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2010 Sports And Social Media Predictions

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I am extremely honored to be amongst the highly intelligent and motivated contributors to Jason Peck’s 2010 Sports and Social Media Predictions, and I really wanted to publish a post about it earlier in the week when the predictions first came out, but I also wanted to thoroughly read through the entire docket before writing about it, and I could not do that until now. I was very quiet about it, but this week were Final Exams, and in law school, studying and taking those exams consumes quite a bit of time. Anyway, the tests are beyond me, and I can now return to focusing on my business and the business of sports.

So about Peck’s compilation of sports and social media predictions (an embedded downloadable copy may be found at the bottom of this post)…first of all, I love the cover page. It is creative and aesthetically pleasing. Ultimately, I think it is undeniable that social media is going to play a significant role in the future of sports. For example, thanks to the fantastic social media marketing services offered by digital marketing agencies such as First Page Digital, football clubs, athletes, gyms, and other sports-related businesses can now use social networking platforms to promote their products and services.

There are no doubts about it, we all search for things on social media these days, and therefore if you want people to find your club, your player, or your merchandise, then your social media accounts need to look eye-catching and professional. Accordingly, there are already so many amazing things that athletes and brands can do to stand out on social media so I cannot wait to see what else the future holds for social media and sports.

Anyway, you can find a few notes based on what I thought of the predictions below:

  • Brian Gainor mentions that 2010 will be defined by the rise of online video and photo sharing. I personally believe that online video is going to expand tremendously. From video calls on your phone, to video conferences on the computer, and especially the eventual ease of recording a video and instantly uploading it to social services. He mentions Flip Video cameras. I am actually about to unwrap one that I just received in order to do a special Holiday Product Review of it on the blog. I have a feeling I am going to get good usage out of that little “toy”.
  • Dan Beeman says that teams and leagues will attempt to build their own online communities. I think they need to tread this water carefully. If they do create unique communities, they will need to be heavily integrated with the big boys (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). The key is not trying to defeat them, but instead, how to work with them.
  • I won’t comment on my own piece. Instead, I ask that you leave your comments on this post.
  • The Blogs With Balls guys see a consolidation of independent voices in the blogosphere. I sure hope not. This site has never become a part of a larger entity, even though there have been some pretty lucrative offers on the table. Independent voices are needed…isn’t that the main reason why blogs started and became popular in the first place?
  • I just really like this passage from Espree Devora: “Surf brand means you’re a surfer right? No, not necessarily. You must establish your brand to stand for something. A cause. Something bigger and selflLESS than selling a pair of board shorts.”
  • Joe Favorito sees a shift to localization from the shotgun approach being applied today. Perhaps that is the route for the lesser known public figures, but not the case for a LeBron James.
  • J.W. Cannon sees more red tape coming in the future. Athletes will be limited to what they can say and do by regulations and PR entities. How does that affect what I said in my piece?
  • Lewis Howes makes a good point: sports entities do not only need to be involved in social media in 2010, they need to find new, creative ways to be involved.
  • Pat Coyle says there will be more buying and selling of inventory on social media by teams in 2010, but no crazy boy band money just yet.
  • I like Peter Robert Casey‘s note that social media will be integrated into athletes’ marketing and sponsorship campaigns. We are already seeing it done with entities like Danica Patrick. I think it will only expand in the next year.
  • Rob Katz makes a great reference to Geoffrey Moore’s argument in Crossing the Chasm. The mainstream adopters have joined the early adopters on these social media networks. Now it’s time to figure out how to make it a successful venture for all involved.
  • Russell Scibetti notes that social media engagement is time consuming. Thus, measurement is necessary to make sure that there is value behind that engagement.
  • Ryan Stephens is brilliant when he says that strategies must include more than just slapping a sponsor’s logo on a Twitter page. It’s all about creativity and integration. What does the brand specifically like about the athlete it wants to sponsor? How can that athlete use that particular “likeness” to benefit the brand? Another good point – it’s not only about the number of Twitter followers you have.
  • Steve Cobb discusses the power of contests. Here is a good way to make an athlete sponsorship more fun than just slapping that logo on his page. And the athletes can then promote the contest to their followings as well. I disagree about Ustream’s growth among athletes, though. This is one area where I think sports agents will wise up and tell their clients to stay away. It takes a very particular athlete to be able to handle live streaming effectively. Most athletes aren’t suited for it.
  • Trevor Turnbull turns the discussion away from ROI and talks about people, relationships, and trust. Maybe social media is not how you make the money, it’s how you develop the relationships that will make you money.
  • Ty Ahman-Taylor talks about how tweets fall short of capturing the full experience of a game, but at least those updates are better than nothing (if you are not at the game or in front of a TV).

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

3 replies on “2010 Sports And Social Media Predictions”

Not only will social media be integrated into athlete’s marketing and sponsorship campaigns. Pepsi just announced it will not be buying any ad time in this years Super Bowl, the first time in 23 years. With major corporations making a slow shift away from traditional advertising and using social media to promote a greater social cause, you can see a combination of Espree Devora’s comments and Peter Robert Casey’s comments coming together as one. Since many athletes are signed to endorse these kinds of products, it will be interesting to see how well they combine their own marketing campaigns with those of the brands they represent through the medium of social media.

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