David Finch

David Finch

I must confess that this is probably the most favorite time of the year for me. This is the time of year when high school and college basketball is engaged in tournament play, the NBA and NHL teams are fighting for their chance to make the playoffs and Major League Baseball is getting ready for another season. If you’re a sports fan, like I am, March and April has to be the most exciting time of the year.

What else excites me more is how sports franchises are engaging social media. Their head first dive into social media is encouraging as I watch my favorite teams interact with their fans. For example, a few weeks ago I had a conversation via Twitter with my favorite NBA team about swirling rumors of a potential trade. While they didn’t “spill the beans” on the trade, there was a feeling of connectedness that I wouldn’t get from having the same conversation with another fan at the local sports bar.

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 6: Marian Hossa #81 of ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

One professional sport league that seems to really be embracing social media is the National Hockey League. Teams are using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, video and photo sharing to engage their fans. For example, here are a few teams you can find on Twitter and Facebook:

Atlanta Thrashers (Twitter)
Detroit Red Wings (Twitter)
Chicago Blackhawks (Twitter)
Chicago Blackhawks (Facebook)
Detroit Red Wings (Facebook)
Montreal Canadiens (Facebook)

While I’m excited about the acceptance of social media by many professional organizations, the area I see an absense of social media is in youth sports, both high school and younger. And as a parent who has kids active in sports, providing opportunities for conversation and interaction would be a lifesaver, especially for the parent who can’t make every game.

Here is my blueprint for incorporating social media for youth sports.

Twitter
Twitter can be the ultimate communication tool for last minute changes. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a “tweet” that practice will run thirty minutes longer which would allow you to be more productive with your time other then waiting and wondering, “when will it ever get over.”

It also could be used to provide in game updates of the score, injury reports, and brief commentary. This would be ideal for the parent or relative that couldn’t make the game. In addition, it could be used to answer any game related questions for the absent parent or fan.

Facebook Fan Page
Facebook is a great place for video and photos to be uploaded to. Not only that it’s ideal for up-to-date content where fans can participate in. The ability to facilitate discussion boards as well as the latest information on games and team related events.

A Blog
A team blog is another conversation piece where updated content can be provided, photos displayed and videos embedded. Current schedules as well as weekly profile pieces of each player. To maintain security and privacy, these types of posts could easily be password protected.

Another opportunity for the blog is that it could be a communication portal for away games. Maps, game times and ticket prices are just a few ideas for the traveling parent and fan.

Flickr Group
A Flickr group where parents and local fans tag images to be view and commented on. This is a great tool to keep family and friends up to date on the latest team images.

YouTube
Youtube not only provides opportunities for team and individual exposure, but also a password protected way for coaches to upload game clips for players to watch, critique and comment on.

I know what your saying, David, “who’s going to have the time to do all of this?” My answer is a passionate volunteer. In our local sports booster clubs, we have a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. This doesn’t include other areas in which parents can get involved. This new position would be the Manager of Social Media. They would work as the hub that brings all digital content together and then makes it available to all social media sites.

What do you think? What would you add to this blueprint? Would this be beneficial for your local sports team and league?

Leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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About David Finch

David Finch

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.mediazoic.com Greg_MediaZoic

    These are all great ideas – thanks for sharing. The trick, of course, is not to convince the tech champion in the group (ie. the coach, a wired parent) to adopt these but to get buy-in on the concept from a significant group of the parents. My experience is that, even with great ideas and corresponding great tools, there's still only a very small core that will pick it up, most usually citing privacy concerns. Only educating the whole group can change this, but it can be an uphill battle.

  • http://www.mediazoic.com Greg_MediaZoic

    These are all great ideas – thanks for sharing. The trick, of course, is not to convince the tech champion in the group (ie. the coach, a wired parent) to adopt these but to get buy-in on the concept from a significant group of the parents. My experience is that, even with great ideas and corresponding great tools, there's still only a very small core that will pick it up, most usually citing privacy concerns. Only educating the whole group can change this, but it can be an uphill battle.

  • Texas Toast

    I want to know if Jason Falls and David Finch are the same person. The black, collar-less shirt, the goatee, even the hair length is the same. Twin Brothers? Clones? Now I want to grow a goatee and wear black, collar-less shirts.

  • Texas Toast

    I want to know if Jason Falls and David Finch are the same person. The black, collar-less shirt, the goatee, even the hair length is the same. Twin Brothers? Clones? Now I want to grow a goatee and wear black, collar-less shirts.

  • http://www.egitisim-blog.com EÄŸitiÅŸim Kariyer Enstitüsü

    Maybe a good social network for them will be better, maybe on groups or ning, etc. We did for our company.

  • http://www.egitisim-blog.com EÄŸitiÅŸim Kariyer Enstitüsü

    Maybe a good social network for them will be better, maybe on groups or ning, etc. We did for our company.

  • KatFrench

    I can confirm that they are indeed, two different guys. :)

    I am sadly the goatee-deficient member of the Doe-Anderson Social Media Squad…

  • blogaboutnothin

    I believe any organizations should get involved in social media. This can be for charity, for school, for church, anything. Never ignore the power of social media as it can bring a lot of attention. Also, it helps people in the organization stay in touch.

  • blogaboutnothin

    I believe any organizations should get involved in social media. This can be for charity, for school, for church, anything. Never ignore the power of social media as it can bring a lot of attention. Also, it helps people in the organization stay in touch.

  • http://thethinktank.kintera.org frank barry

    Great idea David! When I've got kids at this age i might just have to hook all this up if it's not already happening. from what I've seen many youth sports programs a bad at using technology.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com frank barry

    Great idea David! When I've got kids at this age i might just have to hook all this up if it's not already happening. from what I've seen many youth sports programs a bad at using technology.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • http://www.thehockeyzen.com chrisnadeau

    Great post David and I would agree that social media would be a huge asset for youth sports teams. Do you think this would work better as an all in one solution mashing up with API's or using each site you mentioned on your own?

    I have to agree with Greg in his comments. A lot of the folks in the market barely understand Facebook. Getting them all to buy in is a huge task. They aren't drinking the same Kool Aid as we are :-)

    We have been trying for a couple of years now with two online commuities geared towards hockey. http://yourteamonline.ca and a relatively new community http://thehockeyzen.com

    One thing I would add to your list is a career stats section where this becomes the online hub for tracking what you did as an athlete in your sport of choice.

  • http://www.thehockeyzen.com chrisnadeau

    Great post David and I would agree that social media would be a huge asset for youth sports teams. Do you think this would work better as an all in one solution mashing up with API's or using each site you mentioned on your own?

    I have to agree with Greg in his comments. A lot of the folks in the market barely understand Facebook. Getting them all to buy in is a huge task. They aren't drinking the same Kool Aid as we are :-)

    We have been trying for a couple of years now with two online commuities geared towards hockey. http://yourteamonline.ca and a relatively new community http://thehockeyzen.com

    One thing I would add to your list is a career stats section where this becomes the online hub for tracking what you did as an athlete in your sport of choice.

  • Edgar Mercado

    Our youth baseball league has used Youtube and Twitter for some time now for tournaments that we host. The video clips used highlights and were popular with visiting teams. The use of Twitter is fantastic. You can use it to update scores and cancellations, right from the field using a cell phone, and have the information tweeted to cell phones, websites (use badges on our website), etc.

    http://SevernTournaments.com

  • Edgar Mercado

    Our youth baseball league has used Youtube and Twitter for some time now for tournaments that we host. The video clips used highlights and were popular with visiting teams. The use of Twitter is fantastic. You can use it to update scores and cancellations, right from the field using a cell phone, and have the information tweeted to cell phones, websites (use badges on our website), etc.

    http://SevernTournaments.com

  • Ben

    i'm looking for a technology expert business partner to help me drive traffic to my high school sports website using Social Media.
    onramp@cox.net