SCG goes big on fan engagement – ICYMI – @SportsGeek News

In case you missed it – Reprint of Sports Geek News – Tuesday 29th April 2014

Sean Arsenal
What @SportsGeek reads 

SCG signs $10M deal for app to win fans

Jamaica soccer team’s World Cup dreams needs huge crowdfunding save

Two NFL teams post their 2014 schedules on Snapchat

The rise of Smart TV, brings new innovations for MLB fans

Did ESPN suspend Darren Rovell from using Twitter?

Nielsen Twitter TV ratings coming to Australia

Buffalo Bill’s will pay up to $3M to settle text messaging law suit

Q1 Referral Traffic: Facebook’s referral traffic grew over 37%

Top 10 Animal encounters in the PGA

SGN Guest Editor…. 
Dan Pinne is the Digital Media Manager at Melbourne Storm (@storm) and has a strong passion for digital initiatives in the sporting industry. He’s always on the lookout for the next digital initiative in sport and business.   Listen to Dan on Sports Geek Podcast here
You can connect with Dan on twitter (@danpinne) or LinkedIn. He also has a passion for conservation for Orangutans in Borneo and will travel there in September to raise funds for WWF Australia. He is hosting an event this Thursday 1 May at Honey BarMore info and tickets here.

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SGP 006: @Socceroos connecting with fans and look at @LAKings trash talk

Sports Geek Podcast available on iTunes and StitcherOn the mend from achilles surgery, in this week’s Sports Geek Podcast we chat to Robert Squillacioti about how the @Socceroos are connecting with mainstream Australia over 3 weeks trying to qualify for World Cup 2014.  Since the NHL Finals we go back into our ABC Grandstand archive with our chat with Dewayne Hankins who at the time was working at AEG Sports with the @LAKings.


Thanks again for the feedback, tag your tweets #SGP I’ve included some of your feedback on the Sports Geek Podcast page.

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

  • How the Socceroos are using digital to connect with mainstream Australia
  • Importance of understanding your audience around major events
  • Importance of understanding where digital fits when complementing sports TV coverage
  • Why the LA Kings took on the undertag into last year’s playoffs
  • How LA Kings used Twitter to develop a loud minority online
  • How the LA Kings dealt with the NHL Lockout with no access to players
  • Hashtags on Facebook, what effect will it have on sports?
  • A look at how the Melbourne Storm are using Twitter Ads

Very pleased to see it profiled in New & Noteworthy in iTunes and we’ve passed the 800 downloads mark with new listeners each week.

SGP006-SocceroosLAKingsResources from the episode

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Thanks for tuning in, I’d love your feedback in the comments or send me a tweet @seancallanan

Podcast transcription

Sean: Welcome to Episode 6 of Sports Geek Podcast. In this episode, we’ll talk to Rob Squillacioti about marketing the Socceroos, and we’ll back into the archives and look at last year’s Stanley Cup run of the LA Kings with Dewayne Hankins.

DJ Joel: Welcome to the Sports Geek Podcast. The podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now here is your host, whose professional sports career was tragically cut short at age 17 due to a lack of ability, Sean Callanan.

Sean: Thanks DJ Joel. My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. You can find me on Twitter @Sean Callanan. I’d like to say I’m back on my feet, but at least I can say the Achilles surgery was successful. But I will be couch bound for a week or two.

Thanks to Dr. Jeff Tymms and the staff at Epworth Eastern for looking after me. Hopefully I can get back on schedule and releasing the podcast later in the week on a Friday. From next week, I didn’t want this podcast to be known as the one on the painkillers.

Also on today’s show, we’ll look at Facebook hashtags and also some of the stuff that we are doing with Twitter ads and seeing what actions and interactions you can get via those.

But to start things off, we’re going to chat with Rob Squillacioti from FFA, who runs the Socceroos marketing, and the Socceroos are currently trying to qualify for the Brazil World Cup. They won last week four nil and they need to win this Tuesday to secure their place, otherwise they go into a multiple playoff system. So here is our discussion with Francis Leach on ABC Grandstand.

Announcer: Grandstand Breakfast on Grandstand Digital.

Francis: It’s not so all right for a man, Sean Callanan, Sports Geek HQ because he’s in here with serious injury would lay him on the DL for at least about three months. What have you done, you dummy?

Sean: I’m following the lead of Kobe Bryant. I thought he was doing a great job sharing his injury with social media, so I thought I’d go and tear my Achilles, so I did follow his lead.

Francis: Basketballing?

Sean: Basketballing, and I was quite shocked. My brother sent me a text last night asking if I was going to be amnestied. So I’ve already been cut by my team. 12 months of rehab. I’m not looking forward to it, but what can you do?

Francis: Well, more time to spend in front of your computer or your tablet doing what you do best.

Sean: Exactly.

Francis: We are talking Sean Callanan, Sports Geek HQ about sports in the digital space, and around events such as the Socceroos rather compacted and important three-week period of time, no doubt traffic when it comes to the green and gold, and the round ball game goes through the roof.

Sean: It’s certainly does, a lot of national interest in the Socceroos at the minute. And the main thing is, when the national attention comes, you actually get different types of fans coming on board, fans that are just filled with national pride. They might not really be big football followers. One of the things they’ve been doing with the Socceroos, we’ve got a special guest here. He made us say his name so Rob Squillacioti, did I get that right Rob?

Rob: Squillacioti is very close Sean.

Sean: Rob is marketing manager of the FFA and looking out for the Socceroos, so we’ve got these three games. And what we’re really trying to do is to reach mainstream Australia, because we saw last night, last Tuesday, especially from a social point of view, a lot of interaction. A lot of people were watching. We saw the highs and the lows of sport. So what are some of the things that you are trying to do to get the message out about the Socceroos over these three weeks?

Rob: I guess what we’re trying to do is connect fans with the team and make them close as possible to the team. We’re trying to bring that to life in the digital space. So either through sharing a loads of behind the scenes content or just getting the players to share their experiences with the fans out there.

Francis: How do you get the players on board with that? They are so focused on this really important three weeks in their career where they’ve got to try to qualify for Brazil. I guess that the last thing they want to worry about is anybody else. Are they mindful about that responsibility to the wider public?

Rob: They certainly are mindful about what they have to do to get the nation behind them. I guess in the world we live in now, it’s not as simple as being able to lock yourself away and train and be focused. Of course that’s important for the players, but they certainly understand the job they have to do.

Sean: And they are doing a lot of community stuff anyway, social and digital, so it’s just an extension of that. They went out to schools and they do a lot of things out of those three weeks, because you can’t just be sitting in your hotel room the whole time. You will get bored, and we did have some workshops yesterday with the guys just to explain to them, one, how you can use social at a time like this, because this is when they are going to get the attention.

But also to be very mindful of, I know you used the Australian swimming team as an example yesterday, is to not let social media take over. You don’t want to be reading tweets as you’re walking in the stadium on Tuesday. You want to manage your own social, but the key thing is, and have guys like Timmy Cahill to really understand how important it is to after the game say thanks everybody, that’s great. His brand, but it’s also great for people who are trying to feel like they’re connected to the Socceroos.

Francis: And Rob, the job that Sean points out is interesting, because you’ve got people such as myself and Sean, who are diehards who will be there regardless. But there are also people who will take an occasional interest in it around major tournaments who might not know a lot about the game, but do have a keen interest to see the Socceroos do well. And to make sure that they don’t feel excluded by providing information that you assume they would know or talking about things that they might not know, you’ve got to sort of find that balance act between being an open door, a broad church, but also being savvy.

Rob: Yeah, so the way we look at it is I guess we call it the fan scale. So you’ve got that casual fan that sits with a load of national pride that may not necessarily know too much about football, but is certainly interested in Australia making the World Cup, and then down the other end, you’ve got the active supporters, who we now have a nearly established Terrace Australis Group, which will be driving the active support for the Socceroos moving forward. I guess as a result of seeing that fan scale, we have different ways of connecting with different audiences, so with the general fan, we make sure we don’t just football speech, and we’re making sure we keep it human, if that makes sense.

Sean: And the thing is, the really avid football fan, they are terribly engaged with the TV, and the thing is from a social point, you’ve got to remember that you’re the sideshow. It’s not look at me, look at me. But the casual fan, they are looking at Twitter and their social streams to get their commentary from people that they know and respect. So they might be looking for your commentary on what’s happening, because they know that you’re a football fan, but they’re also looking at the Socceroos, and they are also looking for people to have fun with, so it’s helping them enjoy that game.

So yeah, you want to make sure that you’re not tweeting about trying to explain the off side when people don’t know it. Maybe we need to provide it as an animated gift. That might reach the casual fan. We want to give it, like you said, a broad church and reach everybody.

Francis: Sean Callanan, our Sports Geek is with us. Robert Squillacioti is also, the marketing manager of Football Federation Australia, talking about digital sport, sport and the digital media and how the Socceroos are managing this very busy period of time. Just with the Socceroos’ brand and the way that it is perceived, you must be getting an interesting new window on what people think of the Socceroos because of the interactivity of the digital space, and they can talk about what they expect of the team and what their perception of it are. Has that been a bit of a revelation Rob?

Rob: Yeah. With social I guess exploding and coming to life over the last couple of years, we’ve, rather than see it as a barrier; we’ve seen it as an opportunity to engage our fans and start to talk about and actually research and seed bits and pieces about the Socceroos brand.

So for example, I guess there are loads of discussions about where we play and the stadiums we play in, and so over the last 12 months, we’ve just been seeding questions and asking our fans where they actually want to see the national team playing. It doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to change it straight away, but it certainly allows us to work on the brand and work on the overall experience, because the way we look at it, it’s end-to-end experience.

It’s not just the moment you leave your front door or to the moment you come back in. It’s actually the moment you start to connect with the brand and then maybe drop it off as it peaks around matches. How do we bring that back to life?

Francis: And I guess with the Asian Cup just now less than 18 months away, the long-term goal is to educate and get people excited about what’s not only the Socceroos journey through that but hosting the tournament as well.

Rob: Yeah.

Sean: It’s going to be, yeah. The Asian Cup is still an awareness thing. You know as we were talking about before on that fan scale, the avid fans will know that it’s coming and know the significance and the size of this tournament. But yeah, it’s the casual fans, but they are going to find out about it over the next several months, if I have my way, that know what this tournament is about and know that they’ll be able to see some great football.

Rob: And we have a great local organizing committee that’s headed up by Michael Brown, the CEO of the Asian Cup, their main job at the moment is to build awareness, so to build an understanding of what the tournament is and what it is all about. It is the most watched event in Asia when it comes to any sport. So it’s certainly got great global scale, and we’ve just got to make sure that we educate the Australian market and our fans on what it’s all about.

Francis: Can I ask from your point of view is there a particular social platform that has been the most busy for the Football Federation, for the Socceroos? Are you getting a sense of what platform fans are gravitating to more than the others?

Rob: Yeah. I think that’s an interesting question. I think Twitter is the answer for us. We have a great positive in being that everyone wants to talk about football. So we’re not trying to poke you and prod you and get your comments on the game. So Twitter allows us to be instantaneous as you both know. It allows us to essentially just have that conversation. The way I talk about it is like the conversation we’re having right now, just facilitated through Twitter. So we’re certainly seeing more success. I think we’re getting better at Facebook with the help of . . .

Sean: Yeah, I think it does lend itself to Twitter. I mean Twitter lends itself to live sports, and it’s conversational. Facebook is still a little bit one way. Still a little bit of broadcast and you engage. Whereas Twitter is everyone’s all in, and you will definitely see that this Tuesday and next Tuesday.

If you don’t know the Socceroos game is on and you’re on Twitter, then you’re doing something wrong, because you know, seven degrees of separation, you will have a Socceroos fan in your feed that starts talking about the game. We were talking to the guys at the SBS about the tune in factor and the broadcasters, it is really powerful. I’m sure a whole bunch of people change channels, when Tommy Orr kicked that goal to find out what happened.

Francis: Is there a case also that once you had engaged people through social media, the challenge is to make them feel like they belong and therefore, they are engaged for the long haul? It’s one thing to invite them to the front door and it’s another thing for them to come and sit inside the house.

Rob: Definitely. From our point of view, I guess a lot of brands try to commercialize social and we a long time ago, realized that’s not the way to do it.

Francis: It’s a turn off.

Rob: That’s right. So we are more about telling the story. So once we have you engaged, we want to tell you the story. We want to educate you more and bring you closer to the brand, not necessarily always the players, but bring you closer to what the Socceroos represent.

Francis: Well, it’s going to be a great night Tuesday night and then the following Tuesday as well. So you are going to be a very busy man, Robert.

Rob: That’s right.

Francis: And hopefully the trip to Brazil on the back of that, and then I guess that’s when it goes to a whole new level if the Socceroos qualify for 2014 in Brazil in terms of the public engagement with the team and with the concept of football.

Rob: No doubt. Making the World Cup is certainly our objective. We’ve got two big games as you say, one on Tuesday night against Jordan and then the following week against Iraq. We are very, very excited. The team is very, very excited as well and very focused, I must say. When we get to the World Cup, we’re certainly do and we’re already working on planning how we can try and gravitate ourselves towards that interest and bring people together and directly connect with them through digital.

Francis: Devastating news for the whole team is that Sean Callanan is unavailable for the remainder of this series though with this nasty injury. Sean, thanks for coming.

Sean: Thank you very much Francis. I’ll be tweeting photos as I do, following Kobe Bryant’s lead.

Francis: Good luck, mate. Thank you very much for coming, and Sean Callanan, our sports geek. Robert Squillacioti from FFA, Marketing Manager, Rob, thanks for being here, and good luck over the next few weeks.

Rob: No problem.

DJ Joel: You’re listening to the Sports Geek Podcast, tag your tweets, SGP.

Sean: Thanks to Rob for that chat and congrats to the Socceroos for winning last week against Jordan, 4, zip, and they play Iraq this Tuesday night. As I said before, if they win, they’re in. Some of the other things we’ve been doing with the Soccerros is some definite influence and outreach, making sure that celebrities and influences, but the main influences are the players. Using the main hashtag, which is Go Socceroos, it’s good to have the guys at SBS and Fox Sports onboard pushing that hashtag and getting the players involved.

The other one was actually having a Socceroos Chat, which we ran on Wednesday when we had the Socceroos captain, Lucas O’Neil actually answering the fans questions for a quick half hour chat with the fans. It went very well and was very well received by the fans. But when we’re talking about Twitter, pretty much everyone was talking about the LA Kings last year during the Stanley Cup and the way that they took a brash trash talking attitude all the way to a Stanley Cup win.

Francis and I caught up with Dewayne Hankins from the LA Kings. He was at the LA Kings when we spoke to him. He is now at the Portland Trailblazers. So here is our discussion with Dewayne about what the LA Kings did and why they took that strategy during the playoffs. I hope you enjoy.

Francis: Good morning Sean Callanan, sports geek, digital guru, how are you this morning?

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

Francis: Good Sean. It’s good to have you on. I wonder if the Leeds won. I did a bit of an old fashioned on Twitter. We should check.

Sean: I haven’t checked. I do know that the Storm, Dan from the Storm is over there providing live tweets from the game. Check the hashtag WCC. I sure do think the leagues are on Twitter.

Francis: It’s so old school. I thought they’d still be sending telegrams.

Sean: Yeah, no. I would put a bet on that Leeds are on as a guess.

Francis: Most good sporting franchises around the world do use it, but sometimes, that’s funny, Manchester United doesn’t.

Sean: Manchester United is still one of the ones that’s standing alone in not having a twitter account.

Francis: What’s that about?

Sean: Officially they said that they didn’t see any commercial benefit for that, and it’s actually a strange one. Occasionally I would sort of hear people say that about different platforms. Why should we . . . Manchester and I were saying why should we be on Twitter?

Francis: Well, apparently you can make any money out of it.

Sean: Yeah, exactly, or why should we be doing Instagram. And sometimes we don’t have a direct commercial benefit in that. Oh, we’ll send out a tweet or we’ll sell stuff. Now, that said . . .

Francis: Is it because Alex Ferguson can’t operate a mobile phone?

Sean: Again, he doesn’t need to do it. It’s not necessary for Alex to be on. But there definitely is commercial benefit to building that relationship with your fans, building their brand and then there is that opportunities to put that Call to Action to sell tickets, sell merchandise, all of those kinds of things. But the main thing is building that relationship with your fans and you’re communicating with them more.

So that’s the commercial benefit for all of these forms, whether it’s Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest or whatever it is. It’s like that’s the opportunity to do it right. You can find those different markets and build up that fan base and if that fan base, and then if that fan base comes more enamored with you, that’s what you want to do.
Francis: And I can confirm that Leeds United have moved to the digital age, with 30,000 followers, and I just joined to be the next one.

Sean: We just might have to have an assessment of how they are going against the Melbourne Storm online while the match is actually happening and look a little bit at their game day coverage.

Francis: If you use it clever, and you’re funny and witty, and you know how to connect with your tribe, as you call it, you can get massive mileage out of it, and we’re going to speak to somebody whose job it is to do just that with a couple of American sporting franchises.

Sean: Well, exactly, and especially when you’re running a club account as opposed to say a league account. You’re really talking directly to your fans, and that’s how we sort of advice all of our clubs. I mean, you’re in our league, you’re our fans, and you’ll be deciding to follow it, but their key market that their talking to is their fan. Now they might have casual fans or someone that’s just following along to keep up with the news, but you really wanting to talk to your super avid fan that love everything you do. I love the term from positive deviance. It just describes sports fans perfectly. Like they are just so wanting to express their passions, say how much they love the team, do whatever you want as far as please retweet, use our hashtag, show how much you support us, so you want to be talking to those kinds of fans.

If the opposition fan don’t love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter, because you’re serving your fans, the one’s that you’re monetizing, as everyone likes to say. They want to monetize social media. They are the ones that’s going to bring money in your club, and give love to your sponsors, and turn up to your events and games so they are your key customers. They are the ones that you have to look after.

Francis: And that’s exactly the job that Dewayne has.

Sean: Yeah, so I think we’ve got Dewayne Hankins from the LA Kings. He works at AAG Sports and is one of the guys behind the LA Kings and the digital strategy behind of what the LA Kings have been doing. Good day, Dewayne.

Dewayne: Good morning gentlemen, how are you?

Francis: Really well, Dewayne. The Kings had an amazing last year in the run to the Stanley Cup, and I guess when you come into focus, when you make the playoffs, did you notice at the time that the interest in the Kings’ Twitter account went through the roof around that time?

Dewayne: Yes. I believe our first sort of effort to kind of get the ordinary NHL fan to notice would have probably after Game One, when we tweeted to the fans at Vancouver. I think it was something along the lines of, to everybody outside of the DC, you’re welcome. And that was a bit of a dig at the Canucks, because, for those of you who are not familiar, Vancouver has an incredible following in their home province of British Columbia, but outside of their province, most of the other Canadian teams really don’t like them. So we fit right into that political minefield, if you will.

Francis: Did you cop a lot of hate for that tweet?

Dewayne: Yeah. I think if there wasn’t a line before, I think we definitely found the line then in terms of agitating our opponent for sure. But there was more written about the tweet the next day than the actual game itself in the newspaper. So that’s something that it’s funny and everything, and you can laugh about it, but really the story should have been about the guys on the ice and the win that they had over that team, not about what we were saying.

Sean: Hi Dewayne, there are a lot of teams that say that kind of thing and see the potential risk if you don’t continue to win, your account is going to cop it, but at the time, it was one of the most re-tweeted tweets of all times. And since, it was surpassed by T. J. Ford and his comments on the NFL for a Monday night football game. But obviously, your fans completely rallied around it, and it rallied around the attitude that you guys showed throughout those playoffs.

Dewayne: Absolutely, and I think for us, we took a bit of a tone going into the playoffs that said, you know what, we’re the eight seed. We barely made it into these playoffs. Let’s play the underdog card and let’s go out there. And again, you have to give most of the credit to the team obviously, because they went 16 and four and did not look like an eighth seed. We had a 3 and 0 lead in every one of our best of seven series. So they really allowed us to do our job really, really effectively, because our fans were just really enjoying the ride. There was really no point at which our team look like it was going to be in any kind of trouble until the Stanley Cup Final, when we actually did get pushed to a Game Six for the first time.

Francis: Dewayne, in this sports market credit is the one that you’re in even though LA doesn’t have a NFL team, they’re interested in the American football massive and college sports are big, and hockey has to find its corner probably more than almost any of the professional sports, do you have to look for a point of difference in your social media strategy to connect with fans to galvanize those that are onboard already and give them a sense of tribal identity, but also try to attract new fans?

Dewayne: Yeah, that’s exactly what we do. So we’re certainly not as large of a fan base as the Lakers, even the Clippers at this point, and definitely not the Dodgers, a very crowded marketplace. You also have UFC Football, but we have a very, very passionate fan base, a tribe. I like that term that you guys use to call it, because that’s exactly what they are to us and if we play to their strength on social media, especially on Twitter, we converse with them, if we get them to rally behind us, as a tribe, we can become a very loud minority. And we definitely saw that with the last playoffs season for sure.

Sean: After the Stanley Cup win, there was obviously the issue with the lockout. How much of that was very tough? We spoke to the NBA guys as they were going through the lockout. How tough was that as a team. You had all of this momentum that effective stopped with the work stoppage. How did you guys handle that and obviously how you are wrapping things up with the season progressing?

Dewayne: You know I think we had it easier than the other teams in the league, obviously coming off of the Stanley Cup title. The one thing that we did really well on the ground here in Los Angeles is, we had, the lockout certainly went on longer than it should have, but that meant we were able to have the Stanley Cup longer than we should had. So we had a lot of events locally to make sure that fans got their time in with the Cup. Although we obviously couldn’t utilize the players, we did want our fans to know that there was a passionate relationship that we share with them.

That honeymoon did start to die down, I’ll be honest, around December and January when the season wasn’t getting up and running. Once the season was announced, our President CEO Tim Leiweke, he did say, you know what, we don’t want to apologize over what we did, we want to go out and win another championship for you guys. And so what we did when the lockout ended, I think we donated a million dollars to local charities and said I hope this is the end of it, and now let’s go out and win another Stanley Cup.

Francis: Dewayne Hankins is with us. He’s the senior director of the Digital Strategy at AAG Sports, which includes the LA Kings, the current Stanley Cup holder in here in America’s National Hockey League. Dewayne, in terms of the fans that you attract, what is the demographic? Can you get a really good sense of who become King fans? And are you surprised? Does Twitter open your eyes to the fact that you might have a different fan base than to the one you thought you might have had?

Dewayne: No. I mean it actually does register pretty well with our actual demographics that we see on the ticketing side. It’s 70% males, that males 25 -40, so that plays right into the wheel house of Twitter. We definitely have a loud and loyal minority fan base that’s female as well. But yeah, those are the people that come to games and they engage with us in social media.

Francis: Great to talk to you. The season so far for you guys?

Dewayne: We got off to a bit of a slow start. Our team would not want to be referred to as a Stanley Cup hangover, because as our coach says, he did not have one. He knows what they are, but he did not have one. And I think the team is kind of getting off and running. I do think it’s interesting; the Kings were a team, as I said last year that barely made it into the post season. And this year, it’s a shorter season, a slower start, but I think they’ve won our last couple of games. We’ve got a game here on Saturday against Colorado, so we’ll see what happens. I think either way for us, it’s trying to keep it fun, trying to keep it entertaining. As much as we take digs from other teams and other fans of teams, we also know when we can take digs at ourselves.

Sean: That’s the thing now is that you can’t be playing the underdog tag when you’ve got the Cup back at the LA Kings headquarters.

Dewayne: That’s correct. So it would be like the Yankees, if they had sort of that mentality. So that still doesn’t mean we can’t be humorous, interact with our fans, have fun with our fans, and so we’ll probably become a bit more modest with our rings on our fingers, but we certainly still have fun.

Francis: Good luck with the remainder of the year, and we’ll follow closely on Twitter. Thank you for talking to us today, Dewayne.

Sean: Thanks Dewayne.

Dewayne: Thank you gentlemen. Always a pleasure.

Francis: Dewayne Hankins, who is as I said, Digital Strategy Manager at AEG Sports which includes the LA Kings, who are the current Stanley Cup holders. It’s good of you to come in again, Sean.

Sean: No problem.

Francis: How can we find you while we’re flipping through our Leeds rhinos tweets today?

Sean: @Sean Callanan or @Sports Geek or

DJ Joel: Go to for more digital marketing resources.

Sean: Thanks to Dewayne for that chat. As I said Dewayne is no longer with AEG Sports. He’s now at the Portland Trailblazers, and I really should mention the other guy who’s behind the LA Kings, Pat Donohue, Jr., who is now still running things behind the Kings and doing a fine job, although they did go out before the Stanley Cup Finals.

So a couple of other things, big news this week from Facebook is to follow the lead of Twitter, introducing hashtags on Facebook. For mine, I think this is one where we are going to freak out the general public that are on Facebook that don’t know what a hashtag is. I definitely think that Facebook botched the launch sending out the press release saying that hashtags are on Facebook when they were not active for another 18 to 24 hours. I definitely think they should have just installed them, let people find them naturally as they have with other networks, and then done the press release to show off that they are working.

The other thing is Facebook privacy or little privacy options that they do have do make the hashtag a little bit harder to implement. Twitter, obviously everyone is in a public sphere unless you’ve got a protected account, but in Facebook, everyone has different privacy settings, so that will definitely change what you find when you’re using a hashtag.

But it will be interesting to see if you get your fans to be using your team’s hashtags in their Facebook feed. If that’s the case, I would say it makes sense to throw one of your hashtags on your Facebook post every now and again. But for mine, I would not go hashtag crazy, because if we know anything from Facebook fans, the do not like change, and putting more hashtags into your Facebook post might actually annoy more fans than bring them onboard. So that’s pretty much it for Facebook on hashtags.

Lastly, I’ve been playing with the Twitter Ads with Melbourne Storm recently in trying to sell season tickets and game tickets with Melbourne Storm. In just looking at their model, and their model is primarily cost per engagement so it’s not actually cost per click. You actually pay for replies, re-tweets, and the like so you’re not actually paying for the click, so there are definitely some options right there. You want to make sure you’re creating tweets that don’t enforce people to click on a hashtag or to do another action, because you might not actually get the action that you want.

From what we’ve seen so far, using them with Melbourne Storm, we’ve got some pretty good results as far as getting the impressions out there, and primarily most of the clicks have been on the link for the ticketing link. We’ve got a check ticketing data to see how they actually went from a sales point of view.

The main thing is the targeting options you have for Twitter Ads, and I’m actually thinking about doing a longer pod, maybe getting some of the Twitter Ads teams on to discuss some of the different products available. Primarily, you’re pretty much targeting on followers of other accounts. So you’re pretty much trying to target other accounts on who you want your message in front.

One of the things that I do like is the tweet that’s not a tweet. So with the Twitter Ad product, you can actually set up a tweet that won’t actually appear in your timeline and it won’t actually appear in your tweet, but it will appear as a promoted tweet to the people you are targeting. So it allows you to mix up your message a little bit and not effectively expand your timeline. Whereas most of the other tweets will be promoted tweets or tweets that you’ve already done, and just give them a little bit more life in the same way that a promoted post works on Facebook.

So as I’ve said, we were doing this for two weeks. I’ve got a little bit more analysis to do to come back to you, but so far it’s been interesting, definitely interesting to look at the analytics. We did see the Twitter release analytics. If you do have Analytics, you should be able to pin a tweet, and that tweet will appear promoted on your Twitter Page.

Never fear, that’s just an added extra for anyone who’s got Analytics. You don’t actually have to pay for that tweet. So if you think for some reason that Twitter is going to start charging you for promoting your tweets, that is not the case. It’s just the fact that you’ve got Analytics, and if you pin a tweet to the top, it will appear that it is promoted by you, but it really is just keeping that tweet to the top of your Twitter page.

So that’s it for this week. A couple of things just to wrap up, now taking listeners’ Q&A via SpeakPipe. So if you go to, there is a little icon on the side there, you can leave a voicemail. I would love to get some questions into this podcast and take them on board, so please send them in.

Alternatively, if you don’t like the sound of your own voice, just send us a tweet, tag it Sport Geek. And lastly, good luck to the Socceroos. That’s it for today’s show. As I said, hopefully next week, I’ll be back on track at the end of the week, and we’ll launching on Fridays from Australia in the States.

I’m going to leave you with at the end, there are bonus materials at the end just to give you an idea of what it’s like at the end of an AFL game when the crowd starts cheering and singing the Club’s song. This is from a couple of weeks ago before I lost my phone and had to put it in for repairs, but this is after recording with one, and you can a feel for the Australian culture of sports and the fact that we all get up and sing the Club song after the match.

My name is Sean Callanan from Sports Geek. Thank you very much for all of the reviews and comments from iTunes. I really appreciate them. If you can leave a comment or a rating, that would be great. Until next week, I will speak to you soon.

DJ Joel: Please leave a review on iTunes. Go to Go to for more sports digital marketing resources. Thanks for listening to the Sports Geek Podcast.

Cristiano Ronaldo big announcement via social media

Cristiano Ronaldo has used his social media profiles to make a big announcement, not going through traditional media press release.

However, it was a little cryptic from his Twitter account @Cristiano. Which leads to a longer post which received 199,185 views.

But his Facebook fan page was more clear.

I’m sure this will be where sports news and athlete news specifically is headed as athlete’s take control of their message via social media rather than traditional media.

What do you think?  Is this change good for sports fans? How will sports media react to this change?

LeBron Sweepstakes, SSMI NRL & Wimbledon #BODSW

Sports Social Media Index - National Rugby LeagueBest of Digital Sports World #10

This coming week may be the biggest in NBA history as the free agent class of LeBron, Wade & Bosh among others decide where they will continue to ply their trade.  Teams & fans are in a frenzy at the possibility of landing one, two are perhaps all three. Chicago Bulls sold 1500 season tickets in 48 hours just on speculation alone.

Darren Rovell does are great job breaking down what LeBron’s worth maybe to each potential destination.

Latest release of SSMI was released this week looking at the NRL clubs and how they use social media platforms to connect with sports fans.  Hear more about it on @SportzfanRadio this Sunday at

@WeThinkSocial thank social media for lifting profile of soccer in the US looking back at the Twitter rates during the USA Soccer run.

Good video captured by @JasonPeck at Social Media event in DC.

Great piece on ambush marketing at the World Cup with Bavaria Vs Budweiser.

Sacramento Kings engage fans during NBA Draft hat tip to @BrianGainor

If you’re reading this then I recommend you read 30 Sports Blogs you should be reading.  Note: @SportsAndaLatte just moved here.

Look out Steele Sidebottom, back to back titles seem unlikely as QB Fudge Van Hooser commits to Tulane, becomes an early Name Of The Year favorite

#localfooty connecting with fans

Sports Geek getting the Southern Footy League up to speed with social media promoting this Saturday’s via a Facebook promotion with half-price entry to anyone who RSVPs on Facebook.

Southern Football League Vs Riddell District Football League Facebook promotion

Best On Ground

Wimbledon using Facebook & Livestream to create a mashup to connect the press room to Facebook fans.

Wimbledon LiveStream Facebook Mashup

Video Clip of the Week

More from Wimbledon since it is reaching the pointy end…

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

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

Best of Digital Sports World #9

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

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

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

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

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

Great tips from @ChrisBrogan on using Twitter.

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

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

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

Amazing game at Wimbledon

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

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

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

Best On Ground

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

Video Clip of the Week

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

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

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

Best of Digital Sports World #8

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

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

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

32 Creative and Clever Sports Posters to Inspire You

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Twitter – AFL Insider

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

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

Best On Ground

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

Video Clip of the Week

Kobe Bryant fan needs to be seen to be believed…

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

@SportzfanRadio recap – Show 158

In case you missed Sunday’s episode of @SportzfanRadio I suggest you listen to the podcast.  Topics covered included World Cup, NBA Finals, Horse Racing, NRL & AFL as well as the VUVUZELA

Sportzfan Radio Show 158 Part 1 & Sportzfan Radio 158 Part 2

Tell us your weird/strange sporting superstitions. #superstitionsinsport for next week’s show…

Tune in from 12 next Sunday for Sportzfan Radio

World Cup, Blackhawks, NHL Beards & Fev #bodsw

Best of Digital Sports World – Ronaldo Edition 7

Apologies to Justin Bieber but for the next 31 days you won’t be the number 1 topic on the Internet.  That position will be held by the FIFA World Cup. (Bucket List: Mention Justin Bieber in a blog post. Completed)

Here is @Mashable‘s guide to following the World Cup on Twitter.  The easiest way is to use #worldcup hashtag and follow soccer tweeps to chat about games as they happen.

Best digital representation of the World Cup schedule (pictured), click around & bookmark it!

Great work from the guys @Activ8Social with the Rajon Rondo’s #LooseBall Scavenger Hunt combining Foursquare, Twitter & Facebook the social media triple-play.

An interesting opposing view on the NBA Finals “Don’t watch the NBA Finals!”

Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup.  Great exposure for sponsor Van Kampen Investments on the Blackhawks website, simple but very effective!

Great research from @TimBull from Tribalytic on the AFL’s hashtag strategy, I’ve been discussing this one with Tim for a while, great to see some data to back it up.  Shows the power leagues like the @AFL have in shaping the conversation on Twitter!

Welcome to Twitter – Brendan Fevola

Love seeing new athletes join Twitter, didn’t think I’d see this guy anytime soon….

Can’t believe how quick you are all jumping on board. Will try get some of the other boys on too. ThanksWed Jun 09 08:01:05 via Twitterrific

Please Fev be careful with the Twitpics ;)

Best On Ground

Great promotion by @NHL over the playoffs with Beard-a-thon, great connection with a sponsor King of Shaves as well as connecting with hockey fans to raise money!  WIN-WIN-WIN

Continuing the World Cup theme…

#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

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