Golden State Warriors Adopt Twitter as Marketing Tool

Photo by RMTip21

In my blogs, I have discussed the use of social media a lot. I have touched on the positives and negatives, how it works for the University of Oregon and the NBA but now, I’m going to focus on a specific NBA team that has been not only using Twitter appropriately, but has really adopted it as one of their main marketing tools. The team that I will be focusing on is the Golden State Warriors.

In an article by Sports Networker, Trevor Turnbull connected with Kevin Cote, the Assistant Director of Digital Marketing for the Warriors, and discussed with him in which ways they use social media.

Through Social Media, the Golden State Warriors created social media campaigns to encourage social media use amongst their fans. These include:

Dub The Vote

  • This campaign was centered on the NBA All-Star Game. The Warriors encouraged fans to vote for their favorite players to make the All-Star Game. As a reward for fans social media participation, they were given opportunities to receive signed merchandise and meet the players. In a two-week span, the Warrior’s received over 100 photos promoting “Dub The Vote.”

Tweedia Day 2011

  • Every team has a media day that allows reporters and journalists to ask questions and get familiar with the team before the season starts. The Warriors’ Tweedia Day allowed fans to watch the live streaming of and participate in their Media Day by asking questions on Twitter that would then be answered by the players.  One of the best parts of this campaign was that the players had real interactions with the fans, which they obviously loved.

Warriors Tweetup

  • This particular campaign was focused around one specific game that the Warrior promoted to encourage active tweeting. Just by buying tickets and tweeting on this chosen day, Warriors fans had the chance to meet Stephen Curry, one of the Warriors star players, secure tickets in one of the Warriors Tweetup sections that were in the lower level and club level section in addition to getting a Tweetup shirt.

Golden State Warriors Home Game-Facebook Deals

  • The Warriors’ last social media campaign is centered on Facebook and Four Square. By checking into a Warriors’ game, fans would receive “exclusive deals” that would give them discounted apparel and free giveaways.

Cote acknowledged that they were “late” on jumping aboard the Twitter bandwagon but explains in the following quote why they now constantly use and promote the use of Twitter. “…once we realized fully how powerful it could be, we went at it full force And we’ve seen a lot more success lately with the things that we’ve been doing and the have been loving it and we love using it…”

It’s great to see that NBA teams are acknowledging that social media is where their fans thrive so by integrating social media into their marketing campaigns, teams will  increase sales in addition to fan interaction and involvement. All teams, not just in the NBA, should be creating Twitter campaigns similar to those of the Warriors.

The University of Oregon Raises Money With “Miles4Kay” Initiative

The University of Oregon's donation table during their Play4Kay weekend. All donations went to assist in breast cancer research.

It’s not uncommon for universities to have an athletic event that is a “Pink” themed event, meaning they raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Often times you’ll see the athletes wearing pink shoes during the game and coaches wearing pink shirts. But when the University of Oregon decided to do a “Pink” theme for two of the women’s basketball games, they decided to go bigger than just having their staff and athletes wear pink.

Using two treadmills that had been donated for the weekend by a local gym in Eugene, the University of Oregon established an initiative called “Miles4Kay” in order to raise money and get donations for Play4Kay, the breast cancer awareness nonprofit they had selected to donate their funds to. To read the press release of the event, click here.

The University of Oregon marketing staff set up the treadmills inside the arena so walkers and runners could watch the game while on the treadmill. Next to the treadmills was a table that allowed fans to donate, pledge a certain amount per mile for walkers or sign up to walk yourself!

University of Oregon fans and marketing staff members running to raise money for Play4Kay. Photo by Abby Carrier

The best part of their plan was that they chose members of their staff and athletic teams to walk. For example, the University of Oregon Athletic Director, Rob Mullens was the first to run! This was a generous move by Mullens as it showed personal devotion to raising money for Play 4 Kay. He was willing to sweat for a solid 20 minutes in front of fans in order to raise money.

In addition Robin Cambier, a member of the Oregon men’s tennis team, decided to volunteer his time to raise money as well.

Robin Cambier, a member of the Oregon men's tennis team, runs alongside the Duck to raise money.

Not only did this raise money for Play4Kay but was also a unique way to get fans and employees involved and donate money and time.

It’s my hope that the University of Oregon continues to do walkathons and come up with new, creative and interactive ideas to raise money for local non-profits.

10 Most-Disliked Athletes of 2011

Michael Vick after being released from prison. Photo by Gary Cope

In sports, most of the time, athletes aren’t just recognized by their league or team, but are often times seen as individuals. Is this a good or bad thing? That’s up for interpretation and also dependant on who you are and what you have done to effectively build or destroy your personal brand.

All sports fans can name athletes who they both respect and detest and most of the time; it’s not because of their actions associated with the team or league but is due to their behavior both on and off the field.

In a recent survey conducted by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research, they measured the public’s opinions on professional athletes. Participants described particular athletes as people they “dislike”; “dislike somewhat” or “dislike a lot.” The list isn’t surprising for the average sports fan. Some of them have been on the list for multiple years. ESPN discusses the list and voices their opinions on the newest disliked athletes.

Among the list include, in order:

  1. Michael Vick
  2. Tiger Woods
  3. Plaxico Burress
  4. Ndamukong Suh
  5. Kris Humphries
  6. LeBron James
  7. Kobe Bryant
  8. Terrell Owens
  9. Alex Rodriguez
  10. Kurt Bush

You don’t have to be an avid sports fan to understand a lot of the names on the list. I will briefly discuss the top 5 and give a brief description as to why they made the list and how their actions have brought them into the list of most-disliked athletes.

Michael Vick is still trying to recover from his dog-fighting scandal. Despite his return to the NFL and consistent play, he still hasn’t recovered fans that he lost because of that incident. Vick lost fans not because of his actions on the field, but the way America saw his true character off the field. His decision to conduct and promote dogfights has created damage not only to his personal brand but has affected his team and their owners for being willing to take him back.

Tiger Woods, I think this one speaks for itself. His decision to cheat on his wife has angered everyone, not just sports fans. Similar to Vick, Woods had forgotten that he is always being watched and completely ruined his image because of it. People say that “you shouldn’t care what others think,” in Tiger’s case, how could you not? Since the scandal, his performance has dramatically decreased because of his actions. His decisions off the course have ultimately led to his demise on the course.

Plaxico Burress, a receiver for the New York Jets, spent 20 months in prison for illegal gun possession. This is clearly something that fans haven’t forgiven him for. It’s not simply the illegal gun possession that fans are upset about, but the way he treats his team and NFL officials. His decisions resulted in jail time, which fans rarely support. It will take time, recognition of his mistakes and solid play for him to be removed from this list.

The shocker on the list comes in at number 4, Ndamukong Suh. A new player for the NFL, who has been praised for increasing the Detroit Lions play and who, only four months ago, was on Forbes list of most-liked players in the NFL. His $2.6 million dollar donation to Nebraska, where he attended college, definitely helped to elevate his status as well. So what happened?  During a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving, Suh intentionally stomped on the head of one of Green Bay’s offensive linemen that resulted in his suspension of two games by the NFL. It took one bad decision on the field to outweigh all of his other accomplishments, both on and off the field. In a single second, he took moved himself from the list of most-liked to the list of most-disliked athletes.

Lastly, there’s Kris Humphries. The reason why Humphries made this list is due to his marriage, if you can even call it that, to Kim Kardashian. This decision has led to loss of respect from sports fans. I imagine this is something that will be forgotten with time. Humphries is on the list simply for his stupidity and being naive. I don’t think this is a mistake he’ll make again and has learned the hard way.

Notice that the majority of the top 5 athletes are on the list because of decisions they made in their personal life. Is it fair to judge an athlete based off of their off-the-field actions? I think so. They are always in the public eye, which means that people are watching their every move on the court, and especially how they compose themselves off the court. Athletes are role models and need to recognize that their actions and decisions not only affect them personally, but others on their team, organization and fans too.

Promote March Madness and CBS by Decorating Your Cubicle

Photo by firehole

As March Madness approaches, it is time for sponsors to figure out what they’re going to do to promote both the tournament and themselves. This is a time where sponsors get to be creative and come up with the wildest idea in order to gain media attention. The more creative the idea, the more college basketball fans will jump on board, resulting in increased media coverage.

As I was procrastinating from homework, I was able to find one interesting idea that I know will get fans excited. CBS is offering a March Madness Cubicle Contest. This is as simple as it sounds, people who work in a cubicle will decorate their work space with their favorite teams’ paraphernalia. Once they’ve successfully done that, they will take a picture of it and post it on their Facebook page where viewers can vote on their favorite cubicle. The winning cubicle will get to see the photo of their cubicle posted on TV during the final four in addition to receiving Lowe’s gift cards.

This idea is clever for many reasons. First, a lot of college sports fans are those who unfortunately have to spend their time in cubicles during March Madness. CBS is successfully marketing to their target audience. As this may be seen as a distraction to employers, it’s a way to get fans engaged and involved even if they’re unable to watch at the time.

Secondly, this is free advertising for CBS and Lowe’s. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing social media being used in conjunction with the contest. Again, their target audience is one that uses social media and is therefore likely to participate in the contest. Because no one has done this idea before, I predict that it will be talked about not in just offices but on the Internet as well.

Fans will be getting so pumped for March Madness that they’ll be more likely to take pictures of their cubicles, tweet about them, post them on their Facebook pages and most importantly, challenge their friends to come up with a better decorated cubicle. The more cubicles that are decorated, the more publicity CBS gets which is their ultimate goal.

It will be interesting to see what other ideas sponsors can come up with to promote March Madness. Until then, start gathering your pom-poms and foam fingers and start decorating your cubicle!

Are You Committing One of the Seven Twitter Faux Pas?

Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll notice that I’ve talked a lot about the use of social media. I have focused on how social media can positively enhance your organization and personal brand. However, what I haven’t touched on is how social media has the same power to destroy everything you’ve created.

When used correctly, social media is the key to success. However, when used wrong, the results could be detrimental.

Media Bistro came up with a list of “7 Ways to totally destroy Your Reputation on Twitter” and they’re so simple that they’re often overlooked. Guaranteed, we’ve all seen people who have violated these 7 rules, have you been a victim to one of them as well?

  1. Tweet while you’re drunk
  2. Use an auto-responder
  3. Repeat your tweets
  4. Sell, sell, sell
  5. Say whatever the *#@& you want
  6. Whine about not having enough followers
  7. Steal other people’s tweets

People are becoming so comfortable with social media that they’re forgetting that it’s still used as a professional outlet. Even if you’re a seasoned veteran, violating one of these seven rules can ruin your personal brand you’ve spent months to create.

Another site that I found had similar opinions on, “7 Things Not to Do on Twitter.” Their list includes:

  1. Excessive Tweeting/Retweets
  2. Follow Anyone & Everyone
  3. Abuse
  4. Inaccurate/Incomplete profile
  5. Boasting
  6. Personal Talk
  7. Frequency

Clearly there are some similarities, which highlight the biggest Twitter no-nos. So make sure next time you’re tweeting, that you’re not being obnoxious, taking credit for anyone else’s tweet and remember, tweeting isn’t a place for you to broadcast you’re every thought. If you want to be taken seriously over Twitter, be responsible and professioinal.

Set Yourself Up for Success, Get an Internship

Photo by davidciani

Attention college students: times are changing. You can no longer simply go to class, get decent grades and get a job right out of college. Now, it’s so much more competitive. In order to get a job after graduation, you have to do all the above, while completing internships. In a recent article from USA Today, they outline the reasons as to why, “Internships are no longer optional.”

The article is a question and answer session with a woman who had 15 different internships while in college and since then, has created her own company. I summarized the article’s main points and whether I, a current college student in the hunt for a job, agree with these reasons.

Internships provide hands-on experience and the opportunity to create professional relationships.

  • Absolutely true. Internships are the first step to landing a job. It’s not just a resume builder but also a way for you to get a peek into the real world and understand how it works. Internships also give you the opportunity to make connections with people in your field of interest who will be able to help you succeed in your future.

Go for the internship you want, not just the ones that are available at the time.

  • Don’t take the easy route and just apply for any internship. Apply for internships that you actually want otherwise it will be a waste of your time. By applying for internships you actually want, you’ll ultimately learn more and have a more positive internship experience.

If you have contact information with an organization, use it… and don’t forget to follow-up.

  • If you have a contact somewhere, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for help with getting an internship. Remember, they were in your shoes at one point and they’re most likely going to be willing to help. However, if you don’t know anyone in the organization you want to work for, there’s no harm in cold calling them. That will show them that you’re confident and determined to work for that specific organization.

Visit your school’s career center.

  • This is an incredibly valuable resource that not enough students use. They are one of the first places that employers go to when they’re seeking students to fill their internships spots.

List only the most impressive tasks on your resume.

  • Because resumes should only be a page, don’t waste valuable space on tasks that aren’t impressive. For example, don’t use space saying that you filed during an internship. Anyone can file so think of more important tasks to enhance your resume.

Unpaid internships are not a waste of time.

  • I agree with this statement the most. As hard and frustrating as it may be to commit a lot of time and not get anything tangible back, it’s still worth it. You’re getting paid not with money, but with experience and contacts, which will ultimately lead you to a paycheck.

Follow up, but recognize when it’s over.

  • There’s a fine line between being persistent and annoying. Follow ups show that you care and you’re determined but if they don’t get back to you after two calls, give it up. Clearly, it’s not meant to be so you should stop wasting your time focusing on someone who clearly isn’t focused on you. Spend your time on other organizations that are more willing to talk to you and work with you.

Prepare for your interview

  • There’s nothing worse than when you go into an interview unprepared. Make sure you dress appropriately, always over-dress as opposed to under-dress, and do your research. Know the company’s history and recent accomplishments to talk about during the interview. They’ll be impressed that you did research and will remember you for it.

Internships aren’t necessarily required, but it’s one of the most important things you could do in college to give you the best possible chance at success in the future. Give yourself a head start by getting experience so you’re prepared for the post-college life.

 

 

 

Using Twitter to Vote for the 2012 Dunk Contest: Genuis Move

In the 2012 Dunk Contest, the NBA decided to go American Idol style and have America vote for the winning dunk. When I first heard about this, I couldn’t decide how I felt. I liked having judges that could actually understand which dunks are more complicated than others and judge accordingly; I still feel that way. However, in a world that revolves around social media, this was a great move for the NBA.

I’m still impressed that the NBA allowed one of their biggest events of the year to be decided by fans. Twitter allowed the NBA to boost their fan involvement in addition to promoting their sponsors such as Sprite which had you tweet “#SpriteSlam” followed by the letter designating which player you wanted to vote for. This was a great business move for the NBA because encouraged fan involvement while simultaneously promoting their sponsors in a more affective, and less annoying, manner.

We’re in a world that’s rapidly revolving around social media. Had the NBA not opted to use social media during their highly publicized dunk contest, another major sport would have used social media later on and would be reaping the positive publicity.

In addition to the NBA promoting the use of Twitter in their Dunk Contest, I love that Paul George “invited fans to submit dunk ideas to him via Twitter.” Regardless of whether he used those ideas or not, the invitation continued to promote social media, the NBA and him specifically.

I’m not going to lie, I was so impressed with his willingness to communicate with fans and welcome other ideas for his dunks that I checked out his bio to learn more about him. It’s refreshing to see that athletes are turning to fans for advice and opinions.

As for the last line in the article, “Do you think the NBA is doing a better job than other pro sports leagues of leveraging social and digital technology?”  I’m going to refer to the Sports Fan Graph website to answer this question because it’s the best way to compare, side-by-side, teams and their social media usage.

Here’s a quick comparison between the major sports leagues to give an idea of which league is ahead of the game (pun intended) in their social media usage.

NBA:
Twitter followers: 4,567,571
Facebook fans: 12,630,219
Total: 17, 197,790

MLB:
Twitter followers: 1,812,662
Facebook fans: 1,033,963
Total: 2,846,625

NFL:
Twitter followers:  3,028,513
Facebook fans: 4,890,732
Total: 7,919,245

NHL:
Twitter followers: 1,002, 812
Facebook fans: 2,154,200
Total: 3,157,012

Clearly, the NBA is dominating the use social media. The NBA, overall, does a better job of promoting the use of twitter in their broadcasts in addition; the announcers and players promote Twitter themselves by communicating with fans through their Twitter accounts. At the rate that the NBA is increasing in their social media usage, no other major sports league will be able to catch up.

Our New American Hero: “Linsanity”

Photo of Jeremy Lin by DvYang

One of the reasons why Americans love sports isn’t just for the competition and raw athleticism but because it allows them to root for the underdog, be apart of the unthinkable and witness miracles. Seeing success for the underdog gives the rest of us hope that if they can achieve the near impossible, so can we. We love to identify with the them because it makes us feel better about ourselves and gives us hope. This is where Jeremy Lin comes in, our new American hero.

It’s no surprise that America’s newest hero is the ultimate underdog, Jeremy Lin. Businessweek recently wrote an article on Jeremy Lin and how he achieved the impossible and I think they’re dead on. It doesn’t take a sports genius to know that very few Asians make it to the NBA let alone ones who graduated from Harvard, a university not know for it athletics. In fact, according to the article, “The last time an NBA player was recruited from Harvard was 1954.” This shows that Lin was not just an ordinary athlete, but someone who was destined to go somewhere.

I’m embarrassed to admit that the PAC-10 was the first to tell him that as far as he could get with a career in basketball would be a college walk-on. But Jeremy Lin didn’t take no for an answer. Those reasons weren’t big enough to stop him from pursing his dream.  That’s how he ended up at Harvard. Then having a mediocre experience with the Golden State Warriors followed by time spent playing in the D-League. For two years, he was bouncing back and forth between the D-League and professional teams, never knowing when, if ever, he was ever going to settle in with one team. Finally, his big break came on January 20 when he had a triple-double, scoring 28 points. It only took the Knicks three days after that to give him another shot in the pros, and aren’t we glad they did.

As a result, Lin is our new American hero. Not only did his perseverance and determination keep him playing through a roller-coaster journey, but also has made him a starter for the New York Knicks. In our eyes, Lin came out of no-where and surprised the country with his talent and wow-factor that created the “Linsanity” trend, a phrase that has instantly boosted his personal brand.

Let this be a lesson to athletes trying to make it into the pros. Don’t take no for an answer. If you keep preserving and have the burning desire to accomplish your goals, with time, you’ll get what you’re looking for.

The University of Oregon Athletic’s Successful Use of Social Media

Since social media’s popularity and presence in the world has dramatically increased, it’s no surprise that organizations and businesses are reaching out to different social media outlets. In doing so, they’re reaching target audiences in a new and unique way.

Infographic created by digitalsurgeons depicting demographics of Facebook and Twitter

Going off of my previous blog post, I thought I would expand on how the University of Oregon Athletic Department uses social media in order to reach target audiences.

 

Facebook:

 

Facebook is one of the first social media outlets that businesses start with. Why? Because it’s easy to set up and understand. There’s the opportunity to not just communicate messages but also create dialogue between you and generate interest in your organization. The University of Oregon has done a good job about staying consistent with their Facebook posts and updating pictures and overall information and as a result, have 350,975 “likes.” This is an enormous number compared to our top 5 competitors. For example:

 

Oregon State has 95,211* “likes”

USC has 42,502* “likes”

UW has 154,926* “likes”

Stanford has 311,902* “likes”

LSU has 186, 754* “likes”

 

*Numbers as of March 4.

 

It’s apparent that the University of Oregon has been determined to increase their number of “likes” by staying in constant contact by regularly updating their Facebook site. It’s my belief that the more time and effort they put into their social media outlets, the more rewards they’ll get from it. In this case, rewards meaning more “likes” and more discussion of the Oregon brand, which is an overall goal, right?

 

The University of Oregon has taken advantage of free advertising and new media in order to attract new fans, which results in more positive publicity and potential revenue.

 

For example, the Oregon Ducks Facebook has posted 11 times in the past week to update fans on the upcoming athletic events, photos, articles and other general information. These 11 posts have generated 3,355 “likes” and 258 comments. If the Oregon Athletic Department hadn’t been regularly updating their Facebook, these interactions wouldn’t have happened which could have resulted in less attendance at events that they’re promoting.  It’s no wonder why Oregon has so much success with their Facebook “likes” compared to our competitors.

 

In addition to the Oregon Athletic Department’s Facebooks Page, many of Oregon’s individual athletic teams have their own Facebook to use for their personal use. Of Oregon’s 17-varsity sports team, 11 of them have their own Facebook page to promote their specific events. This further enhances Oregon athletics’ presence in social media.

 

Twitter:

 

Twitter was first launched in 2006 and has been rapidly increasing in popularity ever since; although, it’s taken businesses and organizations longer to jump on board. However, the University of Oregon Twitter account sees a lot of action.

Within the last week, Oregon tweeted 75 times resulting in 8,908 tweets and 27,809 followers. Like their Facebook account, Oregon athletics tweet about upcoming athletic events, score updates, press releases about Oregon athletics, links to interviews with players and coaches, etc. Similar to Facebook, Oregon’s Twitter stats go beyond those of the same top 5 competitors.

 

Oregon State has tweeted 5,126 times and has 5,822 followers*

USC has tweeted 5,746 times and has 23,291 followers*

UW has tweeted 15,104 times and has 19,397 followers*

Stanford has tweeted 2,042 times and has 8,379 followers*

LSU only has Twitter accounts for each specific sport, not LSU athletics as a whole*

 

*Numbers as of March 4

 

Again, the University of Oregon has outshined their top 5 competitors in number of followers. This, like their Facebook stats, prove that Oregon Athletics has a strong desire to connect and interact with fans and are taking advantage of that by utilizing social media. In addition to their general athletics Twitter account, several individual Oregon sports, like Facebook, have also created their own Twitter accounts to give out more up-to-date and sport-specific information. So far, seven Oregon athletic teams have created their own Twitter account and that number is on the rise.

 

Pinterest:

 

This is a new addition to Oregon’s social media outlets. Only a couple of weeks old, the Oregon athletics Pinterest account already has 539 followers. Oregon is the first University among our competitors that has created a Pinterest account, again proving that they are reaching out to a variety of audiences across different social media outlets. This not only provides increased fan interaction but also allows fans to give ideas on types of boards, new promotional and marketing materials posted by followers, etc.

 

The University of Oregon’s use of social media has set the bar high for other Universities. They’re getting their brand out there and creating new relationships with fans through the use of social media. As a result, they have more Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers than any of our top five competitors. The University of Oregon is using social media to their advantages and is seeing results for their presence online. It’s essential that other Universities follow in Oregon’s footsteps and do the same.