About Me

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I am an experienced direct marketer who is now perusing a graduate degree in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Sports Management and a master's degree in Internet Marketing.  One day soon I will be a Director of Social Media Marketing for a major sports organization.   I am avid runner who in the next 6 months will run at 2 full marathons and 3 half marathons and that doesn't include the training runs. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day: Sports and Marathons Go Green/Eco-Friendly

The world is talking about Earth Day and the crazy weather we are having. Record heat for the 2012 Boston Marathon caused 4000 plus participants to defer their entries until 2013. With high temperatures of 86 degrees who would blame them. Although it is the Boston Marathon. Followed this weekend by snow in the Northeast part of the United States it makes the weather another topic on Earth Day for discussion on global warming.

Many sports teams and marathons are looking for ways to go green and install eco-friendly methods in their events. The stadium that the Miami Marlins play in is eco-friendly LEED Certified construction project. According to the Miami Marlins Facebook page they are doing even more than just playing in a “green” facility. The Marlins players have taken their fight to be green the streets of Little Havana to encourage their fans and neighbors to be more energy efficient. The caravan as they are calling it was long before the new stadium opened and long before Earth Day 2012.

The Marlins are not the only ones working to save the planet. The White Sox in Chicago unveiled a new parking lot at US Cellular field considered the “grand slam” for water management. The parking lot, which does not have to be paved for at least 40 years, is designed to absorb water instead of creating standing water. This prevents flooding and takes the water to where it is needed the most, in the ground.

By reducing the runner’s footprint, marathons are going green as well. Many race directors are looking for ways to create an eco-friendly environment for what many runners believe is already and eco-friendly sport. Marathons are encouraging runners to carry their own water or cups for pouring water into.

The Boston Marathon going green effort includes using less trash to limit the number of cars on race day. At the top of ever list of the greenest races is the Austin Marathon, with a farmers markets at the end and the use of recycled toilet paper in the Porta Potties and tons of recycled trash bins along the course. You can’t go much greener then this race.

On this Earth Day, if you are looking for ways to go green while running, I highly recommend the website Running Planet for tips. If you are a race director or just want your race to go green, stop by Road Race Management and order the newest book The Road Race Management
 Guide to Greener 
Running Events - 2nd Edition. It’s every thing wanted to know but were afraid to ask about going green with your events.

As you celebrate Earth Day watching Americans favorite pass time played on eco-friendly turf or your going out for a run in last years race shirts instead of buying a new one, remember you to can help the world one step a time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Digital Marketing in Sports – Building a Community

It is hard to believe that Facebook and Twitter have only been around for 5+ years and the Internet less than 20 years.  Our lives have changed in the last 5 years and so has the way that Sports teams and Athletes interact with fans and participants. Sports Marketing and Digital Marketing in Sports has changed from the days of TV Advertising, Radio Advertising and Newspaper columns to reach fans. Communicating with Fans and participants has become so much easier and instantaneous.  With Facebook Fan pages, YouTube Channels, Mobile Media and iPhone Applications, SMS and MMS channels you and your fans can be in constant communication.  We now place the way a Sports Fan or participant communicates in their own hands, they determine the method that works best for them, we as business owners, and marketers do not.  

Of course everyone in a community follows one team or another, if you’re an Ohio State Buckeye’s fan the people around you know it and you participate in anything from Twitter meet-ups to LinkedIn groups dedicated to your school.  Companies are realizing the benefits of these communities and are creating them for those that follow their brands or creating communities so more people will interact with their brands.  Two companies that are at the forefront of this are Nike and Rebook.

A pioneer in the Digital Marketing is Nike.  Nike created an entire division dedicated to developing technology that allows users to track their participation in sports and fitness and integrate the results into a communication process through Facebook and Twitter to broadcast the results.  Through all of this Nike is creating a mega channel for data that can be used by marketers.  Nike is building on-line communities for wearers of the new Nike Fuel to interact with other owners of the product.  Nike was very successful with the Nike+ in creating a community that allowed Nike to gather data to target marketing to those who regularly provided feedback on their logged runs and created incentives for runners to participate in competitions against others in the Nike+ community, bring followers back to the Nike site over and over again.  Participants broadcasted their results on Twitter and Facebook and encouraged Friends to provide “Cheering” or challenged Facebook Friends to get in on the experience by joining the Nike+ community.  This built additional brand awareness for Nike and put them on the forefront of Digital Marketing.

Rebook is another brand that has tapped into the digital community of an underground fitness crazy CrossFit.  Rebook became the initial sponsor of CrossFit in 2010 and launching the partnership with a shoes and clothing line during the 2012 Superbowl.  CrossFit is a social media networking crazy in-and-of it-self, with WOD, CrossFit games and barebones gyms.  Instead of changing what CrossFit is, Rebook is embracing the CrossFit culture with the partnership.  Rebook is bringing CrossFit to everyone with large shipping containers being dropped all over the country for people to try out the sport, most times locations only learned about via social media marketing on Facebook and Twitter. 

So what as Sports Marketing professionals can we learn from all of this?  Don’t stop believing in the next big digital marketing method.  Find a way to engage your customers now in a community, whether you are a professional sports team, a marathon or fitness crazy, find a way to build a community for your current fans and for your future fans to interact.  All the while you will be collecting data on them. How to use the data will be another Oprah Show in Sports Marketing.