Archive Page 2

11
Dec
08

The status of the AFL’s ’09 season intrigues bloggers

sports-blog-index-logo8Every Monday through Thursday, Buzz Manager Blog reports the Top 5 Topics discussed by the most influential sports blogs, as rated by  Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index.

Over the past 24 hours, speculation surrounding whether or not the Arena Football League would have to cancel its 2009 season was the most popular topic among the top sports blogs. A big trade between the Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Bobcats was also highly discussed, with many focusing on how the addition of Jason Richardson would benefit the Suns. Pitcher CC Sabathia reportedly signing with the New York Yankees remained in the top five. Discussion about the three Heisman Trophy finalists, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, Florida QB Tim Tebow, and Texas QB Colt McCoy, was popular, with many surprised that Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell was left out. Rounding out the top five was praise for Denver Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony tying an NBA record with 33 points in a single quarter en route to a win over the Timberwolves.
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10
Dec
08

Visanthe Shiancoe – when a negative becomes a positive

Last week I talked about how Chris Cooley created a name and a brand for himself via the use of a blog.  So what about athletes who unintentionally become social media darlings? Can they capitalize on the publicity and reclaim their brand?

So far this week one of the most discussed topics among sports blogs was a Fox post-game segment from the locker room that inadvertently showed Minnesota Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe partially nude. The freeze frame picture quickly found its way to the internet. Now, let’s be honest, how many of us non-Vikings fans had actually heard of Shiancoe before now? Anybody? Yeah, me neither. But apparently he’s tied for the NFC lead for touchdowns among tight ends. This single incident has catapulted a relatively unknown  six year NFL veteran into the public eye:

google-analytics-visanthe-shiancoe2

Certainly Shiancoe doesn’t want to be known forever as the guy caught on camera nude in the locker room, but he has a very brief window of time to capitalize on the name recognition and try to change the conversation to protect his brand. Although Shiancoe is embarrassed, the public doesn’t see this as a transgression on his part; they blame Fox for airing it. While he has their attention and their empathy is the time to convert them into fans.

Shiancoe’s agent, Tony Agnone, said, [Shiancoe] said he hopes they talk more about his game-winning touchdown, his number of catches, his team’s playoff push and maybe his chance of making the Pro Bowl.” Now, while has fans’ attention, is the time to make that conversation happen.

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10
Dec
08

Is CC Sabathia officially a Yankee? Inquiring bloggers want to know.

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Every Monday through Thursday, Buzz Manager Blog reports the Top 5 Topics discussed by the most influential sports blogs, as rated by  Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index.

Over the past 24 hours, rumors that pitcher CC Sabathia has accepted an offer from the New York Yankees was the most popular topic among the top sports blogs. Also popular was Washington Redskins RB Clinton Portis’ appearance on a radio show criticizing coach Jim Zorn’s decision-making. Detroit Lions C Dominic Raiola’s comments regarding Lions fans’ negative attitudes towards the team were also highly discussed. News that Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly attempted to inappropriately influence the Tribune Company with the sale of the Chicago Cubs caught bloggers’ attention. Rounding out the top five was recently-fired head coach Barry Melrose’s comments that he hopes the Tampa Bay Lightning do not win another game all season.
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10
Dec
08

DON’T LET ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS SEVER THE BOND BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM

Recession forces fans to find new ways to keep in touch with their favorite athletes

Recession forces fans to find new ways to keep in touch with their favorite athlete

Initially when reading about the economic downfall, the term “recession proof” was synonymous with professional sports. Now the headlines are reading that the pro leagues will indeed be affected by the recession. Brandweek recently reported that Ad sales were down 15 percent. The NFL has said that they are lowering the cost of playoff tickets this year by 10 percent. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the Cowboys, recently looked to borrow $350 million during the worst credit environment in history, this after a $126 million loan that they acquired last year.

The NFL, MLB, and NBA are not going to see any real drastic changes- they are still doing really well. Sports players make some of the largest salaries in the country-without a doubt. (The average MLB player’s salary was $3 million in 2007.) But from the consumer end, it is nice to see that something is being done to ease the blow of soaring ticket prices. To pawn a phrase from Sarah Palin, “The Joe Six Packs” are having a hard time keeping up with their favorite teams.

Us regular Joes welcome the big whigs down to our level. League executives are beginning to understand that times are tough, and keeping their products affordable is going to help out everyone. They are learning that if they don’t become flexible during this hardship they could potentially risk severing bonds between their fans and teams. Ending relationships that have taken years to build.

While we are waiting on all of the team execs to jump on the bandwagon, here is what I suggest… take advantage of social media. There is a whole world of interactivity at your fingertips. Relationships are waiting to be made and strengthened. Not just for fans like you and me, but for everyone.

Have you heard? Shaq is on twitter? The big Aristotle is out there building relationships that will long surpass that of his tenure with the Suns. This is the perfect time to take advantage of  what is an opportunity to interact with your team, favorite athlete, or fellow fans without any direct involvement of an organization. Just you and whomever you choose to communicate with. What an awesome opportunity! Share information, opinions, statistics all in a matter of seconds- and it is free. Chances are someone will talk back, which would be way sweeter than an autograph. If you are like one lucky Shaq fan, you could even land a phone call call from your favorite athlete.

Shaq greets Pheonix Suns fans

Shaq greets Pheonix Suns fans

09
Dec
08

Carolina Panthers MNF win at top of the blogs

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Every Monday through Thursday, Buzz Manager Blog reports the Top 5 Topics discussed by the most influential sports blogs, as rated by  Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index.

Over the past 24 hours, the Carolina Panthers’ Monday Night Football win over the Buccaneers to take first place in the NFC South division was the most popular topic among top sports blogs. Bloggers were impressed by the Panthers’ running game and Bucs WR Antonio Bryant’s one-handed TD catch. The Minnesota Timberwolves firing head coach Randy Wittman and tabbing T-wolves VP of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale as a replacement was also highly discussed. An accidental injury to Chicago Bulls PG Derrick Rose, related to Rose leaving a knife on his bed after cutting an apple, was a source of amusement for bloggers. Conversation about the BCS and various bowl selections remained in the top five. Rounding out the top five was an apology from FOX after post-game footage in the Minnesota Vikings locker room showed Vikings TE Visanthe Shianco nude, with many bloggers wondering if FOX will be fined as CBS was following Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl.
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08
Dec
08

Bloggers hate BCS, but like OU vs Florida match-up

sports-blog-index-logo4Every Monday through Thursday, Buzz Manager Blog reports the Top 5 Topics discussed by the most influential sports blogs, as rated by  Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index.
Over the weekend, the most popular topic among the top sports blogs was discussion about college football bowl selections, particularly the BCS bowl selections. Though many bloggers still dislike the BCS system, given the circumstances they felt that Oklahoma and Florida were the correct choices for the title game. Saturday’s SEC Championship game between Alabama and Florida was also highly discussed. As with most weekends, the NFL was a hot topic, specifically the Ravens’ win over the Redskins, the Lions remaining winless, and the Cowboys’ loss to the Steelers. The sentencing of former NFL-er O.J. Simpson to 15 years in prison also grabbed the attention of bloggers. Rounding out the top 5 was talk of Manny Pacquiao’s TKO win over Oscar De La Hoya on Saturday.
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04
Dec
08

Are athletes using social media to its full potential?

Great article (“Sites to behold: Many high-profile athletes have embraced the Web as a way to connect with fans and raise their profiles, but others haven’t yet clicked with the Internet“) by Tod Leonard in the San Diego Union-Tribune…

I agree with his position that athletes and sports personalities have only scratched the surface of the possibilities the internet holds for their careers and their brands. It allows for fan engagement far deeper than any traditional fan club, autograph session, or other established forms of marketing. And some athletes are definitely doing it much better than others!

Athletes and their representatives need to remember that just having a web site doesn’t cut it. I think having a poorly designed, non-user-friendly site with bad content may actually hurt an athlete’s image, making him or her look out of touch. More importantly, fans aren’t going to consistently visit a site that is never updated. Athletes may be better off with no web presence at all if they’re not going to commit to doing it well. Leonard mentions LaDainian Tomlinson – arguably one of the biggest NFL names -having an outdated official web site. Perhaps L.T. listened? When I navigated to the first item in a Google search, www.ladainiantomlinson.com, it goes to a blank page with “Coming Soon” at the top.
Chris Cooley logo merchandise

Chris Cooley logo merchandise

Take for example Washington Redskins TE Chris Cooley… his popularity and name recognition have gone up exponentially due to his well-maintained blog, which has enabled him to grow the Chris Cooley brand. He even has a logo now and merchandise for sale.
Chris Cooley knows what others will hopefully soon realize: fans crave real information about their favorite athletes. Things like the Cooleys decorating the house for Christmas, that Tiger Woods’ daughter Sam was a tiger for Halloween, and Shaq asking his Twitter followers whether he should eat at Schlotsky’s or Subway for lunch, are the types of details that make athletes “real”. Sometimes fans can forget that athletes and celebrities are people too!
Athletes reaching out to fans online, especially via social media, converts fans into advocates and advocates into brand evangelists.



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