History is made @ #SB50

When the Carolina Panthers took the field for SuperBowl 50, it was the first time ever, ranked #1. The fact it was at Levis Stadium, probably meant it tasted a little sweeter.

While the media fixated on the oldest starting quarter-back in SuperBowl history, the Bronco’s 39 year old Peyton Manning’s arm strength and possible storybook career ending with a championship ring (which would also see him claim another record 200 games);

Sports lovers settled back from sponsor – led commentary to consider the stats and if a herd of (Denver) Broncos really is strong enough to defeat a pride of (Carolina) Panthers.

Out of context, this type of talk might get one investigated by animal services, in sportstalk – it’s the most logical question of the year.

Based on form, and the rise of the Panthers, you might be likely to give them a headstart, but this is Super Bowl and on game day anything can (and usually does) happen.

The Super Bowl pre game hype is all about the advertisers, and while the revealing of the Super Bowl ads are a huge part of game day, the focus turns to the form, fitness and delivery of the players and how they deal with the pressures on the SB50 field.

Well…at least until The Pepsi Halftime Show – featuring Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars begins.

The Mother of Little Monsters, Lady Gaga – was a walking tribute to the nations flag and the consummate professional artfully delivering a rousing rendition of Star Spangled Banner.

The accompanying fighter jet fly over reinforcing what we already know: there isn’t a bigger spectacle on the annual sporting calendar than the NFL’s SuperBowl.

Where even the players have to wait 10 minutes or so after running onto the field – while the coin toss is conducted with NFL legend Joe Montana doing the honours this year – for play to get underway.

But when the kick-off whistle finally blows and the bucking Broncos take an early lead with the meeting of the first and second picks of the 2011 NFL draft,  Newton and Miller wrestling the ball loose for Johnson to head over the line (in his 70th career game) for his first career Touch Down- and the first of #SB50 in only the 7th minute of play…

SuperBowl 50 really is where history is being made…

Half Time:

The #PepsiHalfTimeShow featuring a Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beyonce #MashUp was a true entertainment highlight that set the Twittersphere alight.

Full Time: Denver Broncos 24 def Carolina Panthers 10

#MPV @ #SB50 = Denver Broncos’ Von Miller #58

History is made:

 

  • Von Miller, LB, #SB50 stats: Tackles 50, Sacks 2.5 Forced Fum 2]
  • Denver Broncos quarter-back, #18 Peyton Manning earns 2nd SB victory in career
  • Manning equals NFL’s 200 game record at SB50
  • Manning’s SB50 stats: COMP 13 ATT 23 YDS 141 TB 0 INT 1
  • Denver Broncos coach, Gary Kubiack is the first man in the history of SB to have played with the team he’s now coached to #SB50 victory.
  • Coach Kubiack, joins D. McCafferty, G. Seifert and J.Gruden to be the 4th head coach to win a SuperBowl in his 1st year with the team.

Social Tech and Pro Sports: When Fans Turn Ugly

Social Technology enables access: to the good and the down right ugly of fandom.

A friend, who is new to the Twitterverse sent a copy of this tweet to me today via email, with his proposed Twitter response…

What I saw was great Twitter-quette from @Mark_Sanchez an athlete I’d never heard of prior to this morn (NFL’s not exactly front page of the sports section down here in Oz).

What my friend saw (and was subsequently outraged by) was a mean fan.

Now his proposed response was everything you’d expect from someone not yet immune to the unfiltered exchanges that permeate the Twittersphere.

It was terse, it was pure exasperation and it was just as emotional as it tarred all mankind (and of course the Great Lord above) with a lack of intelligent design to engage with Mr Sanchez in this way.

This was fandom, flamed.

The Twitterverse, as a study platform for understanding the motivations and machinations of human behaviour and communication, is at it’s most simple: a crowded sphere of opinion and sentiment.

And my friend certainly had his!

Although what he also had was time. Not through choice, but because he needed guidance on how to use the technology to respond.

My instructions to him were simple:
– Reduce your text to 140 characters using Twi-language
– Search for the original tweet in player’s twitter feed and ‘link to’ it using a right click
– Remember: the best thing to do in communicating (through Twitter) is not to be emotional

I also told him: think of your professional online profile. I knew that would stop him into consideration.

I explained: Twitter is searchable and given the nature of his proposed response (inclusion of a not overly glowing reference to God) was likely to provide a little more than a spark of its own.

I questioned whether the Twitterverse in this instance, was actually the best place for him to be defending his atheism by doing a little flaming of his own…?

Not surprisingly, his preferred course of action was a non response. He ‘let it go through to the end goal’ (you know what I mean…!) so to speak.

While it is Twitter’s dynamism that enables the global masses, it’s non regulation is both its beauty and its beast.

Knowing how to best respond really comes back to a question of self regulation and ultimately, control.

So what is the correct thing to do when you see someone, a sporting hero, celebrity, or friend attacked in the Twittersphere?

Do you jump in and claim the space of ‘having their back’…? OR can you report the ‘flamer’ to the authorities for being mean?

Sadly, Bullying doesn’t stop in the school yard. Some people continue the practice well into and throughout their ‘adult’ life as well.

The rules of engagement (with professional athletes) in the Twittersphere is also a blurred social space now… especially if the athlete manages their own account (which IMHO I think they should… but only if they are mature enough to self regulate, manage through their emotions and act professionally at any given hour)

I remember when my brother was playing for the Sydney City Roosters, his captain Brad ‘Freddy’ Fitler, jumped the perimeter at the Sydney Football Stadium during the game and went after a fan who as it turned out, had thrown a cash register roll onto the field which hit my brother in the head and knocked him out cold as the Roosters stood huddled in goal.

Now ‘Freddy’ reacted instinctively and made a bee line for the perpetrator of the assault, but by the time he’d ascend the stadium steps, grabbed the 19 year old responsible, he’d either cooled down enough or heeded the advice of surrounding security and police on hand to stifle a response.

Now a professional footballer’s instinct on Twitter is no different. However, this is not as easy to do when the distance or space and time, between a Twitter event and response is muted by the prevelance of smartphone technologies…

Because it’s here where space and time morphs into one.

The ability to STOP, wait, think and breathe through the options available (respond / don’t respond) really makes all the difference in EVERYONE’s (not just the professional athlete’s) management of communications (with fans and colleagues).

There is not a person alive who wouldn’t be offended if they had been the intended recipient of the Sanchez tweet.

On the other hand, there isn’t a decent human being who would read this and not think it’s author, gutless for cloaking their bullying under the cyber cape of anonymity.

As I said to my friend, why engage with someone who won’t even tell you their real name, let alone someone who wishes pain and injury to a 26 year old pro footballer who is just doing his job and under pressure to perform no less (yes, I did my research) with rookie Geno Smith pushing for selection this preseason.

Professional footballers don’t need anyone to tell them when they’re not playing well. However, ridicule for a bad day at the office (or even a good one) is sadly the nature of invested interests or fans who live for a result.

What I do know, is that whatever the 2013-2014 season holds for Sanchez on-field, in the Twittersphere he is leading by example.

And in Australia, #NRL #ARU #AFL #FFA could well take note.

Media misuse and abuse = The New Media Sandwich

Athletes and Management behaving badly. It’s nothing new.
Recent developments in Australian sport make you wonder, why? when? and how?

Why are athletes calling press conferences to ‘state’ their position, prior to official discussions with their employer?

Why are professional sporting bodies calling press conferences, prior to the completion of official investigations?

When did these ‘scare them into submission’, ‘air our dirty laundry’ tactics become an appropriate form of professional issues management?

And how, did the power base of Australian sport shift so significantly that the CCA calls the major Australian sporting codes, yet fails to produce representatives of Olympic sports like swimming to discuss failures in team and drug management.

I’m a proud Australian, a keen observer of sport both here and abroad and a professional communicator. I suspect, I am also not the only person who finds the emergent ‘trial by media’ practice of sports management, abhorrent.

The Business of Australian Sport will suffer. And it really doesn’t need to.

Athletes and management excited about being in sports management, will always stumble. The trick is to put supports in place that provide the requisite guidance to ensure professional development both on and off the pitch.

This is not always easy in our new world of instagram, twitter and all things social media.

So as we evolve our understanding of dialogic interaction, thanks to the prevelance of mobile and social media communications, let’s not forget the art of conversation and business best practice.

Organised Crime and Drugs in Australian Sport

When the Australian Commission on Crime released their Organised Crime and Drugs in Australian Sport Report, the heads of all four football codes, as well as, Cricket Australia, presented a united force with the Federal Minister for Sport in Canberra; to present a report limited in scope thanks to ongoing police investigations and judicial enquiries.

All but one CEO faltered when questioned directly on missteps specific to their codes, which comes as no great surprise, when the AFL continually outperforms all other codes when it comes to proactive media management.

Today’s press conference was the first of it’s kind in Australian sporting history. It was also, IMHO well overdue. However, on reading the document: maybe somewhat premature.

As you’d expect, the Minister’s Response was efficient.

Although I suspect there are a few athlete’s shifting uncomfortably… So much so, I would not be surprised if the ‘shock and awe’ expressed by the mass media today on behalf of the Australian general public, is only the start of revelations far more shocking than those discussed by the powers that be to date.

Anyone else have a feeling of de ja vu…? #2009 #WatchThisSpace

Future Social Government, Canberra, Australia

The last time I spoke about sport and social media, Black Caviar provided the living breathing example of how great sports brands can tweet.

Today, Quade Cooper’s weekend tweets provided a great example of twi-versations that occur during an employer/ employee divide.

Noone likes an unhappy workplace, however, two tweets can say a lot about a person and a company.

While ‘toxic’ may be an apt description of any organisational approach that uses traditional media management methodologies to ‘manage’ it’s new media relations…

The reality is, social technologies require a socialised approach to communications.

Irrespective of whether the organisation is using them or not,the employee is, and in Cooper’s case, actually leveraging the technology the way it was intended.

Could this be the ‘nudge’ Australian Rugby needs to finally heed the call and develop a comprehensive governance framework (think widely distributed social media guidelines, policy and contracts) for their employees both on and off the pitch around social technologies..? Let’s hope so.

Why? Because if Quade Cooper leaves rugby, he’ll also take over 580,000 Twitter ‘followers’ with him, and that’s just stating the bleeding obvious. #FoodForThought