Posts Tagged ‘penn state


Contract extension for JoePa tops the blogs. Don’t forget his birthday!

sports-blog-index-logo10Every 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, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno signing a three year contract extension was the most popular topic among the top sports blogs. Debate about the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl selections also fueled blog conversation. Controversy surround Auburn University’s hiring of Gene Chizik as the next football coach continued to be highly discussed. Rounding out the top five was gossip about Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and TE Jason Witten not attending WR Terrell Owens’ birthday party on Monday, increasing speculation that the trio do not get along. Rounding out the top five was the Knicks’ highly-paid point guard that is now banned from participating with the team, Stephon Marbury, purchasing a courtside ticket and attending the Knicks-Lakers game in Los Angeles as a spectator.



You’re Invited! Joe Pa Virtual Birthday Party

 So I’m a diehard fan of college football and of social media. The convergence is very cool and in my opinion extremely appropriate considering the masses of displaced fans. In that vein, we at Sports Media Challenge came up with a test of whether or not we were in a different orbit than the rest of the sports world.

 Shaq’s emergence on twitter has been a monumental success which just set our imaginations loose here in Charlotte, NC. Twitter seems to shine around events. I actually tracked twitter conversations prior to, during and after the Longhorns Thanksgiving day game to determine if the conversation escalated during the live game or not. It clearly did.

So we thought  we would combine the mass power of twitter and other social media platforms to reach out to Penn State and college football fans to create a surprise virtual birthday party for the legendary Coach Joe Paterno as he turns 82 on Sunday.  It’s not in Joe Pa’s nature to intentionally draw attention to himself especially as he’s readying his team to play in the Rose Bowl on Jan.1st. But we can do it for him and show the sports world and frankly world in general, the power of what we  call fan-generated media.


Happy, happy Joe Pa birthday blog

An aside here. My new found twitter friends have been invaluable @meglyn, @publiside, @lisahoffmann in this effort as have the SMC staff  Brittany, Hannah, Ryan and Jackie-a hardworking intern. They’ve generated ideas and implemented them at all hours of the day and night. This social media stuff may be “free” or low cost, but certainly not low maintenance.

So for the sake of those trying to figure this social media thing out like we are, here are a few points to keep in mind – challenges and fun involved in this worthwhile project of creating the sports world’s  first ever virtual birthday party.

  • Short lead time. Through social media & with twitter you can launch a major project like this in a week’s time but if you can get more time ,do.
  • Hash tags for critical tracking. It took us a couple of days to remember to put #JoePa82 at the end of our tweets to make it easier for us to see what kind of traction we are getting and make necessary adjustments. Buzz Manager will track and analyze conversations across all social media.
  • Priorities.  It’s definitely a bad time to try to enlist any help for a project like this outside of bowl preparations.
  • Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants. Inviting people to a virtual birthday party is one thing, making it easy for them to understand what that means and how to participate is something different , especially if they don’t spend much if any time in the social media space.
  • Community Relevance. The larger a twitter community “followers” the better,  however, all the followers in the world won’t help you if your interests in the project don’t intersect. You can’t rally the  fans around football if they’re more interested in baking cookies.  Cool twitter community growing every day

 There are obviously many more lessons learned which we can talk about later but hopefully this will start you thinking about the possibilities of word of mouth marketing and the many routes to get you there. So if you’re inclined to celebrate Coach Paterno’s 82nd birthday “virtually” or are simply willing to be a part of this social media experiment, check out the birthday blog   and…

1.      Spread the word to those who might be interested

2.      Post links to videos, audios, or add your text  best wishes to Joe Pa in comments

3.      Check back to see the lead up to the big day on Sunday (watch for other big name coaches to send their bests to Joe Pa on the blog)

We don’t expect Joe pa to be checking the internet so we’re pretty sure it’ll stay a surprise for at least a couple more days.  More to come tomorrow …



Cool twitter community growing every day

Sports Marketing Innovation & Fan Engagement

I walked out of the Bobcats game last night into a wall quote: If what you did yesterday is still big today, then you’re not doing much.” Coach K was talking about his ball players but it reminds me of the whole genre of sports marketing. Too many people seem too satisfied with the successes of the past and are deaf to, or simply fearful of innovation. I’ve been evangelizing social media in sports for about 4 years and my voice has just dissipated in the wind. Finally I think some people are hearing and maybe even listening to the message.

After explaining that Kobe’s record breaking 81 point game garnered 1440 fan posts (comments) on just 4 sites within 48 hours an assoc athletic director at a major program said, so what? I asked: “if you had received 1440 letters or phone calls on one topic in that short timeframe would you have dismissed them?” You can conservatively estimate that each online post generates at least another 5 offline conversations. Essentially the virtual watercooler transitions to the actual watercooler. If they care enough to go online and write or even simply read a blog post or discussion topic they’re going to share that experience with other fans.


I don’t think I would get the same response today because whether it’s college, pro, or Olympic brands the powers that be are at least curious. In the same vein, someone else asked me, “What do we care about what the fans are saying, they don’t know what they’re talking about anyway?”  The answer: They’re talking about your brand whether you participate or not.

In five years word-of-mouth marketing has reached an audience the size of which it took 50 years for television to build and fans care more and give more credence to what other fans say and feel than what they hear from traditional marketers these days. Fans have taken control of the way they interact with brands and some forward thinking (and still very conservative brands/properties) are acknoledging the fact and even toughening their skin enough to truly engage the fans. We at Sports Media Challenge call it fan-generated-media or CGM for sports & entertainment. Every day our Buzz Manager(TM) online monitoring service tracks and our sports and entertainment specialists analyze tens of thousands of blog posts, video & audio clips, photos, discussion board conversations etc to glean the most relevant, actionable information for our clients.  Find. Listen. Engage. Lead. That’s the process. And to the credit of clients like Penn State Athletics, they have spent time listening and with our help are now engaging their fans. Checkout this creative student created video to promote the basketball program.

Shaq’s not conservative but Shaq on Twitter is a game changer! It took only 5 minutes for the blogosphere to pick up on RSM McGladry’s creative sponsorship of Natalie Gulbis and I expect the same of their Special Olympics golf initiatives.


These brands are careful to say the least. They’ve built, enriched and need to protect their brands which is exactly why they’ve embraced social media and insist on measuring it’s effectiveness through Buzz Manager(TM). All of this reminds me of another CEO client of mine over the years, Roger Milliken. Mr Milliken reminded his employees, “We’re not here to massage history. We’re here to make history.”


MNF overtakes Plaxico Burress…. sort of.

sports-blog-index-logo1Every 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, Monday Night Football was the most popular topic, though as much for the halftime interview with agent Drew Rosenhaus (who represents Giants WR Plaxico Burress, among others) as for Houston’s win over Jacksonville. Burress facing gun charges remained a popular topic, with many wondering whether Burress will end up serving jail time. News that the student who serves as Penn State’s Nittany Lion mascot was charged with DUI Saturday was an area of amusement for bloggers. Debate and speculation surrounding Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis’ future continued to grow. Rounding out the Top 5 was cyclist Lance Armstrong’s announcement that he will compete in the 2009 Tour de France race.

Jets end Titans’ undefeated season, other NFL topics top of the blogs

Over the weekend, the NFL was the most popular topic among the top sports blogs. Areas of discussion included the Jets handing the Titans their first loss, the Giants beating the Cardinals, and Eagles QB Donovan McNabb being benched. College football results were also highly discussed, in particular Penn State’s win over Michigan State to earn a berth in the Rose Bowl, Ohio State’s win over rival Michigan, and Oregon State’s win over Arizona that kept the Beavers in position to win the Pac-10. The current three-way tie in the Big 12 South among Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech also generated a lot of conversation, with many wondering what the BCS ramifications will be if the tie holds. Bloggers were also discussing Notre Dame’s close loss to Syracuse and had a negative reaction to ND students reportedly throwing snowballs at ND players and other individuals on the sidelines. Rounding out the Top 5 was surprise that the Oklahoma City Thunder fired coach P.J. Carlesimo after so few games.

Brandon Marshall and NFL still hot, College football close behind

Over the weekend, the NFL was the most popular topic among the most influential sports blogs. In particular bloggers discussed Broncos WR Brandon Marshall’s foiled touchdown celebration, the Giants’ win over the Eagles, and whether recent fines on NFL players for rough and/or illegal hits have been too harsh. Wrap-ups of the weekend’s college football activity was also highly discussed, particularly the perfomances of BCS No. 1 and 2, Alabama and Texas Tech. Previously undefeated Penn State’s close loss to Iowa was also a hot topic, with many debating how the Nittany Lions’ loss factored into the BCS national championship picture. Joe Calzaghe defeating Roy Jones Jr. in Sunday’s fight for the heavyweight title was also highly discussed. Rounding out the Top 5 was Tennessee’s unexpected loss to Wyoming, further piling on to the negative conversation about the Volunteers’ season.



Phillies take a 3-1 series lead, stay at the top of blog discussion

Over the weekend, the World Series was the most popular topic, with bloggers discussing the Phillies taking a 3-1 lead over the Rays and the series relatively low TV ratings thus far. College football was also highly discussed, in particular Penn State’s close win over Ohio State, Georgia’s win over LSU, Texas’ close win over Oklahoma State, Florida’s big win over Kentucky, and Texas Tech scoring 63 points in its win over Kansas. Former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas sparked blog discussion after reports that he was taken to the hospital for a sleeping pill overdose. Thomas later stated that it was actually his daughter that was taken to the hospital, a statement disputed by NY police. The NFL was a popular topic following the Giants’ close win over the Steelers, 49ers coach Mike Singletary’s ‘intense’ post-game press conference, and reports that several NFL players have tested positive for substances classified as water pills. Rounding out the Top 5 was talk of fans in Boston being injured after a check into the glass caused it to shatter during the Bruins game vs. the Maple Leafs.

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