Join Fourth and 140 at #q1SFE15

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The second annual Sports Fan Engagement Forum is March 2-3 in Kansas City.

The second annual Sports Fan Engagement Forum is March 2-3 in Kansas City.

It’s back!

Leaders from sports organizations, major brands and facilities will discuss the growing opportunities digital and social media provide for connecting teams, leagues and players with fans.

The second annual Sports Fan Engagement Forum is a who’s who of sports and social media, and Fourth and 140 is on board once again as a media partner for this event, scheduled for March 2-3 in Kansas City.

Learn more about the Q1 Digital Sports Fan Engagement conference at the Q1 Sports Fan Engagement Forum website. Follow @Q1Sports on Twitter and join the conversation with #q1SFE15, too.

Look for some insight on Fourth and 140 ahead of the event, as well as reporting from both days of the forum.  To register – or learn more about who’s going to be there – visit the Sports Fan Engagement Forum website.

Thanks for being a fan.

About FourthAnd140.com:
FourthAnd140.com gives readers a strategic view of how players, teams and leagues – professional and amateur – use social media to connect with today’s sports fans. Editor and publisher Tom Buchheim was one of the first bloggers covering the curious intersection of sports and social media, using his experience as a social media leader for a Fortune 300 brand (and a sports fan) to examine the trends – and characters behind them – in this rapidly-changing space.

About Q1 Productions:
Q1 Productions designs and develops webinars, training courses, conference programs and forums aimed at specifically targeted audiences, including the life science and sports industries. Through a highly structured production process focused on research calls with end-users and key stakeholders in the industry, our team is able to understand the immediate business concerns of today’s leading executives. Whether focusing on new or pending legislative and health policy issues for the life science industry or upcoming marketing trends in the digital and mobile space for sports organizations, our programs provide solutions to the urgent educational and information needs of our attendees.

CONTACT:
Erica Abdnour
Q1 Productions
312-822-8100
sports@q1productions.com

#DSFE14 Day 1: Putting fans first

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#DSFE14 conference

Day 1 of the Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference included a wide variety of speakers and topics. But the overwhelming theme was obvious: Put fans first.

A common theme from Day 1 of the Q1 Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference was loud and clear: Sports fans drive the conversation — and the content — in social media.

The conference’s first panel featured big-name sports brands like the Oregon Ducks, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Bucks and focused on digital and social media platform selection and strategy. But the overwhelming message of this — and most of the #DSFE14 discussion — centered on the sports fan.

Rightfully so. Fans are the bread and butter for teams, leagues and athletes. And, connecting with them in meaningful ways breeds success — not only social media scores, but bottom-line wins.

Sports fosters an unbelievable amount of user-generated content in social media, and time and again, today’s sports and social media leaders reflected on the importance of harnessing that valuable content. Not only does it provide teams, leagues and athletes with a rich funnel of engaging and authentic posts, it creates opportunities to reward fans by providing them things they seek out in social media — exclusive content, access and the occasional virtual badge of honor.

“Fans are narcissistic,” Chris Yandle, assistant athletic director/communications for the University of Miami Hurricanes says. Yandle — and others in similar roles — reiterated how fans absolutely love getting their social media posts amplified or acknowledged by their favorite teams or athletes. It’s something they can brag about to friends and is an easy way to recognize influencers — and generate additional engagement in social media — by sharing their posts, or even just liking/favoriting and responding.

The Seattle Seahawks take this approach to amazing levels, after developing an intricate social media response strategy. “We want to give fans their rock-star moment,” says Kenton Olson, director of digital for the Seahawks and Sounders. “A reply from a brand on Twitter is better than getting an autograph,” he says, noting the Seahawks empowered others in their organization to assist in the massive undertaking of replying to fans in social media.

Keep in mind, the Seahawks saw 400,000 Twitter mentions during its Sept. 15, 2013, game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. To manage that on an ongoing basis, Olson built a three-tier system to filter fan responses — all based on key business goals (including influence and previous interactions), then activated his team.

The Seahawks deserve credit for winning NFL social media supremacy — besting its Super Bowl opponent in a similar manner to the actual game. During the lead-up to Super Bowl 48, the Seahawks racked up 3,177 @ replies — sent directly to fans on Twitter — compared to just eight sent by the Broncos. It generated 167,500 engagements and nearly 213 million impressions.

The Padres, under leadership from NFL social media veteran Wayne Partello, also put fans first. Partello created a new mission statement crafted with the fan in mind and addressing the crowded nature of sports news. “We’re now in the media business,” Partello says. “We have to tell our story. If you’re not telling your story, others will do it for you.”

Another theme emerged from Day 1 of #DSFE14: Data is king, and it revolves around the fan. Turner Sports looks at social media from a data perspective. And, thanks to technology, Turner can learn a lot about its fans — including what content they want to see in social media.

Turner Sports even created a social media command center to analyze data and use it in real-time decisions related to social media content and fan interactions. It activated a mobile version of this command center during NBA All-Star Game weekend, generating more than 245,000 fan engagements, and uncovering an interesting problem.

“We could not give them enough content,” says Jeff Mirman, vice president of marketing for Turner Sports. “They wanted more. They more they got, the more they engaged.”

Athletes should take a similar approach to teams and leagues — put fans first and use social media as an engagement tool (not a megaphone or sponsor mouthpiece). Case in point: Jimmie Johnson Racing, which finds extreme value in fan engagement in social media through some innovative and fan-friendly content campaigns.

Johnson strives to provide fan value through his various social media platforms. It can be anything from turning a negative hashtag conversation into a brilliantly funny content opportunity (check out #blamejj, which generated 70 percent engagement on Instagram), to weekly giveaways that build fan momentum over time (see #jjswag on Twitter).

Johnson understands fans should be first in social media, according to Lauren Murray, who manages his social and digital strategies. He wants them to be the first to know news about him — and he uses social media as a tool to deliver that news in authentic ways.

#DSFE14 featured some incredible talents in the sports and social media world, and this is just a sampling of the conference’s first day. Continue to monitor the Twitter conversation and connect with these leaders as they implement what they’ve learned here. (For more about Day 2, see our previous post.)

Thanks for being a fan.

#DSFE14: What to watch (and where)

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What to watch (and where) for the Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference

The Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference on March 3-4 in Dallas brings together thought leaders from across sports and social media.

The Q1 Digital Sports Fan Engagement conference is fast approaching, and it’s shaping up to be a jam-packed couple of days in Dallas. Whether you’re joining Fourth and 140 and other sports and social media thought leaders in person, or want to follow along online, you have several options. 

As media partner for this event, Fourth and 140 is one of several official sources for #DSFE14 info (the hashtag of the event — more on that in a moment). So be sure to bookmark our site or sign up for our newsletter.

Here are a few tidbits to help enhance the event:

Follow the speakers
The list of #DSFE14 speakers is truly a who’s-who of #smsports. Get to know them. Connect with them and their organizations ahead of the conference. (You can also subscribe to my #DSFE14 speakers list on Twitter.)

What I appreciate about this event is the broad representation of not just different industries (NASCAR, NFL, MLB, college football, etc.) but the varied strategies behind them. Engaging with fans is critical for organizations as well as athletes, and there’s much to learn from this group in both small and large-group settings.

“I speak at several conferences each year, and I always enjoy sharing the Phoenix Suns story,” says Jeramie McPeek, vice president of digital for the Phoenix Suns. “But my favorite part of this type of event is the opportunity to meet other people in similar roles and hear how they are utilizing digital. I’ve learned so much from my counterparts throughout sports, but also from non-sports brands, too.”

Review the agenda
#DSFE14 includes two days and multiple options for attendees. Check out the agenda. Differentiating between a fleeting fad and an innovative and lasting trend is tougher, and will only get tougher as fans adopt new technology and new platforms faster than teams and leagues. The agenda is packed with potential to help build a winning strategy.

“Our brand needs to be where our fans are,” says Russell Houghtaling, digital media director for the University of Oklahoma. “Fans live in a digital world, so we must engage them in that environment.”

Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference

The Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference is March 3-4, 2014, in Dallas.

Join the conversation
Get a preview of what’s to come — then follow the conversation on Twitter with the official hashtag — #DSFE14. Q1 Sports has also created a social hub and will be live blogging during the event.

“Feedback from the program content has been fantastic, with such excitement surrounding an event focused just on digital engagement,” says Nathalie Davis, production manager at Q1, “Throughout the research and development of the program, we’ve had such a tremendous response – there’s really a need in the market for teams to come together to discuss this specific and rapidly-evolving area of marketing and engagement.”

Of course, Fourth and 140 will be live-tweeting the event and provide a post-conference wrap-up. Check out the other #DSFE14 media partners and follow their blogs and Twitter feeds for updates throughout the two-day event. (You can also subscribe to my #DSFE14 media partners Twitter list.

Thank the sponsors
These partners provide different and valuable services to sports teams, leagues and athletes — and other brands associated with them. They also make #DSFE14 possible. Give them a follow, check out their services, or just say thanks for supporting this event.

About FourthAnd140.com:
FourthAnd140.com gives readers a strategic view of how players, teams and leagues – professional and amateur – use social media to connect with today’s sports fans. Editor and publisher Tom Buchheim was one of the first bloggers covering the curious intersection of sports and social media, using his experience as a social media leader for a Fortune 300 brand (and a sports fan) to examine the trends – and characters behind them – in this rapidly-changing space.

About Q1 Productions:
Q1 Productions designs and develops webinars, training courses, conference programs and forums aimed at specifically targeted audiences, including the life science and sports industries. Through a highly structured production process focused on research calls with end-users and key stakeholders in the industry, our team is able to understand the immediate business concerns of today’s leading executives. Whether focusing on new or pending legislative and health policy issues for the life science industry or upcoming marketing trends in the digital and mobile space for sports organizations, our programs provide solutions to the urgent educational and information needs of our attendees.