I have finally recovered! Good news, though, I got an A in my Marketing Management and Innovations class and summer is here! What an experience the 111th U.S. Open was. Strip away the greatness of Rory McIlroy and the U.S. Open overall, you have: long hours, random storms and driving more rental cars in one week than I ever have in my life. Being in the company of the ESPN Elite, the USGA, NBC and the greats of professional golf all around the world was pretty incredible. I was lucky enough, as a member of the media, to be able to have both my phone and my camera and got to take several pictures with the few minutes of downtime I had. Just a couple:
Building relationships during a tournament like that are so important. First of all, you need to make them fairly quickly … and by quickly I mean within the first half hour of the meet, especially if you’re going to be with working with someone closely on a project for the next several days. Expanding your networking foundation further helps you along within the sports industry (or any industry, really). It was great to find out that some of the people I met had mutual friends that I knew well. Sometimes I feel like the world is too small, then again, as much as I feel like I network, and talk to, it is not all that surprising.
People constantly ask, “Why do you talk to random people or say hello to random strangers while walking down the street?” Same answer I always give: Why not? I often find a cheery disposition is always pleasant to be around, regardless of how you actually feel. It is too often that I interact with those who are standoffish or come off as depressed and cynical and not optimistic about walking one foot in front of the other. I like to surround myself around good, hard working, strong people who are similar to my personality. When I would be working at the Verizon Center during basketball season, I would always see the staff and ushers on a regular basis and ALWAYS say hello and cordial. Think of the fans and people THEY have to deal with. I have been this way ever since I can remember and with the advances of social media I can talk to people all over the world on just about any topic I want. Pretty cool, huh? The advancement in networking through social media and learning through technology has been mind-blowing. “Socialenomics” as the term is coined, (founded by Eric Qualman: @equalman) was founded “with the intent of providing short social stories, statistics, studies and surprises” (Check out the book, a pretty good read: http://amzn.to/kaObSW ).
Today’s standard vocabulary jargon over the past few years as been changed significantly. Phrases and words like: Tweet Me, Follow Me, StumbleUpon Me, Digg Me, Like Me, Text Me, Poke, Unlike, Tag Me and Don’t Defriend Me, have become common terms within the social media language and expected to understand universally throughout the world. It started to show an increase when instant messaging and texting became more popular. Practicing to speak in 140 characters or less has become common. I have gone so far as to leave to go grab a drink from my friend’s kitchen and said, (face to face in person, by the way) I’ll “brb.” I had to stop myself and let it all soak in. It’s taken over the world, a true pandemic. It is hard to explain how much in just a few short words or statistics, but this video I found (via Qualman is absolutely fantastic and some of it may surprise you)
Bottom line is: Social Media is here and has its hand in everything; specifically in my industry of Sports and Entertainment. Learn the language and become a part of the conversation!
I leave you with a pretty cool idea that I hope will catch on in the near future. Recently done at a Manchester City game, (The Pittsburgh Steelers have also done this) was a new fan experience using Google Streetview and social media outlets that I hope catches on. The 360 degree camera followed the stadium during the pitch pre-game. This not only gets fans to drive traffic to a website but encourages fun “finding yourself”.
For those that don’t want to be found… to each their own, but for those like myself that do, don’t be afraid to say, “hello” in any language.