Wow I have just returned from Digital Sports Summit in Melbourne. What an amazing day…
It was great to be inspired by others, hear what they’re doing and for me thinking great I am going OK got a long way to go but on the right track!
I’m going for a synopsis of the day – I wrote copious notes…. and I think it’s going to have to be a few posts as this one is now pretty long….
He showed us a shot of TV Companion which is what appears to be – and I’m not a basketball follower – an adjunct to you watching TV with stats and plays which you follow while you’re watching the game. It allows access to chat, social media integration and highlights.
The Suns use their Facebook and twitter pages to provide social media followers:
- with money can’t buy experiences
- the ability to vote for the MVP
On their website the Phoenix Suns they have created unique registration only content which includes behind the scenes look into:
- team press conferences
- post game speeches
- draft night war room
- team coaches
- team on private jet going to interstate games
- Suns players in their homes and with their families
Jeramie talked about their propriety fan site they built and giving fans the ability to upload their own pictures, videos and messages. This takes a lot of time and moderation and this was done because they wanted to have control over their own content and traffic.
It means you have the page impressions and can serve ads of your sponsors. Initially they didn’t’ have a big presence on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Over time his view on this has changed his view similar to that of @problogger use your website as the hub and the social media methods as the spokes. (more on @problogger later in another blog about the day)
Phoenix Suns have a twitter roster, with members of the adminstration team as well as players tweeting. This gives fans insights into:
- How the whole organisation works
- What players are doing out in the community
- Photos from the in-house photographer
Eight of the Phoenix players are on twitter – this is a medium they find easier to embrace than other online media. Jeramie believes this is because it’s just an extension of SMS which all of them do on a regular basis and it has much lower barriers than blogging or doing web chats. Because they are answering personally they also have a higher interaction and closeness to their twitter fans.
In their twitter Phoenix Suns make sure they are engaging in two way conversations retweeing and answering tweets, not just broadcasting.
Their foray into Facebook started with them taking over an existing fan site. They worked with Facebook and the fan finding out who ran it and when they found out he was in Hong Kong sent a fan pack with signed merchandise and a game day shoe. By doing this and explaining to the existing fans what they had done they successfully took over the site with a large number of fans but where able to grow that fan base.
Suns post more on twitter than they do on Facebook, as people tend to want more personal posts in their Facebook than twitter. Also they appear to have more negative feedback from Facebook than twitter (note to me is that because ‘real’ fans are following on twitter and ‘lesser’ fans on Facebook? Different target markets different voice?).
While they don’t have a formal social media posting policy the general rule is as long as the fan is respectful and provides an honest opinion the post will stay. If they use profanity or get personal it will be deleted. Jeramie suggests your tone will set the standard and to maintain your professionalism and then fans will also.
Suns have started to monetise some of their tweets, by doing tweets on the match day game board with the sponsor logo at the end of each tweet.
Applications Sun developed have included answering a few questions about yourself to determine with Suns Personality you are, including the Gorilla mascot which was then posted to fans Facebook pages helping to build more fans.
Jermaine then talked about the tweetups Suns have set up for tweeps where they can purchase tickets to all sit together and then meet with Sun’s personalities after the game including the coach, the players and the CEO (president probably sorry can’t read my notes!). All these events were also sponsored giving sponsors a more one on one relationship with fans as well.
Foursquare applications – check into sponsors/partner locations to win prizes
Keep up with trends on mashable and other social media commentators
Look at what others are doing in your sport and other sports
(I said similar to this in my digital life blog)
Question time answers
NBA have a rule players can’t use social media 90mins before and after a game.
Suns have taken players through guidelines for social media – based on common sense remember what you’re saying is going to the world.