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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Using Social Media at Work

With so many different types of social media, it makes for more work distractions. Visual by: birgerking

 

With social media on the rise, it’s no surprise that it’s becoming the new Solitaire in the workplace.  Before social media took over the nation, employees would spend time at the office playing Solitaire. I even remember hearing a story a while back where a company took Solitaire off of their employee’s computers because it was becoming that big of an issue. Now, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, have replaced solitaire as the new work distraction.

According to Workplace Tribes’ article “How can social software get you fired,” more and more employees are spending company time on their personal social media sites. Forty-three percent of businesses around the world say that they have to deal with misuse of social networks. This misuse resulted in 42 percent of corporations taking disciplinary actions against their employees.

Having said that, social media isn’t a tool to just bide your time until the workday is over, but it’s a useful resource when it comes to hiring employees and communicating with the community. One of the great things about my internship is that it has actually jumpstarted my involvement with social media sites. For example, the Senior Athletic Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the University of Oregon suggested that we, the interns, tweet about what’s going in the office. Day-to-day activities are pretty normal to us who experience it every day, but there are people who are interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes of a collegiate athletic department; tweeting will give them a teaser as to what we do. Since then, I have tweeted more consistently, blogged about my experiences in the office and created a LinkedIn account. These are all things that I probably would have done on my own with time, but they encouraged me to do them now as a way to increase my communication and presence in the community.

If not used correctly though, social media can lead to your destruction. The following are the top 8 ways that Workplace Tribes says you can get fired because of social media:

  1. Post off-color remarks
  2. Post-confidential details
  3. Bad-mouth your clients
  4. Disrespect your employer
  5. Post inappropriate photos
  6. Create animated videos of your coworkers
  7. Talk trash about your boss
  8. Play hooky and post about it

Honestly, if you do any of those things, you deserve to be fired! As an employee of that company, you are no longer representing just yourself but the company as well. So naturally, if the company sees you disrespecting them on the Internet, would you blame them for getting rid of you? If you need to vent, fine, everyone needs to at some point; just don’t do it in a place that’s visible for everyone to see.

The Greenest MLB Ballpark in the United States is…

The San Francisco Giants stadium, AT&T Park

The other day as I was procrastinating on homework and playing around on Twitter, I saw something posted by the San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants), that made an already proud Giant fan even more impressed. The tweet consisted of a link to an article that included a review of how ATT&T Park, the Giants stadium, is going green.

The article highlights the ways in which the Giants have taken the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint and turn their stadium into an environmentally friendly example of what other ballparks and fans should do to help protect the environment.

The following are the 6 initiatives that the San Francisco Giants took and some surprising stats sure to impressive just about anyone.

Certification:

The Giants first received certification from LEED EDO&M (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing buildings, Operations and Maintenance). This certification proves that the Giants are on the right track for creating a cleaner Earth.

Renovating Ballpark Concessions:

For those of you who have attended a Giants game, you’ve hopefully had their best concession, garlic fries. The Giants started going green by adjusting just this one stand. They changed the way in which they made garlic fries, used soda machines, and they lit the stand. They even painted the stand with biodegradable paint. It’s estimated that the energy saved by making these improvements could fry an additional 110 tons of garlic fries, the equivalent to last 275 games or 1.5 seasons.

Getting Educated:

AT&T Park created what they call their “Green Team.” These are employees who have been educated on how to correctly recycle and compost and are easily identifiable so they can answer any questions on being environmentally friendly.

Solar Panels:

AT&T Park installed 590 solar panels that have already decreased their greenhouse gas emmitions by 360,000 pounds!

Lighting:

By relighting the ballpark using energy efficient devices, AT&T Park saved 171,000-kilowatt hours of energy. That’s enough to power 25 homes for an entire year! In addition, the scoreboard was placed with a more energy-efficient one that has been 78% more efficient in saving energy.

Public Transit and Water Conservation:

The Giants added a new irrigation clock to their field, which has decreased their water usage by 33-50%. It’s known that more than 50% of Giants fans that travel to AT&T Park travel by public transit, which significantly decreases the amount of pollution that would have been produced from the cars or taxis they would have driven. In addition, the Park also offers bike valets to promote walking and biking.

Why is this important?

The Giants have taken a major leap in being one of the first Major League Baseball programs to take these initiatives. It’s not only a way to jumpstart their fans to be more green, but other ballparks as well. Imagine the amount of energy, water and greenhouse gases that could be reduced if every ballpark in the country adopted similar initiatives.

 

If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve attached the press release of the Giant’s LEED Silver Certification for Existing buildings, Operations and Maintenance.

You’ve Nailed the Internship…Now What?

In college, we’re told that internships are key to getting a job. Plain and simple. But the requirements of being an intern can be often be overlooked. It is in my belief that some of the most multi-tasking you will do, will be in college. We juggle class, exercise, friends, homework and jobs or internships. With everything that we’re expected to do while out of the office, it’s weird having to go into your internship or job and switch gears entirely. I have yet to secure a job for the dreaded graduation but I have found a way to nail a couple great internships in my 3.5 years here and that’s because I learned, through trial and error, the ins and outs of being a dependable intern.

For this week’s topic of choice, I will be using a site recommended by one of my PR professors, titled 10 ways to be a dream PR intern. Even though my internships at the University of Oregon are all marketing related, I feel that this site applies to all internships.

The following are a recap of the top 10 ways, outlined by the site above, to be a dream intern and my thoughts on the importance of these qualities.

  1. Work later than everyone else. This is something that I found would always get your employers attention. Sure, you can be the employee that leaves the second the clock strikes 6:00 but in my opinion, if you have a project that you could finish in a reasonable time, might as well just get it done. That way you can start the next day with a project completed, ready for a new one. It gives you more portfolio work and the opportunity to learn more in less time.
  2. Ditch the millennial crowd. I have learned that age is just a number. Don’t not hang out with people your age just so you can hang out with the boss, then you just look like a suck up. Create a relationship with all ages in the office. At my internship with the athletic department, I have befriended the other interns as young as 20 and other employees who have been working for the University of Oregon for 50 years. In the workplace, you’ll always have something to talk about and someone to learn from so get to know everyone!
  3. Pick out an office role model. There’s always going to be someone that you can identify with more than others. I have found that paying attention to their character and work ethic will make you want to work on yours. It could be something as simple as saying hi to everyone that walks through the office or something as complicated as the way they handle a crisis during a football game. Regardless, you’re sure to learn a lot of valuable qualities to carry over into your other jobs, and life.
  4. Invite someone out for coffee. This is something I have yet to do. I have bonded with the other interns but it’s safe to say they’re in my comfort zone. We’re relatively the same age and are at the same place in our lives. It never hurts to invite someone outside of the comfort zone out for coffee; you never know what you can learn…
  5. Learn new skills in social media. BINGO! If there’s one thing that has changed in my life since starting my internship with the Oregon athletic department, it would be that I have tweeted significantly more in the 6 months that I’ve worked there than the 3 years that I’ve had a Twitter account. It really does keep me informed with the rapidly changing news in addition to sharing unknown information to those who may not have the access to it…kind of like what I’m doing now.
  6. Keep up with your selected industry. This relates to # 5 so I’m not really going to touch on this one.
  7.  Don’t just be an intern. Similar to #1, yes, you’re an intern but don’t act like one. If you hope to work for the same company after the internship ends, then act like you are a regular employee, that you belong there. Be willing to do anything and everything because it shows that you’re a hard worker and willing to learn.
  8. Wear appropriate clothes. Just because you’re an intern, doesn’t mean you should look like one! If you want to be working for this company after the internship ends, or hoping to get a reference, then you need to look and act professionally or else they won’t take you seriously. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. Take off the makeup from the night before, put on a clean shirt and look like you belong there. Make it so no one could guess that you’re “the intern.”
  9. Interact. Luckily, I don’t have to work in a cubicle; I get to work in an open space with multiple people. Not only does it make me enjoy work more, but it’s a good way to get the creative juices flowing such as suggestions from the Photoshop Wizard sitting next to me or Dreamweaver Dude sitting across the way. It also allows you to constantly be learning.
  10.  Say goodbye. Why just sneak out? Might as well ask if there’s one last thing that needs to be done before you head home. A little bit goes a long way and trust me, it never goes unnoticed.

Marketing interns working the University of Oregon football game.

Have I forgotten any?

Why Super Bowl Ads Succeed

In 10 short days, people will gather not only to be apart of the millions that watch the Super Bowl, but also to watch the long awaited, highly anticipated super Bowl ads. For sports fans, the commercials are an added bonus to the already exciting day, to non-sports fans, the commercials are what they’re really there to see. The Super Bowl commercials are such a big deal that we actually want to sit and watch these ads and then discuss the best, and worst, ones with our friends.

Over the years, we’ve all laughed, cried and have been dumbfounded by the ads that companies pay millions to air for a mere 30 seconds. The best parts about the ads though are that they’ve always been this way. Years pass but the good ads from decades ago are still talked about.

There are a few that truly stand out and have defined the way that Super Bowl commercials are made today. Here are 12 ads that changed Super Bowl marketing. The author of this article understands why these ads are successful and points out things that viewers may not have noticed before.

Using the author’s text for why these specific ads changed Super Bowl marketing, I created a “wordle” to show the words most represented in the article. Notice that name brands that are represented: Apple, Chrysler, Budweiser, etc.  They have a history of creating humorous or interesting ads that are still talked about it. These brands adapt to the changing times, which increase their presence and brand name in the advertising world.

The takeaway? Super Bowl ads make the cut when they’re funny, thought provoking and making fun of today’s news pop culture.  Assuming you can do it in a tasteful way, there’s a thin line that they have to be careful not to cross, their ads and thus their brand will be talked and admired.

“We Play For You”

As I was watching the NFL games last Sunday, I saw an NFL commercial that literally gave me goose bumps. The ad was a “thank you” for NFL fans from the players. But they were thanked in a way I had never seen before.

Sponsored by the NFL, players from the Carolina Panthers (Go J. Stew!), St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens sang the “Wind Beneath My Wings” to fans in restaurants, at their private homes or in public places. The brief 1-minute ad ends by saying, “we play for you.”

This is the most simple and appreciated type of PR you can get. It’s a reminder that even though there were issues revolving the NFL lockout earlier this season, leaving fans panicking about how they were going to spend their Sundays, the players ultimately have a job because of the fans and want to publicly thank them for their patience and continued support.

The best part of the advertisement was that it seemed ligitament and not just a PR stunt, though it increased my respect for the NFL and the teams represented in the spot. Those involved looked like they were having fun and actually surprised the people they were serenading.  Maybe it was just really good acting, or maybe the ad came from their hearts and they meant every word.

Another example of recognizing fans is shown here in David Stern’s, commissioner of the NBA, letter to the fans after their lockout had finally ceased. It’s refreshing to see that both the NFL and NBA acknowledged the fans and their support they expressed while the teams were experiencing the lockouts.

Other organizations, not just in athletics, need to realize that they exist because fans, consumers, you name it, support them and a little recognition every now and then is all it takes to keep them as long time supporters.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the ad below!