In today's ABC Grandstand sports digital segment we looked at the new Facebook Timelines & MLBAM's innovation in sports digital delivery

[audio:|titles=ABC Grandstand Sports Geek 24 Mar 2012] Download mp3

Facebook Timelines coming soon

Facebook has changed the rules again with new Timeline feature with a stronger visual & story telling component for brand fan pages.  Look for your sports team to migrate to the new format & leverage their history by filling our their timeline with historic posts.

Take a look at some sports that have jumped into Facebook Timeline already, thanks to Dion who compiled 42 sports Facebook Timeline examples.

Check out Sports Geek on Facebook with Timeline launched.

MLBAM a model to follow

With the launch of the AFL Club apps this week (iTunes & Android) we discussed the leader in sports digital MLB.  Read this great article from Fast Company on how MLBAM (MLB Advanced Media) came about & why digital works in delivering great content to fans but also driving ticket sales.

Sports Geek Medals – AFL Coaches edition

AFL kicks off tonight with Giants taking on Swans so we though we'd look at coaches in the AFL embracing Twitter.

Only 4 current coaches are actively tweeting with Michael Voss missing out on the podium (@Voss03).

Bronze – Kevin Sheedy

For a salesman like Kevin Sheedy Twitter is a great platform we can't wait to see him tags tweets with #marshmallows & other Sheedyisms.

Silver – Mark Neeld

Loves to RT his players & fans, building enthusiasm with Dees fans.

Gold – Nathan Buckley

Getting the hang of Twitter talking with fellow coaches & players as well as having his say when he needs to, I liked this reply to a fan complaining about a generated marketing message from the Pies.

Special Mention – Brett Lee

When Brett Lee gets angry he will take a bowling attack apart & interrupt your radio segment. Good work Binga!
Follow @BrettLee_58

Until next week

Catch it live on Saturday mornings (at 7:40am) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Francis Leach & Amanda Shalala on ABC Grandstand.

Tune into ABC Grandstand Breakfast over the Friday through Monday on ABC Grandstand digital radio.

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

Want to get these clips in podcast form? Subscribe here or Add to iTunes

Podcast Transcript

FRANK: Sean Callanan loves coming in on a Saturday morning, our Digital Sports Guru, to talk about what’s been happening in the world of sport in the online world game. How are you this morning?

SEAN: I’m good, thanks, Frank, yourself?

FRANK: Not too bad. Facebook, constantly evolving, constantly encroaching in on our personal lives, what’re they up to now?

SEAN: Well if you haven’t noticed it’s changing the way that we’re experiencing both our timeline but now also brands and teams. So it’s moving in with its timeline feature, which, Mr. Zuckerberg, as I like to call him, Zuck, launched it, and it’s all about brands being able to tell their story and a lot more visual. And so the main charges are we’ve now all got our own personal timelines and you can have your own little hero shot, but now teams can do the same.

FRANK: So when you say timeline, explain for people because not everyone does Facebook—I know—it’s hard to imagine that…

SEAN: There’re 800 million people. What do you mean there’re people who don’t use Facebook? There’re more people playing Farmville on Facebook than there are actually farmers in the world, so, yeah, what is timeline? So timeline is the new way for Facebook to represent your page, your timeline, so it’s like your own online scrapbook. I guess from a personal point of view, if you have Facebook, timeline now makes it much easier for people to find those embarrassing posts from a couple of years ago when you were at Uni for instance.

FRANK: It collects all of them?!

SEAN: Yes, so it’s much easier now to go back in time when previously to go back in time you’d have to scroll through pages and pages of posts, so the new timeline feature allows you to go back in time quite easily and so I was just talking to Josh before about the ABC Grandstand page. It’s going to get migrated March 30, but what you can do is say, Grandstand was founded and, I don’t know the historical date, Frank, it would’ve been founded, you know, the brand and the…

FRANK: Over 30 years ago.

SEAN: So we can put down that when the first broadcast happened for Grandstand and then what you can do is put up those embarrassing shots, all those historic shots, is the way I should put it, from being back in the years of, you know, when big guests had been on Grandstand, the first broadcast, those kinds of things, to give a bit of history.

A lot of sports teams are now tackling that, both by putting in a nice big cover shot but also allowing to do a history. The guys at the AFL recently just launched their timeline and went right back and marked a lot of events whether it was the first game, the first time particular teams won, premierships or games or big events in the AFL. What will be good to see are teams and leagues sort of using that as a bit of a way to feature their history. So to drive you back to the website, to look at archival footage…

FRANK: Who’s doing the best with the most at the moment to do you think?

SEAN: At the moment they’re all really just dipping their toe in the water and trying to be the first to play because you can do it now. A lot of the NBA teams are doing it and representing their brand. Again, the AFL teams are doing a really good job.

FRANK: I have to break in here because Brett Lee has just gone nuts. Now the bowler was dropping them in short, hit him with a bean ball, and I told you, Amanda, he looked like he was going to explode. Well, detonation has occurred. He has clocked 4 consecutive 4s and a sixth __ saver.
AMANDA: I knew he could do it. I knew it!
FRANK: And he’s going for it again, unbelievable. Anyway, 5 to 2 for 258 at the moment. Sorry, I just had to bring that to everyone’s attention.

SEAN: That’s all right. Yeah, so from a Facebook point of view it lessened, I guess, identified the history so, you know, and provide a different visual view. Facebook is trying to make it more of a storytelling platform. And to a certain degree they’re also trying to replace your website. So there’s a bit of a danger there for the teams to go while there’re all these great features for us to showcase their history, but actually you can do that really well on your own website. It’s a bit of a—you’ve got to have a fine balance to reward the fans and let them play on the space.
And what’s happened now?
FRANK: He’s just gone for another six. He has absolutely kept on running for the boundary. He’s gone 4, 4, 4, 6, dot ball 6, to take a straight out of 7 for 221.

AMANDA: What was he doing on the dot ball?

FRANK: Well he caught the bounce when he tried to clip that one over the cable for 4, as well. However, he’s gone from 33 from 30 deliveries so he is just taking the long handle to him.
So that’s great stuff for Facebook, so we can lookout for that.

SEAN: So, yes, some teams have already jumped on board and all the rest still will come aboard this week.

AMANDA: Well, Sean, we’ve been talking in the past about organizations producing their own media in house. Who is doing it best in terms of the overall global market and here in Australia?

SEAN: Yes, so well in Australia all the AFL teams put out iPhone apps this week, which is a big leap for them, for all the teams to actually have their own app, and we’ve spoken about it before. The front runner in from a digital stakes point of view is the Major League Baseball, and Frank you can attest to that. You’re a Major League at Bat subscriber.

FRANK: Up to my eyeballs in it. It costs me a $120 bucks a year but it gives me access to every Red Sox game, in fact every game Major League Baseball has you can stream it anywhere, on your phone, on your iPad and the quality of high def delivery is superb. If you’re a fan of the game it is the most well streamlined, easily accessible, well-resourced media hub that you can find. And I’m absolutely bowled over by it for the last couple of years, but I love it.

SEAN: It does hit the bar very high for the year for the AFL, NRL, and the crickets of the world when that product’s there. There was a great article by Fast Company on Major League Baseball Advance Media so they’re their own company. They manage all the digital rights for the teams. Sometimes the teams will moan that they don’t have the creativity and the opportunities to do what they want, but to use a sports cliché: Major League Baseball events have been kicking it out of the park.
The thing is they’re not just doing baseball; they’re now taking their platforms and they are a technology business that works with other entertainers and other people to provide solutions for them. They’ve put in a lot of effort to really partner up with Apple to produce a high quality product.

FRANK: And the other thing that they have done, Amanda and Sean, is they’ve embedded Major League Baseball MLB TV in Apple TV. So if you own an Apple TV device when you click it on and you sort of link it up with your home Wi-Fi system you can watch MLB TV there, so in a way it’s sort of embedding it into people’s homes without them even knowing it.

SEAN: Yes, and what they’ve been able to do is to prove that digital streaming and being able to access it across devices with MLB you can be watching it on the train, watching on you’re your phone, get home watch it on the couch, and then the TV gets freed up when you’re out. Watch it on your big screen for Apple TV and it’s an-across platform device.

FRANK: Amanda do you watch much sports on mobile devices or is there anything that you’ve engaged with yet or is it still this sort of unknown territory for you.

AMANDA: I find it very difficult to access any sort of Australian sporting highlights online. I have the NRL app and to watch video highlights on there is virtually impossible. So, Sean, what can these Australian organizations like the AFL and NRL be doing to catch up with Major League Baseball?

SEAN: Well that comes back to the Optus-Telstra discussion, which we’ve discussed during the battle of the moment but Telstra is in the process of again trying to monetize the AFL rights, so this year I think you can get that on your iPad or your iPhone. It is one or the other because if you buy it with one you can’t watch it on the other. So it’s not cross platform.

FRANK: Which is just stupid. It defeats the purpose of vertical integration of that technology, which is what makes the Major League Baseball so perfect.

SEAN: And the other thing is that it’s only Telstra’s subscribers who can buy that at the moment.

FRANK: Lee just hit another six, by the way.

SEAN: We’ll tune into Brett Lee. I’m sure he’s trending in the West Indies any minute on Twitter.

FRANK: So that’s great. If you want to check it out and I’m an advocate and a fan and I love it, You don’t have to pay the $420 bucks for the app at once. There’s a premium one week and you can watch all the games.

SEAN: Well literally it shows it in cartoon form. It shows you where the peach lands and I’ll tweet that Fast Company article later that does really just dive into how Major League Baseball Advance Media works. It’s fascinating stuff.

FRANK: Do we have a podium Amanda? What do you reckon?

AMANDA: Yeah, aw, c’mon Sean, you’ve got AFL coaches for us this week don’t you?

SEAN: Well, yeah, the AFL season sort of starts this week tonight. It sort of starts next week, but rather than looking at teams and plays I want to look at the coaches. There’s not too many on Twitter. Mick Malthouse, he’s on Twitter, but he’s no longer coaching. There’re only four AFL coaches on Twitter.

FRANK: That’s pathetic.

SEAN: I agree. There really is an opportunity for them to at least have their say, have their quote and not have it edited, potentially. So there’s only four so unfortunately Michael Voss is just out of the medals, but we give the bronze medal to Kevin Sheedy, and if there’s ever a platform built for someone Twitter is built for Kevin Sheedy, so I’m just waiting for him to hashtag something like marshmallows or aliens or…

FRANK: Martians, seagulls?

SEAN: Exactly, so Kevin Sheedy is on there and he has been tweeting. A lot of it is a bit of marketing messages but he’s still—that’s what he’s out there for—he’s a Chief Spruiker.

FRANK: So at Kevin underscore Sheedy (kevin_sheedy)
SEAN: That’s Kevin and then Neeld MFC, the new coach, Mark Neeld, the new coach for the Demons has been doing a good job. He’s tweeting and having a bit of fun with the players and what they’re tweeting, and if they’re getting ahead while they’re out there, he’s pulling them into line, but he seems still to also be tweeting a lot with the Collingwood coaches, still talking about things, so he’s doing a good job, and I’ve got to put my bias there but I’ve got Nathan Buckley taking gold, which is @NCB_CFC started tweeting. One of the things I did see was someone complaining about an automated marketing message coming from the Collingwood football club. He tweeted him so Bucks just replied, “Is a personal tweet okay?” So he was at least looking at keeping honor but it does give you a way to have your say.

FRANK: Sean, how can we find you on Twitter?

SEAN: @SeanCallanan or @sportsgeekhq.

FRANK: Sean and Amanda thanks for coming in again.