Tag Archives: sports

Twitter and Amateur Scouts

According to ESPN.com:

“Yeovil Town manager Terry Skiverton has asked the club’s fans to act as scouts by suggesting potential signings on Twitter. “ (link)

Apparently the football (soccer to us Yanks) club, located in Yeovil Town in Somerset, southwest England, can’t afford a scouting program, so manager Terry Skiverton has asked the club’s supporters to take over that role.

With so many youths dying to be discovered, this could be a great opportunity for Yeovil Town to scoop up some diamonds in the rough. Of course the nature of the English leagues means they won’t be able to afford to keep them, but at least they could potentially get a nice transfer fee out of it.

Tweet at Your Own Peril

In the course of my daily meanderings in cyberspace, I came across this article from MediaBistro. Apparently NBA referee Bill Spooner is suing AP reporter Jon Krawczynski over a tweet from the January 24 game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets.

The backstory:

In the second quarter,  Spooner called a sketchy foul on the Wolves’ Anthony Tolliver, which upset coach Kurt Rambis, who asked Spooner how he was going to get those points back.

Krawczynski then tweeted “Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d “get it back” after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.”

The Fallout:

The NBA investigated the call and decided the matter was closed. Spooner, however, decided to file suit, asking for $75,000 for “defamation per se to his professional and business reputation, a declaratory judgment that the Twitter publication constitutes defamation and an injunction requiring the removal of defamatory statements from the Defendants’ Internet postings.”

My take:

As a former journalist, this is absurd to me. Journalists, especially those who write opinion pieces, have the right, nay, the duty, to say any damn thing they want (within limits established by their publication’s editorial board).  If Spooner’s lawsuit, by some freak occurrence is upheld, it will strike a major blow against journalistic freedom and integrity in this country. I know Twitter isn’t exactly the same thing as an op-ed piece, but at the same time, freedom of speech and the press is a fundamental part of this country. Taking it away because someone is offended (by an accurate observation at that) would be a travesty. I hope the judge throws this out, but I guess we’ll see

Lebron knows marketing


Provided you don’t live under a rock, you’re probably aware of the current Lebron James situation, ie, he’s going through the most highly publicized free agency in the history of American sports.

What you may not know is that King James is set to announce which team he’ll be playing for on his newly redesigned Web site (lebronjames.com). What’s truly amazing about Lebron (other than his nearly unparalleled basketball skills, obviously) is how forward thinking he is.

At only 25, LBJ has repeatedly demonstrated his understanding that he is more than just arguably the best basketball player in the universe. Now, taking a cue from his idol, Michael Jordan, he’s latched on to the fact that he is an entity. Simply by being associated with his name fortunes are made. Nike, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are all associated with James, to everyone’s benefit.

Now, realizing that his announcement will be THE story of the summer for sports, Lebron has found a way to profit on the excitement. Offering an email sign-up, it seems James is going to treat his free agent signing like a highly-touted high school player on signing day, with team caps and everything. And while awaiting the announcement, visitors to the site will be viewing commercials of Lebron’s sponsors.

While it remains to be seen how Lebron will use his Web site after the announcement, one thing is almost certain: he’ll continue to find ways to capitalize on his fame.

Steve Nash is the Most Ridiculous Man in the World

A fantastic and effective spoof of Dos Equis’s “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign.

Steve Nash is known for his hijinx and creativity, so I wonder how much input he had on this campaign.

Another Twitter casualty

There have been a rash of negative repercussions from the use of social media here in the Kansas City area in the last few months. First it was the Kansas Jayhawks football vs basketball scuffles, with a blow-by-blow narration from sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor. Then it was the Larry Johnson fiasco.

Larry_Johnson_KC_Chiefs

Johnson, best known as a middle-of-the-pack talent who benefited from a Chiefs offensive line studded with All-Pro talent, finally let his mouth write a check his modest talents couldn’t cash. After several Tweets in which he lambasted Chiefs coaches, with a few gay slurs thrown in for good measure, he received a two-week suspension. While he only missed one game due to a bye week for the Chiefs, his continued unpopularity led to a 32,000+ signature petition demanding he not be allowed to become the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher, a mark he was within 75 yards of reaching. This morning, the Chiefs announced his release.

Personally, I think he should have been given his walking papers following the second incident, but that was under a different coaching and management staff. Rookie head coach Todd Haley no doubt had to assert his authority in this matter.

Interestingly enough,though,  it wasn’t the problem of him attacking women that finally led to his release, it was his reckless use of social media, demonstrating yet again the real power of these platforms. Johnson clearly didn’t understand the ramifications of his tweets, and as a result he now finds himself unemployed (albeit still incredibly wealthy).

EA puts marketing in your hands… er, feet

EA Games, the leader in sports video games, has developed a new marketing tactic to build a buzz surrounding the upcoming release of FIFA 10 (available October 20 in North America).  In September, EA released  a demo version of the game on the popular Spanish sports site Marca.es. This demo version included the capability to save video of goals scored and then upload them as part of a Great Goals Contest.

fifa

As you probably know, football, as the game is called almost everywhere, is by far the most popular sport in the world. As such, FIFA likely had considerable exposure before this campaign. However, by engaging the video game generation in the marketing of this game, they are attracting an even bigger hype than already existed. EA is allowing an entire generation of sports fans and video gamers to interact and become part of the marketing experience,  building interest as well as driving traffice to both the  Marca, and the EA Games site.

Personally, I was psyched for this game before seeing this, as I was a huge fan of FIFA ’09. But after seeing the finalists in the Great Goals Contest, I can’t wait to play it.

The negative side of social media

In case you’re not a sports fan, there was  a well-publicized fight between members of the football and basketball team yesterday at my alma mater, the University of Kansas. Not surprisingly, the national media, and especially fans of our rival schools, had a field day with this. An area of particular focus was the Facebook status updates of sophomore point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

Tyshawn Taylor

Unfortunately, this young man neglected to consider the consequences of his social media interactions.

I really can’t break down the situation any better than my friend Bear Goodell did on his blog, so I’ll let you read it directly from him.