On Most Saturday mornings, I make it a point to stop by the local Farmer’s Market just across the street from my alma mater, UC Irvine so I can visit the Avocado Man. The silver haired gentleman selling the most delicious green fruit certainly has a name. It is Jimmy.
Jimmy has no idea what my name is. However, he certainly recognizes me and always greets me when I arrive for my usual purchase of three large Avocados that will be transformed into a delicious guacamole dip for Sunday’s National Football League games.
While this is not an posting on how to make amazing guacamole, this is a simple case study of how to be a great salesman. I stumbled upon Jimmy’s booth about a year ago. His spot is located at the end of a long line of vendors, always fairly close to the local In & Out Burger joint just across the way from the Farmer’s Market.
Jimmy always greets each visitor with a smile and something nice to say. Stay long enough and he is often offering a free sample on a toothpick for perspective buyers to taste.
Last weekend, I made my usual stop and dragged my daughter along for the ride. Before I knew it, Jimmy was chatting with my kid wile also introducing his daughter who was working right next to him. She conquered my kid with a simple sample from the toothpick.
Yesterday, when I arrived, there was a long line of folks waiting to be served. When it was my turn, Jimmy shook my hand, asked when I wanted the ripe Avocados. I was back on the road within minutes.
Simple. Affordable. Delicious. Easy.
My five takeaways from my weekly visit to the Avocado Man.
Jimmy is always pleasant. People do business with people they like.
He listens to my needs and provides the Avocados for the day I need them ripe.
He and his product are always consistent. His avocados are the best.
He makes the buying process very simple.
Once in a while, Jimmy throws in a bonus Avocado in my plastic bag, a nice surprise to reward my continued business. It will not be lost on me to return often because of his nice “gesture.”
The New England Patriots, who have obviously been linked to former tight end Aaron Hernandez and his and his arrest on first-degree murder charges, offered a free jersey exchange of any #81 Hernandez jersey purchased at the Patriots ProShop or online at PatriotsProShop.com for a new Patriots jersey of comparable value.
The free jersey exchange is available exclusively at the Patriots ProShop through today.
The Patriots football operations has long been questioned about questionable player acquisitions, be it through the draft, free agency or trades. You know the people I am talking about. Guys like Randy Moss, Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ohco-cinco or Corey Dillion to name a few. Some have worked out while others have not.
However, those troubled players have not been arrested for murder. So the question begs, what do you do, when your team’s reputation is being tarnished by a (former) player who has been suspected of one murder and is now being investigated for other criminal activities?
Proactively help erase Hernandez’ link to the team by exchanging jerseys for other players and taking them out of circulation. Fans need no longer feel embarrassed about the purchase or the link to this troubled player and the move will surely create a more positive opinion about the team in the short run. Look for other teams to copy this smart business decision moving forward.
Have you ever wanted a complete cheat sheet when it comes to design and sizing for all of these social media platforms? You know, something that easily spells out the dimensions for your Facebook Cover photo, profile photo or know how many characters are seen in the about section? Look no further because I have very good news for you. I just discovered a terrific Infographic which was produced by TentSocial, a social marketing strategy service, and it might be one of the most useful graphics you will find on the ‘Net. Bookmark this post and pass it along to others.
Here is a quick preview of what you will find below:
I mentioned Facebook as an example and the graphic below has just about every size and shape of content and advertising to assist you moving forward. Want to know the perfect size for your cover photo (851 x 351 pixels), profile photo (160 x 160) or Ad Title in characters (25). Look no further.
A thorough presentation of specific Twitter sizes for items such as Header Image, visible backgrounds, shared image and shared videos.
A great schematic was created for those of you who use Google+ . Want to know the exact cover photo size (2120 x 1192), its in there. The diagram will also tells you that the radio needs to be 16:9. Want to know the best size of your photo (270 x 270 pixels of course) and your status update within Google + can be up to 10,000 characters.
You might think you do not need to know every detail, but trust me, now or later, you will want to look it up and refresh your memory when you are updating, redesigning or creating these pages for the first time. It is that helpful.
The graphic also includes every visual you need to know about Pinterest, Instagram, as well as your LinkedIn page as well.
The goal of this blog is to always educate, inform and entertain and I know this is a terrific practical tool. I am happy to share it with you. Enjoy.
Twenty eight years ago, as a college student, I began my first internship in professional baseball with the Angels. At that time, the team was known to the sports world as the California Angels. My, how things have changed.
On Sunday, I returned to Angels Stadium only this time in a role I had never fulfilled before: As a credentialed digital photographer.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheimwere hosting the Houston Astros, now in the American League for the first time and I had my Canon camera in hand and was headed for the photo well along the first base line. The public relations staff had listed the do’s and don’t for credentialed media on a sheet of paper taped to the wall of the photo well. This included what kind of files photographers were able to send over the team’s free Wi-Fi, where photographers could shoot from and the login and passwords associated with the team’s Wi-Fi account.
The one sheeter also stated that the team provided water in both wells as well as sunscreen for the media (a nice touch). Besides the umpires, a bat boy, well-placed security people and a few folks beaming the TV signal with TV cameras, no one is closer to the actual game.
I chose to start photographing the game from the first base side of the field for strategic reasons. The Angels starter, C.J. Wilson, is a left-handed pitcher and I wanted to shoot him from the wind up where I could see his body motion. I also wanted to see the faces of the Angels right handed hitters, including Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton.
I found myself looking over the batting orders of the players prior to the game, wanting to know which players hit from each side of the plate. it was not only the coaches who were interested in lefty vs righty pitching/hitting combinations.
One of the first photographs I captured was not of a player, nor of batting practice (there is none on day games). I saw one of the grounds crew members cleaning home plate with glass cleaner. Who knew? He took his job extremely seriously and wanted home plate to shine and he certainly worked the dish. Most people never see this and I thought it would make an interesting picture.
Photographers, the good ones, need to keep their head into the game and follow each pitch. In the photograph below, a tough ground ball was hit to second baseman Howie Kendrick. I had to quickly spin around as he scrambled to get to the ball. After knocking it down, he pounced on it and threw out the runner from his knees. Fortunately, I was able to capture the play with this photograph.
If you blink from behind the camera, you miss a play. Later in the game, I briefly spoke with one of the regular guys who shoots baseball behind the camera and I said how hot it was. I also mentioned that the gray clouds were finally breaking up and we could eventually have a few nice shots with a powder blue sky as a backdrop.
My untimely chatter came back to haunt me as a sinking line drive produced a wonderful diving catch by the Astros right fielder.
I felt guilty that I caused him to miss the play and I certainly did too.
I shut up for the rest of the afternoon.
Great baseball ballpark shots not only come from a specific play but events surrounding the game. After one of the Astros hit a home run, the veteran media member not only captured the ball going over the fence but then wheeled around the camera on his tripod and start snapping pictures of the Astros player entering his team’s bench to high fives all around. I followed his lead and captured an emotional moment in the game.
3) Developing photographers should follow where the veterans shoot. After a home run, I never thought of pointing the camera into the team dugout to capture teammates high-fiving the player returning to the dugout after drilling a home run.
4) Like other jobs, photographers do not have it so easy. You are on your feet for hours, bathroom breaks are few, the sun is a killer and yes, your back does start to bark at you by the end of the day.
5) Enjoy the experience. You capture some amazing moments that other get to enjoy.
Today’s guest blog post has been submitted by Arielle Moyal, a UCLA Basketball employee and Bruins alum. Arielle also writes for Lakersnation.com and is currently finishing her master’s degree in sport management from Long Beach State.
I’ve witnessed a growing trend in most professional sports, one in which is displayed in post game interviews, magazines, and all over social media sites, like Instagram. Self promotion has seemingly taken new heights in this generation of young person, one I have been guilty of myself, and ultimately run-amuck in professional sports. It’s the ultimate need of every modern day athlete to not only be sport minded, but celebrity-like.
This trend is understandable. If you had the kind of cash to buy $2000 dollar faded Louis Vitton jeans over a $40 buck Forever 21 look alike, why not? But keeping up with the hottest looks, the newest cars, and the finest wrist swag leaves many players wishing they had spent smarter when they were actually getting paychecks. Think about it; on average, 200 college kids become instant millionaires the minute the NFL draft ends each year. Instant millionaires. Talk about temptation.
I think USA Todaysaid it best: “How can anyone blow through at least several hundred thousand dollars, and perhaps tens of millions of dollars, in a few years?” I probably won’t ever make in a lifetime what a lot of these top athletes make in a year. Yet, a multitude of pro athletes have spent every last dime earned in the league and filed for bankruptcy. The article continued to journal striking statistics from 2009 put out by SI. Here, Sports Illustrated estimated in 2009 that 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt or facing serious financial stress within two years of ending their playing careers and that 60 percent of NBA players are broke within five years of retiring from the game.
The assumption that the money will keep coming is too grave. Every game is a chance a player doesn’t get hurt and become worthless. The increasing trend of athletes injuring themselves should tell you it’s not if an athlete gets hurt, it’s when. The only difference is how badly that player takes a tumble. Athletes aren’t super human; I know it must feel like LeBron James is uncommonly gifted. On any day, the Heat phenom may make a 10 foot high dunk look easy, but a simple land at the wrong degree can send his foot one way and his knee the other.
I asked a basketball player I know what he thought I meant when I said “the athlete as the celebrity”. He simply replied, “you know; the guys who have their own style of dress, sort of like the ones that get in magazines, and have commercials.” Don’t get me wrong; if you can be flashy outside of your job as an athlete, and still perform well, do what you want to do. Unfortunately, in today’s world we are witnessing professional athletes becoming more and more inflated because of this second job as celeb that then spills over into their game. Take Russell Westbrook, who’s made the game day fashion trend epic. Recently, the Thunder PG was featured in an ESPN spread that was a little bit about basketball, and a lot about what he was wearing. On the cover photo tagline, the photographer adds the caption “you may not agree with Russell Westbrook’s fashion choices, but one thing you can’t argue; the man knows how to turn heads (on and off the court).” He wasn’t joking; progressively as Russell’s status has risen due to hard on court performance it has also been puffed up with his off-court swagger. This I blame for his increasingly immature behavior this past season in the media and during games. If you need a refresher, you can watch this post game interview gone awry or his mid-game temper tantrum at teammate Thabo Sefolosha.
As an athlete, you’re only duty is to perform. It is not about getting noticed for the wrong reasons. I continued my conversation with my basketball player friend, as we sort of got to talking about why some athletes seem to rub us the wrong way, and others don’t. “Dwight Howard always jokes off the court, but I don’t like him because he can’t carry out what he should be doing,” my friend said. “In his commercials and on his Twitter he is always funny, but then he has a really bad game and instead of taking responsibility, he throws his teammates under the bus, and I don’t like that.”
Does celebrity, then, coincide with immaturity? I argue it doesn’t. Kevin Durant has a successful shoe line, a sponsorship with Gatorade, and can still rock a pretty fly game day outfit while still being an admitted Mamma’s boy. Not only, Durant proves it’s not always just about him; recently, the Thunder superstar gave $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross to assist with disaster relief efforts after the tornado that swept through Oklahoma on May 20th , 2013.
I chose these two players for a reason; both Durant and Westbrook have created an unbelievable presence in the NBA while on the Thunder, yet both players have digressed in how they view themselves, their brand, and their careers. Russell is flashier, while Durant takes a cooler perspective. Only time will tell to see who winds up with more dough 10 years after retirement.
Although I use mostly basketball examples, simply as it is the sport I know the best, you could transfer this comparison to players on all spectrums. Mike Tyson, who gained recognition as the boxing bad boy, went broke, and was forced to make The Hangover just to get a paycheck. Wide receiver Terrell Owens was one of the best NFL pass catchers, yet is guilty of losing his almost $70 million dollars and going bankrupt . Hockey legend Darren McCarty played 13 seasons in the NHL, racking up $10 million dollars, and then blowing it all.
Money and status is an arms race. Who has the best post game blouse. What athlete gets the most exclusive Lambo. Which team gets the coolest ADIDAS or Nike sponsorship. In the end, no one really wins. Your shoes, whether lime green mink fur atrocities or a pair of overly manufactured Chucks, get you to the same place. So why do players do it…
Growing up in Los Angeles, I grew up a kid of the trends and understand the desire to be cool. Celebrity is saturated in LA, and for someone who has lived here their whole life, you recognize it gets old pretty quick. Literally. The shoes you bought last week could very well be out of style by the coming Monday. But these players still buy them, along with the matching paisley blouse and brown calf leather pants.
I argue that most athletes are not given a money management course, nor are they even financially literate. I don’t pretend I am, and I believe the modern American struggles with understanding how to manage their money. But being accustomed to “life in the fast lane” and watching the growing trend of flashy music, studded duds, and over the top everything makes the temptation to be cool just too great. Unfortunately, the athlete as celebrity is taking a toll on the mentality of professional sports. Egos spill over into games. Commercials and endorsement deals take precedence over gym practice and strength training. Clubbing and alcohol replaces the family structure.
My biggest fear to come of this is not that professional athletes go broke, but the impression they make. I hope that players understand sports mimic society. Children look up to them as heroes and try to emulate them as much as possible. Which is why 14 year olds have iPhones that cost half of my rent a month, wear designer shoes to school that they can’t get scuffed, and know the roster to the Los Angeles Lakers before they can name all 50 states. Gone are the days where commercials included Michael Jordan and Buggs Bunny. Michael Jordan made such a successful business with his shoe line, and his old school commercials still emphasized why you bought the shoe in the first place, to be better at basketball. Instead you get Dwight Howard flashing his guns and duck facing behind will.i.am for an NBA playoff promo that emulates the exact flash I’ve been talking about. Remind me again what you are selling?
When it comes down to it, this over emphasis on shoving the Hollywood mentality will just wind up hurting the sports business; more and more players be left with less and less. Athletes need to be wary of this growing trend to be cool and realize it will leave many of them forgotten and broke.
From time to time, we offer this space to guest bloggers who have value to add and something original to say. Today, I present to you Simon Hayes.
Sport is deeply entrenched in the British psyche so it only makes sense that there are plenty of amphitheatres in the UK for the drama to unfold in. From football to cricket and tennis to boxing, there are plenty of fine venues in the British Isles.
With the high of the London 2012 Olympics still tingling we are also proud hosts to a number of fantastic sporting occasions; Formula 1, the Grand National, the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race and of course Wimbledon to name just a few.
To catch live action, the United Kingdom can certainly lay claim to some sensational sporting facilities but there are a handful which rise above the others as truly iconic and legendary places to watch sport. So here’s a look at top ten sporting venues in the UK.
Hushed reverence is usually top of the agenda at Lord’s when England are in town, but don’t let that fool you – this old coliseum is one of the best places in the world to watch sport.
Steeped in history from the famous Long Room to the iconic weathervane and ‘bacon and eggs’ MCC members there is plenty to draw you in, while the engrossing spectacle unfolding like a chess match in front of you is enough to keep you coming back for more.
A wonderful clash of the old and the new, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is a brilliant (relatively) new arena that manages to retain the atmosphere from the old Cardiff Arms Park because it is built on the same spot, dumped in the middle of town, helping it keep its claustrophobic charm. When Wales are playing test match rugby, most people will know about it by the sheer sound.
Another rugby arena and a mecca for Scottish rugby fans, Murrayfield is an iconic venue north of the border every bit as good as Ibrox or Celtic Park.
Capable of seating over 67,000 supporters – making it one of the biggest in the United Kingdom – the presence of two of the biggest permanent television screens in Scotland within the ground only add to the experience.
This one is a little bit different to the rest of the venues on our list – York Hall is comparatively tiny (actually, it’s just tiny), but if you want to get to the heart of the British boxing scene, this is the place to come.
This Bethnal Green venue has hosted bouts for almost a century and has seen the birth of some of the brightest stars around.
‘The Theatre of Dreams’ as it is sometimes known; Old Trafford is the home of Premier League giants Manchester United and is the largest stadium in the top tier of English football.
Steeped in history and capable of seating more than 76,000 people, Old Trafford has seen some of the most memorable football matches in the history of the game and has hosted no less the 20 Premier League winners parties.
Irish rugby’s new home is certainly striking – but along with its individual looks come a red-hot atmosphere and a great place to watch sport.
Over 50,000 people cram in to watch Ireland take on the best the rugby world has to offer, while the Irish football team also play their home games here.
Another stadium that is famously known as the home of a national sporting team in England, Twickenham is where the England rugby team can be found making the hard yards during the Six Nations and the autumn internationals.
The sound of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” reverberating around this south London venue is something to behold.
One of the famous old venues in the British Isles, there is something special about Wimbledon for two weeks every summer.
The All England Club was founded in 1868 and has evolved dramatically to the 19-court facility it is today, but ‘Murray Mound’ filling up to support Andy Murray and his yearly push for glory on home soil, accompanied by plenty of Pimms and strawberries and cream is a staple of the British summer.
The Millennium Dome as it was formerly known has been converted into a world class sporting venue, and it now hosts a multitude of sports.
The end-of-the-season World Tour Tennis Finals are a highlight and the atmospheric lighting and 20,000 capacity crowd all help create a special environment for the best sport has to offer.
So sports fan or not, tourist or a Brit just wanting to explore unseen parts of your motherland add these to your must see list and book those tickets. Or if there’s a UK venue that you’ve visited and feel should definitely be included in this top ten list, then add it here.
I have always written in this sports management blog that it takes compelling content to keep visitors engaged.
It does not matter if we are talking about a web site or a blog. If you have something interesting to say or show, people will read about it and/or watch it.
This weekend, I came across a brief video of formerKansas State Women’s Basketball and WNBA player Laurie Koehn shooting three pointers in the K-State gym.
Big deal you might have thought as you read the previous sentence.
Now consider this.
The long range shooter was captured on a school video (see below) hitting 132 three pointers our of 135 tries in five minutes. For anyone that has played the game of basketball, this is no easy task for just about everyone. Koehn didn’t miss until her 40th attempt and even when she did, she didn’t blink much. Watch the video below for yourself.
As I watched it, I was more amazed with each shot how consistent this sharp shooter was.
I actually felt bad for the person shagging basketballs. Koehn had an amazing rythm and I am sure the person feeding her the basketballs wanted to keep the assists coming as the buckets kept adding up at a record pace.
What I liked about this video is that the posting was not related to a game highlight. It was a about a passionate basketball player in the gym and converting on the task at hand by hitting 97.8 percent of the three pointers she launched into the air.
The school received great publicity and visibility in the video, the player boosted her image as an amazing shooter and I, for one, could not look look away.
If anyone thought the one person that congratulated Koehn was the only other witness, think again. This video was uploaded on May 8th and had registered nearly 400,000 in four days. Because this was compelling content, I have a feeling many more folks will discover the shooting talents of Laurie Koehn.
If you thought that you are seeing every post from your friend’s list on Facebook, think again. Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what is seen and what gets lost in translation when it comes to your news feed.
I knew this was happening a long time ago, but was reminded of it last weekend when a friend of mine casually mentioned to me, that she did not know about my passion for photography.
“I post samples of my photographs with links to my photo website in Facebook all the time,” I told her. You must not be getting my feed within yourFacebook homepage.
Apparently, she does not see my feed since she has not commented or liked past photographs. I had to send this friend a direct link to my photography web site for her to see my work.
Stat of the day. On average, only 16% of your fans will see your posts. That means, if my 745 friends, nearly 525 folks will miss my latest blog or landscape photo.
Apparently, EdgeRank uses three variables to determine what you see and what you don’t. They are: Affinity, Weight and time decay. Once you understand these three items, you will understand your Facebook feed much better.
The following Infographic helps to illustrate how this works.
Hello friends of sportsinfo101.com. If you look at the time between the last post and this one, it has been a few months since I have posted to this blog. It was the longest period of time I have gone between posts and with good reason.
I have not abandoned the idea of sharing insights, ideas and personalities, but took time out to channel my spare energies to completing a book I have co-authors with three other talented folks. Our book, titled Social Media in Sport Marketing, has just been published byArizona based Holcomb Hathaway Publishers.
I must tip my cap to the other co-authors that made this project possible. First is Tim Newman. Tim and I first crossed paths over Twitter, eventually met at a sports management educational conference and came up with the idea for this book. Tim has been the team leader and quarterback. I thank you, if you are reading this for your perseverance. Two other men joined the effort and added valuable writing and knight that made the book a reality. They are Jason Peckand Brendan Wilhide.
We have spoken countless times as a group over the phone as well as via email and Twitter, brainstorm, sharing and counseling each other to help finish this reference book.
When we started writing this book, the sport industry lacked practical resources to apply many of the developing technologies to their marketing plans and goals. Today, the landscape is more educated. However, many senior management leaders are still learning what the shift means.
To understand what we wrote abut, I simply list the chapter titles:
Chapter One: Introduction to Social Media
Chapter Two: Introduction to Principles of Sport Communication, Marketing and Social Media
Chapter Three: Social Networks and Real Time Platforms
Chapter Four: Blogging
Chapter Five: Photos, Video and Podcasting
Chapter Six: Search Marketing
Chapter Seven: Mobile Marketing
Chapter Eight: Email Marketing
Chapter Nine: Planning and Measuring A Successful Social Media Program
Writing a book, even with partners is not easy. I learned a lot about myself, the publishing industry and finished a project I am proud to have seen through.
This is only half of the reason, however, why I have not published more often here.
The second reason is that I have devoted a lot of time to becoming a better photographer.
Landscape photography has become truly a passion and with it, I developed a site where I can feature my favorite landscape photographs.
Over the weekend though, I stumbled across a new function, at least for me, which I did not know existed. I checked with a few other active users of this platform, showed them what I found and it surprised them as well.
Let me make one assumption before I play show and tell. Like many other executives, I am always looking outward when it comes to cultivating my network. Just last week, I spoke on a CMO panel at the 2013 Argyle Leadership Forum in Los Angeles. The one-day event was an excellent way to learn from peers while also sharing my relevant work experience. Naturally, I wanted to connect with people I interacted with during the conference. I was either invited or reached out to some of these folks and connected on LinkedIn. This is what many of us do when we meet new business people.
Now, there is apparently a new resource for connecting with people that are closer than you think on LinkedIn ~ via your educational background.
I stumbled into this new feature (for me at least) over the weekend. Maybe it will be new for you too. I was looking at my profile and, for some reason clicked on my University, UC Irvine. Yes,I am an Anteater but that is a topic for another day. (See below).
To my surprise, here is what was displayed within my college link (See Below).
This new data showed me much more details about the Alums that attended UC Irvine. As you can see from the photo above, it shows where more than 10,000 alumni live, where they work and what kinds of work they do to make a living.
But wait, there’s more.
If you highlight a section, as I did for this example by pushing the New York button in the first column, (its in bold), the list drilled down even further to show me that in New York, there are Anteater alums working for Siemens, Merck, Deutsche Bank, Citi Bank and more (see screen shot below).
I can only image this information might put a damper on Alumni offices around the country as their paid memberships provide access to these same alums. However, from a sales, networking or business development perspective, this option is extremely valuable for all users.
Important note to this, you can customize the year for search. Return to the middle photo I posted. Look to the left of the black bar near the top and it shows the years students attended the University. This can be customized to when you attended the school.
By the way, you can also perform the search if people entered their high school as well. I added my high school, tried this out and the search process came up with positive results as well.