Report form Sports Events Marketing Experience

Help for the Twitter-Challenged…Chris Paul’s marketing rep on LeBron…USA Today gets best story ideas from bloggers…

Today I participated in the 6th Annual Sports Event Marketing Experience – a two-day conference sponsored by Georgetown and held this year at the Nationals Park Conference Center. Matt Winkler and his team from Georgetown once again assembled an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are a few highlights from an interesting day:

From the panel on The Changing Role of News and Social Media in Sports:

• Octagon’s* Jim DeLorenzo offered hope to all of us Twitter newbies who are trying to figure out how to manage the tsunami of information out there. He described Octagon’s Twackle (www.twackle.com), which organizes Twitter sports content by tabs (NFL, NBA, MLB, News, etc). Say you’re a Jets fan, like Jim. You can log in with your Twitter account information and quickly get access in real time to the streams of content about the Jets.

• Never thought of it this way, but DeLorenzo used Phil Mickelson’s recent win at Doral as a mini case study. Right after Mickelson won, DeLorenzo googled “Mickelson and World Golf Championship” and got stories from the day before. Put the same information into Twackle and you got realtime reaction from Doral.

Octagon’s Tom George, in the Q&A following his interesting keynote on athlete and property marketing, which included a Chris Paul case study.

• George said Paul could actually be a more significant NBA player than LeBron James 20 years from now. “They’ve been content to sell (James) in a transactional way, rather than build him in a marketing way,” as Octagon has wisely done with Paul.

Interesting comment from USA Today Managing Editor Jim Welch:

• “We get more good story ideas from blogs than anywhere else.” He also mentioned that USA Today reporters are getting social media training from American University. He cited Christine Brennan (now tweeting from the World Figure Skating Championships) as a columnist who has really embraced these emerging forms of social media in a way that connects with readers.

During the Working Lunch Interactive Breakout Session, I co-hosted a table with David Eyl, VP, Business Development for Sportstoday/Musictoday. We did our best to impart some wisdom to young professionals and college students eager to advance their careers or move into sports. The main takeaway for me is that they sure didn’t seem discouraged by all the bleak reports for job seekers. Good for them.

*Full disclosure:  Octagon is a sister company of Weber Shandwick.  I have an affiliation with WS as an executive VP.