Category Archives: The Business of Sport

Introducing my digital baby

As many of you know, last year I earned the privilege of parenthood after giving birth to my first child.

What you may not have been aware of… I also birthed my digital baby: How2 Social – a social education and mentoring platform.

My intent: Give everyone, no matter what their current skill set online, the opportunity to social with confidence.

In the year since, I have been splitting parenting duties between my now toddler and evolving the How2Social business concept while also setting myself the task of getting down and dirty in the back end of the build.

Admittedly, it has taken me a lot longer to get to this point than I originally thought it would, but that in itself has been an invaluable learning for me as well!

Which is why I am so thrilled to be able to introduce you to How2Social.com

Think of it as a concierge for social.

Built for the express purpose of enabling people of all ages and ability in and around social and digital media technology.

In the original stage we are launching with four distinct programs. They are:

  1. The Art of Social Parenting – the parents and guardian’s toolkit for managing their digital families.
  2. Social Business – for small and large organisations developing / refining their social communications.
  3. Social Me – for individuals developing your personal brand online.
  4. Social Sports – the pro athletes and coaches toolkit for building value through social communications.

Each of them are umbrella programs for an array of content specific, social media enabling, practical How2guides with the added and personalised benefit of a dedicated mentor to help you build your skill and confidence while building your brand for personal and/ or professional use.

It was important to me to develop a quality and individualised solution for people to learn and evolve their skill set in a ‘safe place’.

That’s why at How2Social we don’t mass produce solutions.

Each program is specifically tailored to the individual and very specific needs of members wherever they find themselves on the journey that is social.

Membership is free and the programs are intentionally affordable.

When you have a moment, please visit www.how2social.com and if I can assist you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Additionally, if you know anyone who would benefit from How2Social education products and mentoring services, then please forward them my details and ask them to contact me directly.

e: tiff@how2social.com      t: @TiffannyJunee    li: tiffannyjunee

Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me and celebrate the latest stage of my social technology journey. I am very grateful for your continued support.

xo Tiff xo

 

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.

The Brave finally blossoms @ #RWC2015

On 4 June 1995, Japan Rugby Union’s national side, the Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) took the field against the New Zealand All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, only to suffer a humiliating 145-17 defeat.

In 2003, in their opening game at Rugby World Cup, they threw everything at Scotland, earning a standing ovation from the Townsville, Queensland crowd and a guard of honour from the Scots at full time.

On 19 September 2015, the Brave Blossoms took the field against twice rugby world cup champions, South Africa’s Springboks and fought their way to victory with a tenacious 34-32 win in injury time.

At the Japanese helm, was a previously deposed former Australian national coach, and Australian hooker, Eddie Jones.

A man, some players and officials in Australian rugby circles preferred to ridicule rather than support with resources and common courtesies when he was at the helm of the Wallabies, ACT Brumbies and Qld Reds.

Thankfully for World Rugby, Japan Rugby Union had a little more foresight and embraced a stray Aussie with Japanese heritage and an affinity with the land of the rising sun.

Subsequently, a man who has already confirmed he will be stepping down post #RWC2015 has gallantly and intelligently led the Brave Blossoms to their first RWC Cup win against a top tier nation.

Take a bow Eddie, can’t wait to see what your boys deliver for the rest of the tournament.

Girly Things At The Australian Open

I’ve thought it, but never heard it mentioned in commentary.

Unexpectedly, a British tennis player has put the most natural of monthly events front and centre during performance discussions at the 2015 Australian Open.

In a tournament that saw World No.1 Roger Federer dismissed in Round Two by Italian Andreas Seppi, only to be sent packing by Australian 19 year old wunkerkid Nick Kyrgios prior to the quarter finals and Serena Williams power through all would be rivals to her 18 major grand slam win, we have also witnessed the rise of a discussion previously considered too delicate to discuss through sports media circles: Menstruation in Pro Sport.

Up until 2015, the female menstrual cycle has been the elephant in women’s dressing rooms around the world amateur and pro alike. However, that taboo would appear to have been lifted thanks to British tennis player, Heather Watson attributing nausea and dizziness on court to ‘girl things’  in her Round 1 loss to Bulgarian Tsvetsana Pironkovato.

Now while some of you may cringe behind your manly, mans, man look at the world, there are physical differences beyond the obvious between male and female athletes.

The impact of the physiological on performance significant.

Women are mentally tough. We might play the damsel in distress now and then, but really that’s just us being lazy and our way of saying ‘ I just want someone to look after for a little while’.

I applaud Watson’s honesty. Sometimes Mother Nature really does hold a girl back from being at her best, but I wonder: when is too much information, too much information…?

Call me old fashioned, but while there’s definitely a time and place for open comms about preparation and performance in sport, it could be argued that some things are better left to the imagination and fan speculation.

Blood Sports From The Sidelines

In football, as in war, blood is a call sign.

However, more often than not, the worst of injuries show no signs of crimson at all.

This morning while checking in for my morning news fix, I went cold.

My response physical to a still image of a young man being tackled by three men, his neck position all wrong.

An image, that as a spectator with kin on the professional football field I dreaded and hoped I’d never see.

Not surprisingly, today my heart (and healing prayers) go out to Newcastle Knights back rower, Alex McKinnon and his friends and family.

For sadly, they’re living every sporting family’s nightmare.

I’m not going to repost the news story, nor its imagery here. I saw it once and to be honest, it still haunts me.

When Alex walks out of the hospital I might have a change of heart, and here’s hoping that’s one day soon…

My thoughts are also with Coach Bennett, who is no doubt fighting his own demons this week having taken the rookie with him to the industrial heartland, The Chief famously claimed as ‘My Newcastle’, back in 2013.

I didn’t watch the Newcastle/ Storm game, but I knew something went sadly awry when a friend of mine, John, was vehemently chastising a Storm player for questioning a penalty after ‘the incident’.

You see, my friend John, who I have spoken about here before (and his family) have lived the blood sports nightmare.

He is also the one who pointed out to me that we should also be supporting those members of the Storm involved in the tackle.

Those guys will also no doubt be experiencing moments of guilt around the incident, wondering what they could have done differently…

Sadly, sometimes these ‘incidents’ are simply tragic accidents where ‘fault’ lines are blurred and lives of those involved changed irrevocably because a ‘sorry’ won’t fix a spinal cord.

While we are all more than a little aware of the dangers of the codes of football we treat with religious fervour in this country, none of us ever want to see a young athlete halted in his prime.

My thoughts and prayers are with the McKinnon family and their support network. I hope only good news for all of you throughout the coming weeks and months.

They are now also, thanks to John Tassone, with the Storm players who were involved especially the young McLean.

Fingers crossed for only good news for Alex from hereon in.

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.

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