The Offseason: 6 Ways to Stay Plugged In

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plugThe NBA and NHL championships have come and gone.

It’s a bit too early to start talking about the NFL, and MLB is not the most social media focused league in town.

So one might think that there is very little to discuss regarding social media and sports right now – but that would be a mistake. Now is a very important time for teams and leagues to keep fans engaged.

Why? Because, if you follow my path to social media then you know that sponsorship is not far behind. Through social media, there are still opportunities to keep fans active, and to keep sponsors activated.

Consider the following… How can you leverage:

  • Ticket Sales – Do you have a social media angle for marketing tickets?
  • Contests/Give Aways – Are you giving your market a reason to keep plugged in?
  • Off Season Drafts/Trades/Personnel Changes – Can you provide perspectives and insight from the source?
  • Discussion – Can you generate discussion and debate?
  • Access – Can you provide visibility on team insiders?
  • Announcements – Can you release info via social networks prior to a press release?

If you give your market good reasons to stay plugged in – then they will. Staying plugged in is what your sponsors want and need to see.

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3 thoughts on “The Offseason: 6 Ways to Stay Plugged In

  1. This is all well and good I suppose, although I am not entirely sold on the notion of monetizing a social networking presence. The one issue I have is that the announcement of information through a social networking site prior to a press release or media advisory is a flawed idea.

    Press releases provide the news media with content on which to report, and the public will trust the news media’s objective (hopefully) interpretation of a story far more so than messaging coming from the organization whose reputation management efforts are the primary reason behind said release.

    The news media is in the content business, and provide an important vehicle for fan engagement – arguably the most important vehicle. Scooping the news media on stories they are used to covering will sour the relationship between them and the franchises, and undermine the purpose of public relations in the first place.

    Not to mention the embarrassment situations such as this can cause. It happened THIS WEEK when Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves posted on his Twitter feed that Kevin McHale would no longer be the coach. Not only was the story widely reported as “from” Kevin Love (and not the organization that pays him), but the fact that it came from him was widely and openly knocked. Double whammy for Minnesota.

    As I said, the above list is fine, although I don’t want to be the marketing executive who takes the multi-g gamble on trying to be the guy who figures out how to monetize the internet. What I definitely know, though, is that the idea planned media relations efforts through social media is a mistake.

  2. Thank you for your detailed comment, Jonathan,

    I very much appreciate your opinion. I agree with your example regarding coaching changes – announcements regarding people’s jobs are not appropriate. However, I believe there are appropriate opportunities for ticketing announcements, merchandise releases, etc…

    The news media has been increasingly “scooped” by social media – a lot of roles are shifting… I read an interesting article in Marketing Magazine this morning about the demise of the newspaper industry through the changing digital landscape… Can mass media via television be that far behind?

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