The marketing of Pro football

It’s no secret that Pro Football is a billion dollar business. As such this Sunday’s matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl is as much a national holiday as any other day we have, with the exception that it is on a Sunday. Even those that do not like football, find themselves doing something that revolves around the game. With that being said, check out this viral Reebok spot. It’s been out since September, but not as a compilation.

Reebok was and is one of the few companies that understand the viral effectiveness of sports, Pro football in particular, and it’s impact with fantasy football. The series was created by Blue Room

One of the most common aspects of Pro footballs involvement in the fabric of our society is from a fantasy football aspect. A great example of this would be the UFN or Ultimate Football Network. Which melds social media and fantasy football into one.

Speaking of social media, perhaps you want a MySpace page devoted to the NFL, the Super Bowl and Super Bowl Commercials? Look no further.

But perhaps you want your  NFL information on the go? Then perhaps you would like your Pro football content piped right into your mobile device via Pro Football Weekly.

I’ve  written in the past about what to watch out for, specifically 4 trends in the next 5 years. They are, mobile, social, search and mobile social. Well here you go.

Taking that a step further for this years Super Bowl, for the third year in a row, the NFL is asking fans to pick the pitch that will become its Super Bowl commercial. The pitches will be posted on and 48 of them will be eligible for voting. Fan participation, community and a built in audience-beautiful!

Building on that type of theme the NFL in an effort to trying to embrace the users and give them more reason to consume their content, has been using feature over the course of this past season that enable fans to comment on articles archived on Fans can then post comments with social networking personas and rate articles they have read on the site.

There’s also a live chat function that was activated at the start of the season that has been letting  people interact with a fantasy football editor every Sunday, and also engage in cyberspace dialogue with NFL officials.

They have also incorporated  a multimedia feature called the Replay Recutter in which visitors can select from a menu of game clips the league uploads to the micro-site weekly and self-produce edited versions. The program also gives  fans logos and music from the NFL Films archives, Now that is cool.

In short there is not a technology or marketing endeavor the NFL does not utilize in trying to empower it’s brand and it’s fan base. Whether its RSS feeds, blogs and personalized sites for each team, mobile & video and or audio which can be uploaded onto your social sites, your blogs, and your phones along with customizable widgets that continue to promote and extend the brand at every turn, the NFL leverages it’s brand better than any corporation in the Fortune 500 or Inc 1000.

15 reasons why companies may fear social media


Last night I was talking with Rachel Happe and Leigh Duncan-Durst on Twitter  and we were discussing  the following statement I made:

Some industries have built in fan bases and thus are naturals for social media implementation, so .. why the delay? Fear? Lack of expertise?

Fear of social media.  It’s more prevalent than you think. Sure some will say they are waiting for the true ROI to shake out. That might be true, but I doubt it’s the main reason.

Leigh brought up some great points:  “Is it Fear? Resources? Ignorance? Unwilling to be transparent?” She goes on to add without mentioning industries, “that some large orgs. are terrified of the VOLUME of feedback and detractors so much they can’t see upside.”

Can you imagine being so burdened with the fear of negative press or negative reaction, that you, as an organization, are paralyzed into doing nothing?

Leigh concludes: “They are just not comfortable with that level of transparency. Turning a  blind eye negates the opportunity to turn around negatives…Treat customers with respect, respond – and identifyadvocates too!

Rachel then adds: I think the biggest inhibitor of adoption of new tools is that people are overwhelmed and don’t have time to play with them. Sometimes I think you have to drag people into a room and make them play around with the tools until they are comfortable.

I couldn’t agree with them more!  So lets review this. Are these the things that are holding companies of all sizes back from utilizing social media?

  • Fear
  • Lack of experience
  • Ignorance
  • Waiting for ROI
  • Lack of Resources
  • Unwilling to be transparent
  • Lack of time
  • Confusion
  • No Money
  • Unawareness
  • No expertise
  • Lack of leadership
  • Terrified of feedback/truth
  • The “newness” of  it, going to wait.
  • High degree of skepticism

What else can we add to this list? How many of these are really legitimate?

Your success is determined by one thing

I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but right now your marketing initiatives, your social media efforts, your email campaign, your DRTV campaign and more- all of it will rely on one thing in the end. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You are going to launch a new product. You build a website but how are you going to drive people to the site? How do they find it?
  • You launch a new product with a new company, that no one has ever heard of before, how will people find out more about you, your company, and your product?
  • You launch a new social network, how will it grow? How is it found? You start a new blog and you want people to read your kick-ass content? How will they know you’re out there? You join a new social network, how do you meet others?
  • You launch a new brick and mortar business, how do you drive business? Newspapers? Radio? Magazine? What is a person’s first knee jerk reaction to your advertising?
  • Your reputation? Where can you find it? How can you find it? Do you know if anybody is talking about you, your company and your product?
  • Your friends? Your family, How do they find you? Old friends? How do they find you?
  • You need a new job. How will you get your next one?

I could go on. But I think you get the point. Everything. and I mean everything that you do revolves around…


Think about it.


The Virtual Street Cred of Twitter


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about virtual credibility. I guess because a lot of the people that follow me on Twitter have some interesting bios. Some that would have you thinking or believing, “wow this person is impressive.” They say they  do this and they have x amount of followers etc. etc.

Simply put, at some point your bio, your connections and the number of followers you have are going to mean nothing unless you can back it up with true hands on experience and knowledge. I will venture to say though, that you can learn a lot about someone via 140 characters  or less. Consider that the ice breaker or the get to know someone phase if you will. And you know what? It can become pretty obvious after awhile, when actually talking to someone whether they have the “chops” or not.  That’s the difference between virtual credibility and “virtual street cred.”

“Virtual Street Cred”

I could refer you to the urban dictionary for the loosely defined version of “street cred” but attaching the word “virtual” to it simply means that it’s one thing to talk it in the virtual space that is the blogosphere or Twitter, but it’s a whole nuther’  thing to walk it.

So yesterday I tweeted that I was thinking about virtual credibility, when Rachel Happe, whose views and opinion I respect very much, asked the following question:

Is “virtual credibility” like virtual currency…it’s not really money but it looks like it on the internet? 🙂

Bingo!  So, over the past few months, I’ve been having actual conversations with people I’ve gotten to know from Twitter. This is significant on a number of levels. Not the least of which is the virtual relationship has become something other than “tweeting” back and forth. Another significant aspect, is that before Twitter, I might have still been able to talk to people in the marketing, social media, PR and decision maker space but…It would have taken perhaps a cold call or semi-warm one at best to engage them. And many more to get to some type of comfort level.

Twitter has allowed us ways to create amazing relationships and opportunities at a rapid rate. Prior to Twitter we would have had to work twice as hard to get to know each other.  As Brian Solis puts it in his most recent post:

As Twitter gains in relevance and prominence, its conversation platform will ring the alarms of any business that monetizes relationships, connections, and information exchange

From Twitter I’ve received opportunities to work on projects. I’ve also, on a daily basis been privy to a massive stable of talent that I can refer to for help, perspective, resources, advice, knowledge, expertisepartnerships and wisdom and most of all friendship. I have gotten to know people from so many diverse backgrounds that would have never happened otherwise. The majority of these people are a mere DM away.  That is an amazing aspect that is not overlooked by me.  Some of these people now have, in my eyes attained.

“Virtual Street Cred”

In the comments section of a post by Radian 6’s Amber Naslund, Marketer Beth Harte says the following.

I used to think Twitter was silly (hated it really), but now, it’s invaluable. All those tweets really build a character of the people you interact with. And then when you meet them in person, it’s like you already know them well and you can move past the ‘getting to know you’ phase into a deeper relationship. Imagine that from a business perspective…wow!

I feel that way too.

How about you? What has happened to you since you’ve embarked on Twitter? Good, bad, or indifferent?

10 Twitter Links that mattered to me this week

Below is a quick compilation of links that I received or found this week that I either tweeted or retweeted that mattered to me or to the people that are in the  Twitterspehere.

I received this this morning and it immediately raised a question for me in regards to whether Fortune 500’s should be on Facebook,  The question:

1) Can Enterprise Social Networks Gain Traction? My point being, perhaps we really need to define or look at what traction is.

2) Came across this and it seems interesting  so I’m gonna give it a test drive later Eyejot

3) For job seekers Adobe Acrobat is looking for a part time Community Manager

4) I’m wondering if this should surprise anyone? Colleges are using social media more than Fortune 500 & Inc 500 in the area of blogging…

5) There’s probably a few here I have not used but perhaps you have not used any of these 33 trend tracking tools

6) Mashable came out with a great post yesterday about 40 of the Best Twitter Brands & the People Behind Them And I thought it interesting to see how some use or view the power of Twitter. Who do you think uses it most effectively?

7) Valeria Maltoni and Geoff Livingston did a duel post on Top 25 Ways to Stop Wigging Out and I have to tell you, I might have to tape it on the monitor or on the fridge, because to be honest right now, there is so much happening in all of our lives, I get the sense that we all are scramblin’ for scraps sometime.

8) I got such a tremendous Twitter RT reception for the following Tweet and post titled “Create the change“:

My advice to you is to not wait on Barack Obama 4 change. Create the change yourself, in your own lives

9) How timely and “in the mix” are your tweets? Check out Twitemperature I know, it’s one of those hit and run type of Twitter apps. But still.

10) This is a must think piece here How Twitter Can be Corrosive to Online Marketing

I think I’m going to start doing this on a regular basis, simply because there is so much info that I miss and that you miss, maybe this will help. Send me one that is worth sharing that I might have missed. Educate me, please.

Create the change


For 24 hours we get to NOT think about what ails this country. For 24 hours we get to smile. For one day we can look to our left, look to our right and see one color and one people with one thing in common.

We are for one day, “One nation under one groove”-to quote the song from Funkadelic.

But tomorrow looms heavy. We can’t afford movement for the sake of motion. I wish I could make it better, and I wish Barack Obama could go faster, but he can’t. If you are waiting for change. Don’t.

Don’t wait for change. Create the change.

5 life lessons I learned from social media this week


Last night I was wondering what I was going to write about that hopefully someone new or old in the marketing, social media and PR space would understand. It’s been a crazy week but there were a few posts that caught my eye that led me to this topic.

The first was by Todd Defren about the value of modesty in which he mentions that some of the solid thinkers in the social media space are truly humble  about themselves and about what they have accomplished. Imagine that? The people that you admire in the space, have no idea how good they are and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as important, as it is to help others. Humility in social media.

Another post that caught my eye immediately was authored by Steve Radick essentially stating that social media is scary and the reason is, social media gives everyone a voice, whether they want it or not. It can instill fear and it can intimidate. Which made me ask via Twitter if some felt intimidated or scarred to talk to some of the other better known Twitterati and the answer was a collective yes. Which made me immediately wonder if I did and how can I change that? How can you change that perception if it exists? it’s unacceptable so thus I learned about-Fear of social media.

So in 2 instances we have humility and fear bubbling up from social media. I wanted to write about respect and how we, as social media practitioners may not give newcomers enough of that and that stemmed from the following:

I did a vlog  on how I was going to start viewing social media differently; and the more I look back at that vlog, the more I realized that it’s not that others have to do anything different it was me. I complain about the echo and the people that repeat things but fail to really consider who might be the person behind it. Or really who is listening? I’ve judged, I’ve deliberated and I’ve executed before even doing any legwork to justify some of my criticism. For that I apologize. Though I still want to see more from both the N00bs and the sage veterans in this space, I certainly see that not everyone came aboard at the same time. And, they’re still coming aboard! I welcome you with open arms. I apologize with all my heart. Contrition in social media.

Lastly I want to tell you about the good in social media and the good that can come from community and how quickly people can open their hearts for others. David Armano for those of you who don’t know him has a friend that you should meet and get to know. I’m not going to steal David’s thunder but if he doesn’t do anything the rest of the year, he can rest assure that what he did for Daniela will have changed her life forever. Impactful. Social media can be love, can be generous and can be impactful.

So you see, even when I said I had nothing to write and  was struggling, it was there all along, right in front of me. To be honest, it’s always there,  sometimes it just takes the community we’re in to point it out to us in an ever so subtle manner. I thank you for that. and thus I have gratitude for social media.

Time to view social media differently

Last night I could not help but pause and think after every sentence of Peter Kim’s most recent blog post. Even more compelling were the comments that followed. I’d suggest you read it.  Because of this and because I had been thinking that it was time to change the way I viewed and written about what I have experienced in marketing and social media marketing, I have decided to turn it upside down.

I want you to start thinking like that now. Instead of repeating everything that you read and just slapping a new title on it and linking to everyone else. Give me your thoughts with perhaps just one or two links. Forget about link juice for a minute and write what you really think about Twitter- Does Twitter piss you off? Are you tired of bullshit tweets? Well tell me. Don’t like what Chris Brogan says? Then say it.  I’m not asking you to completely look for the flaws and problems in everyone and everything, I’m asking you to step outside of that and look at things from 3 feet instead of  30,000 feet, and then give me your real thoughts and your perspective. If I’m full of it? Fine, tell me why, and if it makes sense then I will adjust.

It’s time for our discussions and our thoughts to be elevated. I would think that now might be a really opportune time for fresh thinking, what do you think? And for the record, Peter I may be echoing what you have just written but the more people that can spread that sentiment of less echo and more thought, the better.