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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.

SB 1349 Protects Privacy for Student-Athletes

You’ve all read by now that California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed the SB 1349 bill, which prohibits public and private universities from requiring students or prospective students to disclose their user names or passwords to social-media sites. The governor’s office says the law “is designed to stop a growing trend of colleges and universities snooping into student social-media accounts, particularly those of student-athletes.”

This is terrific news. What a wonderful way to urge athletic departments to take a pro-active approach to social media. It changes the department strategy from monitoring what student-athletes say to educating student-athletes how to use social media in a positive and purposeful way. It takes the program from crisis prevention mode to leadership academy.

Athletic programs which provide student-athletes with social media education, are working to improve their players’ communication skills. This type of education can help athletes understand how to build their professional profile, act with self-respect and encourages them to cross-promote other sports, and be positive examples, leaders in social media.  It is very much like media training and preparing them for print and television interviews. But social media has a much more immediate and expansive impact than traditional media. Social media permeates every aspect of a student-athlete’s life.

Empowering student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, to serve as brand ambassadors will have a far more positive impact on loyalty to the department, willingness to achieve specific goals and will produce a much higher ROI. Educating the entire department can effect not only what staff, coaches and athletes say, but when implemented with strategy, can impact ticket sales, community outreach, donor cultivation and improve recruitment efforts. No matter what goal a department may have, communication strategies, which integrate social media, can work to achieve those goals. Monitoring social media does not drive revenue. Enabling staff, coaches and athletes to embrace social media and actively use these networks, uplifting them as brand ambassadors will drive revenue where needed.

It was former student-athlete and Michigan quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who said at the NCAA Convention in January 2012, that the more support they were provided as student-athletes, the more they wanted to give back to the program. And that’s key. Many athletic programs forget that their student-athletes really want to serve as good representatives of the university and are searching for ways they can respond to that demand. When you choose to monitor your athlete communication, your are essentially telling them that you do not trust them and they are not capable of handling the responsibility of representing the university. That’s not a message well-received by students. And fortunately, it’s not a message they will have to hear any longer.

I’m thankful that California stepped up as a leader on this topic and passed the SB 1349 bill. There is no benefit to operating in a reactive mode and positioning your department as big brother over student-athletes. These “kids” are young adults who are attending an academic institution and are keen to learn how to improve their lives. Athletic programs can serve to enhance the academic experience student-athletes enjoy by providing social media education. These are life and leadership skills that effectively make them a better, more well-rounded player and more able to contribute significantly to the athletic program.

Beaming Bohemian consults with university athletic departments to establish social media guidelines, educate staff, coaches and student-athletes, and implement smart communication strategies which work to achieve specific goals. Every athletic department is looking to drive revenue. Beaming Bohemian can help you take advantage of social communication tools to do just that. Contact us at 619.244.2400.

Business Lessons Learned from the NFL Referee Scandal

We can learn a lot about business from the football field. The NFL employing replacement referees came with lots of lessons. The idea that there would be a seamless transition and that, perhaps, no one would even notice, fell flat on its face.  The use of replacement referees is considered by most to be a complete fiasco.  But what lessons can we learn and apply to our own businesses?

1. Value your team

Everyone in you organization contributes to your success in a specific manner. Each employee is an integral part of the operation. Recognize the role that each team member plays and imagine trying to operate without that person. Appreciate that they are working hard and also want to see the company succeed. Take time to show your employees how much you do value them.

2. Listen

When employees raise issues, you have got to listen. It doesn’t matter if they want to talk salary, job function, a change in roles or product flaws. If an employee approaches you with an issue, it is because they care. The same goes with customers. The ones who care the most about your brand are the ones who complain. Employees and customers who raise an issue need to be heard out. It’s your opportunity to improve the business.

3. Train

Proper training cannot be touted enough. It doesn’t appear that the replacement referees where given extensive training prior to taking the field. That is the responsibility of the company. Those employees represent you, your company, your product or service and your brand. Throwing your team into the fire without proper training is recipe for failure. In addition to the specifics of their job, they need to understand what your company values, what are your goals, and what targets they are working toward. Lots of people complained about the poor performance of the replacement referees. But it was not their fault. They got called to do a job they were not trained and ready to do. They meant well and tried the best they could within their ability and experience. If the NFL wanted seamless transition, they should have spent a little effort to train the replacements.

4. Backup

Football teams have second and third string quarterbacks, baseball teams have a crew of pitchers, and the President has his VP. What’s your back-up plan? If your customer service team walked out of the office today, how would you handle it? Would you throw your accountants at the job because they “talk to customers and vendors” on a daily basis? What have you done internally to cross-train employees so that everyone can appreciate everyone else’s job? If you hire temporary employees, what will you do to ensure that they provide the same quality product or service? (See above.) No matter how well you address points 1-3, you still need a plan B.

Everyone is delighted that the real referees are back in the game and that negotiations reached an agreement. But had the NFL been more prepared for the situation, they would have been able to make it a lot less painful for the fans who love them, as well as less damaging to their brand. I’m sure the referees are glad to have their job back, but do you think they feel valued? Appreciated? With the way the negotiations where handled, what’s their level of job satisfaction?

What lessons can you pull from the NFL and the referee negotiations? Please share in the comments.

The Coaches’ Game Plan for Personal Branding

This article was originally written for Hoop Group. You can read the post HEREHoop Group is the worldwide leader in basketball instruction. Hoop Group has offered premier basketball camps since the summer of 1963. Having touched the lives of over 1 million young men and women since Hoop Group has evolved into much more than just summer basketball camps. Learn about the 4 divisions and what Hoop Group does by visiting their website at http://hoopgroup.com/.  You can also learn more by following @DaveKrupinski on Twitter  

The slightly altered version….

University athletic programs are increasingly placing pressure on coaches to better understand social media and use any variety of networks to interact with and monitor athletes, converse with students, be available to supporters and identify prospective donors. Coaches are in a unique position to either excel in the sport of social media or walk off the platforms scoreless. Coaches have undoubtedly reached the moment when it is crucial to not only understand how to use these social tools, but also how to use them with purpose and in a positive way. If coaches take an authoritative approach over their accounts, they can very well work to build a positive brand image, not only for themselves, but for their team, sport and school.  Here are a five key steps coaches can take to to build their brand and use social media more effectively.

1. Create Your Identity

Before your fingers touch the keyboard, you’ll need to develop your brand identity. Creating your brand identity starts with discovering your core values.  What are you passionate about in life? What motivates you? Why are you coaching basketball instead of soccer, softball instead of volleyball? What makes you special?  Why is your coaching style unique? These are all questions that you can ask yourself to drive down to the core of your being and determine what you value.

This is an exercise that will take a few hours, but it is well worth your time to discover three to five of your most prominent values. With each core value, it is essential you also write a core value statement. A few corporate examples:


We can generate greater appreciation and loyalty from all of our stakeholders by educating them about natural and organic foods, health, nutrition and the environment.


We demonstrate integrity every day by practicing the highest ethical standards and by ensuring that actions follow our words.

Collaboration and Partnering

Providing opportunities to meet, communicate, collaborate, and partner within the information industry and the business community.

2. Craft Your Brand Message

Using your core values and statements, draft what is your vision. Incorporate your core values, but also give some thought to what your audience wants to hear from you. What are their core concerns? This will set the tone of your brand communications and define your purpose for using online tools.  Why should people follow you? Why should they engage with your posts, read your content or share with their circles of friends?  What information are they expecting from you? Keep this in mind as you draft your brand message. It’s not only about what you want to tell them. It is more about what your audience wants to hear from you. Maybe you know your fans love behind-the-scenes photos. Perhaps they go crazy for post-game analysis. They might want to know what it’s like in the day of a coach. Fans could be looking to you for inspiration.

Even the biggest brands have gone through these first two exercises. The best brands incorporate their values into their brand message and communicate that through various channels, particularly social media.  Another way to think of these first two steps is to imagine that you are building your house of communication. Your core values are the strong, solid foundation and your vision and brand message serve as the framework for your communications. Without these, there is no house. Step into the world of social media without these game plans, and you are planning to fail.


3. Choose The Right Channels

One easy mistake to make is to have the desire to be all things to all people and exist everywhere. We tend to want to gain as much exposure as possible, and find we’re signing up for every social network ever built. But in order to hone your skills, it is better to narrow your focus.  Just think in terms of sports.  If you coached football, water polo, lacrosse and tennis how good of a coach would you be at any of those sports?  If you cut out the others and focus only on football, how much greater of a coach would you be? You would see your skills refined and improved.

But the question remains, how do you choose the right channel?  We have to think about your audience again. Where do they “live?”  If the majority of your fans, friends, community members, etc., use Facebook, then by all means, zone in on Facebook and utilize the features to your advantage. If you enjoy using Twitter to share news, gain a following and Twitter turns out to be a great method for telling your story, then go nuts on Twitter. Choosing the right channel is a blend of where you know your audience will receive your communications and what channels best promote your brand message.  You may have to test a bit and find what works and where your audience engages with you the most. Rest assured, you will find what works best for you. In order to better understand how each network functions, gain the help of the person who manages social media for your athletic department. They will be delighted to help you. If one of your athletes is a social superstar, ask for their help. They would love the chance to give their coach a few pointers! And what a great conversation to start with your players! (That’s an entirely different blog post!)

4. Be consistent

You’ve taken the steps to create your brand identity, to craft your brand message and choose the right channel to communicate, now you have to keep at it and build your brand.  One simple tip to brand yourself across your chosen channels is to use similar images for your profile or background photos so that fans will know they’ve landed on your page.  Use images that well represent your team or even pictures which promote your schedule. Put some thought into the photos. Don’t underestimate the power of a great photo. It’s valuable real estate for promoting your brand and lends a lasting image.

Just as a business would, you should plan ahead and create a content plan. You might not need to get super specific, but some outlines of what you might consider posting on a weekly or monthly basis can come in handy. This will help you with consistency. Luckily, you have a practice, game and tournament schedule that can guide you in what information to post. Check out a few professional teams like the Boston Celtics, The LA Kings or the Chicago Cubs. Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll does a great job on Twitter. Mimic what is working for the pros. The more consistent you are, the more you will see your following grow. They will learn they can depend on you for either specific bits of news and information, or expect dedicated times when you are online and available for conversation.  Coaches may want to consider a weekly window of time to be present online and allow the community to chat with you about an upcoming game. This type of chat can be neatly executed on most social channels. So again, find the one where your audience is present. You might also do something like welcome game-day quotes that you’ll retweet or posts of photos of fans in school-spirited gear on your Facebook Page.  There are lots of opportunities to create regular and consistent conversations and sharing of great content.


5. Be Valuable

Not only should you create content of value, but you should work to be valuable.  A few questions to ask yourself: Are you promoting your sport? Your team? Your school?  Your league or division? Are you cross-promoting the other sports at your school? Giving accolades to your players or to other athletes at your school who excel? Are you sharing content that is a positive reflection on your personal brand? Are you sharing information your audience wants to receive?  Do you really look at who your fans and followers are? Any prospective donors in the mix? Can you name the team’s biggest fan?

If coaches take the time and make the effort to promote their brand, they will grow to serve as valuable assets to the team, the athletic department and to the school. Coaches with strong personal brands can positively affect recruitment, player performance and professional development, community support, ticket sales, donor relations and public image. When your contributions off the field are just as significant as your work with your athletes, you bring added value to your team and to the athletics program. You can serve as a social media example to your players and, in turn, help them improve their communication skills.


Far too many coaches have written off social media as something that exists only to get their players in trouble or as some silly thing kids use to broadcast which sandwich they chose for lunch.  In reality, social media serve as incredibly powerful communication tools which, when approached professionally, purposefully and positively, can set you up for the winning goal.


Beaming Bohemian, unconventionally brilliant communication, was founded to infuse communications with positivity and purpose and to empower you to build meaningful, personable brands which connect and inspire people. If you are a coach in need of more guidance, we’d like to help you. We can consult with you privately to get you active on the social networks which best fit your goals, or we can bring the Coaching the Coaches program to your campus and allow all the coaches on your teams benefit from personal branding and social media education. Contact us! 

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.



Cubs Social Media Night

This is really cool. The Chicago Cubs have really embraced social media. On the 16th, they hosted their first “Social Media Night.” The event included a panel discussion and attendees were given a swag bag.  A favorite item listed is the social baseball cards, special cards with Twitter handles.

The standout point in this article was what Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Kevin Saghy shared:

He also articulated the five point plan for how the Chicago Cubs use social media:

1. Deliver the core values of the Cubs

2. Get to know their key influencers

3. Listening and engaging

4. Offer something of real value to the fans

5. Financial benefit

Take another look at the first point – Deliver the core values of the Cubs.  BINGO!  That’s what successful brands do on a consistent basis. And notice how the last point listed was financial benefit. The Chicago Cubs have their act together. It will be fun to follow them and see how fans respond to the Social Media nights and continued opportunities for engagement.


Here’s the link to the article or you can read the full post here:


Chicago Cubs social media strategy articulated on social media night

By Paul M. Banks, Friday at 8:28 am

On Wednesday May 16th the Chicago Cubs hosted their inaugural Social Media Night. Fans who purchased tickets were invited to a pregame social media panel at Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club. And by social media, we obviously mean the discussion was Twitter heavy.

The panel consisted of Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09), (more on his night here) Cubs.com writer Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) and Cubs Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Kevin Saghy (@Cubs).

Each person was given a swag bag that included a Cubs “social media” t-shirt, a copy of Vine Line magazine, a teeny foam finger, a voucher for a hot dog and a multi-card set of Cubs “Social Media Series” baseball cards featuring Cub players that are on Twitter.

“We looked at a lot of other teams, what they do and how we could differentiate themselves. We wanted to do something really interactive, then do you a unique giveaway” Saghy said.

“That’s where the baseball cards came in. I’ve never seen a professional baseball team do the social media themed baseball cards. Our ticket office came up with that idea, and as a kicker we got a lot of them autographed. So everyone that came here today actually got an autographed card.”

Mine was Ian Stewart.

“It just kind of ties into our theme of we want to provide value for following us, we really do care about fans and it’s something that we take very seriously, and hopefully we were able to portray that today.”

Kevin said that he and his team read every single tweet and message they receive through Twitter, and they often respond.

He also articulated the five point plan for how the Chicago Cubs use social media:

1. Deliver the core values of the Cubs
2. Get to know their key influencers
3. Listening and engaging
4. Offer something of real value to the fans
5. Financial benefit


Carrie Muskat approaches social media from a professional, not a personal perspective as she’s a reporter for the Cubs and an employee of MLB. She said her main uses for Twitter are sharing team news and stories, following other Cubs reporters and blogs to get the latest team/player news and following current players who tweet. Her tweets appear on Cubs.com.

“Twitter has totally changed our jobs cuz it’s 24-7 now. Paul Maholm announced his signing on Twitter,” Muskat said.

The Cubs have seen increased Twitter volume since merging from @cubsinsider to @cubs.

“We reply to everything that we can, and we have a monitoring dashboard where we’ll able to summarize, qualitatively and quantitatively tweets and we can then we can go to our management team and say this event was really popular, or say this is the number of tweets we got for this campaign versus other campaigns,” said Saghy.

“We’re just getting much more sophisticated in our measurements basically.”

September 17th versus is the next Cubs Social Media night. A contest will be held, and one follower from the next event will get the chance to throw out the first pitch before that game.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

When pressure builds, what do you tweet?


Running through my various lists of San Diego Sports Tweeps today, I came across this tweet from Bill Johnston, the PR Director for the San Diego Chargers.

I was a little surprised to see the PR Director tweet something so negative.  Ridiculous?  How is pressure for a great draft ridiculous? Or is it the fans who are ridiculous for putting the pressure on the team?  I felt compelled to point this out to him. You can see here my response and his “save.”

This is a really great example of someone not taking that one extra moment to re-read a tweet before hitting the send button. With 6281+ followers, I suspect there are a few Chargers fans in the mix. Would Bill’s tweet have made a more positive impact had he posed a question?

“Who are you hoping the Chargers pick up in the NFL draft?”

Or could he have shed some light on the secret wishes of the players?

 “The buzz in the locker room is that so-and-so is high on the wish list.”

To keep the communications in the positive zone, I responded with:

Main point being, there was a good chance to engage fans and let them have a say, take a moment to interact. The comment/opinion from the PR Director only sets a stage for negative replies, as some might interpret him calling the fans ridiculous.

I’m all for being human and authentic, and certainly feel that even frustrations can be creatively vented online with a dash of humor and an open invite to comment.  When you are a public figure, or sit in a position like the PR Director for a professional sports team, you really must remember that every time you post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or elsewhere, you really have to give second thought to how your post will resonate with your audience.  For someone in Bill’s position, he should be able to turn what seems like a personal frustration into a positive interaction with Chargers fans. Furthermore, and no less significant, when the PR Director for a sports team sends tweets out a bit haphazardly, what kind of example does that set for the players and FO staff?

How do you think Bill should have tweeted his pressure-filled comment? What examples have you seen where a negative sentiment or frustrating situation is turned into a positive moment where fans feel included?  Thanks for sharing your links in the comments!



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