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

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

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

Coming to Your Twitter Feed: 15 New Types of Ads

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

Which MLB teams overperform in popularity?

American owners oversee a soccer renaissance in Rome

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lorde – “Royals” Parody for Kansas City

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SGP 011: Introducing Sports Trendsmap for #ALvMU & advanced Facebook targeting using CRM

Sports Geek Podcast Presented by SEAT ConferenceVery excited announcement in this Sports Geek Podcast, we are happy to announce in partnership with the first Sports Trendsmap built for the A-League All-Stars game against Manchester United. In this episode I chat with Francis on ABC Grandstand how Sports Trendsmap cam together and I talk about some of the future plans we have for it. After a brief appearance by Kevin Naylor from Indiana Pacers to promote SEAT Conference I take a look at some advanced Facebook ad options using Custom Audiences.


More specifically, in this podcast you’ll find out about:

  • How Trendsmap pulls in tweets using API
  • How Sports Trendsmap works for an event or brand
  • Why you should be careful where you walk when in Boston Celtics locker room
  • Why does SEAT conference have closed sessions?
  • How you can target your database with Facebook Ads
  • How you can increase app installs for you team mobile application.
  • What is a Facebook Dark Post?

SEAT Conference - August 4th-8th in Kansas City

Presenting Partner of Sports Geek Podcast


Resources from the episode

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Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 11 of the Sports Geek podcast presented by SEAT Conference. On today’s episode, we take a look at sports on the Internet. Built for the A-League All-stars game against Man United. Passport to new CRM data culmination with the Facebook apps.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek podcast, the podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now, here’s your host doing heel raises while I’m doing this intro, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks, DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. And, yes, I am starting to do some gentle heel raises as my surgeon adjusted the moon boot this week. And he’s given me some exercises to strengthen that torn Achilles. Hopefully, I can throw away the crutches pretty soon. The good thing is I’ve been cleared to travel. So I’m looking forward to attending the SEAT Conference in Kansas City, the presenting partner of the Sports Geek podcast in August. If you haven’t booked, there’s still time.

I have some great offers there to insure your CIO CRM and digital guys and girls attend. Simply go to Aim to check that out. This week, I’m very excited to announce that we’ve officially launched Sports Trendsmap. We’ve been in partnership with guys at And I’ve caught up with Francis on ABC Grandstand to talk about it.

Announcer: This is Francis Leach on Grandstand Digital.

Francis: And a big good day to our digital sports guru, Sean Callanan. He’s just a week away from resuming full training in the moon boot. But he’s with us again this morning to talk sport in the digital space. How are you, Sean?

Sean: I’m good. Thanks, Francis.

Francis: Fascinating to look at Trendmaps this morning because they’re just uniting in Liverpool in town. There’s sort of the intense focus on particular events and discussions. You can now map, quite literally, on the net. Or when you find a workout, he’s talking, about where and when. Tell us how this works.

Sean: Yes, we’ve partnered with the guys at Trendsmap. They’re actually a startup out of Melbourne. If people didn’t know. Obviously, maps the trends of Twitter on Google Maps. So every time you tweet, you do have the option to geotag that tweet. So normally when I’m traveling around, or whatever, I will put that on. So it has a little pin that says, I’m in San Francisco, or I’m in Sydney, or I’m in ANZ Stadium as the case is tonight.

And so, it makes it very easy. There’s a lot of real good visualized data there from a visualization point of view. I think someone at Twitter or someone looked at the data and showed a visualization of the tweets across America as sort of an altitude theme to show where the peaks and valleys of where the tweets are coming from. So that API is available for the guys at Trendsmap. And so they’re showing what’s been trending both globally but also locally.

So if you follow trends Australia, it’ll say, oh, so and so is trending in Martinique accounts, because they’ve said something. And that account is being retweeted. Or it might be a hashtag because that’s what’s happening around the event.

Francis: So with the Ashton Agar thing a couple of weeks ago, did Trendsmap just light up a bright red right across Australia with a particular hashtag? Was it Ashton or was it hashtag? It was Ashtag, wasn’t it? It was Ashtag, Ashtag, Ashtag.

Sean: Yeah, Ashtag was the hashtag. Yeah, you would’ve seen that. But then also what you would’ve seen was where in Australia people were talking about it. And potentially, if you went to the UK, you would have seen if it was Australians talking about it in England. So, for instance, because people in Perth have three hours extra time to watch cricket, which is unfortunate with games on days like yesterday. But that you would see Perth tweeting about it, but you would see the night owls of Australian Eastern Seaboard tweeting also about it.

Francis: And similarly, as Australians, we could spell like the stalks in the breeze. You would have seen that maybe people switching off the telly, going off the Twitter feed. And the glow on the map, which is really is like a, in a sense, a hotspot, would have dulled. As you can almost see them in action.

Sean: Yeah. So you would have seen things like bedtime trending after the fourth and fifth week. So what we’ve done is, rather than that general everything happening, is what we’ve done with the A-League is built one, specifically, for the A-League All Stars Man United Game. So there is a game day hashtag, or is a hashtag for the game, which is ALVNU. What the guys at Trendsmap are doing is doing a tracking all the tweets around that. And so what we’re finding is it’s developing its own trends around that hashtag.

So you can see there that, obviously, the A-League and newly minted Twitter handle at @manunited, or manUTD with Man United finally joining Twitter for this tour. So you see one, the accounts of the trending, you see players that are tweeting. Man United guys trained last night and they were tweeted how amazing it was to have 20,000 people turn up and watch them train. Those players were trending. They’re on the TV promoting the game. Those accounts that starts trending.

And then also you see the content that starts bubbling up as well. So if someone takes a picture and says, hey, look, he’s name is Rio Ferdinand. All of his mates retweeted, and that will start getting sort of bubbled up, Sort of by popular opinion where you’ve got the popular images. You’ve also got the popular videos. So now Twitter has got the vine service. So when Braun of the L.A. is taking vines of All Stars talking or the players training or as they’re arriving, that’s obviously going to get some interaction and I’ll be there, so it’s a really good way to, and you can zoom in on the map and see what it’s like.

And you can even then also click on the particular terms. And so you can click on, say, who’s talking about Man United in Sydney? It’s another way sort of to visualize Twitter. And so what I’ll be doing sort of as the games happening is feeding the guys of A-League is say, oh, these are the trends of the game. So you’ll be doing the radio coverage.

You’ve got to log onto Trendsmap and see what the map is saying. If it’s a controversial call or a beat goal or whatever, Ferdinand does something amazing and you say, oh, I’ll just check their Trendsmap at ALVMU and see that Rare Ferdi is blowing up both in Australia and, as you can see there, in Indonesia. And things like that.

Francis: A big hot spot in the north of England as well?

Sean: Yeah, exactly.

Francis: It’s an amazing tool to, as you said, to get the topography of what the conversation is.

Sean: Yeah. And the thing that I’m going to be really interested in is you can never predict what Twitter and what the conversation is going to be. So there might be the problems the Origin did with the naked man running onto the field. But again, if you did, a streaker and those probably would just come and then the natural fun of what’s the hashtag and how people are going to play with it would come from that.

So that’s the interesting part. And then I’ll be doing the analysis of how many tweets are coming in, where were they coming in from, who was joining in the conversation. So it gives a really good content base also to the A-League to sort of keep that education base for the fans. Say, this is why we’re doing social. This is why we’re doing Twitter and this is how you can get engaged with the league.

Francis: It’s great and it is really is a really interesting sort of diagnostic tool and great to watch as well. And just before you go, where can people find it tonight if they want to go?

Sean: It’s on the A-League site if you just go to . . .

Francis: People in

Sean: And you go the All Stars and there’s the hashtag ALvMU. Click on that and you’ll be able to see. And if you and your mates get a few retweets, you might be in the popular users. You might see one of your tweets being popular. Yeah, it would be good fun and should be a great match.

Francis: Where can people find you in the digital space, Sean?


DJ Joel: Leave me a voicemail question for Sports Geek podcast at

Sean It’s been great working with John Barratt from As I said, on ABC Grandstand, it’s good working with a start-up based out of Melbourne. But, like myself, he works with people around Australia and the world on Trendsmap activations. What you see with the ALvMU Trendsmap, you can access that via the short link I’ve set up on and that’ll take you to Football Australia’s site where you can see several components of the Trendsmap standard product. We see trends word maps.

Now we’ve got heat maps for Australia and the UK. It’s also showing the top images in videos and that includes vines. So the vines of the game shared by the A league and Man U, if they are starting to use vine, will be on that board. So it will start bubble up content and hopefully we’ll see a few fan vines from the night.

So behind the scenes, we’re tracking the hashtag ALvMU. And it’s showing up trends related to the hashtag. What we’re also able to do from a brand perspective is also hide trends and accounts that don’t fit for the A-League in this instance. We discussed in Episode 8 around Twitter ads. And seeing more gambling operators using Twitter ads and jumping on hashtags to promote their wares and promote gambling in sport. Or it might be ad responses.

So we have the ability to turn off certain words or certain accounts if they are trying to horn their way in on that conversation. So they can join the conversation on Twitter, but they just won’t be on the Sports Trendsmap. Some of the add-ons we’ve got planned include extra sort of web widgets so you can put the heat map in your match center trying to drive people to Trendsmap to see what it looks like. That sort of thing. Also we’re playing around with full match replays and highlight click top replays of what the reactions of Twitter were like.

And John’s previously done that with a TV show to allow TV viewers to watch a replay from a Twitter point of view of happy boy reacting to a TV show. So, similarly, it will work well in sport around a big game and actually be able to see what reactions were on Twitter, but also where they were as well. And from a content perspective, I will be producing content for Brian Gibson and the A-League digital team to be sharing insight in the social stream during the broadcast. So things like showing off what’s trending in Australia.

Some of the trends around the match for both teams. And also sharing some of the stats analysis post event. So I’ll have John on next week’s podcast to dive a little bit deeper into the analytics behind Trendsmap and how he’s put it together. So stay tune for that one.

Kevin: Hi, it’s Kevin Naylor from the Indiana Pacers and you’re listening to my mate, Sean Callanan, on Sports Geek Podcast.

Sean: Thank you, Kevin Naylor, there for the shout outs. I’m looking forward to catching up with you at SEAT 2013. Just a bit of the story from SEAT last year. Kev actually got me out of a jam. We were getting a tour of the Boston Garden and we were in the Boston Celtics locker room. And at the time, Ray Allen, I think, left just a week before to go to Miami. So I was taking a few shots to share on Twitter of Ray Allen’s locker room, and those kind of things. And I accidentally was standing on the Boston Celtics logo in the locker room. And the tour guy was kind enough to point out that I shouldn’t be doing it, that it’s bad luck.

And Kevin came to my rescue, came over, started doing a little bit of a jig on the Boston Celtics logo, and pretty much said, that’s okay. My boss will see the humor in it. And his boss, if you don’t know, he’s the famous Larry Bird, a Boston Celtics legend. So, thanks Kevin, for getting me out of a jam. And the first beer’s on me in Kansas City.

So one of the things Kev will be doing at the conference is hosting one of the closed door sessions with Chip Suttles from the Seattle Seahawks and the Sounders. And the closed door sessions are where some of the best discussions out of SEAT come from because it’s pretty much a bit freelance, a bit improv, where people start writing the issues that are annoying them, and finding out that there’s a few people in the room that are facing the same problem.

So Kevin and Chip will be running one for the CIOs. I’ll be actually running one with Dewayne Hankins from the Trailblazers with a bit more of a social digital feel. So it will be really good what some of the problems that teams are facing and seeing if we can come up with a few solutions, and seeing how other teams are solving those problems.

So the next thing I want to look at, and I know the last couple of episodes we’ve been looking at the Twitter ad products, and the work that we’ve been doing with the Storm around easy Twitter ads to promote ticketing offers for the Melbourne Storm. What I want to look at now is the other social network that’s implied from an advertising point of view.

And some of the offerings that Facebook are offering with, what they call, custom audiences, and how you could use the data that you have in your CRM and use Facebook advertising to target them. So I think it’ll be actually a good discussion with the guys like Russell Scibetti who were doing the CRM track at SEAT. So the first thing when faced with a launch they’re saying, you can now target Facebook ads to pick where you have their email address.

So the first response is, why would I want to run a Facebook ad if I’ve already got their email address? We know from our discussion with Russell, and studies show that email is the killer way to close a sale. Social is great for building that sales funnel and building that database, but email is the way to close. So, again, why would we want to run Facebook ads to people we’re already communicating with via email.

So the thing is that what Facebook ads do with these custom audiences is it allows you to directly target your ads to those people. So it’s a really great brand awareness play on a network that, let’s face it, that everyone is on for long periods of time. So some of the campaigns that you could be running using these custom audience features is running a campaign to remind fans that potentially have left or aren’t getting your emails anymore, to come back. Come back to the fold. Come and reengage either via your email list or by your Facebook page.

Also increase awareness of your current promotional offers and ticketing offers. So it might not be that your fans will be clicking and buying tickets via these ads, but the fact that they know that there is a special offer or there’s a special game coming up, it can just be just a bit of a brand awareness play.

There’s also options around season launches. Everyone knows that ad rank is a big thing in Facebook and determines how many people are going to see your posts. So potentially coming into a new season, the fans might not have been as engaged because you haven’t had as much sport related content. So potentially running an ad and some ads in promoting posts specifically to your fans that you know are active that will come back is another way of doing it.

And the other one is for sponsor offers of promotional items. You can offer your sponsors really super targeted ads that you know that these fans are in your database. But then you can also drill into the demographics. The other real cool thing you can do from a custom audience point of view, even if you don’t want to spend money, is you can get some really great demographic data out of Facebook.

Let’s face it, they’re collecting of all this information of everybody, why not reverse engineer the content, your database, to find out more about them. So once you build a custom audience, you can play around with the ad tool and find out more about your fans. Use it for sponsor identification. Find out what brands are like your brand. You can do all those kind of things to say, I want my fan base. Tell me how much of my fan base are between this age and demographic.

That’s obvious, but you can get that profile for your email list and not just your Facebook page. But then you can also say, tell me how many of my fans are also fans of another team or like another brand. So you can start doing that stuff.

The other thing that I think that does have a bit of excitement, at least from my point of view as far as being a Facebook marketer, is Facebook dark posts. Normally, if you are running a team’s Facebook page, you would have been harassed by your sponsorship and your business development guys around, hey, we’ve got a sponsor offer, and we really want to put it up on the Facebook page.

And by and large, you know that if the offer isn’t strong enough, or if it doesn’t have a high hybrid climate for the fans and really be cool for the fans, it most likely will tank. Especially if you’re putting it out to everybody. Whereas, if you’ve got an offer that is appealing, but it’s only appealing to a certain section of your fan base.

Well, potentially what you can do is use Facebook dark posts. So first of all, what is a Facebook dark post? Well, a Facebook dark post, and it does sound a little bit like black magic, but it’s a Facebook post that doesn’t appear on your wall, but is only used for Facebook ad sponsored posts.

So as a user, as a fan, you’ll see the post sponsored. But if you go to the Facebook page, it won’t appear anywhere on the page. So I guess where the advantage is what you can do is have a sponsored post that’s around a sponsor’s promotion. Specifically target your audience. Specifically target that demographic and only those fans will see that post. The only disadvantage of a dark post is you lose the virility of the post, so if fans are liking and commenting on the post, their friends might want to see it.

But if you’re really just trying to drive engagement and traffic around your promotion, it works really, really well. So how I’ve been testing it currently, if you’re an iPhone user and you’ve engaged with me before, what you may have seen is a post that promotes the Sports Geek Podcast with a link to the iTunes store to download and subscribe to the podcast,

That post is obviously a dark post. It’s an ad that is directly targeting my custom audience in Australia, New Zealand, UK and the US, and it’s only showing to people who are on iPhones. Because there’s no point sending people like myself who are on Android a link to iTunes. It’s wasted money because they’re not going to use iTunes link.

So that’s been really effective just from a brand awareness point of view. So if you’ve seen it, let me know. But also, just to target the right people on the right platform. I specifically did it only on mobile because I really wanted people to go straight to iTunes and start subscribing straight away. So, again, a similar thing you could do that for app installs. If you go to A Team application and you want to build more fans into your app, Facebook now has an app install ad.

And again, that would be a great space for a custom audience to target those ads. So there’s some of the stuff that we have been looking at and sort of digging into the Facebook custom audience stuff. One guy that I think you should check out is a guy called John Luma. I’m going to put his links in the show notes,

He’s been running an absolute stack about Facebook ads, the Facebook power editor, dark posts, custom audiences. I met John at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego earlier this year. He actually has this sports background. He used to do some work in the NBA. I’m hoping to have John on a podcast in the future. He’s got his own podcast or his pubcast. I’ll share the link to his podcast in the show notes.

It’s definitely worth listening to. He’s done a few podcasts on the different parts of the Facebook ad power editor there as well. So that’s pretty much for it for another podcast. If you are out running or in the gym, go on push yourself through these closing credits. And the other thing is if you are listening and you’ve got feedback, please, you can leave it on iTunes store. The ratings help all the time.

But if you’ve got a question or you’re thinking about emailing me, I was lucky enough to meet Dewayne at Ad:tech this week. He came up to me and said, good day, Sean. I listen to the podcast. I’ve been meaning to email you. So please don’t hesitate. Send me an email. Love to hear from you.

One person I do have to thank this week who has provided our sounds of the game from this week’s state of origin where a full ANZ Stadium were in attendance where New South Wales fans were hoping to break the stranglehold of State of Origin. Unfortunately for them, Queensland maintained their dominance to win their eighth straight State of Origin series. However, the New South Wales fans were in full voice early on.

Thank you to Kevin Perry or @abkevau from Stadium Grub for grabbing the audio. Again, if you’re at game this weekend, please grab a little bit of audio. Flick it to me. It can be video, audio, whatever. I’ll make it work. Until next show, I’m Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. And may your content be retweeted and shared copiously.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to We’ll see you in Kansas City for SEAT 2013. You got to be there, mate. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek podcast.

Australia Sports Media Consumption Trends

Australia Consumption Trends

#ThankYouSirAlex Social Media Coverage and Statistics

Big sports news starts on Twitter

Last week, in one of the year’s biggest sports news stories, Sir Alex Ferguson called it quits on his illustrious 26-year career at Manchester United. Ferguson’s popularity on and off the pitch has been well documented (including on Sports Geek Podcast 002), and the online response to the news from fans and players past and present, was understandably overwhelming.

Sports stars show Twitter love

As we’ve come to expect when significant sports news breaks, social media goes into an frenzy. Within five minutes, the official Manchester United Press office tweet announcing Ferguson’s retirement had been retweeted 5,000 times. An hour later, that number had grown to over 100,000. It wasn’t long before the #thankyousiralex hashtag was the number one trending topic worldwide, as reported by Head of sport for Twitter in the UK/Europe @LewisWiltshire:

Analyzing Twitter data

According to the #thankyousiralex hashtag was used around 350,000 times on Twitter in the week following the news being broken, with spikes of 167,000 on May 8th and 140,000 on May 12th, here is a quick infographic we built with

Tracking #ThankYouSirAlex

A look at Facebook traffic using

Fans were also encouraged to leave messages of support via a custom Facebook application, which to date has been clicked more than 240,000 times from a number of locations around the world, as explained in Sports Geek Podcast.

Geographic distribution of clicks

Facebook numbers, WOW!

The announcement was handled extremely well by Manchester United’s media team, who were able to incorporate their respect and appreciation with a number of Facebook posts that oozed class and a strong sense of fan engagement:

ManUtd - Facebook Timeline Photo - 'Legend'

#thankyousiralex - behind the scenes

Sir Alex and his trophies

But the most heart-felt sign of fans’ appreciation came before his side’s penultimate match of the 2012-13 season, where players from both Manchester United and visiting team Swansea City joined to form a guard of honour:

Professional til the end.


Listen Now

Did you listen to Sports Geek Podcast #2 where Sean discusses #ThankYouSirAlex with Francis Leach?

Listen Now

LA Galaxy & the Beckham effect on @ABCGrandstand


This weekend on ABC Grandstand we were joined by Lisa Bregman who is the Social & Digital Manager from the LA Galaxy.

Download mp3

LA Galaxy & Beckham

Lisa Bregman (@LisaMBregman) has been lucky enough to be working with the LA Galaxy since while David Beckham made his home in the MLS.  With over 24M Facebook fans we discussed how the team leveraged a global star like Beckham and how they plan to continue this upcoming season in a post-Beckham era.
@LAGalaxy have 130K followers and almost 600K on Facebook (image from LA Galaxy Facebook page)


Until next time

You can follow Francis Leach and ABC Grandstand on Twitter.

Subscribe to  or Sports Geek Podcast in iTunes.

Essential iPhone apps for the summer sports calendar

Are you looking for some new sports and apps to become addicted to for the duration of the summer? With the two dominant winter codes of AFL and NRL in the early stages of their offseason, it’s time for Australian sports fans to focus their attention on other sports being played both nationally and internationally.

Here are our top five sports-related apps to keep sports fans occupied and up-to-date throughout the summer months.

1 – 2013 NBA Game Time

NBA is fast becoming a must-follow league in Australia. If you’re a new Miami Heat fan, a Laker from way back when, or just jumping on one of the hotter young teams like the Clippers or Thunder, then this app is for you. NBA Game Time gives users on-demand scores, stats and news, so you can track your team while you’re at work, home or at the beach.

Additionally, the Game Time app integrates with NBA League Pass, giving subscribers live and on-demand access to all NBA action, both regular season and playoffs. Admittedly, the app is better if you’re a League Pass subscriber, but it offers great features without the subscription as well.


The ESPN FC app is a one-stop app that gives news and scores on most major soccer leagues and competitions from around the globe. Whether you’re a Messi-loving Barca fan or a lover of the nouveau riche super teams like Manchester City or Paris St-Germain, ESPN FC provides soccer fans with the most comprehensive news, scores and stats updates that you can find via mobile.

A must-have app for any true fan.

3 – CricketLive

Endorsed by Cricket Australia, the CricketLive app is great for cricket fans. It provides coverage of the Vodafone Test Series, ODIs, T20s and the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League. The app offers great features like live score checks, full match schedules from all tournaments and international player stats for all the cricket purists. (Note: Fans may also be interested in the Big Bash only app; KFC T20 Big Bash League)

4 – NFL Int’l ’12

Some people may prefer the ESPN ScoreCenter app for their NFL scores, but this app offers much more content. It has a full layout of both team and individual stats from each game, as well as score alerts, photos and video highlights.

Similar to the NBA app above, NFL Int’l ’12 can link into NFL Game Pass, which is a wonderful way to sneakily watch Sunday Night Football or catch the Monday night game at work. (Note: Don’t let the boss catch you chewing through the Wi-Fi data!)

5 – SportsMate Mobile – A-League App

If you’re a fan of SportsMate Mobile’s AFL and NRL offerings, then you’ll love their A-League app. Unlike the Official A-League app that is buggier than Internet Explorer, SportsMate’s offering is as slick an app as there s in the App Store. It features great match-day scores and stats, as well as up-to-the-minute Twitter feeds, news section and stats leaders. This app really is a great hand-held companion to check during play.

Honorable mention – At Bat

While this isn’t technically going to be a summer app essential, At Bat offers good value for Major League Baseball fans. MLB are offering free trials of At Bat ’12 (including live postseason play) courtesy of major sponsor Ford. While this may not be available in Austrlia, it’s worth noting from a fan activation point of view, as it’s effective activation from both Ford and the MLB.

#SportsBizNZ Notes from Sports Business NZ conference

Here are my notes (largely unedited & unfiltered as I took them down in Google Docs) from the Sports Business NZ conference held in Auckland, I missed some sessions with work & radio commitments but it was an enjoyable conference with a great mix of speakers & topics.  I was very privileged to be one of the international keynote speakers & ran a successful sports digital day workshop prior to the conference.

Thanks to Shane Worthington from AC Events & his team putting on the event & to Matthew Cooper who did a stellar job as MC keeping the event moving smoothly over the 2 days.

Leadership – What’s working to develop & grow sporting organisations?

“Leading Change – taking advantage of the fast changing world of sport”

Across every spectrum of sport the world is changing at an incredible pace. How best, in this complex changing market, do you understand the shifts, take advantage and stay ahead?

  • Leading from the top – the importance of good governance and management
  • Understanding what business you are in – sport or entertainment, profit or not for profit
  • Technology changes – understanding the trends, implications and opportunities
  • Commercial/marketing challenges – your customers, your properties, your plan

Peter Miskimmin CEO Sport NZ

Sports Geek notes

Peter discussed the market forces on sports business including the growing professionalism of sport, how sports is funded & changes to the media industry.  These changes are presenting marketing opportunities like major events as evidenced with RWC 2011.  Sport participation is challenging the status quo especially with new forms of sport like 20/20 cricket growing in popularity.  Like Australia there is a battle balancing the demands for high performance with grassroots sports.  Sport continues to rely heavily volunteers and finding new volunteers is a constant issue.  Lastly there is changes in organising bodies that keeps sports administrators busy ensuring their sports organising are running at optimum efficiency.

Sports are in a combination of sports, business & entertainment.

We need more marketing expertise in our organisations & on our boards.

Passion overriding board decision when chasing titles or medals clouding judgements of sound business minded board members.

The challenges facing sport are:

  • balancing the “game” side & the “business” side
  • internal resistance to change
  • a new corporate capability
  • more effective leadership
  • a deliberate focus on marketing
  • change of mindsets as leaders

Do all this, without losing sight of, or connection to, the intrinsic values of sport.

Key snippets:

  • 36% of 18-35 are watching online in Europe there is a big shift in TV viewing habits.
  • 33% adults in New Zealand are now consuming sports online.
  • Sports & Rec sector – $5.2B per annum employs 50,000
  • Top 30 NSOs average over $1M in revenue
  • NZRU 2011 revenue was $105M
  • Gemba analyzed NZ sports market breaking them down into Disinterested, Fans & Fanatics (devotion & eternal optimism).
  • According to Gemba only Rugby Union & Rugby League are in top 10 sports & entertainment options.
  • Fanatics represent 90% of members & 80% of merchandise & 70% of your attendance

Growing Brumbies Rugby in the face of stiff competition and tough economic times

“Andrew will present on the challenges in leading a modern sports business, with particular focus on the strategies being used to grow the Brumbies organisation in face of significant competition, a tight economic climate and unique local market conditions. Andrew will focus on the importance of positive product differentiation and the value in developing effective partnerships that provide the scale and leverage necessary to support growth and sustainable success”.
Andrew Fagan
CEO Brumbies Rugby (AUS)

Sports Geek notes

“First with the Head and then with the Heart” was the title of Andrew’s presentation.  “Small can beat big” is Bryce Courteney quote that is at the heart of the Brumbies growth strategy.   Australia is one of the most competitive sports markets in the world & expansion continues in most leagues.  Canberra a government town with 360,000 people & 45% working for the government presents a challenge for Canberra sports teams.

The Brumbies vision is to set the standard of impact through sport:

  1. Outstanding business as usual performance
  2. Establish point of difference
  3. Achieve scale through partnership

Brumbies have developed a strong partnership with University of Canberra.

  • Facilities
    • New stadiums
    • Shared facilities & offices
  • Marketing & communications
    • Content Marketing
    • Brand Development
    • Brumbies TV
  • Business Development
    • Brumbies IP Business Unit
    • Back Office support
  • Fan Development
    • Demographic enhancement
    • UC Brumbies Social Club
  • Rugby Development
    • UC Brumbies Rugby Academy
    • Provision of scholarships
    • Development Officer Program

Reflections & lessons

  • Spend time identifying points of difference
  • Identifying partners who are regionally unique
  • Partners that present scaled that provides ROI
  • Shared values & goals are critical.
  • Identify & connect with internal champions
  • Communicate benefits to internal stakeholders
  • Both parties must see benefit

Key snippets:

  • Most avoid suicide by imitation – won’t win a head to head battle with market leaders.
  • Key partnership with University of Canberra starting with naming rights but that is just a starting point – facilities, marketing & communications & business development.
  • Government & Defence partnerships a strong focus connecting sponsors via Brumbies events.
  • Defense provide entertainment augmentation or better said flyovers, helicopters & tanks.

Leading NZ’s largest national sporting organisation – a rugby view of key strategies for leadership success

  • Managing the challenges and opportunities that come with being New Zealander’s sport of choice
  • Developing the game in a tough economic climate
  • Strategies for achieving a high performance culture
  • Managing effective relationships – government / sponsors / clubs / players
  • How Rugby World Cup 2011 was won – off the field

Neil Sorenson General Manager – Professional Rugby New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU)

Sports Geek notes

“I’m a bloody good leader” is how Neil opened his presentation.  Are you born to be a leader?  Probably according to Neil always found himself in leadership positions in life from school to school to business.

Looking for a leader?  Look to people who people who are following & especially someone who is a people’s person who instinctively cares for others.  New Zealand Rugby Union is committed to caring about people with is embodied by All-Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Good point by Neil on handling “problem players” if you think the pressure of being a rugby player is too much & wouldn’t want grief from getting in trouble then walk away & get a normal job.  But what they need to realise they are also giving up a salary of up to $400,000 & business class flights and all the perks that comes with becoming an All-Black.

Review of RWC 2007

  • Leadership
  • Player Management
  • Culture


  • Pressure
  • Off-field commitments
  • Injury

Key snippets:

  • Stadium of Four Million was a big driver for All Blacks at RWC 2011.
  • “Football more popular than rugby for Kiwi kids”
  • Individual performance plans important development across teams using common language & easy to understand by all partners – players, parents & coaches
  • Examples show with a 17 year old junior & current All Black with easy colour coding & helps players be aware of personal goals & coach needs
  • Leaders working with leaders – clubs working with All Blacks a key part of success
  • If you can’t recite your priorities then they aren’t your priorities.
  • Leadership doesn’t have to come from a text book

Achieving commercial sustainability at club level – what needs to happen?

  • Getting the right balance between developing sports codes and achieving commercial growth
  • Creating better long term partnerships with key stakeholders – sponsors / media / government
  • Successfully managing reputation on and off the field
  • Corporate governance and club management – how are models changing?
  • What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for 2013 and beyond?

Sheryl Dawson, CEO, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Franchise / Netball Bay of Plenty
Mark Cameron,
CEO, Auckland Cricket Association
Hamish Riach,
CEO, Canterbury Crusaders / Canterbury Rugby Football Union
Peter Burley, Director, Sport Guidance Ltd

Sports Geek notes

Talking about all clubs – professional to grass-roots community clubs.
Must call clubs be sustainable?
Every organisation no matter what size they all must be commercially sustainable & viable – Sheryl Dawson.
How do you best help clubs grow?
People best able to make clubs thrive are the people who care about them the most – Hamish Riach
“Clubs the Hub” program has been important to fund management of cricket clubs – Mark Cameron
What is the most important structure & processes for club sustainability?
Important to remove the requirement of volunteers to grow the club – Mark Cameron
Opposing view from Hamish who believes volunteers are vital to lifeblood of clubs.
What about super clubs? Can they work & how do you do it?
History hard to ignore when combing clubs, getting everyone on the same page is vital – Hamish Riach

The business of major events

  • From Rugby World Cup to Cricket World Cup
  • The role of the host country
  • Commercial/business imperatives
  • The key stakeholders
  • What does success look like
  • Keeping legacy in mind

Therese Walsh – Head of NZ, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Director NZ Cricket (Previously Chief Operating Officer Rugby NZ 2011 Ltd)

Sports Geek notes

Checklist for a to know if you’re running a Global Sporting Event

  • Many countries involved
  • Significant international broadcasting audience
  • Lots of fans/spectators
  • Significant economic returns direct and indirect
  • VIPs come into the country

Why host Global Sporting Events?
Key Benefits:

  • International reputation
  • NZ feesl good
  • $$ Economic returns
  • More Players
  • More Fans

Role of Host Country

  • Deliver the Event well
  • Welcome Teams & Fans
  • Participate & Enjoy
  • Activate Business

Difficult part of running a global sporting event is managing the key stakeholders between International, National & Regional partners.  Getting them all to pull in the same direction is a big driver when running an event.

Commercial mode differs for each stakeholders

  • International Sports Body – Broadcasting & sponsorship
  • Host Country – Economic impact & marketing
  • Host Sports Body – Profit? & Marketing
  • Host Cities – Economic impact & marketing
  • Organising Company – Ticket Sales

Important keeping legacy in mind, not just about in business including; players, fans, volunteers, nationhood & social cohesion.

What’s in the secret-sauce of world-class fan engagement?

Sharing insight from three of the biggest clubs in world soccer, Michael will discuss the thinking behind Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City’s latest stadium and fan initiatives. Although your club is as unique as your fan base, Michael will show how to mix three key ingredients, so you can drive value for both your club and your supporters.
He will:

  • Discuss where your club’s brand behaves in the hearts and minds of your fans, and how this affects your club’s ‘offer’
  • Reveal what links an iPod to the London 2012 Olympics (and the Rugby World Cup of 2011 for that matter!)
  • Explain how three ingredients will inform the tiers of your match-day experience
  • Show how these ingredients power stadium benchmarks from New Zealand, The US and The UK.
  • Show how you can extend the match-day audience beyond the capacity of your stadium

Michael Artis Client Director – Sport and Entertainment 20.20 (UK)

Sports Geek notes

Simple premise – Truth. Change. Success.
All about designing extraordinary fan experiences… like Arsenal Diamond Club
… and evolve brand identities like Arsenal logo redesign. (Only to get death threats from fans who had the original logo tattooed on their chests)

Fan quote – “It’s what we do everything else for”
This is who I am – Thick & then, “A board of millions”, This is my “home”

London 2012 was planned by the hour from the fan’s point of view according to Seb Coe.

Some of the initiatives at Arsenal – Fan Bricks, Concourse, Playing Legends, Legend Statues, etc

Secret Ingredients – Access, Exclusivity & Belonging

Examples include:

  • Exclusive insider tours at Yankee stadium
  • Pennsylvania Soccer Fan Loyalty program
  • Dallas Cowboys Miller Lite Lounge around player tunnel
  • MCFC – Redefining Premium around exclusivity – The Connell Club
    • Sold out off plan
    • Reserved 5% for match-by-match availabillity
  • Liverpool – all about belonging
    • Ramps up storytelling around Bill Shankly & Bob Paisley
    • 80% sold off plan
    • Honouring club legends
    • Sets expectation for what is to come…

Manchester City is expanding beyond the stadium with match-day destination zone with live show cross channel as well as bespoke partner areas like EA Blue Zone.

Optimising your Volunteer Potential

Managing your volunteers to ensure you give them the best possible volunteer experience and you get the best out of them can be a juggling act.
In this session we will talk about the trends in volunteering, what motivates volunteers, and how you can manage volunteers to get the best from them.
Gillian Peacock Chairperson Volunteering New Zealand

Sports Geek notes

It’s not just about saying thank you to your volunteers, is that enough?
1.2M Volunteers in NZ with over 800K in sports.
Key definition to use is Social Profit rather than Not-for-profit, there is a benefit socially to the community.
Great Volunteer Programmes need to:

  • Managers & Ambassadors are vital
  • Cost of a Volunteer program is not zero
  • Keeps Volunteers involved, makes them feel good & builds on their skills & experience

What Volunteers want?

  • Support & respect
  • Role descriptions & expectations
  • Training & resources to do job well
  • Meaningful experiences

Don’t forget that November 5 is International Volunteer Managers Day

Change – Managing change – Why change in sport is so challenging!

  • Identifying the burning platform
  • Achieving Board alignment and engagement
  • Being open, honest, early and frequent with your communication
  • Gaining buy in for the whole community
  • Balancing leadership and community involvement

Raelene Castle Chief Executive Netball NZ;
Board Member TTNL (ANZ Championship);
Board Member INF (International Netball Federation)

Sports Geek notes

Netball moving to a 5 Zone model trying to ensure it doesn’t impact the many stakeholders in netball including players & fans are not disrupted.

It is hard!

  • It is harder than corporate world
  • Volunteers are the lifeblood
  • The growth of professionalism
  • Money is tight
  • There are layers you have no control over

You need to help identify a reason for change “a burning platform” creates urgency & makes the rationale more credible.

Creating the ultimate spectator experience -Turning a ‘good event’ into a ‘GREAT event’

  • Identifying, researching and servicing spectator segments
  • Giving people reasons to attend by empowering the spectator
  • Developing key partnerships
  • Underlying the importance of experience
  • Yesterday’s success equals tomorrow’s failure

Steve Walters General Manager Hertz Sevens

Sports Geek notes

Important to segment your customers
Identified fans who wanted to party & those who wanted to watch rugby
Strong connection with fans with strong ticket sales next challenge is expanding tournament outside stadium to new demographics.

Case Study – Wellington Phoenix

How to be successful in an ever changing environment

  • How to stay on top when the game is constantly changing
  • Organisational management – the role of the sports manager
  • The importance of business planning – financial planning, marketing and customer segmentation
  • Building the legacy in the role of guardian

David Dome General Manager Wellington Phoenix

Sports Geek notes

How do you keep the faith (with Bon Jovi soundtrack in the background)
Need to understand & appreciate your history when in business planning mode for your team.
Important part of planning is Customer Segmentation for Phoenix:

  • Hard Working Professionals (37% of base)
  • Studious Sharers & Settlers (18% of base)

Do your research

  • Find out what your fans like & don’t like?
  • Game day is a big draw for fans – family friendly & great atmosphere

Phoenix look at their marketing mix from fan point of view as well what they are presenting.
USP – “Being the most dynamic sporting experience in Wellington, The Phoenix delivers a sporting event like no other”
Social media a very cost effective method of communicating with fans but very important to understand what content your fans want.

Central government’s strategic approach to New Zealand’s sporting future

  • The role of the central government
  • Funding grass roots development and establishing a national approach to sport development
  • Managing the nations international interests
  • Working with the private sector to deliver opportunities to participants and spectators
  • Creating a sense of responsibility and community participation

Hon Chris Tremain, Associate Minister of Tourism Also Minister of Civil Defence & Minister of Internal Affairs

Sports Geek notes

Young people still want to play sports not just xbox & computers.  Saturday morning sport is still alive and well.  Surveys show kids want to try new sports so as an industry we need to give them the opportunities early on.

There is a balance between grass roots & high performance that is a constant struggle but both areas need assistance to keep lifting the bar both from participation rates & medal hauls.

An innovative approach to commercial diversity and growth

  • NZ Golf – a brief background
  • Overcoming commercial challenges
  • Getting the proposition right
  • Creating a digital platform to create meaningful connections
  • Maximising the use of your database to build the commercial side of your organisation
  • Case study

Dean Murphy CEO New Zealand Golf

Sports Geek notes

Big focus is game development across the country.
Kids are an important target market to drive interest for future players.
Time for change – NZG & NZPGA aligning
Some of the challenges:

  • decline in charitable trust revenue
  • heavily reliant of Sport NZ support
  • small commercial sponsorship
  • traditional club membership dropping

Needed to change the proposition

  • traditional approach wasn’t working
  • commercial revenue was less than 4% of total revenue
  • trying sell the sport
  • we need to understand the value of our connections with our players

NZ Golf need to rethink digital

  • regain rights to handicapping website
  • rights to marketing to members
  • new website
  • focussed on building knowledge around members databse

New NZ Golf website

  • 90K uniques per month
  • 3.5M page views per month
  • 6.40 time on site

Importance of an integrated campaign

  • BMW didn’t want naming rights – branding awareness not that important but want to sell cars
  • Integrated marketing solution
    • Naming rights
    • TV show
    • Direct mail
    • Email
    • Microsites
    • Corporate Golf Days
    • Targeted Online advertising
    • Unique membership offers
  • BMW Online Golf Club
    • 10,000 signed up in 4 months
    • Current vehicle & repurchase date
    • Performance reports on their golf
  • Targeted banner advertising campaign

Key takeaways

  • Accept that you will need to find new ways of securing new revenue
  • Organisations want to connect with people


Riding the rough road to success

  • How focusing on culture and a ‘values based’ approach to management has led to success
  • Marketing, promotion and membership strategies to achieve record crowds
  • Securing the largest sponsorship in club history
  • Building on our success – Where to from here?

Richard Clarke General Manager SKYCITY Breakers

Sports Geek notes

NZ Breakers sold out NBL Grand Final in 22 minutes faster than Lady Gaga.
It all started in 2002 with Tall Blacks success at World Championships with Pero Cameron making All-Star Five.
Building the Dream (a great start winning first game) but living the nightmare (didn’t win next 8 weeks)
New owners – Start with Vision – then Believe!
“To be a Basketball Dynasty” modelled on Broncos, Lakers & Celtics as well as Perth Wildcats
What does winning look like?
To be a Professional, Successful, Relevant and Sustainable Basketball Club.

Formula for success – One Team + Courage + Integrity = Champions

  • Culture is Everything
  • Believe – Commitment to Vision
  • Participants not Spectators
  • Support your community – they will support you
  • Be prepared for Success

3 Rules

  • Did we get better today?
  • Challenge everything
  • No Dickheads

What next?

  • Resetting the Targets
  • Managing expectations
  • Writing the next success story

Leading change and creating high quality experiences to achieve retention and growth through the NZF Whole of Football Plan

  • Leading change to create alignment and a shared vision / understanding
  • Understanding unique NZ challenges and addressing them with world’s best practice
  • Implementing a new plan with new staff and new programmes
  • Key learning’s to date

Bev Priestman Head of Football Development NZ Football

Sports Geek notes

Before World of Football, “patchwork quilt” approach with different regions running different agendas with little accountability nationally.
AHA moment – What did we achieve last 7 years? Tough to answer
The Club is the Hub ties in existing players & draws in new players to increase retention rates.

Sportsville – Toward sport club sustainability

  • Designing facilities that enable pay-to-play versions of the/your game
  • Moving beyond grants and bar-takings dependency
  • Communicatus as a strategy for sport management/governance
  • Finding strategic friends and leveraging community expertise
  • What sport can learn from the YMCA movement

Peter Burley Director Sport Guidance Ltd

Sports Geek notes

Communicatus – yes it is a made up word.
What does it mean – communicating with members & encouraging sharing

The Sponsor’s perspective – A Managing Director’s view on sport sponsorship and commercial partnerships

  • Integrating sponsorship into the overall business strategy
  • Ensuring a cultural fit between the brand and the sport
  • How we use sponsorship to target both the business and consumer markets to drive sales growth

Neale Hill Managing Director Ford New Zealand

Sports Geek notes

Important to ensure a cultural fit for brand & sponsorship delivers to target business for sales growth.

Key considerations when deciding on a sponsorship:

  • Does the sponsorship property fit Brand Strategy and objectives?
  • What elements of Brand Strategy will it deliver?
  • Do we have resources, both financial & physical to leverage the sponsorship to deliver expected outcomes?
  • What is the sustainability of sponsorship property?
  • What are the risks associated with the sponsorship which could have damaging effects on the Brand?

Sport is a currency
Sponsorship is a platform to drive brand awareness & a tool to improve favorable opinion with customers.

Successfully connecting sports, fans and sponsors using technology

This session will look into how sports teams are connecting with their fan base to drive membership, merchandise & sponsor activations using social & digital.
Love your sports & digital, want to know?

  • How Darth Vader teamed up with Bulldogs for Star Wars Blu-Ray Launch
  • How Lions & Eagles fired up digital fans on Facebook & Twitter
  • How the NBA’s Timberwolves connected with fans at the NBA Draft
  • How to manage large fan bases on social platforms
  • What fan engagement strategies work well in sports & how can they be adapted
  • What social and digital metrics are important and why

Sean Callanan Founder Sports Geek

Obviously I wasn’t taking notes while I was presenting… but here is a photo taken during the presentation.

‘More than just a game’ – How the NZRL secured the biggest sponsorship in its history

  • Attracting sponsorship – the importance of the strategic vision
  • Collaboration through sponsorship to effect change in communities
  • Creating better long term partnerships
  • Opportunities for the game/growth/community engagement/sponsors

Tony Kemp General Manager – High Performance NZ Rugby League

Sports Geek notes

Dark Past – Bright Future
“More than just a game” is the new theme

Pirtek sponsorship includes:

  • National Premiership
  • Hearts Camps
  • Grassroots
  • Charity
  • Reward Programmes
  • Elites

Wrap Up

It was a great two days of content & networking in the New Zealand sports business scene, it was a great conference & I look forward to seeing more success from the speakers & attendees over the coming year.

If you attended I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments or on Twitter.

Olympic Sports Digital Update Day 1 – Mr Bean, Twitter fight & Lochte V Phelps

Sports Digital Olympic news you may have missed

Day 2 – Competition

Athlete Twitter wars have already started, with US soccer star Hope Solo firing off shots on Twitter.

Has social media has changed since 2008 with the Olympics?

Can the Olympics now only workin real time with social media? A look a NBC’s decision to show on tape-delay.

No surprise here Olympics ranks amongst highest social TV events

Who is is making a bigger splash on social media than Michael Phelps?

How much should athletes censor themselves on social media? We say no at Sports Geek but follow these rules.

Visualising the Emotional Response to LONDON 2012

What song was that? Media guide for the opening ceremony

Twitter Medals – Day 2

Bronze Medal – Rachel Bremer

Mr Bean most popular!

Silver Medal – Karen Barlow

With a great shot from the media pack

Gold Medal – Ryan Lochte

A win to the underdog!

#digifail Medal

Instagram Of The Day

So many amazing shots from today but this one took our fancy of Eamon Sullivan (Eamon_Sullivan on Instagram)

Source: via Anna on Pinterest


From Google+

Did you join in the Google+ Watch Party? A great way to allow fans to submit photos around an event.

Each day we’ll update you with best sports digital news, tweets & pictures from #London2012.
Send a tweet to me @amcal or @SportsGeekHQ if you see something we should add.
Sign up to Sports Geek News to stay in touch with the sports digital world.

#WriteTheFuture, Foursquare Search, Amare & Steele

New form of Athlete endorsement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best On Ground

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

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

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

YouTube Clip of the Week

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

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

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

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

Nike Master Control – Review

Nike Master ControlNike Master Control is an iPhone extension of the Nike/Barcelona web training site to leverage the Nike & Barcelona partnership.  It is a great little app for aspiring footballer who want to learn some skills and drills from some of the world’s finest players.  The skill drill videos are well presented with full English subtitles.  The footballer/user is guided through a 4 week training program with the Barca coaches.  The application records when each drill is performed and records times taken for each drill, recorded and saved on

MasterControlSports Geek iPhone App Throwdown

Value: High – It is free
Sports Geek Factor: Nike gets great branding in this application but also provides terrific value to the football fan with access to the Barca coaches.  It integrates with well providing great value for the training footballer.
Usability: Easy – Simple clean screens and navigation.
Who Is It For: Footballers looking to improve their game or just football, Nike or Barca fans in general.
What I Like: The training video clips & the fact the stopwatch won’t let you record Usain Bolt-like numbers.
What I Don’t: It’s a minor one but it takes a little long to load, for a few seconds you think it’s crashed and your iPhone is shutting down.  Most iPhone users get the shakes when they see this, I know I do :)
No or Go: Definite GO

Available at iTunes