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NFL bans bags from stadiums for 2013 season

You’ve probably caught the news by now about the NFL banning what amounts to any kind of purse, backpack or bag into stadiums. If you missed it, you can read up HERE, HERE or even HERE. If you want to read the entire policy published by the NFL itself, you can click HERE. There’s also a friendly website which lists FAQs: http://www.nfl.com/qs/allclear/index.jsp

Understandably, people are upset. Women are particularly upset. The policy states that women are allowed to bring a clutch purse that is no bigger than a hand. Heck, photography enthusiasts should be pretty peeved, too, since camera bags are not allowed, either. Did you want to make your game experience a family outing? Sorry, diaper bags (or kid-bags) aren’t allowed. Backpacks? Uh-uh.

I understand that the NFL would like to create a safe environment for their fans. But turning stadiums into something worse than a TSA nightmare is probably not the answer. This is a sure way to alienate fans all together. Or maybe they want to turn the stadiums into a big bowl of drunk dudes? I understand the intention and reasoning for safety, however I do not agree with their decisions.

I’ve been impressed with the NFL in the last couple of years with their efforts to make football a female-friendly sport. They even launched a terrific site called the Women’s Resource Initiative. You’ll find that at: https://www.nflplayerengagement.com/wri.

So with these welcomed efforts to be more inclusive of a wider audience, I cannot understand why the NFL would institute a policy that is so extremely exclusive. It is hassle enough, and expensive enough, to enjoy a game in person. All the NFL has done by establishing the “no bag” policy is give every single fan one more reason to stay home. And is the NFL certain that come the start of the season, all fans will have gotten the memo? What chaos will there be in those first games when people bring their bags, unaware of the new policy?

thumb.aspxBy the way, you can still buy tote bags through the NFL shop (which you won’t be able to bring inside the stadium). And no surprise here – clear, branded tote bags are already for sale! http://www.nflshop.com/All_Clear

I’m curious how the fan backlash will affect this policy. I’m sure we’ll see some changes.

Tailgate with the Chargers and WISE!

For those familiar with WISE Los Angeles, I am so happy to let you know that they are expanding into San Diego. I’m so pleased to have the chance to sit on the committee and help launch this great organization in America’s Finest City. I’m really excited about our event with the Chargers on December 2nd. We’ll tailgate before the game and meet Chargers Executive VP/CFO, Jeanne Bonk. There is also an NFL Fit For You Style Lounge that day and participants receive a 15% discount on purchases. We’ve got great seats reserved in the stadium at the Endzone View Level. Have a look at our invitation on Eventbrite. You can reserve your seats right from there. I am impressed with this great group of WISE women! I highly recommend your involvement. See you on December 2nd!


USC posted this photo on Facebook on October 6th. I love this photo. I wish more sports teams (and even businesses) would post this type of behind-the-scenes snapshots. This picture, this moment, speaks volumes. You can imagine yourself as one of the players, gearing up and getting psyched for the big game. You can imagine what might be going through their minds as they stare themselves down. We feel the intensity of this experience. We can connect with the guys on an emotional level, mostly because we’ve all had a moment like this wear we are staring ourselves in the face and putting on our ceremonial war paint. Very easy to connect with these two players emotionally. People are moved by emotions.

I hope other teams and businesses take a note from this photo and start posting more moments like this from their story. This is the type of content that reels us in. We want to know more. We want to cheer for these two players in particular because we feel like we’ve been standing right next to them, getting ready for the game.

Kudos to UCS for their awesome social campaign this year. And cheers to the photographer for capturing this powerful image to help shed light on the story of football.

I wish all the athletes who have games this weekend the same moment of intensity prior to their game. Take a good look in the mirror. You got this.

What Crock-Pot Could Have Cooked Up

This tweet landed in my stream today:

And it immediately got me thinking about what Crock-Pot could have cooked up for marketing this awesome new product!

I mean … look at that! Your favorite team’s colors and logo is on a Crock-Pot! Die-hard football fans are likely to be the same people who consume the most chili on this planet. How many times have you been to a football party where chili was served?  Crock-Pot, the NFL and chili are nearly a branding match made in heaven!!!

And so, I keep scratching my head as to why the release of this perfectly branded product is so ill-timed and flying very under the radar. My marketing instincts were shouting at me…Here’s what I would have done, if I were the marketing guru at Crock-Pot:

Once the approval from the NFL was received to use the team colors and logos on a crockpot, I would have then reached out to each team’s Community Relations Director. Together, we would have held chili contests in the summer time, keeping the buzz going and engaging fans for all teams in the off season. For each team, a winning chili recipe would have been selected to accompany the team Crock-Pot. So if you bought the San Diego Chargers Crock-Pot, the San Diego fan’s winning chili recipe would be inside. Wait, there’s more!

The product would have been released shortly before pre-season with an ad-campaign featuring the chili recipe winners from each team. Crock-Pot could have partnered with S&W to feature the award-winning ingredients of football’s chili recipes (side note, but still a good opportunity).  Through the season, there would be chili cook-offs across the nation between the recipe winners featured in the team-themed Crock-Pot. Could have been set up like a tournament where the brackets are put up online and you follow your team’s chili recipe winner through the brackets. That would have led to a Superbowl Sunday chili cook-off finale extravaganza to determine which team’s fan had the winning recipe in all the league. Imagine the commercials. You could end up with some rare “live commercials” campaign during the Superbowl.

The social media marketing, promotion and engagement opportunities would be endless. Voting could have occurred online, in addition to the live chili cook-off events. People who try the included recipes could give reviews, share photos, etc. Fan participation surrounding the competition on the field and for the Crock-Pot chili challenge would spike. Gazillions of NFL Crock-Pots would have been sold. And there would be millions of satisfied bellies full of chili.

Really – how tough is it NOT to see the possibilities here? This is common sense to me. What a huge opportunity missed by Crock-Pot and the NFL. I mean, REALLY! If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out of the Crock-Pot!

How would you have marketed this product?


The 50 Best Athletes to Follow on Twitter

Over the weekend, the International Business Times published a great list of athletes to follow on Twitter. It never hurts to take a look and see who’s using this communication tool in a positive way and who are the influencers in sports. While the list is a bit slim outside of soccer (The only golfer to follow is Tiger? Only three olympians and three baseball players?), it does highlight the more active accounts.

New follows for me include:

NBA – Paul Pierce @paulpierce34: Unlike most athletes, Paul Pierce uses his Twitter to publicize his charity which promotes good health.

Tennis – Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole: The world No. 1 tennis player tweets a lot. He tweets personal photos, funny one-liners, and gives fans a glimpse into his daily life.

Boxing (and for entertainment value) Floyd Mayweather @FloydMayweather: Mayweather is not scared of placing his crazy life on full display via Twitter. Whether he posts Twitpics, name-checks rapper friends, or just let posts his thoughts, followers are sure to be entertained.


Here is the article in full or go to: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/355620/20120623/50-best-athletes-follow-twitter.htm?page=all











Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:11 AM EDT

The 50 Best Athletes to Follow on Twitter

By Nicole Bartnik


Twitter has becoming an increasingly more accepted form of communication, which is resulting in both flattering and unflattering comments from celebrities.

Athletes are no different. Many famous sports figures have used Twitter as a form of clarification or to make a point they feel isn’t being addressed by the mainstream media.

Others athletes simply use it as a form of publicity, and as a way to interact with their fan base. Then there are the celebrity athletes who simply want to make a public comment, no matter how trivial it is.

Here is a list of famous current and former professional athletes who have a loyal following or deserve one based on their interesting tweets.


Kaka @KAKA: Brazilian midfielder Kaka became the world’s first athlete to reach 10 million Twitter followers and is 16th in the list of most-followed tweeters. Kaka tweets in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, tweets photos of himself and other soccer stars, and even responds to fans and followers who tweet him.

Cristiano Ronaldo @Cristiano: One of the most recognizable figures in sports, Cristiano Ronaldo, or his PR team, tweets on his page nearly every day, primarily about soccer. Sometimes the Portuguese star announces contests and sweepstakes to win signed memorabilia. Not bad.

Stuart Holden @stuholden: The midfielder for the Bolton Wanderers uses his Twitter page to present entertaining thoughts on everything from soccer, bros, and even underpants. Of course, he also poses deep philosophical questions to his followers like he did in this June 16 tweet: “is it humanly possible to eat a single grape and be done?”

Cesc Fabregas @cesc4official: The central midfielder for Barcelona and Spanish national team posts a little bit of everything on his Twitter account, which boasts over three million followers. If you are a Fabregas fan, you can find out all about his dinner plans, injury rehab, and his whereabouts.

Wayne Rooney @WayneRooney: Despite having over four million followers, Rooney engages with fans on Twitter. He presents his opinion on events in the sports world and loves tweeting about playing video games with teammates.

Ronaldinho @10Ronaldinho: If you speak Portuguese, then you should probably follow Ronaldinho on Twitter. If you don’t speak the language, you should probably still follow him simply because he is one of the greatest players of his generation.

Hope Solo @hopesolo: Ever since the World Cup, it seems as though the world can’t get enough of Hope Solo, so you might as well follow her on Twitter. Solo tweets daily about soccer, and how she keeps herself busy.

Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13: Girl next door and mega-star athlete, Morgan keeps her Twitter account casual, and updates her followers about her day-to-day life and thoughts.

Ray Hudson (@liverayhudson): Some consider Hudson the most annoying broadcaster in sports, but he certainly is colorful with some of the oddest references and analogies you can think of for soccer.


Shaquille O’Neal @SHAQ: Now a TNT broadcaster, O’Neal is one of the funniest figures in sports, and even in retirement is capable of saying something hilarious. After all, his bio does read “Very quotatious. I perform random acts of Shaqness.”

LeBron James @KingJames:  James has been known to be honest, and at times reckless with his Twitter. His tweets have made news, but recently, James has shown a softer side, posting pictures of his children, whom he is quite proud of.

Dwight Howard @DwightHoward: Howard uses his Twitter to respond to many of his over three million followers. Recently, he has also been using his account to promote various charitable causes.

Steve Nash @SteveNash: One of the greatest Canadian athletes of all time, the seven-time NBA All-Star still might have the most entertaining Twitter account in sports. In December of 2011, he even posted this gem: “Patches of chest hair are growing back nicely after my echo cardiogram. Which is Nice.”

Lamar Odom : Player for the Dallas Mavericks and husband to Khloe Kardashian, Odom uses his Twitter to interact with his fans. He tries responding to answer most tweets he gets and also tweets links to charities and foundations.

Charles Barkley @CHARLESBARRKLEY: Perhaps the most outspoken man in sports, Barkley has had funny exchanges on Twitter, though he normally saves his best material for Ernie and Kenny on TNT. One of his postings included a back and forth with actor Daniel Baldwin.

Metta WorldPeace @MettaWorldPeace: Who doesn’t want to go inside the mind of one of the most unpredictable personalities in the game?

Dwyane Wade @DwayneWade : A Frequent tweeter, Wade will keep you entertained by mentioning basketball, his friends, and personal activities.

Kevin Durant @KDTrey5: Kevin Durant has over 2 million followers on Twitter.

He posts his thoughts after games and share interesting videos and links he finds with his followers.

Paul Pierce @paulpierce34: Unlike most athletes, Paul Pierce uses his Twitter to publicize his charity which promotes good health.

James Harden @JHarden13: James Harden always gives followers insight on team practices and games. The Thunder star also interacts with his fans on Twitter.


Terrell Owens @terrellowens: Perhaps to other player in the NFL makes such an effort to engage and intereact win his fans on Twitter. Kudos to you, Mr. Owens.

Chad Ochocinco @ochocinco: One of the more outspoken members of the league, New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is great about keeping his tweets interesting. He’s also one of the best in facilitating fan interactions, often challenging his Twitter followers to play him in video games like FIFA 12 online.

Reggie Bush @reggie_bush: With over 2 million followers, Reggie Bush uses the platform to present his thoughts on sports, current events, and post pictures. According to a June 16 tweet, Bush is a huge fan of the movie, Bridesmaids. Who knew?

Tim Tebow @TimeTebow: Tim Tebow’s Twitter praises God, is full of patriotism and humility, and promotes various causes. What else would you expect from the football star?

Aaron Rodgers @AaronRodgers12: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a regular Twitter user. He uses the site to interact with fans and post entertaining thoughts.

Michael Strahan @michaelstrahan: Former football star Michael Strahan’s Twitter bio reads, “If you have a life you don’t have time to hate!!” His Twitter page is full of positive messages and charity promotion. No hating to be found on this page.

Chris Cooley @thecooleyzone: Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins uses his Twitter to communicate with fans and sell his very own pottery, making his one of the more unusual Twitter pages in football.

Chris Kluwe @ChrisWarcraft: Punter Chris Kluwe is as much of a nerd as he is a football player. Kluwe is an entertaining and funny person to follow and he frequently interacts with fans. His page is full of video game related content, as is suggested by his Twitter name.

Darnell Dockett @ddockett: Darnell Dockett a defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals is a hilarious twitter follow. He once live tweeted while local police had him pulled over. He tweets about too many topics to list but he is always entertaining.


Nick Swisher @NickSwisher: Nick Swisher of the Yankees shares funny pictures, messages his fans, and isn’t afraid to add exclamation points to his tweets

Brian Wilson @BrianWilson38: Brian Wilson simply has an entertaining Twitter to follow. On April 25, he posted a tweet that gave followers insight to his fun and carefree personality: “Surgery was perfect. Borrowed ligament from my ol’ pal Sasquatch. Only side effects: hairy arm and I talk like a wookie.”

Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins: This Twitter is full of borderline inappropriate tweets. If you like outspoken an R-rated humor, then follow Morrison on Twitter for your entertainment.


Ryan Whitney @RyanWhitney6: Ryan Whitney of the Edmonton Oilers is a trashing talking, opinionated, and entertaining hockey player to follow on twitter.

Mike Green @GreenLife52: Washington Capital’s Mike Green is very candid with his followers and gives honest assessment of his play on Twitter. He also uses Twitter to voice his thoughts and interact with friends and fans.

Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0: Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes is one of the most entertaining hockey players on Twitter. He constantly updates his page and gives fans some insight into his life. On June 22, he posted this gem: “Hey guys. How long should you run hot water over your toothbrush for before you use it again if you accidently drop it in the toilet?”

Roberto Luongo @strombone1: This account may or may not be Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. It follows and is followed by many other Canucks players and is occasionally mentioned among their tweets as though it were another player. He uses the semi-anonymity to tweet freely about himself his team and his team; hilarity ensues.


Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole: The world No. 1 tennis player tweets a lot. He tweets personal photos, funny one-liners, and gives fans a glimpse into his daily life.

Serena Williams @serenawilliams: If you are a Kim Kardashian fan, you should probably also follow Serena Williams on Twitter because the two tweet amongst each other a lot. Serena also posts her daily thoughts and information on her tennis travels.

Venus Williams @Venuseswilliams: Venus Williams makes an effort to respond to many fan tweets. She also uses her page to promote her clothing line.

Caroline Wozniacki @CaroWozniacki: Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki tweets every few days about her tennis travels and gives followers a look at her life as a world class tennis player and girlfriend of Rory McIlroy.

Andy Roddick @andyroddick: He is always honest about his play and often self-deprecating, and isn’t afraid to show emotion, particularly on Twitter. His tweets are funny but informative, commenting both on the world of tennis and current affairs.

Rafael Nadal @RafaelNadal: Rafael Nadal’s bio on Twitter reads, “Tennis player.” Indeed, much the seven-time French Open Champion’s Twitter revolves around tennis and his tournaments.


Tiger Woods @TigerWoods: Though he is not the most well liked athlete in the world, there is no doubt that Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time. If you like golf and want your feed filled with promotional tweets from Nike, you should follow him.


Dara Torres @DaraTorres: At 41, Dara Torres was the oldest swimmer to ever earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, and has won 12 Olynpic medals. Torres is an inspirational athlete and posts positive messages on her Twitter

Michael Phelps @MichaelPhelps: Michael Phelps is one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time and uses his twitter to connect to fans.

Shawn Johnson @ShawnJohnson: America’s sweetheart gymnast tweets multiple times per day and posts about charities and causes she supports, workouts, and her thoughts.


Floyd Mayweather @FloydMayweather: Mayweather is not scared of placing his crazy life on full display via Twitter. Whether he posts Twitpics, name-checks rapper friends, or just let posts his thoughts, followers are sure to be entertained.


Tony Hawk @tonyhawk: Tony Hawk is the epitome of cool for over 3 million followers and uses Twitter to link to an extensive Instagram album.


Lance Armstrong @lancearmstrong: Much of Lane Armstrong’s Twitter page is filled with doping allegations and defense. If you like the drama, follow him on Twitter. If you don’t, you can still enjoy some of the inspirational messages he posts.


Danica Patrick @DanicaPatrick: Danica is a media darling. Patrick keeps her followers up to date with any or promotions she is part and posts about both her day-to-day and racing life.



Aspire to Inspire


As many of you have witnessed from my social media updates, I am a huge football fan.  I became a fan of football, of the San Diego Chargers, when I was ten years old.  I remember my dad watching a game and whichever team was on offense kept running the ball.  This to me looked like men lining up, the QB shouting and then all the men piling on the guy with the ball.  I had to ask my dad, “What is the point of this game?”  Through several Sunday lessons, I found a sport and a team which I loved to watch and cheer for.

The following season, my family started attending the Chargers pre-season training camps. They were held at the UCSD campus, a casual atmosphere.  Once the practice was over, the players made themselves available for autographs and pictures, and friendly chats with young fans like me.  While I loved shaking hands with Dan Fouts and taking pictures with cutie pie Rolf Benirschke, it was Kellen Winslow who stole my heart.  Kellen would not stand in the line of players edging toward the exit, but would sit on the grass and wait for us kids to come and join him.  From there, he would talk to us, shake our hands, ask us our names and talk to us about football, about school, about life.  He was the coolest of the cool.  To this day, I still rave how much I love him and revere him as my all-time favorite player.  His talent on the field is unquestionable.  But it was those moments on the grass which deepened my admiration for him as a man and teacher, and cemented my love for the game of football.

My friend and client, Mimi Donaldson is a professional keynote speaker and also a football fanatic.  She recently wrote the book, Necessary Roughness: New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life.  She is brilliant at relating the game of football to business strategies and life lessons.  Amidst a busy schedule of speaking, Mimi met Chrissy Carew who is also an author of a football-themed book called The Insightful Player: Football Pros Lead a Bold Movement of Hope.  Mimi’s book has 32 chapters to honor each team. Chrissy’s book profiles 32 players (current, retired or HOF). An immediate friendship and business collaboration was formed.  Chrissy’s book recently landed in my mailbox. And apart from being excited to read the profiles of greats like Roger Staubach and current dynamo Antonio Garay of the San Diego Chargers, I noticed that the foreword was written by the CBS Sportscaster, and long-time host of CBS’s “The NFL Today” James Brown.  I jumped right in.

In my many years as a host of CBS’s “The NFL Today” and other sports shows, I’ve met thousands of professional athletes, a substantial number whom have been football players.  Many NFL players have inspired me with their insights, humility, sense of spirituality, and their altruism. Others were more focused on superficial pursuits.

I often ask the question – what’s the difference between these two kinds of players?  Why do some men in the NFL recognize their potential for not just playing a great game, or even winning a Super Bowl ring, but using their global platform to inspire their many fans, especially the youngest, on to personal greatness? Showing kids that hard work and constant practice can turn you into a fine linebacker is a good thing.  Demonstrating that a strong set of ethics and values, along with character and a healthy dose of humility, will pave the way to a meaningful life is undeniably even more important.

JB’s insightful comments, which do not end with these two paragraphs, speak to the heart of my work and the vision of Beaming Bohemian.  I am working with university athletic departments  to educate, enable and empower student athletes to build their personal brand so they may move forward in life with high aspirations, a reason to share knowledge, and a deep desire to inspire others (also graduate as loyal alumni).   Athletic departments build a stronger brand by supporting and promoting their athletes, encouraging social network use, and benefit by expanding donor base via student networks.

I have also communicated similar concepts to the San Diego Chargers, because I believe there are a host of wonderful players on the team, like Antonio Garay, who would do well by sharing their stories with our community and connecting with fans online.  All teams in the NFL could take advantage of this strategy, for that matter.  Beaming Bohemian motivates individual players and the team to recognize their full potential for social good.  I’d like players and their team to develop the attitude of the great Kellen Winslow. Imagine the amount of memorable moments just waiting to be realized and how many young hearts could capture that positive attitude and winning spirit.  Modern media allows us instant connections, public conversations and direct access to all fans. Through these mediums, opportunities online and in real life are abundant for creating those golden moments reminiscent of a great hero of the game sitting on the grass to spend time with the youngest and most impressionable fans.


The image I’ve included in this post is borrowed from bleacherreport.net. Anyone who knows football knows that this photo was taken at the end of the San Diego vs. Miami game in January 1982, otherwise known as “The Epic in Miami” where San Diego won 41 to 38 in overtime. The Epic in Miami is often referred to as one of the greatest games ever played. Winslow caught a playoff record 13 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown, while also blocking a field goal with seconds remaining to send the game to overtime in one of the greatest single player efforts in NFL history. What made Winslow’s performance all the more memorable was the fact that during the game he was treated for a pinched nerve in his shoulder, dehydration, severe cramps, and received three stitches in his lower lip. After the game, a picture of Winslow being helped off the field by his teammates became an enduring image in NFL Lore. The following week was also legendary as the Chargers were defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals in what has come to be known as the Freezer Bowl.  (Some text from Wikipedia)


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