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  • me 1:31 pm on May 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Sports   

    SI’s Peter King hit on something this week that I’ve also noticed when traveling to some of the more prestigious hockey arenas in North America.

    King writes:

    “The NFL (and other American pro sports) could learn something from a game like cricket. No music. No exploding scoreboards. There’s the game, and discussion in the stands. I realize we’re beyond that. And I may not be in the majority here, and I may be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. But I wonder what fans would say if team owners took a poll of all their season ticket holders and asked if they favored music played at 105 decibels between plays. Maybe the fans want it. But I’d bet there’d be nearly 50 percent, if not more, who would say either kill the music or play it at half the volume.

    In certain buildings, in certain markets, there is one unmistakable sound that each arena shares in common with each other: the buzz of people talking. Sure there’s some music and other entertainment, but people talking to each other when there’s no action to watch leads to loader voices when there is something to cheer about.

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  • me 9:49 am on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bucs, coaching, , , Sports   

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers use iPads as coaching tools 

    In one of my exit discussions with the Lightning, I told them that in five years or less they’d be doing this very same thing.

    Trash of iPad boxes from the Bucs recent mass purchase

    I had no idea the Bucs were already in the process of building it. Good for Raheem.

    From tampabay.com: Tampa Bay Buccaneers buy each player an iPad to hold playbook, videos

    …the Bucs have downloaded their playbooks on iPad 2s and distributed them to each of their 90 players.

    What’s more, players can use the tablet computer to reference video files of games, and practice and situational videos of any NFL team.

    Just about every player on the Lightning owned an iPad last season. The year before it was a PSP. But Vinny brought an iPad to training camp 2010 and everyone literally flocked around it to have a peek.

    There’s a lot of downtime while on the road and most of the coaches are usually watching video on laptops. Not only are the laptops bulky but moving from seat to seat on a plane with a running hard drive serving high quality video isn’t exactly the best thing for the long-term health of the machine.

    The next iteration on this will be training tools within the video.

    Take an iPad. Put video on it. And then create a Rosetta Stone-like app experience where the video runs to a point and the player has to make a choice (via finger gesture) of where the puck should go or who to cover around the net, etc. Sure, most players will still rather watch any of the recently released Hollywood movies they have stored on their tablet, but the ease of use and interactivity of such a coaching tool adds enough value to make it engaging for the player.

     
  • me 8:03 am on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Sports,   

    Sports Teams on Twitter – A How To 

    Some passing advice to pro sports teams while I’m on my way out: if you’re looking to set up a real presence on Twitter, the time has come to splinter your audience.

    One main account is no longer enough.

    Primary Account: Engagement (or as it used to be referred to: customer service) needs to be a 24/7 feature now and you do need a full time, non-intern person with a communications background running your main account.

    They need to be equiped to run contests and more importantly, answer a lot of different kinds of questions. They need to know everyone who works for their organization and everyone who works there needs to know them.

    The end result of this ‘always on’ type of account will be a whole lot of engagement and multiple repeat tweets throughout the day. It is also intended for the casual Twitter user who does not keep up with their entire timeline. You have to hit the people who use their account occasionally throughout the day or who see content that is cross-published on your website via widget.

    Breaking News: After your main account, you should have an account that is more for the serious followers of your team; such as reporters and die-hards. Much less engagement here (only so many times you can deny a rumor) and much more a place to break news. If you have a true beat writer, then this is probably the best place for them. You have to separate the message of ‘team Team’ – or depending on who your boss is, ‘the Brand’ – with the message of the individual. Beat writers may be given a little more freedom to discuss rumors and speculate on team news.

    The main principle here is that there needs to be a hard news account for your team. Post links to press releases, features and also be a place for more on the ice/on the field discussion (who’s playing well, who’s playing where, etc).

    Insider Access: Finally, you need to have your team’s PR guy run his/her own account. How this will end up looking will depend largely on the PR person’s willingness to engage and post but my opinion is to let them run it however they feel comfortable. It’s important to give a platform to someone who’s with the team each and every day and there is stuff that the PR person can do that no social media or digital media person within the organization can ever accomplish.

    Dress Up: To top things off, you might as well give the team mascot an account. And if there’s a spirit squad of some kind… roll them in together to one account.

    After you have everything in place, retweeting each other as needed will bring it all together for your audience. And while you’re at it, create a couple of Twitter Lists for them too. One with all of your team accounts and another with all of your players.

    One example of a team who is using this structure is the Cleveland Indians:
    https://twitter.com/#!/Indians
    https://twitter.com/#!/tribeinsider
    https://twitter.com/#!/https://twitter.com/#!/tribetalk
    https://twitter.com/#!/SliderTheMascot

    There’s not nearly enough engagement on their main account, but the beams are in place to build on that. The first step is to use your main account to talk directly with fans throughout the day. Everything after that will flow from that launching point.

     
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