Category Archives: “Sports PR”

Too Much Time Tinkering with Twitter


I sat down with the intention of writing a blog about Shaq tweeting during half time. I know this is old news, but now that Twitter has officially arrived as a social media power, I thought it would  be fun to debate whether athletes should or shouldn’t be tweeting during games.

If you have ever blogged before, you know that in order to make your post a little more interesting you want to post links to other sites with more information, use pictures and videos to support your ideas etc.. I typed “Shaq + Twitter” into my google search bar and started going through some of the links that came up.  Approximately 738,000 pages were found, and the very first one was a link to Shaq’s twitter page

All I wanted to do was get some “Shaq-tastic” quotes, maybe post a pic or two of Shaq, then explain to everyone why professional athletes tweeting is such a interesting idea. Then I got what I like to call, “Bill Sledzik’d.” 

Before I knew it, I was watching videos of Shaq-quote’s,

and Shaq-rap’s,  

and Shaq-dunk’s.

Next I was reading articles about Shaq-tweet’s, and checking out who Shaq is following on twitter and who those people are following. Then I found some musicians that I listen to, like Common, so I start reading his blog. Next thing I know, four hours have passed, I am following 40 celebrities on Twitter, and have not accomplished a single thing. Yet I allowed over 50 people to communicate with me, whether they wanted to or not. 

Brooke Burke “told me” what her and her family did for Easter. 

Common “told me” about his blog. 

Tony Hawk “told me” that he found a DMSR (whatever the hell that is).

The most intriguing find of the night was Paul Pierce on twitter. Pierce doesn’t only tweet about what he had for dinner, or who the Celtics are playing next, but he uses it to promote charities that he supports and organizations that need donations. He also uses it to promote ticket sales for upcoming games and let his followers know where his next appearance is going to be. 

I find it very refreshing that there are people using these social media tools to have a positive impact on the community around them, not just to inflate their ego or promote their vanity, and I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who don’t care about any of this and think Twitter is a complete waste of time.  Those same people probably think the last four hours of my life, along with the last ten minutes of their lives that were spent reading my blog was a waste of time.

Those are also the same people who are missing out on the tangents in life that can be so interesting and enlightening, even though we should stay “on task.” 

Four hours ago, I was among the group who thought Twitter was a waste of time. I thought I understood it, I thought it had no real value other than being a time waster, and I thought athletes tweeting during games was an ok idea, but they should probably be focusing on the game. 

After four hours of “wasting time” I think I can say with some confidence that Twitter might not be such a bad idea after all. Why not have Shaq tweeting during games? Maybe more people will tune in to because they feel like they have a more personal relationship with Shaq. Maybe the audience that feels like they are too far removed from the sports world to care about it will be rejuvenated by the new level of interaction with the athletes. Or maybe people think players won’t be as focused on the game as they should be and lose respect for the game. 

I think that over the years it has been proven that fans love to be involved. If Twitter helps a person feel move involved with their favorite team or athlete, then tweet away Shaq. If your tweets put only one more body in the stands, you can call it a success, and if it doesn’t, who cares? You can’t lose anything by trying. 

I am starting to love this whole social media (err.. wasting time) thing. Having athletes get in on it only makes it that much more fun.

Facebook Firing


“Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”

Dan Leone is a former employee of the Eagles that posted a negative view of the Eagle's not resigning Brian Dawkins on his Facebook page.

Dan Leone is a former employee of the Eagles that posted a negative view of the Eagle's not resigning Brian Dawkins on his Facebook page.

That was Dan Leone’s Facebook status after finding out his favorite team and employer, the Philadelphia Eagles, had not re-signed defensive back Brian Dawkins. 

Hours later, Dan was unemployed.

When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. The Eagles are really going to fire someone over their Facebook status? Give me a break. But then I thought about it from a different perspective. If I went into my boss’ office, told him I didn’t like what he was doing, then called him a retard, I’m fairly confident that would end my tenure with that company. 

So why do so many Americans think Dan Leone is being treated unfairly

I don’t have an answer for that, but I do understand why Leone is no longer employed. 

In the culture we live in today, social media networks play an enormous role in our decision making process. If I am running a business, I can’t have my employees talking about how “retarded” I am and how he doesn’t agree with what I am doing. It shows a lack of unification, instability and creates a bad PR image with the public. 

I’m sure Dan Leone meant no real harm in posting his Facebook status, and he has apologized over and over for his actions, but I think Mr. Leone needs to realize when he has made a career ending mistake and stop complaining about his unemployment status. 

For the full details on his Dan’s firing, check out this interview on myfoxfilly.com.

Dan, my suggestion to you is to stop bad mouthing your “favorite” team, own up to the fact that you committed career suicide (if you want to call working the gate at Lincoln Financial Field a career) and keep your Facebook status to things like, “Dan is at the grocery store,” or, “Dan is looking for a job.”

PRison Release


michael_vickIn 2001, the Atlanta Falcons made history by selecting Michael Vick as the number one overall pick in the NFL draft. The first African American quarterback to do so. He was the most electrifying player the league had ever seen. In his first five seasons, Vick set numerous records, including the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season (1,039 in 2006), highest average per carry in a single season (8.45 in 2006), 100-yard career rushing games by a quarterback (eight), best two-game rushing total (225 in 2004) and rushing yards in a single game (173 in 2002).

 To the fans in Atlanta, Vick was a savior. He was now the face of their franchise and was poised to take them to the Super Bowl for the first time in the team’s history.

Unfortunately, Vick’s legal troubles and bad PR began a tailspin that would ultimately land Atlanta’s savior bankrupt, and in prison.

After Vick’s indictment, his family, friends, teammates, sponsors, the NFL and the city of Atlanta were under fire for “supporting” a soon-to-be felon. All of these entities said exactly what the public wanted to hear (good PR). 

“We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him,” the NFL said in a written statement. “We will continue to closely monitor developments in this case, and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. The activities alleged are cruel, degrading and illegal. Michael Vick’s guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts.”

Eventually the lies caught up to Vick and the verdict was in. The most electrifying athlete in sports will be making 12 cents an hour for the next 23 months, in a federal prison, performing manual labor tasks. 

Animal rights organizations were calling for his head, sponsors dropped him, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Now it is time for Vick to start cleaning up his mess. Arguably the most daunting public relations task there is; Rebuilding relationships. Once a player breaks the trust he or she has established with the public, it is nearly impossible to regain it, but if Vick ever wants to play football again, he’s going to have to try. 

Vick has now served 19 of the 23 months he was sentenced, and will be allowed to serve the last two months of his sentence under home confinement.

When Vick is released in July, will any teams be interested in signing him? here is what espn.com’s, Michael Smith, has to say.

If you were the owner of an NFL team, would you want Vick on your team? Sure, he is a premier athlete (assuming he has stayed in “football” shape while in prison), and he could probably help your team win a few games, but is it worth the PR nightmare that would surely follow? 

Many people are going to argue that Vick has paid his debt to society and that he deserves a second chance. Others think that what he did is inexcusable and he should not be allowed to play in the NFL ever again. 

So the question is, what is a better PR move for your organization? Do you let Vick prove he has changed, give him a second chance and see what happens? Or do you not want your organization linked to a convicted felon? 

These are the questions that team owners are going to have to answer if/when NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, reinstates Michael Vick into the league, and you can be assured that the decision the owners make (whether for or against Vick) will be met by an uproar from the media, niche organizations and fans.

 

 

 

I am Sick and Tired of Hearing About Steroids


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Major League Baseball has always been thought of as America’s past-time, but throughout the 90’s, the popularity of Major League Baseball was dwindling. Attendance gradually declined from 1990 through 1997 and team memorabilia sales were dropping at an alarming rate. Then something happened. Two players put the league on their backs and baseball was saved. 

In 1999 Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa took the baseball world on a magic carpet ride from city to city, crushing home runs in every ballpark they went to. If the Cubs or Cardinals were coming to your town, “fans” came out of the woodwork to go see history in the making. Ticket sales skyrocketed and jerseys flew out of the team shops faster than Sammy Sosa could spring out to his position in right field. By the end of the season McGwire and Sosa hit 65 and 63 home runs respectively, both eclipsing Hank Aarons all-time home run record. Again, baseball was saved. 

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Now, this is all old news. If you weren’t caught up in the hype of the 1999 MLB season, you didn’t have a pulse. It was exhilarating. Every night you flipped on Sportscenter to see if/how many home runs Mark and Sammy hit. The next day at work the water cooler conversation was some version of, “Did you see how far that ball went that McGwire hit?” It was magical. 

Fast forward seven years and Major League Baseball is in the middle of a steroids controversy, and guess who two of the first ‘victims’ were? That’s right, McGwire and Sosa. MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, hired former Senate Majority Leader, federal prosecuter and ex-chairmen of The Walt Disney Company, George Mitchell, to investigate the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. 

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Mark McGwire testifying before Congress

I am not going to get into the details of what has happened since then because, unless you have not had access to a single media outlet in the last 3 years, you know exactly what has transpired, and quite frankly, I am sick of hearing about it. So why I am writing about this? To shed some light on a different point of view.

Do fans really care that their favorite player is/was taking steroids? Check out this blog, and read the comments at the bottom. That is how I view the issue, and how I assume most others do as well. There is evidence to support the other side of the argument as well, that fans do care about what their favorite athletes put into their bodies, but I raise the question again, how much do they really care. As long as baseballs are flying out of ballparks, fans are buying tickets (thus supporting the product put out on the field) and jerseys are finding their way to kids closets, is there an issue with steroids? Or are we just running out of things to talk about? 

I am not going to attempt to answer the question. I want you to think about it and form your own opinion. Leave me a comment, change my opinion, get your point across, but I am going to leave you with this: 

The United States is in the middle of the biggest economic downfall since the Great Depression. Bank executives are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lavish business trips and office decorations while their employees are literally losing their life savings. Bud Selig made $14.5 million last year (but did pay his employees more than most other sports leagues) and now has Congress handling his dirty work. From a public relations/marketing perspective, sure, Bud is trying to ‘do the right thing’ by cleaning up baseball and leveling the playing field, but do we really need Congress to do that? Don’t you think our government has bigger fish to fry right now than whether or not A-Rod took steroids six or seven years ago? Shouldn’t the politicians and shady business men who have put our country into a recession be dominating the headlines? 

… maybe people really do care about steroids after all …