Branding the World of Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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.

Posted in Internet | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The NFL is too focused on controlling their brand

Posted by ZA on September 2, 2009

The NFL has the largest television contract among the four major U.S. professional sports leagues.  In-fact the paid media rights to the National Football League are surely the largest in the World, along with the Olympics and Premier League.  So there are a lot of dollars at stake for the NFL, which means they are extremely vigilant about how their product is distributed.  You’ve probably heard their “This broadcast cannot be redistributed without the express written permission of the NFL…” warning at the beginning of football games so often that you hardly notice it anymore.  But that pre-game warning is just part of the NFL’s strategy to protect their marks.

Now the NFL is expanding their protection to include a ban against social media.  The NFL is restricting players, coaches, league personnel or media from engage in social networking during games.  The purpose is to prevent a media member from twittering the activity on the field, which would be a form of redistribution that potential violates their television rights deal.  As if a reporter in Cleveland posting something on his Facebook page is going to ruin the entire Browns/Steelers broadcast for CBS.

I mean come on, isn’t this taking things a little too far?  I personally think it would be a more enjoyable experience if while watching the game on TV (on an NFL sponsor network) I was also able to read Peter King or Chad Ochocinco’s thoughts on the game.  Maybe Chris Cooley or his wife would post some scoop from the locker room that would totally enhance the game watching experience.  But that is exactly what the NFL does not want.

The NFL does not want some practice squad player posting from the New England Patriots locker room that Tom Brady was injured during a meaningless preseason game with the Washington Redskins.  They want to control the message and feel that’s the only way to protect the integrity of the game and their (high paying) media partners.  Which is dead wrong in my opinion.

The world today is too wired to try to control the message all the time.  Twitter, Facebook, etc. are meant to be means of distributing information to the masses.  The internet is the great equalizer in that it makes it easy to quickly spread information.  True, often that information might not be correct.  But to try to control that message to inhibit people from sharing their thoughts, ideas or opinions isn’t going to work.  It’s like trying hold a gallon of sand in your hand; it’ll first start to slip through your fingers and then eventually come pouring out.  The NFL would be better served to realize this now and refrain from trying to restrict entirely the information, but perhaps rather limit the information (e.g.- no distribution of injury related information).  They’d stand a much better chance of achieving their objective if they started with a reasonable goal.

I personally cannot wait until Ochocinco twitter’s after his first touchdown of the season.  It’ll be great to see how the league tries to penalize him.

Posted in NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , | Leave a 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 »

Wrigley Field expansion on the horizon

Posted by ZA on May 26, 2009

Wrigley Field has been the home of the Chicago Cubs since 1916.  The park was build in 1914 at a cost of $250,000.  It currently seats just over 40,000 people.  It is the second oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, just behind Fenway Park which opened in 1912.  Wrigley Field is one of the most iconic sports venues in the World.  So naturally it is constantly at the center of debates of how to change it for the better.

Andrew Ziola who runs a website devoted to building a public park in Wrigleyville across from the famous ballpark.  Andrew’s idea goes in contrast to what the Cubs and City of Chicago have agreed upon, a project called the Triangle building.  The purpose of the Triangle building is to provide to more revenue generation opportunities for the ball club, by building restaurants and other stores that would be accessible by fans throughout the year.

I think we know which concept has won; the writing is already on the wall that the Cubs will build the Triangle building.  It’s just a matter of when the new Cubs ownership kicks in the money to start the project.  Something the Tribune’s architecture critic, Blair Kamin, has said the Cubs need to do right away.  Someone just needs to break the bad news to Mr. Ziola.

I applaud Ziola for pushing forward a different concept, one that is more earth friendly and therefore greener than the alternative.  One that will obviously do more for the residents of Wrigleyville, who could get year round use out of a park.  But the problem with his ideas is that the Cubs and city are most interested in is the green that comes on dollar bills.  They need to develop the land across from Wrigley into the Triangle in order to house some of the amenities that many other modern stadiums can incorporate into their building.  Wrigley Field is a historic monument, so that limits the scope of changes that can be made to the structure.  There is no way to have the restaurants and shops unless the Cubs convert the parking lot across the street.  So it truly is the right decision for the Cubs to build the Triangle.  A park would be great, but unfortunately it cannot generate the revenue that a retail development can.  That’s just the world we live in and money helps make the world go round.

You can follow Andrew Ziola’s quest on Twitter (@wrigleyfield4u).   Follow BrandDunk on Twitter (@BrandDunk).

Posted in MLB, Stadium Construction, Venue Information | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »