With 2012 behind I us, we here at OSMGuy.com wanted to personally thank all of our fans for sticking with us throughout the year. Throughout the year you have seen quite a few Monthly Social Media reviews. Again, thanks for all the great comments and feedback we have received regarding these posts. We work diligently to bring you great, fresh content in a not-so-mundane type of format that is both informative and entertaining. As 2013 begins we aim to bring you this and MORE! We are looking to bring you not only reviews of social media ideas in the market place, but more OSMGuy.com original content in the form of infographics, interactive graphs, interviews, and more. Our goal is to give you as much insight into the intersection of social media and sports as we possibly can. Please, join us on this journey, but not as a passenger, more like a symbolic navigator. We are always welcome to feedback and advice and our ears are always open to new ideas.
With that said, I want to bring you a little “year in review” for some great social media ideas you may have missed. Some of these I have covered in the past, others are new to OSMGuy.com. Here are 10 of my favorite social media ideas from this past year (give or take) in no particular order. Enjoy!
Brad Keselowski Tweets Live during the Daytona 500
Brad Keselowski had one hell of a ride this year (yes, pun intended). Before he was competing for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Championship, Brad was watching, as millions of fans around the world were, as a blaze lit up the night sky in Daytona, Florida. Only Brad had a front row view. Using his unique position and the power of 140 characters, Brad went to the World Wide Web with his thoughts and even a picture, bringing NASCAR as close to riding alongside a driver as possible, without physically being there. Gaining over 100,000 followers in one night, Brad showed us early on in 2012 the power of connecting with your fans by giving them something they crave, exclusive content they can get nowhere else.
Facebook Introduces the Timeline
Perhaps of the biggest change this year from social media juggernaut Facebook was the introduction and rollout of their new viewing platform, the Timeline. With the change came the introduction of cover photos, organization history timelines, and relocation of Facebook tabs (aka apps). These new assets challenged sports teams and organizations to come up with creative graphic design and fan integration to continue to increase brand engagement. As the year has rolled on, teams are beginning to find their footing of how they plan to use and incorporate these new assets into their social media strategy. Teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning have continued to focus their cover photos on their fans by utilizing this area to harp on their “Be the Thunder” slogan as well as integrating space into the photo to direct fans into more engaging areas, i.e. Intstagram. Whatever your strategy, I urge you to utilize these “new” features wisely to increase the effectiveness of whatever message you are looking to get across to your fans.
Jay Z and Bing Take Activation to the Next Level
Although this story is not so much about sports as some of the others, at least Jay Z is tied to the Nets (throw me a bone here). This story is too good to leave off this list. Jay Z and Bing got together to create one of the year’s great activation projects that physically brought people together to use clues and find each and every page of Jay Z’s autobiography. Fans that found these pages could then get together and post these online so that everyone could put the book together for themselves. The great thing about this activation is that the pages were hidden everywhere through New York, and in meaningful places that represented parts of Jay Z’s life. Have a look for yourself in this video:
Red Bull Introduces some of Their Sponsored Athletes in an Unusual Way
Leave it to Red Bull to take Rube Goldberg machines to the extreme level. Red Bull’s “Kluge” video did just this. By leveraging a unique video, Red Bull introduced several of its athletes to viewers around the world in a “cool” way. Imagine doing the same to introduce the starting five of your NBA team, or even better, host a contest to include the fans in a Rube Goldberg of your own and introduce that new superstar you acquired in a trade or free agency. Either way, the idea is simple, the execution is tremendous, and the creativity was excellent!
Hanging out with the Rookies
The NFL developed a partnership with Google+ to include the use of Google’s new video chat feature, the Hangout. To rollout this partnership, the NFL put on a promotion using two of its future stars, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. For the first time, fans were interacting with the hopeful saviors of their respective franchises. The integration of Google+ into Google’s arsenal of technology continues to help build some steam for the smaller social network, one that should continue in 2013. Marketers are now using the Hangouts in a similar fashion, giving brand advocates the chance to meet and talk virtually to their favorite celebrity, a company CEO, and more. The integration of Hangouts, and Google+ overall could be a key strategy hit point for sports teams in the upcoming year.
Projection Mapping Catches On
No, projection mapping wasn’t created per say in 2012, but teams sure did utilize the cool technology more this past year. The next logical step is to figure out how to bring a sponsor on board to help offset the cost of utilization. The Hawks brought their idea to include the state lottery in for a great visual halftime show. So where do teams take the idea from here? Time will tell. But for now, here are my beliefs. Projection Mapping lends itself a great deal towards fan interaction, if promoted right. Imagine the great visuals of a game based projection where fans on opposite ends of the stadium tweet a hashtag, or even better yet, utilize the team’s mobile app to complete some function. As the fans interact, they are engaged with the team, the brand sponsoring the promotion, and each other, all while enjoying themselves at a time when fans typically take a break. Projection Mapping could be next years “download our exclusive mobile app” craze. The only thing holding it back is cost and time.
Red Bull Goes Guerilla
Ambush marketing still brings an effect to those that witness the promotion that is at times indescribable. Even “planned” takeovers generate enough buzz to bring a crowd. Red Bull does a great job of this through their series of small event takeovers that bring extreme sports into not-so-extreme locations. Just one example is the video below, where Red Bull put a BMX park in a Madrid subway station. Although more well known in “action” sports such as skateboarding and BMX, takeovers are what I believe are unexplored territory for sports teams and leagues. Imagine walking into a downtown mall or outdoor park and the New York Knicks have put together a makeshift court and the players are playing 2 on 2 pickup games, or Josh Hamilton is in downtown LA putting on a spontaneous home run derby exhibition on an urban ballpark. The spontaneity of the event is what creates the engagement and the buzz is what brings the attention to the brand. Events such as the underground BMX park are few and far in between, and a potential area for expansion, especially during off-seasons.
The Social Media Day
While again, not brought about this year, 2012 surely was the year where just about every organization hosted at least one social media day at the game. These days illustrate the opportunity for organizations to bring together like-minded fans and give them a chance to interact, make new friends, and share their experience with the world through the multiple mediums (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). It’s that last part that is key to the success and growth of social media nights. These fans that respond and want to attend these select nights likely blog or tweet about their enjoyment (or lack-there-of) of the night overall and aren’t afraid to voice their opinion. Teams such as the Magic have even sold the sponsorship of their social media nights to create a new source of revenue. Others have taken it a step forward by giving away select suite tickets via a promotion to their top “digital” fans in the hopes that their social media influence (judged by sources such as Klout) will be enough to bring in new audiences listening to their opinions. What’s the next step in this progression? Perhaps it’s letting fans take over the team’s Twitter account for a specified time? Only time will tell. One thing however is certain, and that is social media nights are here to stay. If your team hasn’t thrown one yet, you’re already behind the curve.
Shoes Tweet in Real Time
Adidas made a one-off specialty item that I see as a potential gold mine for bringing fan interaction to that next level. Adidas embedded a small LED screen in some cool sneakers and used that screen, along with blue-tooth capabilities, to display live Tweets on the shoes. With the capability of bendable fabric LED screens, is it only a matter of time before employee uniforms, a coaches blazer, and dare I say an athlete’s jersey is embedded with the capability to display live Tweets pregame, during a timeout, and postgame? Perhaps that is a bit far-fetched, but the idea is on target. I’m not sure where this one goes, but somebody out there will surely come up with something creative, useful, and non-destructive enough to become a reality. Will that idea be yours?
Interactive Old Spice Video
Old Spice released one of the coolest campaigns of 2012 when they brought out this interactive jam video. Fans visited, engaged with the video, and enjoyed playing along with Terry Crews’ shirtless muscles to make music. The video itself was short, the directions were clear, and the interaction and sounds of the play-along part were spot on in the demographic Old Spice is targeting. Think for a second of what this technology does for teams and brands around the world. The simple video play becomes useless as the fan now can actually take action and remain active for a longer set of time than with the typical video. That increased exposure could lead to several distinct possibilities when that all-mighty purchase time approaches. Which organizations will utilize this technology in their next set of videos? Who knows exactly? What we do know is that this could be a media game changer.
[BONUS] Interactive Billboard
TNT put together an interesting interactive billboard for their show Perception. While taking a look at the video, try to visualize a sponsored interactive ad at the entrance of your team’s arena. You’ll start their experience off on the right foot with a cool digital tool that is already engaging them with your team or a sponsored brand, something each sponsor tries desperately to do. Have a look for yourself.
12 Must Follow People to Begin 2013
@AmyJoMartin – Founder of Digital Royalty, “social media queen”, and all around cool person.
@Tariq_Ahmad – Social media researcher, founder of #smsports, hosts a great #smsportschat on Thursday nights, and a very personable friend.
@Mahoney – Carolina Panthers Sponsorships Sales, friend to the Twittersphere who always brings great social media stories together.
@Activ8Social – Creative agency representing some of total’s best athletes and brands in social media, also the authors of #Sports, a great daily resource for the social media connoisseur.
@Srabe – Bryan Srabe, the “social media guy” of the San Francisco Giants, one of the more creative and successful professional teams in connecting fans with brands via social media.
@DarrenRovell – ESPN’s sports business reporter who usually brings about fantastic facts in an entertaining way
@StephenCurry30 – Golden State Warrior’s guard Stephen Curry is a tremendous example of the power of social media in connecting to your fans and growing an engaging fan base through an athletes true personality.
@BleacherReport – The not so “underground” source of sports news and information. Up-to-the-minute breaking information from just about every sport (including WWE, for those of us still pretending to be kids sometimes).
@TBLightning – My favorite example of a team excelling in the different social media platforms. (Due to my personal bias towards Florida sports teams, I have included a few others teams I believe are pretty good examples of “doing it right” in social media: @Suns – Phoenix Suns, @SFGiants – San Francisco Giants, @NYKnicks – New York Knicks, and @Orlando_Magic – Ok, I had to throw that one in, you were begging for it.
@Nike – The athletic lifestyle company has taken social media to the next level with product introductions, behind the scenes access, hashtag campaigns, and even releasing hard to get shoes to those on Twitter first. Learn a thing or two from following this giant.
@BrianGainor – Founder of Partnership Activation.com, a quarterly newsletter that rounds up some of the sports industry’s greatest activation ideas and shares them with the world. Brian is always willing to help those who are genuine and ask nicely!
And of course our final must follow (or follows in this case):
@OSMGuy and @MatthewVinson – Follow the OSMGuy blog and myself as we bring you reviews and orgignal content such as the MLB Cost Per Win standings, AFC vs NFC Records by Year, and more. We also give you the inside look into our personal lives, that being a few guys working inside the industry of digital marketing, and including a few day-to-day thoughts and opinions on how we view sports.
That’s about it for the Social Media Year in Review. I hoped you enjoyed this past year as much as we did and we hope you’ll continue to come along, learn with us, and share your feedback and advice on what your eyes and ears see happening in sports and social media. Thank you again, and until next time, stay social!