You've seen how sports are using Facebook. You follow your favourite teams on Twitter and see how they keep fans updated. Now, let's focus on Pinterest. We've already looked at Pinterest in the Best of Digital Sports Weekly (#BODSW), and Sean's discussed it on ABC Grandstand, describing it as, “the Jeremy Lin of Social Media”. You can even follow me on Pinterest, as well as Sean and the Sports Geek-managed, “Sports on Pinterest” page, detailing and repining content from teams as it becomes available. So, what is Pinterest?
Pinterest is, simply, a digital pinboard that is used for social photo sharing. It allows users to create and manage theme based “boards”, where similar photos and links can be pasted and shared across the Pinterest network. Like other social media websites, Pinterest holds positive value for sporting organisations, so here is a look at 30 ways sporting teams are using Pinterest.
Pinterest as a platform for merchandise
With the idea of Pinterest being centred around images that are eye catching for other users, using the space to promote team merchandise is an effective way to implement the platform as part of an overall digital sports strategy. It is also a strategy that many teams have already employed, with the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago White Sox all creating merchandise specific pin boards.
Seattle unveils their 2012-13 Uniforms on Pinterest
We jump into a huge one here the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. With the NFL transferring their uniform and apparel license to Nike for the upcoming season, all squads are undergoing changes to their uniforms. Some of the biggest changes will be seen in the Seahawks' uniforms. As far as Pinterest goes, the Seahawks have been very clever, creating an entire board showing all their new uniforms (home, away and alternate strip) in one space, making it easier for fans to have their say on the new uniforms.
Rip City's shrine to Brandon Roy
Just prior to this season, Portland Trail Blazers‘ superstar Brandon Roy was forced into an early retirement due to recurrent degenerative knee injuries. But while gone from the court, the Portland Trail Blazers created a, “Never Forget No. 7” pin board, to make sure that Brandon is never forgotten by the Rip City faithful. It's a great way of using Pinterest to honour a team legend.
The Boston Celtics have a rather fierce rivalry with the Miami Heat, and it's a rivalry that the proud Boston Celtics are interested in developing further. With the NBA Playoffs rapidly approaching and the Celtics potentially facing the Heat in the Eastern Conference bracket,the Celtics have created a pin board entitled #IAmNotSouthBeach, made up entirely of images from Celtics-Heat games. While the hashtag is generally best left for the Twitter domain, the use of it here offers many advantages for the Cs. They can encourage fans to post their Cs-Heat pics here, as well as their ‘I Am A Celtic” shots, making the #IAmNotSouthBeach pin board, their 2011-2012 team slogan and Twitter presence link together perfectly. One of the cleverer uses for Pinterest that I've discovered so far.
Milwaukee keeps tradition alive
The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, like others on Pinterest, have created a pin board where they post images from the past, as a way to reconnect fans with the history and character of the franchise. It's a cool and entertaining way to use Pinterest, really, because sports fans are known as a nostalgic lot, and would get a lot of joy from seeing old photos that rekindle memories of players in their glory years.
The Falcons spruik tailgating
If you're a fan of the NFL, you know what tailgating is. With tailgating being such a huge part of the NFL Sunday tradition for thousands (if not millions) of fans, it's great to see the Atlanta Falcons understanding their supporter base and creating a fun board where great tailgating recipes can go. Creative (and delicious) to say the least.
The Miami Heat get creative
Pinterest is, for all intents and purposes, just a fun, be yourself type of space. With the personality and overriding theme of the space in mind, the Miami Heat have done a great job with their “1971-72 Miami Floridians” pin board. With the Heat wearing their throwback jerseys i numerous games this season, it's a great way to show the players letting off a little steam and having fun during the season by paying tribute to the history of the franchise. As I said, it's creative, fun and well worth a look.
The Brewers market their facilities
The Milwaukee Brewers are using Pinterest expertly with this one, shopping their facilities for hire on non-gamedays. With a stadium that is still shiny from it's 2001 building, the Brewers publishing pictures of their world-class facility, and the link through to all the hiring details, it's definitely an outside-the-square use for Pinterest. The only question is, does the platform reach the intended target market? An interesting one to keep your eyes on.
One for the ladies of Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC have targeted women with one of their pin boards, creating a board for “LFC's Best Looking Players Ever”. With heart throbs such as Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Australia's own Harry Kewell featuring, it's an interesting ploy, to say the least.
The Mavs work on their community building
In the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks, who we praised in our Facebook Timeline reviews, are at it again with Pinterest. While their boards feature basketball-related stuff as well, they've created a very unique pin board, entitled Texans are pinning it BIG!, where Texans and Mavs fans are instructed to, “…pin ANYTHING that is to do with Texas!”. Like Milwaukee's advertising of their facilities and Liverpool's left-of-centre board, the Mavs' Texas-based board is an outstanding and creative way to build a Mavericks community on Pinterest.
The Dodgers give some focus to the kids
Like most teams who are on Pinterest, the Los Angeles Dodgers are using it as a place to put pictures of all their merchandise. They have effectively created a stand alone pin board for kids, where junior Dodgers' fans can seek out the coolest LA-themed toys, clothing or night light.
Friends in high places
The NRL's South Sydney Rabbitohs have one of the better boards seen during this review. Entitled “Famous Fans”, the pin board is used to publish famous figures wearing Rabbitohs gear in all sorts of places as discussed on Sports Geek Podcast. As said above, the boys from South Sydney have some friends in high places.
Get to know a dawg
Here at Sports Geek, we are huge fans of info graphics. It should come as no surprise, then, that we are fans of what the Washington Huskies are doing with their Pinterest account. They have some great boards like, “Seatown Swag“, which sells the city of Seattle to prospective students and “Best 4 years of your life“, again, promoting how great the University of Washington is. But their best board, titled, “Get to know a Dawg“, features cool info graphics of their players, like the one that appears above.
It's really unique, at the moment, to have info graphics on single players (remember the Linfographic?), and the Huskies use it to perfection. It gives the fans a look into players and coaches in an effective and creative way. A definite A+ grade from Sports Geek.
Pittsburgh uses art to reach fans
With Pinterest being such a visual-based sharing network, the Pittsburgh Penguins have created a pin board purely for fan art, where they post fan drawings, paintings, and other artistic work. This pin board works because it pays homage to the loyal, creative fans whilst not bombarding the official Facebook or Twitter account with fan-created content, which could drive some fans away from those mediums. Win-win situation here for the Pens, using Facebook and Twitter for official duty, and keeping a Pinterest board purely for fan-generated content.
Oregon promotes their strong relationship with Nike
The relationship between Nike and the University of Oregon Ducks is well documented, with Nike co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman initially establishing their relationship whilst at the University. To further enhance their relationship and get mutually beneficial results, the Oregon Ducks have created a pin board purely for Nike products and advertisements that promote both Nike and the Ducks. It's the first of it's kind, with a team actively promoting a specific company, and, with over 1,800 followers on this pin board alone, it looks to be a healthy connection between school and supplier.
Man City: The Passion of the Fan
There are passionate fans, then there are passionate fans. To honour their most passionate legion of supporters, Manchester City have created a tattoo-inspired pin board, where City's biggest fans can show off their club tattoos for the world to see. With fan connection and engagement the key to sports and social media, this pin board is a great way for City to connect with the fans who are obviously very passionate about their boys in light blue.
Tottenham's new stadium plans
It's been common knowledge for a while now that Tottenham Hotspur have had plans for a new stadium to be built so the team can add state-of-the-art facilities to it's nearing-the-elite squad. To get their fans excited, the Spurs have created a pin board that is dedicated to the new stadium plans. The board only has 4 pins on it at the moment, but as long as they continue to add to it as the stadium gets built, it can be an extremely effective fan engagement tool for the North London team.
Women of the Washington Redskins
We all know the numbers relating to Pinterest's demographics, with a huge percentage of users being women.Of all the teams reviewed, the Washington Redskins take advantage of this segment the best, creating an official Women of Washington Redskins Women's Club Pinterest page. Pin boards on the WOWs page aren't generally female-related stereotypical boards, but have a definite female flavour to them. With the typical Pinterest user being a female, the Skins are definitely using Pinterest to target the correct demographic.
Seattle Mariners Safeco Field bucket list
The Seattle Mariners have created a pin board on their Pinterest page that gives information to fans about events and happenings at their home diamond, Safeco Field, that they didn't know they could do. Similar to Milwaukee creating a board about hiring out Miller Park facilities, the Marimers “Bucket List” page promotes the ballpark and adds to the importance and aura of the stadium when the Mariners take to the field. In a word, they use Pinterest the way it should be used; creatively.
Buffalo's Breast Cancer Awareness Board
One of the classier boards seen on Pinterest, the Buffalo Bills display some breast cancer awareness-themed team gear on their boards. With the NFL dedicating a full month of games to breast cancer awareness, where players wear pink boots, gloves, hand towels, etc., it's a really classy move from the Bills, and they should be applauded for creating a board that helps such a great cause. Will be one of the better boards on Pinterest if they continue to update it once the season kicks off and breast cancer awareness month is in full swing again.
Pats baking ideas
The New England Patriots, similar to the Falcons with their tailgating recipes, created a baking pin board that is full of Pats-inspired sweet treats and recipes. Like other teams on here targeting their female fans, the Pats obviously have a good understanding of who they are targeting via this medium and this pin board really hits the mark.
Cavs create wallpapers
One of the best and easiest ways to show your support for your team is through computer and phone backgrounds displaying your team colours and/or favourite players. But, sometimes, finding the right one can be an arduous task. To make it easier, the Cleveland Cavaliers have created a pin board where their official team-themed backgrounds can be found and downloaded. Creative? Not earth shattering. Effective? Very.
Edmonton's pet pride
People absolutely love their pets. When they combine the love of their pets with the love for their team, a marriage of epic cuteness arises. Well, the Edmonton Oilers have taken this marriage and dedicated a pin board to it. Titled “Pet Pride”, the board features fan made pictures of their pets showing their support for the Oilers. The idea has been used by many other teams, but the Oilers seem to have developed it the best. Great work as it is a board that will definitely gain traction with both female fans and animal lovers on Pinterest.
Major League Baseball: Food and Mascots
Food, typical “ballpark” food, is a huge part of the drawcard of fans attending Major League Baseball games. To celebrate this, the official MLB Pinterest page created a board solely dedicated to ballpark food. Personally, I think it's a clever board to make and definitely helps fan engagement. With over 3,000 followers on the board, it looks to be a winner.
The second MLB board that has upwards of 3,000 followers is the mascot board. Titled, “Mascots are People too”, the board is another creative and fun initiative by the MLB. With mascots being a large part of fan interaction and entertainment at games, it's smart to promote them as a big part of the MLB brand.
The AFL's screamer board
The final pin board that will be looked at is the AFL's “Marks of the Year” board. The screamer is a massive drawcard of AFL football, and we all remember when we see a huge grab. To take advantage of this, the AFL has a pin board that shows the Mark of the Year winners from the last 15 seasons. Featuring grabs from Ashley Sampi, Chris Tarrant, and Gary Moorcroft's beautiful grab, it's a great idea from the AFL. Hopefully, as an improvement to the board, they start to expand it from being exclusive for winners of the contest to posting pictures of all great grabs from throughout the season.
Make sure to follow us on Pinterest
So there you have it, a quick rundown of 30 interesting and fun ways teams are utilising the newest social media sensation. You can check out our Sports Geek, “Sports on Pinterest” board, and follow Sean or myself as well, to keep up with the latest from the sports digital world.
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