Tags: Branding, Social Media, Sports Marketing
Your social spaces should have as much of the same look and feel as your website. This is a lot easier to do with Twitter, but there are ways to make your Facebook page fall into line with your website.
Just like the rest of your marketing efforts, your social spaces should reflect the same level of consistency in appearance. Here’s an example:
If they don’t look the same – the first question should be “why”? In most cases, there hasn’t been enough attention placed on integrating the look and feel of these platforms. Social media has moved from an after-thought or value add space to a front/center position. So by now, if a teams’ social spaces do not share a consistent look it reads as sloppy or second class. The only reason that a teams’ social spaces do not share any consistency is because that is a part of a larger strategy at work.
Tags: Social Media, Sports Marketing
Over the course of the 80′s and 90′s, pro athletes became increasingly inaccessible to fans. Skyrocketing salaries, the proliferation of endorsements and merchandise and the high cost of tickets to games worked to separate fans from their teams and players.
In the social space, fans can benefit from a direct connection to players. There is the ability to interact and see players in a different light. Social media is about humanizing a brand – the past 20 years saw the development of athletes into brands… social media can help close that gap.
As there are currently an ever-increasing number of players getting involved in the social space – one thing is clear. Authenticity really matters.
It was a topic I was considering – was the authenticity factor of short-term significance? We are all accustomed to seeing athletes on TV in advertisements and are aware of the construction at hand. Would people come to expect and decode the same construction of social media?
Who knows what the future will bring – but in the present, it is very clear that authenticity does matter. Remember, the social space belongs to the fans. And that is the primary difference between social media and other media (including digital) – it’s not yours. And that’s ok.
Tags: Athlete Representation, Online Branding, Online Identity, Social Media, Sports Management, Sports Marketing
- Fan engagement
- Sponsorship activation
Who else in the industry can benefit and how?
The past few years have seen the athletes/players themselves participate in social media on their own accord. Shaq being one of the first and most infamous on Twitter. Dozens of pro athletes have followed and built huge followings along the way.
The key here is “on their own accord”. Athlete as celebrity status provides these players with the opportunity to comment on news and events, or anything else the rest of the Twitterverse chooses to tweet about. In fact, the recent experience surrounding Twitter and NBA free agency really proved the medium had arrived and mattered as traditional media took a back seat to the goings on.
The Next Wave: Sports Management Companies and Player Associations
Now that teams have incorporated the social space as an important part of their marketing mix, sports management companies and player associations would be wise to do the same on behalf of their clients. Online identity and brand are of huge and increasing importance, and there are opportunities for sponsorship, promotion and PR that are largely un-managed and underdeveloped.
I realize that every player out there may not wish to be updating their Facebook profile or tweeting about their pre-game preparations – and this is not really required, but it is savvy, smart and time to develop an online identity and brand strategy… now.
This should be a priority for sports management companies and player associations alike.
Tags: Branding, Content Management, Sports Marketing
What is Content Management?
Or, maybe if you know a bit about what content management is all about – Why should Content Management matter to me if I am a sports team?
First off – What is Content Management?
It’s most easily defined as the non-technical management of website and online content and how it is delivered. It’s the stories on your website, the posts on your blog, the status updates on Facebook, the things you tweet about… anything digital that you push out. A lot of people have been talking about content management as the next “big thing” following the rise of social media. You may have also heard the statement that “Content is King”.
But crowing “Content as King” is leaving a lot to be addressed. What good is content (no matter how good it is) unless there is someone out there to see/read/experience it? So, yes, its true that content is critically important, but do not forget the “how” part of this – how the content is distributed and organized.
I do a lot of work with sports teams so the issue of content might seem obvious at first for sports teams. “Content is not a concern for us”, you might be thinking. At first blush, one might consider “the game” to be your content. Sure – but consider that the game, your product, is primarily disseminated on television and across the internet by programing and websites that are not your own. Think of the different layers of media and experience involved here…
At the core is your product – the live game. Depending on your sport, about 20-50,000 people experience it live.
The next layer is broadcast – again depending on your team, sport and specific game, thousands to millions of people experience your product on television. Those not viewing the game will experience the highlights on TV as well… you can also add radio into this mix.
Now, of course, your website and social media platforms will “cover” the game as well – but it’s important to consider product content as only a portion of your content management strategy. No other business outside of professional sports benefits from such widespread coverage on a day-in-day-out manner (unless it is bad news… BP is a timely example). Non sports companies must rely on their own efforts to get their product out there, so content management strategies may seem more “important” or vital to them.
The point I am trying to make here, is that your sports product is being “covered” and disseminated already for you by NBC, CBS, Fox, CBC, TSN ESPN… Therefore, content management strategies in sports are even more critical.
Why? Because you have the opportunity to layer on much more than the product itself – and sometimes the product may not be the greatest thing in the world either. This is where your brand really matters.
What is your brand all about?
What is your team’s place in the community? What place do you want it to occupy?
What is your history/legacy?
What is your vision?
These are the questions you should be asking in regards to content management. Last night’s box score is the easy stuff – this is much deeper.
Tags: MLSE, Toronto Huskies, Toronto Raptors
As you may know, earlier this past season the Raptors played a game wearing retro Huskies uniforms. Since then, there have been an increasing amount of fans looking to have the Raptors renamed (back) to the Huskies permanently.
The social space is where these types of movements take place now-a-days. Petitions have been trumped by Facebook Groups, or Fan Pages. Similar to the failed Jim Basillie “Make It Seven” movement from 2009 regarding the movement of the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, a new group is looking to make a social splash in order to persuade MLSE to rename and rebrand their basketball team.
- Here’s a link to the Toronto Huskies Facebook fan page…
- And a Twitter feed…
- And another to a group that is looking to change the name…
As it stands, a recent blog post from James Cybulski of TSN.ca kick started this movement, and a new update today provided a response from MLSE on changing the name – click here for that and the following quote from MLSE’s EVP and COO, Tom Anselmi:
“We’re pleased that a lot of our fans like the Huskies third jersey. It’s a great traditonal brand that has ties to Toronto’s strong basketball roots. That said, there have been no discussions about changing the Raptors name permanently. It has been our name since inception and we know our fans love it and identify with it.”
“The numbers will make them think twice.”
What do you think? Will the numbers make them think twice (<500 right now)? Can fans mandate a team to rebrand?
What are the sponsor implications for re-branding or renaming a team that is not relocating?
Tags: Hashtags, Sports Marketing, Trending Topics, Twitter
If you look at the bottom of the right side rail, you’ll see a list of Trending topics. These are the words/terms/phrases that are being mentioned the most on Twitter right now. Many of them are probably hashtags (#) at any given time. You can customize your trending location – although the geographic choices are a bit weak right now, by clicking “Change” and selecting new geographic criteria.
Now you can monitor your mentions on Twitter.
So now that you have the visibility of trending topics, you need to be in the mix. This brings about an important point and marketing use of Twitter… # (hashtags).
You can simply wait for users/fans to create their own (and they will) or you can start to position them into the Twitter stream yourself. Most often, you will see a #”yourteam” mention, for example:
“I can’t wait for the #yourteam game tonight!”
But consider the following examples and ideas for #’s (for things in quotes, insert your own brand):
Using hashtags gives your fans something to focus on and makes things easily identifiable. Start inserting them into your tweets and build some trending topics. When provided with the opportunity, run with it as a hashtag on Twitter to make the most of the event.
Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Got some other ideas for #’s? Let me know…
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Facebook, Fan Page, NHL, Social Plugins, Sponsorship, Sports Marketing
You may have heard/seen that recently Facebook changed the term “Fans” from its Pages to simply, “Like”. So now, your Page doesn’t have fans, but people who like it (too bad – “Fans” was a perfect fit for sports teams). Now, the idea of “Like”ing something gets a whole lot more engaged.
If you are familiar with Facebook, the ability to “Like” something is not new. But through the use of social plugins - check them out here – the “Like” button can show up anywhere, on any website – even your own.
Here’s an example from NHL.com with Alex Ovechkin.
What this means is that now, Facebook can be pretty much anywhere. The web is increasingly semantic and social. Furthermore, “Like”s can dynamically alter a Facebook users profile, and the act of “Like”ing something can create a long-term communication between the user and NHL.com. Whenever there is an update on Ovechkin from NHL.com, the “Like” will update the user on the Facebook platform. Pretty neat stuff.
Ok – Now What?
So now that you have an idea of what technology is in place – here’s what to start doing with it.
- Every team site has a roster page – get some Like buttons up there for the players (like the NHL.com model) and tell your fans to get clicking
- The viral nature of all this “Like”ing should help grow your Page population as well, be ready to track this
- NHL.com integration increased the NHL Facebook Page by 3.2% (>9000 Fans) overnight after this launch
- Consider partner/sponsor brand synergy – what kinds of sponsors would be a good fit for social plugins?
I will be thinking/blogging more about the last bullet – in the meantime, more to come on Facebook’s new tools and how to best put them to use.
If you have some ideas or some other great examples/models to look at, please leave a comment and let us all know…
Tags: Branding, Downloads, Free, HubSpot, Marketing
The first is a powerpoint from HubSpot. They have some great free resources and webinars regarding social media. Below is a link to a presentation that contains over 50 charts and graphs on marketing data – many related to social media. You might find it useful and also be interested to keep tabs on HubSpot as well…
The second is an eBook from Don MacLeod called “The Basics of Branding”… it’s a 21 page PDF.
Hope you find some value in these!
Tags: Branding, Marketing, Sales
We all know what it means, but it can be hard to define. I think it is important to sometimes reframe what we are doing – take a look at it from a higher level and this can help inform our perspective on what we do, how we do it and how we can improve it.
Essentially, “sales” represents the transfer of credibility from the seller to the brand.
A sales person starts with nothing – perhaps a cold call, and they work through the sales process by establishing and reinforcing their credibility to the point when the buyer feels they trust and believe the seller and agree to sign off. At that point – the seller has worked hard individually to the point where credibility has been built and then has been successful in transferring that credibility to the brand they represent – A tall order for sure.
Now, sure – of course marketing can help with building that brand (either in advance or during the sales process), but it really comes down to individuals. People connecting with people. For that very reason, sales people are one of the most important hires that an organization can make. These people are walking and talking your brand every day.
Who says sales and marketing do not understand one another? They are different sides of the same thing.
Digital wing man and social media consultant.
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