Facebook Timeline has taken the world by storm. With it's official release just a week old now, we've already reviewed 42 sporting teams and personalities and how they've implemented Timeline. Today, let's have a look at the next wave of adopters and what updates our early adopters have made.
The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins are absolutely flying on the ice, and are showing some great stuff on Facebook. The apps used by the Pens are stock standard, but with the return of superstar Sidney Crosby after some career-threatening concussions, the cover photo being a shot of Sid the Kid is a great move by the Penguins in the lead-in to the playoffs. Very inspirational for players and fans having the captain back at the business end of the season.
Moving on to the reigning Champion Dallas Mavericks now, who are one of the rare teams to display both a great cover picture and use the apps feature effectively. Unlike most teams, the Mavs don't feature the “Like” button as one of their first three or four apps, but have aMavs Radio app, where fans from around the world can listen live, and a Championship Collection, where fans can relive the ring ceremony as well as purchase they own Mavs Championship gear. All in all, it's probably the most complete Facebook Timelines in the sporting industry at the moment.
Arsenal are another team who have nailed their cover photo. Not only do the Gunners have arguably the best cover photo for a team, with league leading scorer Robin Van Persie calmly slotting one of his 26 goals, but they also have one of the best apps on Facebook. The app, called the 125 Project, which gives Arsenal fans a chance to write about their best memories of Arsenal in their 125 year history. It's a remarkable addition to the Timeline and engages fans and let's them contribute in a very meaningful fashion.
The AFL Footy Show
In our last post, we showed you the organisations that, more or less, were putting Facebook Timeline to great use. Unfortunately, the AFL Footy Show hasn't got the memo. There's no cover photo, limited apps, and not a great understanding of the whole concept of Facebook.
Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants
Two more examples that, like the Footy Show, probably aren't following the rules of Facebook Timeline are Major League Baseball teams. Most MLB franchises that have Facebook Timelines have a uniform cover photo of their home ballpark, with the vantage point generally being from a high standpoint above home plate. The two examples used here are the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants. Both use classy stadium shots, but unfortunately, break the rules.
As a simple cover photo, it's fantastic, because it's a great shot of the stadium, and most baseball fans are blindly faithful to their teams and their home field. Unfortunately where these cover shots fall down are with the inclusion of the team URL that, like Shaq's cover photo, and as I said above, breaks the rules of Facebook Timeline cover photos.
The Brewers can nearly get away with this one, as their URL isn't technically in the cover photo, but you get the idea; URLs aren't intended for cover photos, they should go in the “About” section.
Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins
With the number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts are desperately trying to build their fan base up to be as dedicated as they were during the Peyton Manning Era. To do this on Facebook, they use a Path to the Draft app, which is rather effective, as well as a great cover photo, showing off the NFL's new Nike-branded football apparel. Ironically, the Washington Redskins, who pick second in this draft after a blockbuster trade with the St. Louis Rams, employ a similar cover photo on their Facebook Timeline.
Here we have yet another dedication to greatness in the cover photo, and why not? The Wildcats did just complete one of the best years in school history with a national title, using their cover photo to immortalise their five starters. Brilliant work here.
San Antonio Spurs
We look at the last of the “new boys” here (new boys being the ones not featured in the original post), with the San Antonio Spurs. In the middle of putting together another great season in the NBA, the Spurs' cover photo is a definite winner, and, on this list, the only franchise that has their fans as the centre of attention on the cover photo. What a great way to create loyalty with fans, by visually showing them how important they are to the team. Another savvy move by the NBA's savviest franchise.
Los Angeles Lakers
From our last review, we can see a number of teams have updated their cover photos, due either to the incumbent being outdated, or an important event for the franchise has occurred. Here at Sports Geek, we know it's important to update the cover photo and keep it relevant to help connect with fans better and create traffic toward the page.
The first updated Timeline we see just below is from the Los Angeles Lakers, who have updated their cover photo from the Kobe Bryant #maskedmamba beauty, to the Andrew Bynum Player of the Week dedication, to a dedication picture to former Laker Jamaal Wilkes, who has just been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2012. At the moment, the Lakers are one of the leaders in the clubhouse for creative Timeline cover photos and deserve much kudos.
Note: After Kobe Bryant's big game yesterday against the Clippers, the current Lakers cover photo looks like this:
The first of the Sports Geek clients to appear in this post is the Perth Wildcats. With the NBL Finals nearing it's tip-off date, the Wildcats use their cover photo as a call-to-arms for fans to get behind the ‘Cats as they push for the NBL Championship.
FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München, like the Lakers, are a team that uses the cover photo to promote current events that have an affect on the organisation. Earlier this week, their cover photo featured superstar French winger, Franck Ribéry;
But with German striker Mario Gomez resigning until 2016, the Bavarians dedicate their cover photo to the Bundesliga's leading scorer for season 2011-12. Great stuff, Bayern. Note: They use their apps very intelligently also, with a link to their impressive Allianz Arena, and a Facebook game titled, the new FC Bayern Star!
The Carlton Football Club are being quite nostalgic and proud of their heritage with their Facebook Timeline so far. Initially, the image showed some past captains playing for Carlton, ending in a picture of current captain, Chris Judd (see the image here). Now, with coach Brett Ratten preparing to make history as he coaches the Blues for the 100th time, the Carlton Facebook Timeline cover photo is a dedication to some past coaches leading up to Brett Ratten. Again, the image is a very classy one (like the ones mentioned above) and sticks to the same theme as the club's official website.
San Diego Chargers
Over to the States now, as we take a look at the San Diego Chargers. Even though their apps are quite basic, the last post we had on Facebook Timelines featured the Chargers, who had a dedication to retired guard Kris Dielman as their cover photo. Now, with the NFL in offseason, their cover photo features the new uniform, designed by Nike, that the NFL has just released. Again, it's just a simple step of having the current photo relevant to the state of affairs of the organisation, but it's effective nonetheless.
Greater Western Sydney
The AFL's new boys, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, are pushing forth into the somewhat unknown of Sydney's Western suburbs, and are pushing their promotional material hard. The picture below isn't their current cover photo, but as you see, it tries to play on the popularity of West Coast's Nic Naitanui, co-captain Callan Ward, and push fans to attend their round 3 clash at home against the high-flying Eagles.
While we generally say don't use the cover photo for any sort of promotional activity, we give the new boys a break here as they set about building their fan base.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys
Our second client the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, who this week have set their Facebook Timeline cover photo showing a try scored in last week's win over the Canberra Raiders. We love this sort of team spirit photo at Sports Geek, and imagine that the Cowboys' fans love it, too!
Just like the Cowboys, fellow Sports Geek client the Adelaide Crows are taking advantage of their winning ways. Dating back to the NAB Cup competition, the Crows are winners of seven straight under first year coach Brenton Sanderson, which means that their fans are probably used to seeing the image that currently graces their Facebook page.
West Coast Eagles
The Eagles' Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy both dominated the Western Bulldogs on Sunday at Etihad Stadium, so why not feature them on the Facebook page? With over 110,000 Facebook fans now, the West Coast Eagles are another smart Sports Geek client regularly updating their cover photo.
Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs
The last two team Facebook pages that we will cover here are the Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Both teams were all smiles last week after victories in their Round 5 match ups, giving the fans what they wanted with the cover photos as well. Which was, of course, pictures from their triumph.
Hopefully, from the 60-odd Facebook Timelines we at Sports Geek have looked at, we'll leave you, now, with three lessons to keep in mind:
- The cover photo is for one thing and one thing only: A cover photo. That means no URLs, no promotions, no sales. That goes in the About section.
- A classy and eye catching cover photo, as well as relevant and timely updates of that space will keep fans interested and drive traffic back to your Facebook page. And lastly;
- Like Arsenal's 125 Year campaign, and Dallas' championship package app, be creative and unique with your app building. It can greatly increase repeat visitors and, as the ultimate aim always is, please the fan.