johnson on Timberwolves rebuild

Ted Johnson is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves and has a background in politics that has served him well helping the Minnesota Timberwolves upgrade practice facility and their home court the Target Center.

Ted Johnson Timberwolves CMOOn this podcast you’ll learn from about:

  • How NBA teams are in an arms race for better facilities for players & coaches
  • Importance of partners for Timberwolves to get project up
  • Value of having a facility close to team operations
  • Excitement in Minnesota around the arrival of Andrew Wiggins
  • Why Ricky Rubio recognised my Australian accent
  • What is Dunks after Dark?
  • How the new NBA deal is a win-win for NBA
  • Why I played a game of football with some Socceroos
  • How you can with a Sports Geek T-Shirt.

Resources from the episode

What the Timberwolves have been up to

Follow the Timberwolves

Why Ted and Timberwolves fans are excited

Great turnout to welcome them

Dunks after Dark practice

Some memories of NBA Draft, this bar is now where the new practice facility is.

Why I was so sore recording this podcast

Chasing after these two former Socceroos at AAMI Park – Mark Bosnich and Craig Moore

Social Media Post of the Week

Geography not the Falcons strong suit…

But they do have a sense of humour

Get the NFL Look Book


Grab the NFL Look Book

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Want to pick my brain?

Sean Callanan is founder of Sports Geek, helping sports teams around the world connect with fans

I get asked all the time for people to pick my brain over a coffee or a phone call.  My brain is my business, but I am a giving guy.  If you are a subscriber to Sports Geek News (below) and are happy to be included on a future podcast I am happy to chat to you about how you can engage sports fans for your team or brand.

Find out more about me here

Book a free 15 minute chat

Don’t miss a thing, get Sports Geek News weekly




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SGP 063: Brad Mayne on stadium technology & Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium

Brad Mayne on Sports Geek Podcast with Sean CallananBrad Mayne was one of the key people I met on my very first #SportsGeekTrip when he was CEO of American Airlines Center in Dallas, he is now CEO & President at MetLife Stadium in New York I catch up with him to discuss his career in sports and his recent experience hosting Super Bowl XLVIII.  I also reflect on a nightmarish experience leading up to the NRL Grand Final that had a very happy ending.

On this podcast you’ll learn from about:

  • The management differences between an indoor and outdoor stadium
  • How Brad’s ability working with multiple ownership groups was vital in new role at MetLife Stadium
  • How the technology demand on stadiums keeps increasing
  • The customer service demands on stadiums and how MetLife Stadium can turn around a bad fan experience
  • Moving to paperless ticketing and RFID technology
  • What would you do if your phone died before the big game?

Resources from the episode

Brad’s tweet morning after SB48

Luckily the cold weather didn’t hit during the game, but it didn’t miss by much.

Last time we met…

Social Media Post of the Week

Congrats to the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL Premiers for 2014

and on Instagram

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What a moment! #PrideoftheLeague #GoRabbitohs

View on Instagram

From the Rabbitohs Family Day using Google+ Auto Awesome feature

 

Humble Brag

3 of the last 4 NRL Premiers - Sports Geek Clients!

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 network. Thanks in advance.

Leave an iTunes review

Listen or download episode here

Play

Other platforms?

Sports Geek Podcast is also available on Soundcloud, Stitcher and AudioBoom


Want to pick my brain?

Sean Callanan is founder of Sports Geek, helping sports teams around the world connect with fans

I get asked all the time for people to pick my brain over a coffee or a phone call.  My brain is my business, but I am a giving guy.  If you are a subscriber to Sports Geek News (below) and are happy to be included on a future podcast I am happy to chat to you about how you can engage sports fans for your team or brand.

Find out more about me here

Book a free 15 minute chat

Don’t miss a thing, get Sports Geek News weekly




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Podcast Transcription

Welcome to Episode 63 of the Sports Geek Podcast. On this week’s podcast, I catch up with Brad Mayne from MetLife Stadium to talk about the NFL game day experience and the technology needs of running an NFL stadium. And we look back at the NRL Finals. Congratulations to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

DJ Joe: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast. The podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now, here’s your host who knows sports is a 24/7 business Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joe. My name is Sean Callanan from sportsgeekhq.com. Thank you very much for listening to another episode of the Sports Geek Podcast. If you’re a new listener and you just started listening after last week’s episode with Mark Cuban, thank you very much for coming back and thank you very much for everybody who is sending tweets, emails, and texts, and hit me up on Cyber Dust. SeanCallanan by Cyber Dust or @SeanCallanan via Twitter. Please send me a tweet and tell me where and when you’re listening. That’s quite funny with podcast serials, it’s really been… we’ve got a lot of feedback when I released the episode with Mark last week, kudos are getting and things like that. We’ve got the true feedback for 40 minutes later, or as people started listening to the podcast or while you were listening to the podcast. I was really pumped to get that feedback from people who’ve actually listen. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did making it.

I thought a good way to follow up that interview with Mark would be to follow up with Brad Mayne. I met Brad on my first Sports Geek’s trip and spoke and met him before back in 2010 when he was CEO of the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Mavericks play. So it was a great night at American Airline Center. I flicked Brad a note after doing the Mark Cuban interview just to say thanks. If I hadn’t have met Mark on that night and developed a business from that time, things like doing the Mark Cuban interview would not have been possible. So I caught up with Brad Mayne earlier today to chat about his role at MetLife Stadium, and what he is doing there with the stadium, it’s the home of the New York Jets and the New York Giants, and recently hosted on Super Bowl 48.

So I had a really good chat with him and that’s on this week’s podcast and then also later the podcast I’m going to go back and have a bit of a review of the NRL Grand Finals with the South Sydney Rabbitohs breaking a 43 year drought to win the NRL premiership. I’m really happy to see all of my mates at the Rabbitohs, Jerry Monahan, Chris Davis, Tom Skolarikis, and hopefully I got your name right, Tom. They’re the digital team behind the Rabbitohs. I have been working with him for a couple of years. We’re looking back at the numbers when we started work on the Rabbitohs digital things that had 8000 Facebook fans back in 2011, and they just recently smashed through 330,000 Facebook fans. So they’ve done a remarkable effort and I’ll talk a little bit about more of my experience at the NFL and NRL, I should say, in Grand Final a little bit later in the podcast.

So, again, if you’re a new listener please tell your friends it’s a Sports Geek Podcast developed in all group podcast ads and even the bad ones. We’re on iTunes, SoundCloud, Teacher, Audio Boom. If you can’t find it on the internet please let me know. Send me either a tweet at Sean Callanan or even send me an email Sean@sportsgeekhq.com. But first, here’s my chat with Brad Mayne, CEO and President of MetLife Stadium.

I’m very happy to welcome on the podcast Brad Mayne, President and CEO of the MetLife Stadium. Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, Brad.

Brad: Thank you for having me.

Sean: For those who have listened to the podcast before, I’ve spoken about the time we’ve met back in 2010, when you were working for the American Airlines Center and you were a CEO there. Do you want to give us a little bit of background of your sports business journey? You’ve been working at the Stadium game for a long time. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how you’ve started and what you’ve been doing to get to the point of where you are at MetLife?

Brad: Sure. And, Sean, if I remember correctly, I think it was the 20,000th point at switch 41 Dirk Nowitzki was able to score that night the game.

Sean: Yes, it was. It was a very memorable night. So I’ve actually shared the video of Dirk Nowitzki, the celebrations after his scoring his 20,000 MBA point. So I’m very thankful you’ve invited me up. And, finally, I’ve just got a message back from Jill Dots just this morning replying back to me saying that she remembers that night fondly as well. So, again, thank you very much for that night.

Brad: That was great. So my career has been long, I’ve done quite a few things. It was great being the President and CEO of American Airlines Center. I was brought in at the very beginning of that project, I was involved in the design, the financing, the construction, and, of course, in my 14 1/2 years there we won a Stanley Cup Championship with the Dallas Stars and then followed that up with the championship for the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks. So I had a great time there in Dallas.

Sean: And the thing is that you were there for the whole time so you started American Airlines Center in ’98 so you were there when Mark took over the Mavericks and one of the things he talked about in the chat that I had with him is that he was one of the first guys to bring the tech into the stadiums. So that would have been completely bleeding edge at the time in the early 2000 to be putting it in Wi-Fi and upgrades into a stadium.

Brad: Yes. What was great about Mark was, because of his background and his knowledge and successes in the information technologies arena, he was such a great resourceful. He was passionate; he was willing to spend the money into a great thing. He was also very calculated and what types of technologies he felt would enhance that guests experience and not compete with what was actually happening on the court. So I gained a lot of wonderful insight from both the technology side and from the guest experience side from Mark. He is a very passionate owner. Cares very much about the experience the guests have when they actually come to the arena. A great time in my career was that I was able to learn from one of the best men in ownership in any of the major sports.

Sean: So you took over the role at MetLife Stadium which is, for the people that don’t know, home of the Giants and the Jets in the NFL so it’s one of the few stadiums that you shared from an NFL point of view. You took over that role in August 2012. What was some of the lessons coming from a stadium that was again multi-sport? You had the stars in the NHL and the Mavs as well as all the entertainment options at the American Airline Center to going to a football focus, to an outdoor stadium? What were some of the lessons in that change going to that kind of venue?

Brad: Well, I think one of the reasons I was probably asked to come here was because I had experience in dealing with two different ownership groups, then I worked for Stars and the Mavericks. The difference here is that as opposed to an NHL team and an NBA team, they’re not competitive on the same field. Here I’ve got two NFL teams that are competing against one another for the same fans, same broadcast opportunities and the likes. So it’s a little bit different from that standpoint. The two ownership groups here, the Mara and Chris families with the Giants and Woody Johnson with the Jets. The good news is that they’re very passionate about the guest experience and what takes place in the stadium. They’ve done a great job for us. It was interesting the first full month I was here in September and having been in arenas most of my career, when you had a bad weather situation, you moved people from the exterior of the arena into the sitting bowl for protection.

Here, at this stadium you move people out of the sitting bowl and into the concourses for protection because usually the bad weather is going to be a lightning storm. That first month we had a football game with US Caesars and Syracuse where we had to move everybody out of the sitting bowl and then we had our third night of Bruce Springsteen where we had an electrical storm came through. So that was interesting to figure out what the weather was going to be and how long we had to hold on the event because in an arena you are inside, you’re protected. You can continue the event if it’s not too bad of a weather, where here you’re definitely affect the play or the entertainment. You have to hold off and wait until the facility is safe for people who sit in.

The other thing besides the weather, when you’re working with 82,000 people as opposed to 19,000 people, the enormity of operating a stadium really takes a lot of time and energy. Frankly, it affects the surrounding amenities so much more when you bring in 23 to 27,000 cars, bringing in 10 to 12,000 people on trains and buses. It definitely has both a challenging effect but also a positive economic impact on the surrounding communities. So there really are differences in going from an arena standpoint where everything is climately-controlled to an outdoor stadium where everything is based on how good the weather is. Whether it’s raining or freezing or snowing, which we have all of those things happened here the New York Market.

Sean: And it was the weather I think, one of the big discussion points for the Super Bowl that you hosted where we saw the Seahawks get the win over the Broncos. We spoke to Kean Nelson about the experience from the Seahawks’ point of view going through that Super Bowl week. What’s a Super Bowl week like for the stadium and the hosts from a point of view of logistics?

Brad: It’s interesting that we were the Super Bowl first of many aspects. Number one, it’s the first Super Bowl that was hosted by two NFL teams, the Jets and the Giants. It was the first Super Bowl that was hosted in two different states, both in New York and in New Jersey. It was the first cold weather open stadium, so the weather was definitely a very big concern for all of us and it was amazing that the week leading up to the Super Bowl we had pipes that were freezing and bursting. Because normally in January or February the stadium is closed and so we are able to winterized the stadium, but once it hadn’t be open and operating we have some of those challenges and then, of course, the Super Bowl Sunday came and people arrived, some of them were in short sleeves carrying their jackets with them. And the fact of the matter is kickoff to the Super Bowl was actually warmer then the first pitch being flown by the New York Mets on opening day.

Of course, I left here at 2:30 in the morning after the Super Bowl and I knew that we had to move everybody out that have prepared for the Super Bowl. Check in, back in and arrived at 6:00 am, walked in to the end of one of the tunnels, took the picture of the five inches of snow that had fallen in that few short hours, took a picture with my iPhone, tweeted it, Bryan Murphy from NFL, picked it up and re-tweeted it, and all of a sudden my phone went off the hook and saw the National Media wanting to use my picture for the evening news, to talk about miraculous weather that we had for the Super Bowl.

Sean: Yes. Well, you can count your lucky stars for that because it did turn out to be a terrific day. There was a lot of talk about the weather but it all came off in the end. And there was a lot of preparation to be ready for the Super Bowl and to upgrade the infrastructure of the stadium from a Wi-Fi and cellular infrastructure point of view. I spoke to Michelle McKenna-Doyle at SEAT and she spoke about like analyzing how much data that was being used at the Super Bowl. I think it was 3.2 terabytes of data sent by fans from their phones at the game. Obviously people wanted to make sure that they send out a photo and send out a tweet and brag that they were at the Super Bowl. What was it like running that project and getting that infrastructure in place, so getting hacked in Mark Cuban’s point of letting the fans use the technology when they want to, but they really want to be part of the game? How was it part to run that project and get the stadium up to scratch?

Brad: Yeah, it was a benefit for us long-term because we had to upgrade the system. And one year prior we began using consultants and different contractors to give us some guidance and direction. Of course, we had information as how much the IT became a part of the games for prior seasons, prior Super Bowls, and each year the amount of technology that was being used at the games and that was growing exponentially. So we just extrapolated out what had happened at three years prior, where we thought we needed to be, and fortunately we were able to take advantage of installing everything here and making it permanent. Actually, it’s been a blessing for us going forward. It’s interesting that we more than quadrupled the amount of capacity we have for a Wi-Fi and cellular standpoint in order to take care of the Super Bowl.

When you get off from a pipeline that was about to 200Mb to up to 1 Terabyte for your pipeline coming in and out, and then all of the additional infrastructure that allow for the down streaming and up streaming, the inbounds, the outbounds, it was an amazing experience. What’s interesting is we’ve proven now with gathering the data that we had prior to the Super Bowl, we had some guests who were underserved because we didn’t have enough capacity to take care of everything that they wanted to do. And now today we do. We follow that very closely with each one of our games. The scary thing is that with the new phones that were coming out, going from G to the N band, they use up a lot more of the Wi-Fi capacities than the old phones do.

And with everybody upgrading and updating their phones, what’s interesting is, one the pieces of data that we found is as people come to our events, their phones have been doing updates to their phones, but hasn’t really fully updated until it arrives here with the capacity of such that it allows the phones to then do an enormous amount of inbound data to their phones that they otherwise they’re not getting. And I don’t know that they actually understood that that’s what’s happening with their smart phones. So it’s really worked out quite well for us.

Sean: Yes, I’ve spoken to John Branson at Extreme and some of the stuff that the analytics they’ve done with their partnership with the NFL was that a lot of fans don’t connect to Wi-Fi that often. So when they turned up to a stadium, a big chunk of the data that’s been downloaded is people updating their apps and updating their operating systems. So I think the sophistication of how the pipeline is offered to fans and blocking that kind of thing, it would be sort of the next phase. I think the other thing that’s different if we listen to what Mark was saying about what he wants the fans to use their smartphones for; it doesn’t fit for basketball because it is such action-packed. There are no breaks in the action to pick out your phone and look at it, whereas the NFL with all the breaks in play, all the TV spots. It really does fit itself to pulling out your phone, checking in on red zone on another game, because you’re not missing anything at a game. So it’s a different type of smartphone use that’s in an NFL game that would lend itself to want more Wi-Fi.

Brad: Yeah, that’s true. And the other thing we found is with the Fantasy Sports that many people are participating in. They’re paying attention to individuals on other teams and the amount of access that they need in order to follow how well their team is doing, eats up a lot of our pipeline as well.

Sean: Yes, Fantasy football and Fantasy Sports around the world still seems to be massive traffic driver for those both in the stadium and outside the stadium. So now you’ve got the infrastructure there, now the responsibility is to be able to respond to these fans and give them the information that they want. Like, when we were in the dark ages, when people could not connect, a stadium was a little bit hamstrung, you couldn’t talk to your fans because they couldn’t connect, that was the problem. But now that problem has been alleviated, you’ve had to develop a new website for MetLife and I guess the demands of your staff from a game day, from communicating with fans in a digital form or using social media, that’s grown as you rolled out more of this Wi-Fi.

Brad: Yeah, it really has. We found social media integration to be very important for us. We have taken that guest experience to that next level. Digital and guest services teams work together in making sure that that fan experience was really well. In fact, for quite some time a lot of the stadium had, “Text this number if you’ve got a question or a problem.” And you’d get the text and then you have to send people to certain areas to handle whatever those questions or challenges were. Now we can actually communicate right directly to the users whenever they have a situation they need information on or a problem that they want to bring to our attention. We can actually communicate with them in real time and actually be able to resolve the issue in a much better fashion and that’s one thing the NFL has put a very large amount of time and energy into is that guest experience and the social media has taken a position that allows us to do that and, of course, without the upgrades on the Wi-Fi and the cellular infrastructures, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate as well as we do.

Sean: Yea, you know I’ve helped stadiums sort of position themselves from a social media point of view and how they do their marketing but it’s that customer service side, especially on game day being able to be closely integrated with the stadium operations, because someone will tweet you that there’s a burst pipe in a toilet facility, or that the lines are exceptionally longer in the hot dog stand. You know, I’ve helped direct the traffic at SEG during a big test match, and seeing that traffic coming in and if you can respond to those fans and be that customer service, you can really turn around some of those issues and fix them far quickly because the fans know that they just need to send you a tweet and tell you that there is something the matter and you can get the stadium operations people on to it.

Is that something that I guess the Super Bowl there was that social media concierge service that the stadium was part of as well as the transport authorities and things like that? Was that something that worked really well because there’s a lot of people to direct and give information to on a Super Bowl week? Was that something that worked really well during that Super Bowl time?

Brad: Yeah, it has. And what’s interesting is that with these different platforms that you can use now, and you can plug in keywords or phrases, and you can watch with Agile Fencing and other systems, you can watch what’s taking place within your stadium and react to people that they have no idea that you are actually out there looking for the kind of comments that they have. One of the stories that happened here recently is that somebody said something along the lines of a tweet, “Thanks MetLife stadium for the frozen connect.” And we immediately tweeted back to him and said, “That’s not right. Get us more information.” And he took a picture of the receipt and tweeted that back to us, that showed that they were at the stadium, we tweet back that were he was sitting and then we send our guest services folks down to get a good hot caniche and take it right down to their seat form.

It really helps us to take challenging situations for our guests and turn into a really positive and memorable experience to where they say, “Wow, I just sent something out to social media and really didn’t expect the stadium to respond to it, and yet here they are taking care of the problem in real time and thank you, I will be a fan forever.”

Sean: Yeah, and that’s the thing that you are taking what is a negative experience and you’re flipping it completely because the fan becomes a brand ambassador, say one for them on they’re using at ML Stadium and they telling people what a great experience was, and you can just turn that around, and it is a one-by-one type of process but as you’re building up those advocates, they’ll be the ones that will tell their friends, “Don’t forget, tag the stadium, if you have a problem, they will solve it there. They’re on the case,” and then obviously that bag gets set and it’s about it, as a stadium, you’ve got to keep reaching because if you drop it at any stage then you start losing those fans.

Brad: Correct. The other thing too, Sean, is we used our platforms to inform. We want to make sure, for example, people know that there’s a particular former player that is allowing you to take a photograph of him and will autograph your football if you’ve got one in your jersey. It allows us to talk about a pre-game traffic coming in if there’s issues on any of the major highways, we can send on a message to tell them there is an accident or a construction at a particular location and give them alternative route to the stadium and same thing on the exit, and to send information to folks as it relates to our building partners and the activation that they’re doing.

The Bumblebee from the Transformers was here for a couple of events a week ago. And to take a picture of that Transformer and show them how big it was and where it was located really turned into a real positive for our building partner which was MetLife who had brought in the Transformer as part of their engagement with the fans, so it’s also setting expectations and informing them of all the wonderful things we have happening at the stadium as well.

Sean: So it is very much a multi team with The Giants and The Jets, you have multiple events. You have concerts there, you had Wrestle Mania, and recently Syracuse is playing in college. What’s the experience like bringing in the college fan base and how’s that been received from their point of view?

Brad: Yes, it’s been great. You know, when you bring in Notre Dame, they got a huge fun base all over the country and, of course, Syracuse being here locally, and all their fan base in the New York market and people come and hear that normally haven’t been to MetLife Stadium. Once again, to be able to engage with someone and make that experience really good, and the other thing too is, with our technologies, only here at the stadium, for example, can you use an app that the team can set up where you can watch the play from different angles with the game’s cams. You are not able to get it if you are not here at the stadium, so if you got that app, the game cam won’t work for you because it’s actually done through our network here at the stadium. So again, it’s getting people off couch, getting them here to the venue and make their experience great so that they want to come back.

Sean: So tell us a little bit more about the ins-cam because I’m seeing more stadiums building those specific apps. Frankly, utility for the fan, they tell you where the parking is and where all the concessions are, and those kinds of things but then a lot of them are doing this geo fencing type technology, so if you are in the stadium you might get replays as you just said there or extra features and also betting in ticketing. So what are you looking to do with your version of that app?

Brad: Yes. So being able to stream the NFL red zone, use the 14K camera like a spider cam that they’ve got on the cables, they’re flying in the stadium to follow the action, gives you some replay angles of cameras that you otherwise wouldn’t get. But the other thing, too, is that it allows us to find out who is coming with the teams into the setup, we can find out who’s coming to the facility whether they’re going through the stadium itself, what sort of things that they’re purchasing, the interest that they have and again allows us to make a quality package of that experience specific to one of those users. And, in fact, the year the Jets have gone, they’re using Fortress which is using an RFID chip card, so if you’re season ticket customer, when you come up to enter into the stadium, it’s a loyalty program as well as your entrance into the facility.

We’re finding a lot of great things that that new system is allowing us to do and again doing what we can to help that guest enjoy themselves and not worry themselves around many of the challenges that they might in getting into the stadium, going to the security process etc. Gets them quicker and then sends out that… gives the teams the ability to send out special discounts or special experiences for them once they get here.

Sean: Yes, I mean that is just the way that is going to go. The mobile tickets and using the RFID technology but then connecting it with the data side of it. So you’re able to click the data, know what your fans doing, knowing where they are going, it’s not a creepy stalker kind a way, you’re trying to build a better fan experience. If you are always knowing that certain fans are going to this certain part of the stadium or always using these facilities, you can better put office or get your staffing levels right at the different parts of the stadium as you start getting these data in.

Brad: Yes, exactly. It’s wonderful that these technologies are there, you have to be careful on how you use them, how you manage them because if you’re pushing too much to the guests they’re going to feel that you’re intruding on their experience, so you have to be very careful with these new tools that you have and not force yourself on the guests as they come to the stadium. So it’s a whole new experience, it’s a great tool to use but it’s got to be used correctly.

Sean: Just another thing on the stadium. You got all the technology, the screens, the ribbon boards, over 2100 monitors around the stadium, the big Daktronics display boards that are either in or out of the stadium. Does that give you the ability to flip the switch and it’s then a Jet screen and then flip the switch and then it’s a Giant blue, and so you can really give that home field feel depending on what stadium it is because it’s now all wired up and it’s just a matter of flicking the switch and the whole branding and the look in the field is different for the two different types of games?

Brad: Yeah, so there are 32 NFL teams in 31 stadiums, so the only NFL stadium with two teams playing in the same stadium, and branding is very important to our teams, so obviously there are certain items that we have to physically make the changes. One, for example, the end zones. You can’t just flick the switch because they’re not LED lights, and there are some flags and banners and pictures and other things, but we have about 2000 items that we have to change from one team to the next for that brand, and approximately 800 of those are done by hand. The rest of it is done electronically. So as you stated the video boards, the ribbon boards, a lot of expenses throughout the whole facility, most of our buildings partners which are the sponsors have their own video boards as well, and collectively it really makes for a great experience.

You think about the fans today and they’re using a lot of these different technologies in their homes and in their businesses. We’ve got to be on the cutting edge with all those types of electronics so that when they come here, they’re familiar with it. And in many cases, that might be one of our 2200 television sets that gets them excited, it might be our large video boards, it might be the ribbon boards that, for example, some of those are set specifically to give all the down score and all the fantasy, numbers while still the football game is taking place in the stadium.

Sean: So, obviously, last year the main focus was getting ready for the Super Bowl, but as you said earlier with phone technology being upgraded all the time and the demands the fans have using those phone keep growing. What are the main challenges that you are facing and looking to improve over the next eight months to use it at MetLife to just, I guess, keep your head above water to certain degree? What are the main things that you are looking to improve with the stadium?

Brad: It’s interesting that you bring that up because we are in process right now of creating a five-year capital expenditure budget to deal with technology, and some of that needs an upgrade. When you purchase certain systems they have a certain shelf life before technology passes it by. So some of that is just keeping up with where you are at now to maintain where you are with the intent to grow. But a lot of that, too, is that growth you have to take care of and you have to pay attention to. So we are putting all those projects together to take to our ownership and see what kind of an appetite they have, more than what they want to spend the money and what they want to do. But one of the things that we are beginning to focus on is traffic. When you bring 27,000 cars in one certain location, it’s getting them the messages to make that ingress and egress much more palatable for them so we have been having discussion with different companies on putting together the signage systems that will be in really time that can give them guidance and directions.

And we’ve had some incidents where an accident or construction on a particular highway close to the stadium may be slowing down the traffic, and right now we use our social media platforms to get the word to everybody but there are some people that may not be on the platforms we’re sending that out on. So having the electronics signage to help direct them where they can reroute to get to the stadium quicker is something that we are beginning to focus on. But then the other side too, the growth of all these different social platforms and figuring out where all of that is going as a challenge for us to know that our guests when they come here are going to have access to all of that, not only with the amount of Wi-Fi connectivity we have but also working with our cellular companies because many people still are using that cellular systems, specially when they get outside of the stadium and get into their vehicles, then it turns into the cellular antennas as opposed to access points from the Wi-Fi, so co-coordinating all those efforts and being outside of the stadium itself is the direction we are looking.

Sean: Well, five years that is a long time in technology if you just even look back at the some of the technology you were rolling out at American Airline Center, where there were no one there to see Dirk Nowitzki, it’s something that is always changing, always look back at Morse’ law or history of computing which says the computing power doubles every two years, we’re seeing that same sign of growth in everything mobile and what fans are doing, so it’s really a challenge to say what it’s going to look like in five years’ time .

Brad: It is, and our plan is that we create this five-year plan and every year we will adjust it and continue to look at the opportunities it will bring and, of course, make sure that we are keeping up with all the needs of the users. One thing we didn’t talk about is there is a lot of technology that is being used by the teams, whether it is communication to the coach, whether it’s the new tablets that are on sidelines, for medical updates and information as they deal with player injuries, whether it’s the stats that they’re looking for. It is not always guests who are coming in, it’s the operation of the stadium and that competitive advantage that the teams are always looking for so that they can give the tools to their players that otherwise they haven’t had in the past.

Sean: Definitely, they’ve got the new the new Surface tablets, with the Microsoft partnership with the NFL, with all the coaches using them and on top of that you have got a lot of the player tracking the devices and data that is pulling in GPS and giving the coaches access to what the player is doing from how much running and force, and those kind of things, so that data requirement of the teams and the on-field talent need is only going to continue to grow as that analytics side of the game continues to grow.

Brad: And we’re seeing the same thing with the media when we designed the American Airline Center, we had a dark room in the media center. Nobody is using films these days, they’re all digital and what they are doing, they are sending the digital signals of all those pictures immediately along with their stories as opposed to go back to their offices and getting everything set up for their reports. As technology continues to grow, all of us in the sports and entertainment industry are going to continue to spend the money to keep up with all the new technologies and everything that really enhances our lives as well as our ability to deliver what the guest is looking for.

Sean: Definitely. Well, it is … MetLife Stadium is on my list of stadiums to attend. I’ve been to a few NFL stadiums and haven’t been lucky enough to go to MetLife so it’s definitely on the list whether I make it there this season or next one, I’ll definitely will make it there and looking forward to catching up with you when I do.

Brad: We would love to have you. It was a great experience meeting you in Dallas and I got a bigger and better toy to play with you in the New York market than I had here in Dallas because it’s… not that it’s any better than the American Airline Center which is one of the lead facilities in the country, but the enormity of this one being the largest market to the business stadium in the world, there is a lot of things for us to brag about and show off to you so we’d love to have you.

Sean: Definitely, as long as you don’t have any forces on ice, give me some of those good New York craft beers or something from New York or New Jersey, I’ll be happy as I told you that night. Where we just send it to everybody else, but we’re more than happy that you are.

Brad: And learn . . .

Sean: Yeah, exactly, but I will be more than happy to oblige and drink it just to be polite but we don’t drink to fasts, we are much more… at least I am anyway.

Brad: I have learned that there is one thing I love to say is that we have an incredible number of Australians that have come here, come to the facility, and in fact, Daktronics is bringing in a group of people for the game on Sunday with the Broncos and the Jets, so great people and we will have Australians come here and they share information with us, we share information with them and it really works out well for all of us.

Sean: Well, terrific and next time you will to come down to Australia and check out some of the stadiums down here. We’ll work out a way to get you down to Australia I can buy you a beer.

Brad: There you go. I would love it.

Sean: Thank very much for coming to the podcast, best of luck for rest of the NFL season, I hope to catch up with you soon.

Brad: Sean that will be fantastic. Thank you so much.

DJ Joe: Sign up for Sports Geek News at sportsgeekhq.com/signupnow.

Sean: Thanks again to Brad Mayne from MetLife Stadium. You can connect with Brad on Twitter @bradmayne, and that’s how pretty much how I connect with Brad initially back in 2010 when trying to make those connections on my first Sports Geek trip. I’ll share a link to that night at American Airlines Center and sort of how that went down in the show notes. Thanks again, Brad.

I did get some feedback during the week, both from the Mark Cuban podcast and also people who have been listening prior to that, and they did note how many times I start off my podcast with, “Very happy to introduce, “and “Very happy to have people on.” Actually did a Google search on “very happy” and “sport geek” and, yes, I pretty much use it every single time. But it does come from truth. I am very happy to have those people on the show and I’m very happy to be able to call them my friends. So whether it becomes a touché, I don’t know. My start off is blogs business, shut up you blokes, and I think I start off every in a few weeks Sports Geeks with very happy to talk to, so. Just talking from the heart in that sense.

Want to talk a little bit about the NRL Grand Finals, lucky enough to go up to the NRL Grand Finals last Sunday where the South Sydney Rabbitohs, clients in 2011 took on the Canberra Bulldogs. So it’s the first I’ve ever been to an NRL Grand Finals, and the whole day was both was pretty much a Sports Geek nightmare but with a happy ending. So to give you a bit of my rundown of my day, I was having a flight on Sunday .It was seven o clock flight, daylight saving just kicked in so effectively I got up at 4:00 am to be able to get to the airport and fly out .

But it wasn’t too fast to get there, just getting up there and getting to the hotel and waiting for the game later on that night but the day turned worst. And what would be the worst thing that could happen to a sports geek heading to a major event and especially one that you want to participate in, my phone died. So my Samsung history, you know now, I’m a big Android guy, really like what it offers from a flexibility and being able to share different platforms, I was getting some weird messages about not having enough space, some storage problems so I deleted some old podcasts that I had listened to or some photos and the like. Thought I had fixed the problem, it’s a bit glitch so I decided that I’ll do the whole heavy turn it off and turn it on problem which is a common IT crowd joke and it’s one that I know from my IT days. So I turned it off and turned it back on and it would not start again. And you don’t how much your mobile phone is like your arm. I felt pretty much hopeless in Sydney.

I know my way around Sydney enough but I didn’t know where the closest Telstra store was. So ironically I did know where the Apple Store was. I walked up to the Apple Store and googled the problem, and also Googled where the nearest Telstra was, and it was actually just next door. I went in and in the end; the main result was to completely wipe the phone, reset it was the only solution. Then I was left with a phone with no apps, no contacts, no phone numbers so I hurriedly went back to the hotel and it really… both the time constraints and the panic really makes you to… install apps the absolute must-install apps. So I thought I’d just take you through to the process I had to go through. I installed some of the photo things, I updated the app, I installed apps like Dropbox to make sure everything was backing up again, then I also installed Google plus, should be Google plus installed for nothing else to automatically back up your photos for a Wi-Fi and the other benefit you get the bonus order awesome photos .

So once I had installed Google and got Dropbox working again to have that double back up which didn’t really make me consider that I want my phone and I didn’t lose anything. Then I connected one password which is a crucial tool, it maintains all my passwords and make sure they are different for every service. If you’re using the same password for multiple services, it only takes ones of those services to get hacked and all of the services can be hacked. So if you’re not using multiple passwords. Then I had to reconnect all the key platforms so Facebook and Twitter and the like. I’ve got two factory authentications on all my platforms. So I was getting verification codes texted through to my phone. Again, annoying with the setup mode when you are trying to get it done but absolutely vital from a security point of view, you don’t want to have someone else getting access to your accounts.

Then I also installed AV8 which is my preferred Android launcher, as it provides contextual apps so if I’m on the road, it provides me travel apps. If I’m at home it provides me with certain apps, it provides me different apps when I’m in the office. So it knows where I am. If you’re using Android and you’re looking for a launcher and you’re not quite sure, you don’t’ like what you get out of the box, I highly recommend getting AV8. So I got most of the things that I needed set up, and was very thankful that they had some useful Wi-Fi that I was able to get a few of the last things connected and other than that, I’ve got everything working again. As far as the NRL Grand Final went, I really enjoyed it, the pregame music and stuff was a little bit lackluster having Slash perform, I think, it was two and a half songs with no bands. It was a little bit strange and a little bit awkward with the Telstra logo sort of plastered everywhere around him.

But other than that I thought that once the music and the entertainment was out of the way, the way both the teams were introduced, I really enjoyed, I posted it on my Facebook page, facebook.com/seancallananspeaks, was the ringing of the foundation bell. For those that don’t know, foundation bell was first rung at the first rugby league game. Russell Crowe, the Oscar-winning actor and also the co-owner of Rabbitohs Sport, bought the bell for 82,000 and vowed it would return when the Rabbitoh’s were in the Grand Finals. So it’s been a long comeback for the Rabbitoh’s that were thrown out of the league, and then brought back in the league, and then Russell Crowe had been onto court came in as owners and backed the club and to get back.

It’s a terrific comeback story and it may become a movie that might be a little bit farfetched but the foundation bell was rung and then the fans started singing “Glory! Glory!” to South Sydney and it was spine tingling stuff. I was able to get out a few tweets during the game. Normally when a game is packed with fans and the stadium is packed with fans, and as I sort of said, there with Brad, the stadiums are looking to upgrade the Wi-Fi that even at some point, if you don’t have the infrastructure, you can’t get access. One of the tips that I always do is if I can’t get access to the Wi-Fi normally, the 4G would be packed, that’s where everyone is trying to get access to, try to dial down that band you’re on so you drop down to 3G or even better drop down to the Edge. It’s a tip I’m only going to share with you as podcast listeners, I don’t want everyone to know this, because if you’re on the Edge, no one else is on the Edge, you’ll be able to get off a tweet out every now and again. So I was able to get out a few posts during the game and also a congratulations post at the end of the game, thankfully, because I was using the Edge to wrap up this podcast and let you get back to your day.

As I said earlier in the podcast, send me a tweet and let me know that you’re listening to the podcast. I’m more than happy to follow back and chat with people who are listening @seancallanan is my Twitter handle, and also Sports Geek on Twitter. And if you are on Cyber Dust, and you want to chat about all things sports digital or you want a bit more insight what I do, Sean Callanan on Cyber Dust. Send me a massage, I have been playing around with blasts feature in sending the pictures out and sending links out, and seeing how its used. I’m using with a few friend of mine and getting a bit of use out of it.

That’s it for this episode of Sports Geek Podcast. Stay tuned after the credits, sounds to the game is Greg Inglis, Rabbitoh’s superstar scoring the last try of the game in the last 30 seconds and just listen, you can actually hear the joy in the cheering of the Rabbitoh’s fans. Until next week, my name is Sean Callanan from sportsgeekhq.com. If I can help your team, your league or your stadium with anything in this sports digital space, need help with strategy and development and fan engagement issues, please drop me an email – sean@sportgeekhq.com. Thanks for listening.

DJ Joe: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at sportsgeekhq.com/clients. Find all Sports Geek Podcasts at sportsgeekhq.com/sgp. Send in your sounds of the game. Email Sean at sportsgeekhq.com. Thanks for listening to this Sports Geek Podcast.

SGP 062: Mark Cuban on sports business, technology, Dallas Mavericks & Shark Tank

5 years ago I started Sports Geek and one of the guys I looked up to was Mark Cuban, I’ve alway ssaid he is a Sports Geek like me just with a bigger bank balance.  It was great to finally catch up and chat to Mark about his new apps Cyber Dust and Xpire, the changing NBA landscape, Shark Tank and his beloved Dallas Mavericks.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast from the beginning or have just found it, please enjoy this chat with Mark Cuban.

Learn from Mark Cuban

  • Why Mark built Cyber Dust
  • Why athletes are loving Cyber Dust
  • Importance of understanding your digital footprint
  • How you can use Xpire to clean up your bad social media posts
  • Why you might think your posts are OK but other might not
  • How the NBA owner landscape has changed in 12 years
  • What impact China will have on next NBA digital deal
  • Why the next big sports battle will happen off the court
  • Mark’s advice if you want to work in sports
  • Why Mark invests in Shark Tank pitches
  • How much work goes into Shark Tank when the cameras are turned off
  • How the Mavs crowd sourced their alternate jersey design
  • How will the Mavericks go in the 2014-15 season
Mark Cuban from Shark Tank on Sports Geek Podcast

Listen to Mark Cuban chat with Sean Callanan

Resources from the episode

Mark Cuban Dallas Mavericks Championship Ring

Join the conversation, send us a tweet

Are you following Mark Cuban on Twitter?

https://twitter.com/mcuban/status/515323552506331136

More info about Cyber Dust

Mavs new crowd sourced jersey revealed

Are you on Cyber Dust?  Add me

Cyber Dust by Mark Cuban add SeanCallanan

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Want to pick my brain?

Sean Callanan is founder of Sports Geek, helping sports teams around the world connect with fans

I get asked all the time for people to pick my brain over a coffee or a phone call.  My brain is my business, but I am a giving guy.  If you are a subscriber to Sports Geek News (below) and are happy to be included on a future podcast I am happy to chat to you about how you can engage sports fans for your team or brand.

Find out more about me here

Book a free 15 minute chat

 

Want a free eBook of Sports Digital Case Studies?

SEAT EBook PromoI presented Digital Case Studies from Around the World at SEAT conference in Miami, all 700 attendees received a free eBook detailing case studies from Portland Trailblazers, Arsenal, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and more, simply sign up to our weekly email and a FREE eBook.  Note sure yet?  Check out the slides that support the eBook on Slideshare.




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SGP 060: Jack Elkins on business innovation at Orlando Magic

Jack Elkins from Orlando Magic on Business InnovationJack Elkins was a lifesaver for me at SEAT in Miami covering for me on Saturday as my voice recovered, we didn’t talk much so we caught up to discuss his role as Business Innovation Manager at the Orlando Magic.  One of the most tweeted about CRM sessions at SEAT was with Katie Morgan Katie Morgan and Lou Antonucci from Scribe discussing how the Texas Rangers integrate multiple data sources for their CRM solution.

On this podcast you’ll learn from about:

  • Why Orlando Magic have an innovation lab
  • Why innovation is not always tech focussed
  • How startups can pitch to sports teams
  • Why there is no such things as too much data
  • CRM comes down to tickets so you need to know your fans

Resources from the episode

Katie in action at #SEAT2014

Watch full Bryan Cranston MLB one man play

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Podcast Transcription

Sean: Welcome to episode 60 of the Sports Geek Podcast. On this week’s podcast, I catch up with Jack Elkins from the Orlando Magic Tour Innovation in Sports and Katie Morgan from the Texas Rangers on ticket sales, because it’s all about getting the cheeks on the SEATs.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And now here’s your host, who uses digi sports sports biz and SM sports hashtags equally, Sean Callahan.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan and you are listening to the Sports Geek Podcast. This is episode 60. Thank you to those of you who have been listening since episode 1 when I had James Royer on from the Tampa Bay Lightning on and for all of the guests in between. But if you are listening for the first time, thank you very much. Please send me a tweet and tell me that you’re listening. Every feedback is welcomed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumbler, pretty much any platform, you can find me on. So at seancallahan or at sportsgeek on Twitter, and always reviews on iTunes are very much welcomed. I do read them all and take all the feedback very seriously.

On this week’s episode, I got a couple of people who I caught up with at SEAT Conference and they both presented at SEAT. I didn’t get a chance to chat with them due to the lost voice, so I scheduled a podcast interview to catch up with them. I catch up with Jack Elkins from the Orlando Magic to talk about business innovation and what he’s doing at Orlando Magic, and then I catch up with Katie Morgan from the Texas Rangers who spoke on the CRM tracker around the importance of data and how these integrated their systems from the ticketing data point of view to better target and better understand their fans and then present them with the right offers, because as I said in the opening, it’s all about getting the cheeks in the SEATs.

Just a little bit of an update from what’s happening here in Australia, if you are following from around the world, both AFL and NRL finals are up and about getting to the point here the end of the season much the same as the major league baseball are getting to the point of the end of the season. So you can keep an eye on that via the hashtags afl finals and nrl finals on all platforms, and I’ve got a few interviews. I’ve been backing up with quite a few interviews the last couple of weeks. I’ve had some internet issues at Sports Geek HQ that has caused a bit of angst. Hopefully I can get this episode out and then a few more. I’ve got some great interviews coming up.

But first here is my interview with Jack Elkins from the Orlando Magic.

I’m very happy to welcome a fellow SEAT steering committee member. I caught up with him in Miami and did a couple of panels he covered for me when I didn’t have my voice. Jack Elkins from the Orlando Magic, welcome to the podcast.

Jack Elkins: Hi Sean, it’s great to actually be able to hear you this time.

Sean: Yeah, exactly. For those who weren’t in Miami, Jack and I did a session on Sunday. I was on a strict word limit of zero words. So I was just pretty much watching the timing. When we were doing the showcase and Jack more than ably stepped in to handle the showcase. We were showing off some startups. Your title at the Orlando Magic absolutely fascinates me. It’s Business Innovations Manager. You’ve been with the Magic since 2005. Do you want to take us through the story of how you ended up in that role, because for me, like I said, it’s a fascinating combination and if you’re looking at it on your LinkedIn profile, you go what exactly is that role and how did you get there?

Jack Elkins: Sure Sean, it’s actually really exciting to me that right now I’m getting to meld the two worlds that I love and what I do. I’m very passionate about Orlando and the startup community that’s here as well as comfort innovative initiatives. And to be able to do that with my hometown team is really exciting. I’ve been with the Magic for nine years. The first big project that I worked on was actually the construction of the Amway Center. Starting from preconstruction, we toured quite a lot of buildings, and then moving into sort of the political approval side to get that pushed through and then the other world of development. That was a big part of my career at the Orlando Magic.

And coming out of that I moved into technology because that was one aspect of the project that I managed. And about two years ago, we were very fortunate to Magic, that our senior leadership came up with four really great core values. One of which was around innovation. And at the time I was considering leaving to start my own company and instead stuck around to manage the activation of that core value and different initiative that go along with it. And it’s been real exciting to start that. We’re still in the middle of the journey right now and hopefully I’ll be able to share a little bit more with you.

Sean: So I mean innovation means so many things to so many different businesses and different people. What’s innovation to you especially from a sports and a sport’s technology focus?

Jack Elkins: Absolutely, it’s the buzzword of the day. I think that there are two key ways that I see companies approaching it. I see them approaching it internally, and I see them approaching it externally, and that’s exactly how we’re trying to do that as well. A lot of companies internally either work with a third party group like Frog and IDO or a group such of that nature like Luma, or they take on sort of running their own process internally. We tend to, here at the Magic, we’ve created an innovations lab where we’re using design thinking and trying to capture what we can from our internal staff, trying to maximize what we can pull from our staff and creating space for them to actually share ideas and be creative and a way to actually channel those effectively.

And then we see companies trying to capture this externally with another buzzword of the day which is open innovation. And the cost of this, no company can master all of the knowledge that it needs nowadays to survive, and so the borders of the company are becoming more porous, and this was coined by Henry Cheesebrough, and the concept is that you can find potentially disruptive companies in your industry that exists outside of your walls that you can start to test prototypes with or practice open innovation with in order to help bring, at least in our case, help bring what’s next to the market rather than have what’s next being dictated to us. And we do this because we want to try to bring what’s the next latest and greatest thing to our fans.

Sean: So I guess there are a couple of points from my point of view like normally the people that I’m talking about, when they talk about innovation, they’re talking about the latest technology. When we’re recording this, the iPhone seeks and the Apple watches just launched a couple of hours ago. So they’re always on the technology. Here’s the new thing. Here’s the new gadget. His eye beacons. But I’m guessing you’re looking at both that technology side of things, and what’s developing there. But you’re also talking about design and experience, so it’s also a business process, innovation, how you can do things better around the stadium and through your just normal business transactions. So are you handling innovation on both sides of that fence?

Jack Elkins: Sean, you’re exactly right. Innovation, and it’s funny. Profession Rob Walcott from the McKellar School of Management says innovation is really about business design. And so, when you take for instance, starting an innovation lab, it actually requires a culture change for innovation to become part of your identity and that’s something that we’re going through right now, which is not to say that there’s not a third piece in capturing innovation internally and externally. And that’s also how do you play a part in this ecosystem, this new shift that we’re seeing, this rise in entrepreneurialism, this rise in startups, the rise in the creative class, folks that are getting their excitement off of staring a company and existing a company and starting another one not necessarily attending games, and so how do you make relationships within that field in an authentic way whereas it used to be about, hey, who can I sign up for the next sponsorship?

So how do you have relationships with this group that is disruptive and causing the next wave of innovation to occur?

Sean: And it is really a culture change, because you’re literally trying to get your whole organization to say, how can I improve this sort of every single day, aren’t you?

Jack Elkins: Yeah. I would add that you’ve got to be careful when what we’re talking about are two things. One is innovation is not just technology and digital. It just happens that today, the majority of what we’re seeing in terms of people highlighting innovative things happens to be around digital technology, but innovations happen through a lot of different ways and processes. And quite frankly, a number of our projects in our lab just happen to do with collaboration around our staff as well as some other more what would be high profile type things that they work for families.

Sean: And you’re also saying that it’s a process. It reminds me of a blog post that I made and I spoke about him at SEAT, Steve Samartino. He wrote a blog post of two bathrooms, a tale of two bathrooms. He went into two different corporations, and one had a sign that said, please leave the toilet where you found it. And the other one said, did you bring your best self to work today? Can you show us something new and amazing we haven’t thought of? And two completely different signs in a bathroom can make a change to the culture and make it an innovative business. So is that type of thing happening in the Magic organization internally?

Jack Elkins: I would say yes it is. I would say one of the things we’ve learned as we’ve embarked on this is that you can’t avoid the journey. And it’s not like you can put it in a binder and lay it on a desk and implement it Day One. It’s something that does take a culture change in order for that to happen. But then once that starts to tip like where I believe we are now, then it is possible to start working with those folks in the community with disruptive companies. Even during something like a reverse pitch scenario where you take insights that you’ve learned from your fans or a need that you have. Kansas City did this last year with KC Next.

There was a reverse pitch in Kansas City and the Kansas City Chiefs said, hey, we’re putting a wifi network out there, and we want ya’ll to help us understand what we need to do to use that to better the fan experience. And I think you’re going to see more and more teams doing corporate innovation issues, kind of like what we’re doing, because I really think the next sort of entrepreneur wave is going to sweep through sports media and entertainment.

Sean: Yeah, I wanted to tap into that whole entrepreneurial innovation startup stuff, because it’s something that I’m also passionate about. But I’m also interested, because I get, I work with teams and so I get pitched a lot of, here’s an idea of that I think I work. Well, for sports and their pitching and I know that people are listening and people like yourself who are working in sports, gets pitched a lot. Whereas you’re actually outward and you’re out there trying to find the latest and greatest. Have you got any advice for those type of disruptive companies, how to one, get your attention, but also how to peak your interest in pitching to a sports team and what you’re looking for?

Jack Elkins: Sure. I think it’s actually kind of loaded, because I think it’s actually harder to make the conviction than you think. A lot of the companies that you try to pitch are much more established. And I think when you’re really trying to find those gems, those startups, those teams, those great teams that are out there that may not have the right concept, but they’re a great team, and they could bring a product that you could work with to bring to market in CL And I look at the Cleveland Cavaliers as a great example, and this was a key takeaway of mine from the SEAT Conference. Even today with the announcement of Apple, they have TechCrunch Desrupt going on in San Francisco and you saw Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban out there.

And Dan, himself, is kind of leading the resurgence in Detroit. And one of the venture capital firms that he’s an investor in is an accelerator called BSM. And a gentleman that came through that accelerator, Maurice Bachelor, of Snatch Batch came in with the concept and they said that doesn’t really work, but you appear to be a great developer. Let’s work together, and they came up with a great concept that they actually just rolled out to the Cavs this year this trivia piece that they added to their app Snap Batch. And so what I think they key way to have this happen is as we’ve seen during the year, a lot of teams you just can’t filter hundreds and hundreds of potential startups.

And there are people that can help you with that. Venture Capitalists can help you with that. Accelerators can help you with that, and so if you can create that relationship with those groups that are looking for the organizations to test their startups with like an Accelerator or like a BC, they can help filter, and they’re looking to do three or four great deals a year. And you might be looking to test three or four great companies a year. And you usually will find some synergy with what the top startups are in their pipeline.

Sean: And so, and that’s the primary reason that you’re pretty much well embedded in the startup scene. What is the startup scene like in Orlando?

Jack Elkins: I actually think that it’s very robust. It’s something that I think the rest of the nation will start to hear more about. The developer community in Orlando is really, really strong. And another thing that we’re starting to see is some of these great startups or great entrepreneurs in other states that have had exits, there’s actual a tax benefit when they sell to actually relocate to a state that had no state income tax. So we’ve actually seen some people moving to Orlando that were talent from previous businesses. It’s a very young ecosystem that’s growing very rapidly, and I think it’s something that we want to be a part of, and it’s something that, being an Orlando native, it’s great for me to play in the space that I live and play and love to be a part of these startups and these people that I love to be friends with and actually have a chance to meld that with what I do day-to-day at the Magic. It’s really, really gratifying.

Sean: And so sort of going forward in the next 12 to 18 months, is there any projects that you’re looking to develop or any particular areas that you’re looking to focus on? We keep seeing that going back to this stadium, engaging the fan in the stadium and how that is a real important piece for most teams, but then there’s also how can you better engage the fan that’s not in the stadium. Is there any particular focus you have going forward to the next NBA season?

Jack Elkins: I think we have a few specifics, but I think I’ll start first with we’re really still working on establishing the effective pipeline of prototypes and insights. And I think that’s going to happen through our lab as we become more entrenched with the community from an authentic and grassroots perspective within this startup ecosystem. It’s not natural, not usual for teams to play in that space. And it’s not necessarily natural to them either, because there hasn’t been a lot of big, there hasn’t been any real exits with any great sports software companies yet.

And so I think what they’re wanting to see is the insights and needs from a team side, and we’re looking to becoming more entrenched with identifying that local talent. So what we’re working on this next year is really putting the people in place to be able to qualitatively identify those needs and insights from the fan using empathy, ethnographic type research methods, and then those relationships in place within that ecosystem. Once we have some of those needs and insights, whether it be a meet up group which Orlando has some of the largest meet up groups in the Southeast, whether it be a startup weekend or a reverse pitch event, or just having a SEAT within a coworker space where we can continue those conversations and identify that local talent that can take some concepts to market, and then we can test with them, and prove it out.

Sean: Yeah, I reckon there is real value in meet ups and the people having gone to meetup.com. It’s a real underground networking committee as much as things like Event Broad are great for setting up events, meetup.com has done a great job of just collecting these groups of people that meet on a consistent basis and some of the ideas that can spark out of those events are fascinating. So if you can one, keep participating in those conversations but then develop thickly a fan technology counsel kind of thing that can be sparking ideas for you. I’m sure that’s exactly the thing that you’re sort of looking for.

Jack Elkins: I would say that from a specifics standpoint, we really are looking to the Amway Center up into 2010, we really want to make sure we remain relevant, because the building that we opened was one of the most highly technical buildings that have ever opened at the time, and we still have a really strong robust technology infrastructure, and so new really want to continue to bring those new concepts to our fans. One of the things that we are going to continue to work on is with our partner Apex on our Wi-Fi.

And we are a test partner for Apex, and one of the first locations that they bring some of their new technology to the table, and it’s been really successful for us to be able to capture something new that was first for us last year was a portal for our fan to sign in through the Wi-Fi, and it opens up a myriad of ways in how we can deal with them. And there are a lot of technologies we are looking to continue to test this next year.

Sean: Yeah, it was a really good, I wasn’t able to attend the Jay’s presentation at SEAT, but I heard nothing but good things of his presentation in the CRM tracker at SEAT. Of that case study that you just said, where the portal and you’re starting to get more of that fan data, understanding what your fans want and what they’re doing when they’re in the stadium.

Jack Elkins: Yeah, I was actually very impressed with my colleagues at SEAT who presented. We have a business strategy group that’s second to none in the sports industry, and I’m always amazed at what they’re able to learn and bring to the table every year.

Sean: Yeah, well, thank you very much for coming onto the podcast, Jack. I’m looking forward to speaking to you more at SEAT next year in San Francisco. Thank you very much for coming on.

Jack Elkins: You’re very welcome. Hopefully we won’t wait until SEAT to connect again.

DJ Joel: Sign up for Sports Geek news at sportsgeekhq.com/signupnow.

Sean: Thanks again to Jack Elkins from the Orlando Magic. Like all Sports Geek podcast guests, you can connect with Jack via Twitter and LinkedIn by going to sportsgeekhq.com/sgpguests. If you go to the website, you can find and connect with them over 75 guests I’ve had on the podcast guests. I’m very grateful for them all for taking the time to chat with me. I do want to pass on my apologies to Jack. I’ve committed one of the cardinal sins of podcast interviewing. My first rule of podcast interviewing is not to talk about the podcast with the guest before you start recording the podcast. I’m getting better at that.

But the other rule that I have is to not have interesting conversations after I turn off the mic and finish off the interview, and unfortunately, I did that with Jack this week. After we finished up that interview, we did talk about some of the innovation work the NBA is doing talking to startups and DC firms, and the like, around technology for stadiums and also he was interesting in what a lot of the players are doing, we’ve seen recently with Carmelo Anthony investing in a venture capital firm looking to support startups and Kobe Bryant also indicating it’s an area that he wants to get into. So apologies for that, Jack.

I will definitely have you on the podcast to talk more about that space, because I think the sports arena is definitely one that the startup space can leverage with such a passionate fan base to be able to test these new technologies. My next guest is Katie Morgan from the Texas Rangers. I want to thank Lou from Scribe for helping to set up this interview. Scribe was a sponsor at SEAT and Katie actually presented with Lou. We’ll talk about that and how the Texas Rangers gets cheeks on the SEATs.

I’m very happy to welcome Katie Morgan, the assistant director of ticket sales at the Texas Rangers baseball club. Welcome to the podcast, Katie.

Katie Morgan: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Sean: I’ve been trying to catch up with you for a while. I’ve been the email backwards and forwards after SEAT. I was lucky enough to be in all of the digital sessions but unfortunately I missed a bunch of the sessions in the CRM track and that’s your field. I wanted to talk a little bit about your experience at SEAT, because Miami was the first time you were at SEAT?

Katie Morgan : It was indeed, and it was actually a great conference. I came back and told me boss that it was probably one of the best conferences that I’ve been to thus far in my career.

Sean: Well, I completely agree with you. And the fact that the whole CRM tracker is just completely blowing. To have guys like Russell Scibetti driving it, and Paul Greenberg turning up and collaborating in all of the discussions. I was able to pop my head into a few sessions, but absolutely amazing sharing of stories and what you all are trying to do from an implementation point of view.

Katie Morgan: You know I couldn’t agree more and CRM and specifically data analytics are growing so much throughout our industry that it was a real blessing for us to be able to kind of sit down and pick each other’s minds. People from football like you mentioned Russell Scibetti who is no longer in football, but he use to be and also Paul Greenberg who is referenced as the godfather of CRM. To be able to sit down in a room with them, and talk to them about some of the things that we’re doing and get advises beyond imaginable for us.

Sean: So I want to go into your role as assistant director at ticket sales. It’s all about selling the tickets. It’s all about understanding the data. How did you come into the role? How long had you started at the Rangers, a long time ago? When did you start at the Rangers?

Katie Morgan: I’ve been here for six years, and I started out as an inside sales representative. And from that position, I kind of moved into a ticket sales coordinator role when then led itself into a database manager role. And now I primarily focus on the data analytic side of things. We use a data warehouse. We have replicated data with ticket sales.com, and then we obviously have Microsoft CRM. So we’re trying to jump in head first to some of that new data analytic stuff that’s going on.

Sean: And so you’re presentation, you did a presentation with, I hope I get Lou’s name right, Antonucci. Did I get that right?

Katie Morgan: I believe so.

Sean: Yeah, so Lou from Scribe, and you were talking about extending the value of CRM through integration which is a pretty common problem, the fact that everyone has all of this data, but it’s a matter of how you can get the data in the right place to be able to understand the data and get the right view of your fan, your ideal thing is that 360 degree view. Do you want to take us a little bit around the problem that you had at integrating all of that data?

Katie Morgan: Sure, so whenever I started as the database manager, we had Microsoft CRM, but we didn’t’ have an integration with anything. So we didn’t have our ticketing data in the system. We didn’t have any demographic information in that system. So basically, we were just using it as a place for our sales representatives to house notes and information about cold calls that they were making. And when we really dug down into that system, we realized that we were missing out on a lot of what it could do for us in reference to potentially letting us vet better leads for our sales representatives, letting it be a place for us to store information about every single buyer that we had, not just people that we’re trying to do business with.

So what we did is we partnered with Scribe, and we did an integration between not only our ticketing system and our CRM system, but also we use the Turnkey Prospector who demographic information to us. And we did an integration between that system and also CRM. So now when we look at our system, we have a little bit better view of not only our current clients, but people that we’re trying to get to do business with us. And in turn that’s really helped us kind of enhance our revenue streams and also just give reps better leads to follow up on every day.

Sean: So it is just a matter of getting the right data in the right place. So that have got those leads?

Katie Morgan: Yeah, it really is, because if you have information, you know, let’s take you for instance. Let’s say I have information that maybe you brought a couple of tickets from us but then I also have some demographic information on you, where you live and maybe what you’re interested in, but those are in three different areas. It’s really hard to combine those areas and figure out what type of buyer you actually are. But CRM, and moreso, the integration with CRM, allowed us to get all of that data in one place so that we could see a better picture of who our buyers are.

Sean: And is that extended to now having a better understanding of who those buyers are to now who you pitch those deals to for ticket offers and sort of help your outbound marketing when you’re going out with specific ticket offers, because you know the type of buyers that you are getting now?

Katie Morgan: That’s exactly right. For instance, we’re integrated with our ticketing systems. So we can look in CRM and say, okay, so Sean has bought 20 tickets to games this year, and we have a 20-game package that would be perfect for him. So why don’t we give him a call and see if that’s something that he wants to look into, or maybe for a different type of buyer, we noticed that they’re based out of Lovett, Texas which is five hours away. But we notice that they like to bring fairly large groups out to the game, but they’re paying full price for those groups. Why don’t we give them a call and offer them our group pricing and maybe get them out to a couple of more games and really enhance their experience out here as well.

Sean: So have you started taking some of the data at the moment you’re giving it to your sales people to call and follow up, but if you also started taking some of that data to attract more leads into your system?

Katie Morgan: We have, so what we’ve done is we’ve kind of done an overall analysis of who buys specific packages from us whether that’s a full season, a half season, a group buyer, a suite buyer, and really dugged down and looked at the buyer that person is if there is a mileage range that they are from the ballpark, if they have children in their house, just really looking and focusing on the 360 degree few of a specific type of buyer. And then when we go out and try to find new leads we really try to hone in on that specific type of lead or a specific package. So it’s really made us more efficient when we are trying to purchase leads or potentially just find new leads in different sources, we’re a little bit better apt to find the correct ones now.

Sean: And as far as I guess another source of data is the fact that you’ve got, I think it’s 2.8 million Facebook fans. Are you starting to see some, you know, taking that same demographic data, that same fan profiles, can you target those fans and those profiles with some more efficiently, because you’ve got that data of knowing who your fans are more likely to be?

Katie Morgan: Right. So in major league baseball, it’s a little different, because we partner with major league baseball advanced media in terms of doing our social media and also our email campaigns. So we’ve been fortunate that they have come to us with several ideas that kind of target some of those people that we’ve been seeing who are not only, you know, hitting us on social media but also on our website. So we are fortunate that major league baseball advanced media helps us out with that.

Sean: Yeah, because effectively that whole side of the equation, you know, Mark Zuckerberg is effectively doing a lot of that that stuff or you to tell you that these are your most engaged fans. These are the fans that are visiting your site, and I guess it’s just another data source that can provide that view of the fan.

Katie Morgan: You’re exactly right, and it seems like everything is moving in that direction as well. Well, not only are people more active on social media, but they’re making their purchases online more often. They’re looking for information online more often, and so you really have to take that into consideration when you’re marketing to new buyers.

Sean: And now that we hear just in the last week Twitter is bring out a buy button in the integration with Facebook to be able to click and buy is getting so much easier to be able to put that offer directly in front of that right fan will become far more important, especially for the ticket sales, and things like that, to be able to get that offer to them where they’re sitting, right in the palm of their hand on their mobile.

Katie Morgan: That’s exactly right, because if you go and look at the statistics, people are on their phone all the time. So if you can just hit them with an offer while they’re looking at their phone, they’re a lot more app to buy it than if they have to go sit down at a computer or make the phone call. It’s a one-click stop.

Sean: So from a CRM point of view, you are also on a panel around the pros and cons of data warehouse and the analytics. I’m assuming you’re definitely on the pro side, but what was that panel discussion like at SEAT?

Katie Morgan: I am definitely on the pro side for both of those. But the panel discussion for me was very informative, because I was lucky enough to have two other panel participants who took a little bit different of a view on the data warehouse and how it was set up and how they’re using it. So from my perspective, I was not only able to give advice to those out there who are looking to set up a data warehouse, but I was able to take back a little more information on how we can potentially use it to better target people and also potentially build progression in predictive models which is something we definitely want to get into eventually. So for me, it was very beneficial, and I hope that the people that were at the panel thought the same thing.

Sean: One question you did sort of talked about it, and I have definitely seen it over the last couple of years, because CRM tracker at SEAT started in Boston is that it is a very daunting process at the very beginning. When you say we have got data, we have got a data base, but we don’t quite know enough to know what we’re doing. We don’t know. We’re at the very start of that mountain of here’s what we want our CRM solution to be. You’ve climbed that mountain. You’re still climbing it, because there are more things to be able to do. What advice or what tips would you the person at the start of that trip to say we need to get our data in order. We need to get a CRM solution in place.

You’ve gone through that with the Rangers. What’s some of the advice when you’re first starting out? What are some of the key things you have to look for?

Katie Morgan: I think there are two things. I think first you need to be willing to involve a lot of people in your organization, not just sales or ticket operations, or marketing. It needs to be a group effort, because what we realize is we’re setting it up, and even now, there are so many aspects to a CRM system and a data warehouse for that matter that hit every single department of your organization. And I think it’s really important that you remember that. So while you’re laying out how you’re going to house your data, how you’re going to get it in your CRM system, what you want it to look like.

It’s very beneficial to have all of those people in there with you, because they can say, well, if you’ll just tweak this one field a little bit that would be usable for us in marketing as well. So you get a little bit of benefit from every single department. And I think the second thing that I would tell somebody is to not be afraid to reach out for help not only in the sports industry but outside of the sporting industry as well. I think you can gain a lot of information from other types of companies that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of, because we’re so honed in on just the sports side of things. So that would probably be the best advice that I could give somebody.

Sean: Well that’s right. Talking to guys like Paul Greenberg, like you said referred to the godfather of CRM, you know CRM is not a new technology, and there are industries that have been doing it far better than sports for many more years. Follow their lessons and learn from what they’ve done to take it onboard.

Katie Morgan: I agree completely. And Paul Greenberg spoke at a conference for Major League Baseball three or four years ago, and it was the first time that I had interacted with Paul and I kind of took what he said to heart that you really need to take advantage of those people around you. And he even gave us the ability to give him a call to consult on our CRM system and that’s something that you have to take advance of when you have people around you that have been doing this a lot longer than you have or organizations that seem to have it down. Give them a call. In the long run, not only are you making a new connection, but it’s going to pay off for your organization or team.

Sean: And the other thing I think is also really important is that you’re growing the knowledge in the industry itself. So the rising tides lifts all boats type of strategy if more teams are understanding the technology and using it effectively, and sharing best practice, then you’re able to get better results across the board.

Katie Morgan: I agree completely, and that was the best thing about SEAT for me is typically when I go to a conference, its major league baseball, and that’s great because it’s great to talk to other teams and my peers of other teams. But being able to sit in with the NFL, NHL, soccer teams from England, you really pick up on some new things that maybe you never thought of before and that was so beneficial to us when we came back. I had pages and pages of notes and people to reach out to. And I think that’s what I took away from SEAT is not only the connections that I made, but the things that people are doing in other aspects of our industry.

Sean: Yeah, and I think the other part which is why I wanted to touch base with you is not only were you getting up to talk about what you’ve done, but it was being done with Scribe side-by-side and you were taking people through a case study rather than, you know, no offense to Lou, but if a sponsor gets up and starts making their ways, it’s like well, hang on. We’ve heard the sales script before but we don’t want sales script. We want to know, we want to get our hands dirty and sort of find out exactly what you did, how you went about it, and some of the lessons that you learned, and the places that you stumbled, I think that’s really good when a team and reps from the team will get up and talk about how they’re using products, because a lot of the success is in the how and how you go about doing it and why you chose that tool and how the integration worked and not just look at the feature set and here’s our product features list and those kinds of things.

Katie Morgan: I think you hit the nail on the head with that, because as somebody who’s using a lot of the software that was being presented by teams and also the vendors that were there, it’s a lot easier for you to relate to a specific software there whenever you know how people are using it so I can kind of put myself in their shoes. Whereas previously, if somebody was just getting up there telling me about how their software works, it’s a little bit tougher for me to say, okay, if I took this back to ballpark, I could use it here, here, and here. But when you have somebody up there, especially a trusted colleague within the industry, and you can hear a little bit about not only how it works for them, but some of the road bumps that they came across, it makes it a little bit more real and a little bit more susceptible for us to maybe go down that route, because we understand how it can be a positive thing for our company.

Sean: So one thing I do want to ask is we seem to be getting more and more data from fans and just from life in that fact that we’ve got all of these devices that track everything, you know, the new iPhone is going to be tracking where we are. Our watch is going to tell us what our heart rate is. Is there a case that there’s too much data, that there will get us to a point where enough is enough?

Katie Morgan: You know, I think that’s a tough question. I don’t think there can ever be too much data, but I think it’s up to the individuals to figure out what they actually need out of that data. So for us, if we took all of the data that was out there for us to use, I would use a completely different set for something that I was doing than say maybe somebody in marketing would use. So I think it’s very important that you have all of that data. And yes, sometimes it can get a little bit watered down. But I’m a firm believer that all data out there is good data and that you could use it in some form or fashion.

Sean: Very good. I also just want to go back on a point you were saying about rolling out a CRM and really getting by across the whole organization, because getting that good data and understanding that data is a real companywide thing. In the digital track, we pretty much had the same discussion saying digital is everywhere it’s the face across the whole organization, and I think that are both sort of hand in hand in that all of your different departments will benefit if they understand and buy in why we’re getting the data, why we’re reaching these fans. So I think we may be need to talk to Christine and get a little more sessions where we get the digital guys and CRM guys in the same room as well just threshing out some of those topics.

Katie Morgan: Yes. I think that will be very beneficial as well, because there were some things that we talked about on the CRM and data analytics track that we brought back to our organization and sat down with members of our IT department and our marketing department and say, you know, this came up in one of our sessions and how will we be able to implement that? Would it be beneficial in your areas as well? And I think that it’s very important to kind of showcase how the different departments work together to not only get to a common goal but how it benefits each department as well. I think that’s very, very important when you’re not only trying to sell a product but also figure out the best route for your company.

Sean: Yep. One of the phrases in your slide deck, I was checking it out before this interview, it’s all about the cheeks in the SEATs. I love that phrase. I’m going to start using that more often about getting people to the game. Is that one yours?

Katie Morgan: It’s actually not. I have to give credit to Lou for that one.

Sean: Oh well, it’s all about the cheeks in the SEATs. I’m definitely going to be using that one from now on.

Katie Morgan: It’s definitely true.

Sean: It is. It is. It’s all about getting people there. It’s all about engaging them when they are there. And what you can do is get that data to understand why they are there. Why they’re turning up? What they’re turning up with, here they’re coming from, because everyone has different motivations. And so that’s the fascinating thing with the data side of it. There are so many different views of the data to be able to find those different types of fans.

Katie Morgan: I agree completely.

Sean: Well, Katie, thank you very much for spending some time. I’m looking forward to catching up with you in San Francisco next year for SEAT 2015.

Katie Morgan: I look forward to it, and it was great catching up with you as well Sean.

DJ Joel: Want to understand Facebook advertising options? Go to sportsgeekhq.com/fbad.

Sean: Thanks to Katie Morgan from the Texas Rangers. Like with all of the guests that have said earlier, you can connect with them all at sportsgeekhq.com/sgp. Just follow the links. It’s linked to the episode guides, the previous episodes and also a link to all of the guests. So thanks to Katie and thanks to Scribes Soft as a SEAT sponsor for helping tee up that interview. That wraps us this episode of Sports Geek podcast. I guess one thing that I wanted to talk about is the announcement recently that Twitter is going to integrate and start offering the Twitter buy button which is really just an extension of Twitter cards and bringing in a payment facility.

I’m interested in your take on it. We heard previously there with Katie that loves in having some success selling ticket via Twitter and via Facebook. So it will be interesting in seeing how the buy button works and the integration will be the key part getting it to work with the payment providers and then getting it to work with the ticketing providers that will be where the secret source will happen. But if you’re not using the Twitter cards right now, for some of your activations whether it be e-mail signups or even just to promote some of your key content, I really suggest that you should look into that. You probably seen the Twitter cards that I’ve been using in Sports Geek to either promote people to go to iTunes store to review the podcast, which you can do at sportsgeekhq.com/itunes.

So play around with that. Just simply go into your analytics in the ad side of your Twitter account and set up some Twitter cards, some really cool stuff. The social media post of the week is going to go to TBS on MLB with this great promo from Brian Cranston of Breaking Bad fame. Here’s a snippet.

Brian Cranston: I have been doing a lot of movie and tv work, and i felt it was just time for me to get back to the basics by diving right into my great passion, baseball. And I also knew that I wanted to do this one-man show, so then it hit me, why not dramatize the entire MLB post season. It would be my greatest acting challenge. And there were problems, I sunk a lot of money into this, but you never know when the inspiration will hit you. The Buckster, Mr. B. Any actor who tells you that he is not inspired by Bugs Bunny is a liar.

Sean: As I said, it’s about a five or six minute mini movie and some really good work there by the guys at The Bleacher Report. It’s on the Bleacher’s Report Youtube channel. I’ll put that link in the show notes, definitely watch it. It’s a great way to promote the upcoming MLB playoffs. There’s the clock wind up. It’s telling me it is time to wind up this episode and let you get on with your day. You can find the show notes for this episode at sportsgeekhq.com/60. So that’s 60 episodes of the Sports Geek podcast. Thank you very much for downloading and supporting the podcasts. I’m going to dedicate this episode to this man, see if you know who it is.

DJ Joel: He threw it up there, and it went in. Well he has a record and McHale goes over to congratulate him. McHale aims. Larry Bird has 57 points, and all-time Boston record for one game. And McHale has set the record less than two weeks ago. Bird, foul shot, got it. Bird has 58 and with 3 seconds, Bird will try another jumper, and hit it at the buzzer. Bird has 60 points. Larry Bird scores 60 points. Look at the Boston players mob him. Larry Bird scored 60. It is the greatest shooting exhibition that I’ve ever seen in my life. Larry Bird, one more impossible shot after the other.

Sean: There you go. Larry Bird scoring 60 points versus the Atlanta Hawks way back on March 12, 1985, playing a game in New Orleans of all places. So oh yeah, here’s some highlights for the 50 point win, for the 50 best episode with Michael Jordan, so I thought 60 points, I pretty much put 60 points into Youtube, and Larry Bird was one of the first names that came up. So I’m going to dedicate this episode to him. Thank you very much for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast. Please, as I said, send me a tweet. I really do like it when people are live tweeting. As you’re listening to the episode, connect with the guests, and if you’ve got a question, please send me an email sean@sportsgeekhq.com. Until next week, cheers from me.

DJ Joel: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at sportsgeekhq.com/clients. Go to sportsgeekhq.com for more sports digital marketing resources. Did you know that Sports Geek podcast has listeners in over 35 countries? Thank you for sharing. Thanks for reviews on iTunes. sportsgeekhq.com/itunes.

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Why audiences hate hard news— it’s all about cats – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

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The key Twitter stats from #AUSNED

Facebook dominates #WorldCup chat

Dear Red Wings: Detroit’s Twitter account offers solid relationship advice

Don’t Let Your Website Rebuild End in Tears

Seven #WorldCup data takeaways so far

Infographic Friday: Most social sports on Twitter

Funny stuff again with Jimmy Kimmel with NBA stars reading out mean tweets

Want to help decide where next #SportsGeekODE is?

Register your interest for next #SportsGeekODE event

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

Which social media platform will Arsenal tackle next? – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Thursday 22nd May 2014

Richard Clarke discussion content and social media platforms that are working for Arsenal

What @SportsGeek reads….

Social media use strengthens the bonds between football fans and their teams

Melbourne Tigers to abandon past for United future – disappointing day for Tigers fans (myself included, here is my take)

Niners looking to hire ‘app experience specialists’ to help fans connect at Levi’s stadium

Cleveland Brown’s quarterback Johnny Manziel says he ‘learned lessons’ about power of social media

LeBron James to lead boycott in 2014-15 if Donald Sterling still owns Clippers

How to show the “most recent” news feed in the new Facebook App

Arsenal launch one-off FA Cup Final iOS App – what a great come from behind win for the Gunners!

Strategies to go digital and boost your business

There are 500 million soccer fans on Facebook

11 Productivity hacks from successful entrepreneurs

Facebook weekly highlights from Facebook newsroom – a lot of #smsports

Are you ready for Asian Cup in your backyard? Grab your tickets now!

When Apple damns your texts to iMessage purgatory

Why the NFL draft delivers – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Wednesday 14th May 2014

SeanBday

What @SportsGeek reads….

Why the NFL draft delivers

The World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams

YouTube vs. Facebook: Why only one of these still has an audience

Mapping Basketball Nation where NBA fans are in USA according to Zuck

How many group tickets are you leaving on the table?

Twitter’s not growing fast enough, why PR pros should care

Why MLB Teams put so many eggs in the Facebook Basket

Snapchat grows up, adds text messaging and video conferencing

Here is how Twitter is promoting Twitter in India – “Discover Cricket on Twitter”

Infographic Friday: The Sabres Plan

How to media hack your startup to awareness

Barcelona’s tribute to Tito Vilanova (I am in the photo above it)

Thanks for the BBB podcast mention, Wil Anderson!

Funny take on Batman Vs. Superman

Want to know more about public speaking?

Unplanned surprise seeing F1 cars in Monaco

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SGP 046: A-League Finals with Brian Gibson & Peter Robert Casey tracking your fan story

Brian Gibson runs Social Media for A-Leagues discusses #ALeagueFinalsJust before taking off on European Sports Geek Trip I was lucky enough to host a small sports business networking event thanks to Robert Squillacioti from FFA as Melbourne Victory faced Sydney FC in an elimination final at Etihad Stadium.  A great night was had by all in attendance and I caught up with Brian Gibson who drives social media for the FFA about their plans for #ALeagueFinals.  I also catch up with good friend & sports Twitter trailblazer Peter Robert Casey about his new projects to log your fan stadium journey.

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Like this episode? please leave a review in iTunes.

On this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • What the A-League is doing with Instagram to develop the fan story
  • How much A-League fans love inforgraphics
  • Why this year every Australian will know what is happening inside Socceroos camp and in Brazil
  • How Peter Robert Casey broke the mould in sports journalism using Twitter
  • How you can keep track of every NBA or MLB game you’ve attended
  • How MLB fans differ from NBA fans

Resources from the episode

@SportsGeek Asks

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Thanks for reviews on iTunes

Enter Sports Geek Podcast Listener Survey

 

See you at Digital Sport London

Thanks to Dan McLaren from UK Sports Network (and guest on ep #38) for inviting me to #DSLondon on April 22, looking forward to meeting some #sportsbiz people on my trip.  Grab a ticket and I’ll see you there.

See you at Digital Sport London on April 22

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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 46 of the Sports Geek Podcast.

On this week’s podcast I catch up with Brian Gibson from the A-League on the eve of the A-League finals. And I have a chat with Peter Robert Casey about his journey to every stadium in the NBA.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast, the podcast built for the sports digital marketer. And now here’s your host who is looking forward to the Euro Sports Geek trip, Sean.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joel. I am looking forward to it, so much so I’m actually on it already. I recorded a few of these interviews before I left but in the rush to get everything done I didn’t get to put this together so here I am, I’m in London at the moment. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek and you are listening to the Sports Geek Podcast either on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud. So yes, I’m in London this week looking forward to catching up with a few teams. It’s been a bank holiday here today so a little bit tired from walking around, doing all the touristy type of stuff in London.

Last week though, I did catch up with Brian Gibson from the A-League and from the FFA and (Rob Squillacioti) from the FFA was very kind to host us at Etihad Stadium for the first match of the A-League finals and probably would’ve been following along with the #ALeagueFinal.

So I had a bit of a chat with Brian before that night kicks off and again thanks to (Rob) for hosting us for a little bit of a (SB Night Meetup) with a few of the crew from the AFL cricket and a few other sports coming along, it was a good night out at Etihad Stadium.

So this week I’ll have a chat with Brian and then I’ll also catch up with a mate of mine who I met on the very first Sports Geek trip in New York, Peter Robert Casey, a bit of a trailblazer in the Twitter space as a sports journalist. We talked about his story and then we also talked about his new project with Hardball Passport and BB Passport, enables you to keep track of every single game that you’ve been to in the NBA and the MLB so it’s really a good catch up with him.

And if you are in London, if you’re listening to this and you are in London, looking forward to catching you all at Digital Sport London tomorrow. Simply go to SportsGeekHQ.com/DSLondon to grab a ticket. Looking for to catching up with Darrin Mclaren from the U.K. Sports Network and a few of those in the sports marketing industry in the U.K.

But first here’s my chat with Brian Gibson from the A-League.

Sean: All right. I’m very happy to welcome a good friend of mine and we’re here at Etihad Stadium for the A-League finals. He runs all the social accounts and drives all the social activity for the FFA, that’s the Football Federation Australia.

Brian, welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast.

Brian: Thanks Sean. Good to have you here at the A-League finals.

Sean: #ALeagueFinals.

Brian: #ALeagueFinals.

Sean: So this is the first game of the A-League finals with the Victory and Sydney FC. What I want to do is just — while we’re here to watch the game and very happy to have a few people, a little — meeting sports (biz) night here at Etihad Stadium. I guess yeah, I want to talk to you about a few initiatives that we’ve been working on for A-League finals, do you want to kick us off with some of the things you’re trying to do?

Brian: Yes, so we’re running an Instagram promotion where you know, fans can use #ALeagueFinals, use the support hash-tag for the club and we’ll pick winners, we’ll run a Facebook vote, pick the winners and…

Sean: … so with Instagram.

Brian: I mean and I’ve already entered, probably counting on, I’m probably not eligible to win since I happen to put the promotion together but you’ve got the A-League Trophy out there and also the Asian Cup trophies out there for people take photos of and you’re pretty much just trying to get more people, use some hashtags, show them the game both whether they are around the game or at the game I guess is the main thing.

Sean: And you’ve seen, like you’ve been watching it this week and keeping an eye on Instagram and like me you’re seeing a bit of an uptick in fans getting excited for the A-League finals.

Brian: Yeah, mainly more so in the last couple of days.

Sean: Yes.

Brian: You know that’s pretty much the only hashtag we are using, so people are starting to use that as the hashtag you know, for the game.

Sean: Yes and so the other stuff that you’re doing also is sort of playing off the teams, going backwards and forwards, sort of like having that social playoff. What are the components you do with that?

Brian: So we’re basically looking at the Facebook followers, so increasing the game across the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, looking at the most popular Facebook (process), see which team can get the most likes in a single post.

Sean: Yes, so you’re sort of rallying, getting that interest to the fans out there and just sort of saying, getting get behind your club so it’s a night, you know we’ve got two pretty big teams from a following point of view, Sydney FC and Victory. Have you had a look at the numbers yet or is it too early to tell?

Brian: It’s a little bit too early to tell. It’s been pretty busy so I’ll probably start looking at the numbers, so tonight, see how they’re going and…

Sean: And if you’re seeing a little bit of the fans rally behind the clubs, the fact that you’ve given them, the specific reason to go, “You have to like this post this week,” or “You have to use the hashtag more,” just amps up what we — you know, it’s a final so it’s normally going to be big but get those you know, super fans amped up a little more?

Brian: Yeah, definitely and the posts that the clubs have been doing to promote this, they’ve been getting a lot more shares than the normal post so it’s working straight away.

Sean: And you know delving a little bit with — in the infographic space. I saw there you put the match up, shown us this one sort of just analyzing all of the stats and that’s something you’re going to do throughout the finals?

Brian: Yeah, so far. We’ve basically got a, match stats, like team versus team stats on the field and then we’ve got a team versus team stats in social media and we’ve thrown those up and the fans love them. They’re just there — they’re just infographics, a lot more of them.

Sean: Yes, exactly. It’s just so bite-size, it’s easy to consume and also easy to go, “Yes. I like it,” or, “Yes. I can share it,” so. And I guess in the other part of your job and a big part of your job coming up is you know, the Socceroos in the World Cup, how are the plans and everything going for all that?

Brian: They’re coming along quite well, everything that we really want to do so it’s all in the pipeline. Now it’s just a matter of you know, executing over on the ground to there and back here so it’s going to be you know, a team of five or six people across social, so some in Brazil, some back here, just taking fans — they can’t get there but we’ll take them on that journey.

Sean: Yeah and the idea is that yeah, and we’ve worked on it before and we’ve had (Rob) on the podcast previously talking about how the Socceroos just unite all Australia and everyone gets behind them and that means you’re going to have that wide, I guess breadth of fan, you’ll have the — the fans have loved their football and know everything backwards and then they’ll be the, “I’m an Australian so I’m following the Socceroos” and you know, when they go out and play, you know we’re not — everyone’s going to be behind them and you just going to have to be inundated you know, the timeline is going to be phenomenal.

Brian: Yeah and it’s going to be 24/7 coverage from a social media point of view so it’s going to be pretty intense.

Sean: Well Brian, good luck for the A-League finals and looking forward to a big World Cup but I’m sure we’ll probably — we will probably catch up with you before the World Cup.

Brian: Sounds good. Thanks for having me, Sean.

DJ Joel: Sign up for Sports Geek news at SportsGeekHQ.com/SignUpNow.

Sean: Thanks again to Brian Gibson there. @GibboFootball on Twitter, if you’re not following Brian. He — as I said there in the interview, he is looking after all things social at the FFA which includes the A-League, the Socceroos and the FFA and he’s really doing a great job and he’s got a big year ahead of him with the World Cup as we said and I’ll be catching up with Brian before the Socceroos head over for the World Cup because we’ve got some really good plans for the Socceroos.

My next guest I won’t give much introduction to because we do talk about it in the interview but you can follow him on Twitter, @Peter_R_Casey, an absolute trailblazer in the space of sports journalism and specifically around Twitter and we’ll talk about that as I met Peter back in 2010 on one of my first Sports Geek trips. And it’s really what these trips are about, meeting and connecting with people, finding out what they’re doing and then staying in touch and finding out what they’re doing from the initial beginnings that Sports Geek was. Both Peter and I have gone on a journey over the last four years so here is my chat with Peter Robert Casey from the websites Hardball Passport and BB Passport.

Sean: Very happy to welcome a longtime friend of mine, all the way from New York City, Peter Robert Casey.

Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast Pete?

Peter: Sean, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Sean: Well what I wanted to get you on, like we have known each other for a fair while now but I wanted to talk to you about your new site that you’ve just launch. You’ve just done a second sport, first sport was Basketball and the second sport now is Baseball with BBPassport.com and HardballPassport.com.

Do you want to tell us a little bit about what they are and what they are — what you’re trying to do with those sites?

Peter: Sure. So much like it sounds like a passport does is, for fans it allows you to track your entire game-going journey over time, where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you’re going.

And what that means is we all tend to keep our ticket stubs after we go to a match or a game and those ticket stubs generally serve as a reminder of those games and all the memories that surround those games, so you go to a basketball game, NBA game with your father, with your son or with even your girlfriend or wife and that ticket stub is kind of that tangible evidence that I was there.

So Basketball Passport and Hardball Passport basically allow you to digitize those so you can track over time where you’ve been, the number of matches you’ve seen, the best performances that you’ve witnessed, the number of unique venues that you may have seen in your history and it’s a way to track that over time.

Sean: I mean that’s the — I mean when you first sent it to me and said, “Check it out.” I said, “I’ve been doing it manually anyway.” Like I’m keeping track of how many major league baseball ballparks I’ve been to and you know, NBA arenas I’ve been to and you can check it out at SeanCallanan.com/Goals. I’m up to 12 MLB parks now because I was able to tick the SCG, you know the Sydney Cricket Ground but I think that one’s going to be a tough one for you to mark off because they are not going to come back for another four years but it’s a — but it’s — like I was able to tick that off with the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks coming to town.

So how is it like — and it’s really cool because again to give a bit of back history of how I know you, when I did my first Sports Geek trip, that’s exactly what I did. I went to couple of games in LA, couple of games in Dallas and then I finished up the trip in New York. And we actually met and was, actually as a byproduct of using the basketball one, the BB Passport.

I went in and I went — venue and I went Madison Square Garden, I went previous year, you know and I knew the times that I was there, on January 23, 2010 Villanova played St. John’s, unfortunately your St. John’s did not get up. It was a 10-point loss, 71 to 81. Like, so that kind of thing you know, and I have got all those ticket stubs on a board in my office.

Do you want to give I guess people a little bit of back story from yourself being you know, you were one of the first guys that really took to Twitter in the sports journalism space with your work at St. John’s?

Peter: Yes, so back in 2009 which seems so long ago in the Twitter’s-sphere, I received the press credential to cover the St. John’s men’s basketball team exclusively on my Twitter accounts. And if you recall at that time, it was still challenging for bloggers to get press (real) access so the story itself of getting there, a credential to do so on Twitter and you know, if you’re a Beat Writer, once the buzzer sounds at the end of the basketball game, you’re generally filing your story at that time and my job kind of ended at that point.

I was just tweeting about live updates during the game and the whole idea was to capture the things that the camera wasn’t capturing. And so the people who were at home watching the St. John’s game on television, giving them the sights, the sounds, the smells, the real-time nature of quotes, things that I was hearing and seeing.

And there was a unique way to cover basketball back in 2009 and the Beat Writers and that time weren’t even on Twitter so, we’ve long way. Obviously, now it’s just natural and a normal part of how reporters cover basketball and any sport for that matter.

So that was unique in 2009, it got a lot of press coverage nationally, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and it really opened doors for my career.

The New York Knicks then hired me right after that to be their first social media specialist and editor-in-chief of KnicksNow.com, so it was a great opportunity, something that we take for granted now but back then it was kind of a new story.

Sean: Yeah, I mean the fact that yeah, I think it was you know, credentialed microblogger because I didn’t even know you know, what a social media guy was or someone that was a professional Tweeter like it was — that — all the terms are still getting created, so you know, and it’s — that’s the good thing about things like social media. It allows guys like you and I to connect from other sides of the country.

And you know, I remember you know back in January 2010, we were tweeting each other backwards and forwards to find out where we were going to meet after the game.

So you launched the basketball one first and to launch it, you went on a ridiculous — you know, I like to pride myself on my Sports Geek trips but you completely outdid what I do with — you went to 30 NBA stadiums in 30 days. Can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?

Peter: Sure, so we wanted to launch Basketball Passport properly and do so in a way that was authentic to the site which is breaking through the television and getting out to games.

And one of the features — it’s a fun feature on both Basketball Passport and Hardball passport our “Arena Challenges” or “Stadium Challenges” for baseball and you earn stamps, it’s a passport so you earn stamps when you complete a challenge and as the Founder and Ambassador for Basketball Passport I wanted to do the most aggressive challenge which is the “All NBA Arena Challenge.”

And I thought it would be a fun way to do some storytelling around passport by getting out there, getting the product in the hands and you know, getting people to log in and talk about it so, I took a month off from work at the time. And this started November 7th, in Miami and I literally went through all 29 arenas.

As you know, the Lakers and the Clippers share the Staples Center, so I got to see both of those games separately in December and then I ended my journey on the 6th, in Boston, front row, the Vice President of the Celtics put my wife and I literally feet on the floor so, amazing trip and we got so much more publicity than I could have ever anticipated, so it was a great way to build awareness for (the site).

Sean: Well I’m only still like, I’ve logged some of my games that I’ve been to but I’ve got to actually go through my ticket stubs over the first couple of games that I have been to, to see if I can get there. That “All NBA Arena Challenge” is something that I will accept that challenge but it might take me a few more years. I don’t think I’m crazy enough to do it in one month.

How have you — I mean I’d be interested to know, how have you found the baseball because the baseball fans you know, are almost obsessive about their stats and the history and tracking everything. Have you found a difference between basketball fans and baseball fans on use of the site and how many fans want to get on?

Peter: That’s a great point Sean. You’re right, so the reason why I wanted to do the trip for basketball was kind of a learning curve, these behaviors warrant you know, normal behaviors of keeping track of every game I’ve been to in a spreadsheet or as you know, when you go to a baseball game, people literally keep score on a scorecard and those behaviors were there.

So we started with basketball because that’s my background, that’s what I know, that’s where my relationships reside but the concept of passport and chronicling your personal journey as a fan was already there for baseball so we did notice a significant spike.

Even during beta testing for example, I kind of just teased it out (and read it) — in a (sub read it) for a baseball and it went haywire. I literally had to shut down, you know I had controlled beta-testing but just already in the first two weeks we’ve already had 50,000 logged games on Hardball Passport, so people are going way back to 1975 where our database starts for major-league games and all the way back to 2002 for minor-league games, so it really took off.

And we kind of predicted that, you know not to that extreme but we knew it was going to be more popular than basketball just because like you said, they are — fans are obsessive, they keep spreadsheets, they keep text files, they hang on to those ticket stubs like you know, they are near and dear to them.

Sean: Yeah, I’m just looking here, yeah, you’ve had 52,000 total check-ins.

I guess one question (I indeed) have and I’ve always — as I was trying to do a bit of, you know go back to mine when I was going back to when I went to Fenway in 2012 and then last year I was able to go to (Kauffman) and I get to see the Royals and I didn’t have the stubs or I’ve lost the stubs but what I was able to do, was to go to my Foursquare and say, “When was I at the baseball?”

Have you thought about bringing in those kind of social networks to say, integrate Foursquare with your log in and will automatically you know, keep your check-ins as you’re going along?

Peter: Yes, so we do want to leverage the existing on all the momentum that they already have versus trying to compete with them because you know, you can’t do that.

But one of the areas that we thought would be really crucial is using Instagram’s API, specifically because every photo there is geotagged with the time stamp on it and it would be much easier to you know — that’s where people are placing their photos now is in Instagram so fans, as soon as they get to their seat or sometimes even outside the arena, they take that photo there you know, prove that there, kind of show off, “Hey, I’m at the game, you’re not,” you know, natural behavior for fans.

So why not, yeah, being able to look at when a fan is within 0.1 mile of an arena on a game night, you can say, “Hey, do you want to add these to your passport?”

That would make the most sense and to go a step further, the biggest priority in 2015 since we live in a mobile-first society is to have that mobile native app so that when you’re there you can immediately add it to your passport because you don’t want to have any friction with the experience.

You want people to be able to do this stuff naturally. You know, not many people are interested in going way back scanning and old photo and tying it to a game so you have to do it when they are there.

So yes, using what’s already out there, whether it’s a Foursquare Checkin API or Instagram photos. And the next big thing is Facebook login and Twitter login, so that again you don’t have to create a profile, it’s already done for you.

Sean: Yep. I mean that’s great. I mean, I completely agree. I mean, I’m still a Foursquare fan but you know, from a Geo — if you’re looking at Geo Apps, you know Instagram is so far ahead in front these days in ballparks and stadiums, I (work with) Instagram.

Peter: That’s right.

Sean: … you know, Fenway and AT&T Park, I think AT&T Park is one of the most Instagram venues on the earth and — but partly to it’s a combination of picturesque scene, terrific Wi-Fi, the fact that people can get coverage and yeah that bragging right. You know, you want to tell people you’re at the baseball or you want to tell people you’re at the football, so I guess that leads you to — so this is also in the plans is to bring in NFL stadiums and then also NHL?

Peter: Exactly. So Football Passport, the goal is to launch that an August 28th and it’s going to include all your NFL games and then even your college football games that you’ve been to in college, you know, just because — actually college may even be bigger than NFL because of the (travelling) culture and the rabid you know, fandom that exist around college football, this is from the alumni base so…

Sean: Oh yeah.

Peter: … it’s really a key that we do that, College and Pro.

Sean: Well, because the thing is with college, you would have people that have said, “Uh, this is my thousandth game of Michigan and I have watched every game, the last,” you know, “27 years” because…

Peter: Right.

Sean: … in that same super fandom. I guess you know, as I’m about to head off to my Europe trip, is there any plans in the agenda to tap into the large world, that is a world of football and look at the world game, soccer?

And I’ve been guessing you’ve got you know, you’ve got a system in place now or it’s just a matter of getting the database of the games and the venues and once the structure is there, you can build that site?

Peter: That’s exactly it and that’s going to be the sixth sport and probably the most important sport just because of the global nature of that game and I mean, it’s the world’s largest sport.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the challenge for us is that the language differences around the globe so — but the opportunity to tackle football you know, from a global nature is a massive one and we have to do it but we want to go into that just because we know that’s the biggest. That’s the big (beast).

We want to going to that with a lot of momentum, with the infrastructure that you mention, have the interface built we know how to you know, interact with the database on the backend.

And the beauty of it is if you create an account on Basketball Passport, it works for Hardball and it will work for any future sport as well, so all your games are in one place so that when the mobile app comes out, you know, you’re not going to have five different apps. It’s one app and it’s a singular sports passport app.

So yes, Football will be the sixth sport and definitely looking forward to that challenge.

Sean: Well thank you very much for joining me on the podcast.

So they can find the websites at BBPassport.com and HardballPassport.com. I’ll have the links and the links to both of those sites in the show notes. And they can find you — you’re still tweeting away at Peter_R_Casey, if got that correct?

Peter: Absolutely.

Sean: Thank you very much for joining me on the podcast and next time I’m back in New York City we’ll have to catch up for a beer.

Peter: Absolutely and have a safe trip and I hope you get to many games while you’re in Europe.

Sean: No worries mate.

DJ Joel. Do you, Tumble? Go to Tumblr.SportsGeekHQ.com.
Send in your sounds of the game. Email Sean at SportsGeekHQ.com.
Sean: Thanks again to Peter Robert Casey for joining me on the podcast.

And yeah, I look forward to actually going through my ticket stubs and definitely putting all the games I have been on the Sports Geek trips. As I said in my chat, I previously have kept track of all the MLB games and NBA stadiums that I’ve been to, I just haven’t been recording the games and those kinds of things so if you go to SeanCallanan.com/Goals, that’s where I’m actually keeping a list of how many games or how many venues have been to but now I’ll do it via Hardball and Basketball Passport.

So really looking forward to see how it evolves Pete and yeah what it can be done with. You know, the fact that fans do love checking in, it’s one of the most obvious things that fans want to do.

Well that noise you can hear is [shouts] [boos] from the Eels and Roosters at Parramatta [boo] [shout].

They’re not happy.

And thanks to Sports Geek Podcast listener (Pies Josh) for sending in the “Sounds of the Game” this week.

That’s it for this episode of the Sports Geek Podcast.

One short play if I may, really great response to the latest Beers, Blokes & Business Podcast, we were lucky to have Wil Anderson coming to Sports Geek HQ and talk about his business. Some great insights in there on content marketing, developing your fan base, some really — some great takeaways there for people in fan development.

Simply go, BeersBlokesBusiness.com/37 to grab that and you can find Beers, Blokes, Business in iTunes.

Well that’s the clock giving me the wind-up to tell me to get out of this episode.

Now this is episode 46 of the Sports Geek Podcast, so it’s getting a little bit harder to find jersey numbers and things like that, so this year I’ve gone for the year, 1946 and they’ve asked me to sneak in another player that I could have used for the number 42. And that would be Jackie Robinson who played for the Montreal Royals, a, AAA affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 and he became the first African-American to play organized baseball and obviously his key number is 42.

Thank you again for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast. Thank you for the people that have left reviews on iTunes. You can leave a review by just going to SportsGeekHQ.com/iTunes. Keep following the A-League finals via Twitter and Instagram and keep an eye on what Brian is trying to do.

Closing two cents this week, is all about networking. Always be networking. It’s one of the things that I do love doing, so I hope to see anybody in London who works in digital sports at DigiSport London.

DJ Joel: Check out which teams work with Sports Geek at SportsGeekHQ.com/Clients. Listen to Beers, Blokes & Business at BeersBlokesBusiness.com. Go to SportsGeekHQ.com for more digital sports marketing resources.

Sean: Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.