The #SuperBowl of #Hashtags

by @Caleb_Mezzy/Caleb Mezzy

So…we just watched another Super Bowl. This one ignited more Social Media involvement than others before it. Why? Well…Social Media is here to stay. Let’s see which brands were involved in hashtag usage during #SB46.

#MakeItPlatinum (Bud Light)

#SoLongVampires (Audi)

#BetterWay (Best Buy)

#whatworks (GE)

#beckhamforhm (H&M)

#JerrysNSX (Acura)

As a brand, it’s great to use hashtags. Now if you are a brand using a hashtag, make sure you were listening, engaging, interacting with those who were using that hashtag. Without doing this, you failed in using a hashtag.

Next year should be a chance for us to see more hashtag usage. Where do you expect to see proper use of hashtags next?

#SBHashtags

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Vote for me in the Xfinity Social Media Job Contest!

I’m currently a finalist in the Xfinity Social Media Job Contest and your votes could help me land my dream job!

The winner receives a full-time position covering sports for Xfinity via social media and serving as a social media ambassador for the Xfinity Sports brand. The contest runs until February 19 and the top five contestants with the most votes advance to the semi-finals. I need as many votes as I can get.

Here’s the direct link where you can vote (once per day) for me: http://t.co/XZQQaD5S

(If the direct link doesn’t work, just sort by total views and look for Brendan W., that’s me)

Thank you for your support!

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NBA Case Study: Golden State Warriors #DubtheVote

The following is a post from contributor Peter Robert Casey which originally appeared on his DigitalHoopsBlast.com site. Peter is covering all 30 NBA teams in an ongoing series on the same site. This post has been reprinted here with his permission.

The All Star Game has always been a celebration of fans – no matter what sport you are referencing.  Voting for All Stars has changed quite a bit through technology.   It doesn’t seem too long ago that voting was done solely through those punch cards in arena, does it?  Now that it has expanded to voting through the internet, participation and engagement opened up enormously.  All that adds up to a big opportunity for teams to transform this engagement into an experience for their fans.  The Golden State Warriors showed us how can a team get behind their players and activate a fan base.

The Warriors challenged the notion that simply voting for players defines you as the ultimate fan.  No, voting itself is only an entry point to proving your passion (and being rewarded for doing so).  As you’ll see below (or by clicking here), the resulting campaign has fans getting creative to win a can’t buy experience… while also voting for Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and David Lee.

The idea is to simply Dub the Vote. Vote for the Warriors via a mobile device while making a “W”.  Submit a photo and the 3 most creative win.  Prizes include an autographed shirt, an autographed ball, and a chance to meet Curry, Ellis, and Lee!

The Warriors created a video (shown below) that explains the process.  This video was shared on Facebook, Twitter, and of course YouTube — plus embedded into their website.

But digital isn’t enough to get fans involved.

The Warriors brought a lucky fan down to the court during a game to #DubTheVote in arena.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea because it both gives a cool experience to a couple of fans by heroing them and it creates awareness for the campaign to everyone in arena.  This is a key point because it doesn’t take for granted that fans are aware of this campaign!

Thanks to Golden State for a fantastic example of taking the idea of voting and making it not just about the players but also about the fans!

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Behind the Scenes: the Under Armour Ultimate Intern Project

My name is Kevin Gottlieb (@KevinJGottlieb) and I am a senior Business Administration major at Furman University. I am also a left-handed relief pitcher for the Furman Paladins. In 2011, I was selected to be one of the Under Armour Ultimate Interns.
The Under Armour Ultimate Intern position was a Facebook driven contest for two students to work with the digital media team at Under Armour. The internship consisted of working with the digital marketing team assisting in various aspects of the business with an emphasis on social media engagement. We served as a bridge to the inside world of Under Armour through the world of social media with daily Facebook posts, Tweets, and blog posts about our experiences.
We worked with some of Under Armour’s world class athletes and traveled to many Under Armour events. The events included: the U.S. Open, Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game, MLB All-Star Game, Great American Shoot-out in Dallas, IMG 7-on-7 Football event, fitness event in Los Angeles, and many other trips all in a span of five weeks. This experience gave me the knowledge and skills in social media that has allowed me to build a strong network and foundation for the start of my career.
The digital search for the Ultimate Interns began by students submitting a 140-character cover letter and resume via Under Armour’s Facebook page. The final 100 candidates were announced about a week later, expanding the 140-character cover letter to 100 words explaining why they should be chosen. From the final 100, ten students were selected to conduct a Skype interview to narrow it down to the two Ultimate Intern winners.

I started using social media as an everyday ritual in order to differentiate myself amongst the 5,000+ students applying for the internship. I posted on Facebook for family and friends to go “Like” the Under Armour Brand Facebook Page and then write on the Under Armour wall that I am the person for the job. By the end of the application period, I had over 100 of my friends, family, teammates, coaches, teachers telling Under Armour to select me for the position. Dan Mecchi (Director of Digital Media) and Colin Clark (Manager of Digital Media) told me during the process that this set me apart from the other students.  When my name kept popping up on the Facebook page they began asking themselves, “Who is this Kevin Gottlieb kid and why is everyone telling us to choose him on the Under Armour Facebook Page?” Many students started doing this as well, but I like to think I took it to the next level with over 100 posts.

It started getting very competitive and intense when the top 100 students were selected. I decided to separate myself even more by trying to get some of the Under Armour Athletes to endorse me on twitter. I was not sure if it would work or not, but tried it anyways. I would say it worked out:

Kevin Gottlieb @KevinJGottlieb20 May
@PhelpsTheFish can I get A retweet… made the finals for the#ultimateintern position for @Under_Armour. Out of 10, 2 students are selected”
Michael Phelps @MichaelPhelps@kevingottlieb35 good luck!!!”

Kevin Gottlieb @KevinJGottlieb21 May
@jenhudak jealous of your great weekend at the Preakness…Can I get a RT, Im in the finals for the @Under_Armour #ultimateintern need help!”
Jen Hudak @jenhudak@kevingottlieb35 good luck!!”

I made it through to the Top 10, which lead to a Skype interview with Kevin Wright, the college recruiting coordinator and Colin Clark. It was nerve-racking but extremely fun.  A few days later I saw one of the top 10 finalists say on Facebook that they did not win, then another, then another, then another. I was trying to figure out how they knew, so I checked my email and there was nothing there. A few seconds later, my phone rang and it was the Digital Media team telling me that I was one of the winners of the Ultimate Intern competition. The other winner was Christa Bagley, who was a cheerleader at Georgia Tech.  Throughout the five week internship, Christa and I shared our internship experience through the twitter handle @UAInternTeam.

The internship was an amazing experience. As a college baseball player and life-long baseball fan, my favorite part of the internship was traveling to Phoenix for the MLB All-Star Weekend. Colin had worked for the Chicago Cubs before coming to Under Armour so he knew a ton of baseball executives from around the league as well as from MLB Advanced Media. It was an incredible networking event for Christa and me. On top of working the Under Armour Fan-fest event in the morning, we attended the Futures Game, Homerun Derby, MLB All-star Game, pregame networking events, and post-game concert events. I was able to meet Under Armour All-Star’s Brandon Phillips, Jair Jurrjens, and Jose Reyes as well as Bryce Harper. To say the least, it was one of the best weeks of my life.

To give you an idea of the headquarters behind the powerful Under Armour brand, there is a dynamic, young, fun, fast-paced, and full of energy feel in the air. One thing that really stuck out to me was the company’s culture and overall love and passion for the Under Armour brand and products. The top-notch Combine Training Center, Humble and Hungry Café, and half-court basketball court were the employee’s favorite spots within the building.

To get more of a detailed outline of the day-to-day life, you can check out my Tumblr page where I wrote about my experience at kevingottlieb35.tumblr.com. For those of you interested, the Ultimate Intern 2.0 competition launched February 1st  on the Under Armour Facebook Page. If you are a college student and love sports, this is the greatest opportunity out there for you. Under Armour revamped the program to include a team of five ultimate interns. This team will consist of an intern representing Social Media, Writing, Film Production, Graphic Design, and Brand Marketing. Keep a look out if you are interested in applying.

Taking the Field

Welcome to the Field!

We’re Caleb Mezzy and Brendan Wilhide. We’re launching this site because we see a vacancy within the blogosphere for a true, team written sports and social media centric blog. (There are a number of fantastic single author blogs out there, by the way.) Our hope is that this blog will provide a fresh take on what it means to use social media in the sports industry.

Caleb recently launched TweetStarGame.com, which tracks the most popular athletes on Twitter through a partnership with Klout. Caleb handles social media for Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs and also hosts the weekly #SMSportsChat on Twitter. He also works as a social media consultant for Philadelphia 76ers broadcaster Marc Zumoff and Detroit Tigers pitcher Collin Balester.

Brendan founded Sportsin140.com in 2009 as a means of validating athletes and teams on Twitter. His work doing so, which began months before Twitter began its own validation service, was featured on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” in the Wall Street Journal and on the Sports Illustrated website. Brendan recently finished co-authoring “Sports Marketing in Social Media, a textbook about social media due to be published later this year. He also works as a social media coordinator and copywriter in a consulting capacity.

Together we’ve tapped our network of colleagues and contacts to launch this site with a great group of contributors. We look forward to bringing you the latest news and observations on social media use in the sports industry. If you have any ideas, questions or would like to contribute to the site, please contact us either here or on Twitter.

Welcome

Hello!

Welcome to The Field, your premiere sports and social media centric blog. We are a team of authors from all walks of life interested in sharing stories, tips and best practices in social media use in the sports industry.

Please check back soon when we officially launch the site.