Branding the World of Sports

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Who can compete with ESPN?

Posted by ZA on January 19, 2011

The FCC may have just unleashed the most viable option to compete against “the Worldwide Leader”.  NBC Universal and Comcast have the resources to go compete with the boys in Bristol.  But rather than me telling you about it, go read this excellent blog post from Dan Shanoff on how NBC Sports Network is setup to try to challenge ESPN.

If NBC Comcast is able to do some of the things Shanoff suggests, then we as fans win.  Because as great as ESPN is, they’ll be much better with competition.  They are “the Worldwide Leader” but I want to have a second option that is just as good.  I want to see Sunday Night Football quality broadcasts brought to more sports.  Now that NBC and Comcast are rolling up their sleeves, that might come very soon.

Posted in ESPN, Internet, NBC, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Checking in at a major league ballpark

Posted by ZA on November 3, 2010

Located based services are becoming part of our every day lives, so it is only natural that those services connect to professional sports.  Now we even have stats to back them up, since AdAge compiled data on Foursquare check-ins at Major League Baseball ballparks in 2010.

If I ran the marketing department for any at the bottom of the list below, I would be working my butt off to make sure more fans were checking in at my part in 2011.  Check ins are a free, natural and sometimes viral way to spread the word about your team.  So why not take advantage of this opportunity?

Top 10 Foursquare Check-ins at MLB ballparks (2010)
1. AT&T Park (36,263 check-ins)
2. Yankee Stadium (35,373)
3. Wrigley Field (25,203)
4. Fenway Park (19,956)
5. Citizens Bank Park (19,889)
6. Citi Field (17,661)
7. Dodger Stadium (15,461)
8. Nationals Field (13,420)
9. Turner Field (13,383)
10.  Miller Park (11,647)

Click here to see the complete list at AdAge.

Posted in Internet, MLB | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

ESPN voted most innovative sports company

Posted by ZA on February 23, 2010

FastCompany just released its 2010 top 10 list of the Most Innovative Sports Companies and the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN, was at the top of the list.  Below is the top 10 list and here is a link to the full article.

Top 10 Most Innovative Sports Companies (by FastCompany)
2. Indian Premier League (IPL)
3. Sportvision
4. MLB Advanced Media
5. AEG
6. Populous (formerly: HOK Sports)
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
8. Turner Sports Interactive
9. Cisco Systems
10. Spyder

[Assist: SportsBusinessDaily]

Posted in Internet, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mike Gundy is no longer 40, but is still a man

Posted by ZA on October 30, 2009

My Texas Longhorns are playing the Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend, so I thought it was appropriate to rehash one of my favorite coach clips; the notorious of “I’m a man!  I’m 40!“.  This classic quote was said by Okie State head Coach Mike Gundy in September 2007 during a postgame press conference.

“I’m a man! I’m 40!” – by Mike Gundy

Unfortunately for Gundy he’ll probably never be able to live down this famous soundbite, because he is a good football coach who just got caught up in the moment.  There are four paragraphs on his Gundy’s wikipedia entry detailing the incident, which is more information than the entire rest of the page combined.

Mike Gundy is 42 now, his birthday is August 12, 1967.


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Keep up with BrandDunk on Twitter

Posted by ZA on October 13, 2009

For more off the cuff thoughts on sports and such, follow me on Twitter.

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Top sports media sites – August 2009

Posted by ZA on September 21, 2009

Who is the top sports media site on the web today? Yahoo Sports according to ComScore ratings (August 2009) of the top sports sites on the web.  Although a large portion of that traffic is due to which accounts for almost 1/3 of Yahoo Sports 29 million number.  So Yahoo seems to be getting some value from the $100 million they spent to buy the Nashville company in 2007.  Rivals has a strong network of college fan communities, although it could be weakening since the top Rivals brass has now exited stage left.  But for now Yahoo is on top of one key internet category, who are the other top sports sites?

Top 10 Sports Media Sites (August 2009)
1. Yahoo Sports (includes
3. NFL Internet Group (includes all team sites)
4. Fox Sports (includes
5. (which counts traffic from all team sites)
6. Fantasy Sports Ventures
7. CBS Sportsline
8. Fanhouse
9. Sports Illustrated sites (includes FanNation)
10. Stack Media
Honorable Mention: NBC Sports (includes Pro Football Talk)

Posted in CBS, ESPN, Fox, Internet, NBC, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Which athletes are the talk of Twitter?

Posted by ZA on July 17, 2009

If you love sports, you probably talk about them online these days.  The water cooler conversations of yesteryear have almost all gone online today.  There are myriads of options to share your personal opinions on players, teams or leagues.  You can blog about sports, leave comments on a written article, chat on a message board or write updates via Twitter.  There is an infinite amount of sports chatter online today.

Sports chat got its start online with message boards that came into their own a decade ago.  These early communities are often not talked about when people are talking about social media, but they were where the online conversations about sports started.  And many of these online message boards (now referred to as communities) are huge today, just like at the college sports focused or  Each of them boast tens of thousands of paying members and millions of conversations about sports.

These days there are also more people blogging about sports (like me) and more people using other social media sites to share their opinions.  But it is no longer just the media and fans participating in these conversations.  These days the athletes who are the topic behind many of the conversations are involved as well.  Many athletes are using Twitter, Facebook and the like to share their views on the sports world.  This allows the conversations to come full circle, where often fan and athlete are talking together.

So in this ever evolving online world, which are athletes are subject to the most chatter?  Who are the athletes getting the most buzz from the blog-sphere today?  Vitrue has come up with a way to measure which athletes receive the most mentions via social media (e.g.- Twitter) and other online methods.  From that they produced a list of the top 25 “social athletes”.  Below are their rankings for July 2009:

Top 25 Social Athletes
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Tony Hawk
3. Roger Federer
4. Ronaldinho
5. Michael Phelps
6. Dwight Howard
7. David Beckham
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Lebron James
10. Michael Jordan
11. Maria Sharapova
12. Serena Williams
13. Rafael Nadal
14. Kobe Bryant
15. Paul Pierce
16. Usain Bolt
17. Tiger Woods
18. Ryan Sheckler
19. Shaquille O’Neal
20. Manny Pacquiao
21. Yao Ming
22. Dwayne Wade
23. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
24. Stewart Cink
25. Muhammad Ali

What is interesting about the list is to see how some athletes are embracing social media to keep their names in the conversations.  Would you normally expect to see Stewart Cink on a list next to Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Roger Federer?  Probably not, but Cink is doing an excellent job of keeping himself involved in the conversations on the web.  Same with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was a legend in his day but has slipped from the limelight for over a decade.  Kareem has done a terrific job of building a following in social media by embracing vehicles like Twitter, where he has way more followers than most active NBA stars.

The lesson to be learned if you are an athlete.  Keep your name in the conversation, by getting out there and participating.  Loads of athletes are doing that today and many of them are starting to become more of household names because of that effort.  Long-term that could pay off in more success on the field or big endorsements off the court, because they already have a big fan following.

Posted in Athletes, Golf, Internet, NBA, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Watch NFL games live on your computer

Posted by ZA on July 28, 2008

The NFL and NBC Sports agreed upon a deal that will allow and to stream NFL games live on the internet.  This deal is the first time that NFL games will be broadcast over the web and is a big step forward for the league in embracing the power of the internet.  The NFL has lagged behind other leagues in moving their broadcasts to the web, particularly Major League Baseball who’s MLBAM (Major League Baseball Action Media) subsidiary has been broadcasting baseball games on the web for years.

The NFL broadcasts will only include the 17 NFL games that NBC Sports has the rights to televise, including their wildly popular Sunday Night Football games and the opening game of the year between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.  The regular television advertising will “most likely” be removed so that and the NFL can split the revenue created by selling new advertisers on the web only broadcasts.

According to the SportsBusinessJournal article the league’s other television partners (CBS, ESPN & FOX) were not happy to not be included in this type of deal.  A network source said, “The right to stream games was not in any of the contracts we signed.”

This streaming deal is great news to married guys across America who can now spend quality time with their wives on Sunday night, watching the game on their laptop while their wife watches Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy.

NFL Sunday Night Football logo

Now you can watch NFL Sunday Night Football broadcasts online.

Posted in Internet, NBC, NFL, Sports Television, TV Rights Deals | Leave a Comment »

Top 10 Best Liked Companies

Posted by ZA on June 24, 2008

Harris Interactive just came out with the results of their 2007 poll on the top 10 “best liked” companies in the United States.  The study was supposed to measure the reputations of the most visible companies in the USA, which were determined by thousands of phone interviews and online voting.

The results for the ‘best liked’ companywere interesting as there were four tech companies in the top 10, with Google landing in the top spot (Google-1, Intel-3, 3M-7, MSFT-10).  That is surprising because I would expect people to relate more to their “comfort products”, many of which fall into the food or consumer goods category.  Those “comfort products” merely scored a tie with the tech sector, with four spots in the top 10 (J&J-2, General Mills-4, Kraft-5, Coke-8).

As the digital universe expands around us, our views and opinions are morphing to count on that technology more than in the past.  We need facebook, myspace and google search as much as we need cereal in the morning, a diet coke for lunch and Uncle Ben’s for dinner.  These technologies are now intertwined in our lives and comfort us.  Playing a game of Xbox or chatting in cyberspace are equally important in our lives as those products we’ve been around since we were kids.  Stress after a long day at work can be unwound by booting up our cpu (insert porn joke here) to escape in the same way my grandfather might have poured himself a glass of scotch.

Over the next few years I expect this list of ‘best liked’ companies to continue to morph from traditional consumer goods companies into tech companies.  Eventually we’ll see facebook, twitter and apple replace J&J, Kraft and Coca-Cola, as those products just become commodities to consume while we enjoy our more sophisticated technologies.

The 10 Best Like companies in the United States (2007):
1. Google
– Has changed the way we interact with the web.
2. Johnson & Johnson – Everyone needs band aids.
3. Intel – Smart marketing gained them “out of the box” exposure, like getting their “Intel Inside” stickers on everyone’s cpu/laptop and a string of memorable commercials with the Blue Man Group.
4. General Mills – Cereal in the morning is still a ritual for most Americans.
5. Kraft Foods – A string of hit “comfort foods” like Mac & Cheese.
6. Berkshire Hathaway – People want to be rich like Warren Buffet.
7. 3M Company – Their useful products are sitting all over my office.
8. Coca-Cola – Still the king of soft drinks, and now growing in water, tea, etc.
9. Honda– Can you say Prius effect?  If only GM or Ford had gotten serious about hybrids sooner.
10. Microsoft – Many think of them as the evil empire, but their products are everywhere.

What large company do you like the best? 

Some of my favorite big companies are Nike, Apple, Disney (i.e.- ESPN), Wikipedia & Toyota.

Posted in Internet | Leave a Comment »

Google…Microsoft for a new generation

Posted by ZA on June 12, 2008

Andy Beal wrote a really good piece in today’s Marketing Pilgrim that “translated” Google CEO’s interview answers into their true meaning.  A few of the better excerpts are below, and here is the link to read the entire piece.  The scary thing is how spot on Andy’s translation was of Schmidt’s answers, he takes the spin off everything he said.

I love the innovations that come from Google, but it really seems that Google is slowly (slowly, I said) morphing into Microsoft.  You know, the big, powerful, all-knowing corporation that controls our online experience experience and costs us tons of money.  This is the thing that Google has always tried not to be, but I’m not sure they can avoid going in that direction even if they do continue to innovate.

I like Microsoft too, but you have to admit they always cast in the role of “mean, evil corporate giant” to Google’s “we’re a really cool company” and Apple’s “we’re a really, really cool company”.  Testament to Google morphing into the next Microsoft, I am actually a little nervous to critcize Google (in this case passing along some humor at the expense of their CEO) on the open internet.  I hope Google doesn’t decide to drop my site (or TC) from their searching rankings.

— Below is from Andy Beal’s site Marketing Pilgrim

Please let us forget “don’t be evil”

Schmidt said “Don’t be evil” is meant to provoke internal debate over what constitutes ethical corporate behavior, rather than representing an absolute moral position.

“We don’t have an ‘Evilmeter’ we can sort of apply — you know — what is good and what is evil,” Schmidt said

Marissa Mayer said much the same back in April, and it appears that Google would rather we let it off the “evil” hook. It seems like “don’t be evil” was great for Google, while it was a young start-up, looking for publicity, but now it’s all grown-up, it’s clear the motto restricts Google too much. My question to Schmidt is this; why is Google so keen to step away from “don’t be evil?”

Stop calling us a “one trick pony”

Schmidt reaffirmed that the company’s primary goal is not to make money selling ads, whether it is banner ads or ads on Web searches, online video, TV and mobile phones.

“The goal of the company is not to monetize everything, the goal is to change the world … We don’t start from monetization. We start from the perspective of what problems do we have,” he said

OK, I’m scratching my head on this one. I mean, seriously. Does Google really expect us to believe that the company’s primary goal is not making money? If that’s the case, why isn’t the main focus? Why not give away all of its profits to countries that need more than just personalized search? Things like water and food are a little more useful than a search engine that remembers you like Italian food.

We prefer an independent weak Yahoo

“We think an independent Yahoo is better for competition, for innovation and so forth,” Schmidt said.

…and besides, if Yahoo and Microsoft merged, the combined entity would dampen our plans to make money change the world.

I’ll spy stay on the Apple board for as long as I can

Still, Schmidt reiterated that he must occasionally be excused from Apple board meetings…”I’ve only done this once or twice, so it’s not as common as it sounds,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt was asked whether the increasing competition between Apple and Google on the mobile front might ultimately prompt his resignation from Apple’s board. “It has not so far,” he said.

Schmidt maintains that Google’s Android will be “quite different” from Apple’s iPhone. Still, it will be tough for Schmidt to remain on Apple’s board, once Android is nipping at iPhone’s heels.”

Posted in Internet, Random Stuff | 1 Comment »