“Seen Stamko.”…Lightning Strike Ahead of The Draft With A Solid Grassroots And Viral Effort

PR Move of the Day. We have seen recently teams like the Nets (with their campaign promoting fan activity in a non-playoff season) and the Dolphins (building in a number of activities once they knew who they were assured of taking with the first pick in last week's draft) go a step futher than what was usual to find ways to get sponsors, fans and the media interested in a season that has been very subpar in terms of team performance. This week the Tampa Bay Lightning launched an even bigger viral and grassroots campaign in anticipation of the June Draft, creating a website and hitting the streets with small reminders of the value of their potential number one pick. Steven Stamkos. The campaign drew a nice piece in this week's Tampa Tribune, and the team-created informational site has garnered a good amount of viral support on the web. What makes the campaign even better is that, unlike the NFL or NBA Drafts in the United States, the NHL Draft is rarely seen as an event, and like baseball, the picks that come out of the draft usually take several years to make it to the NHL. Also, the Lightning are making a smart move to the casual fan in a market that is not a hockey hotbed, trying something that is different and has shelf life, making “The Coolest Game on Earth” even cooler for those around a city that has not known great top-level sports success. Great advance planning.

On to some other weekend reads…two good profiles came out these week of top tier sports execs that should be read…first was SI.com's Golf plus q and a with PGA Tour head Tim Finchem…second was si.com's racing piece with IRL head Tony George… both went further than usual in having these two leaders define strategy and vision…on the boxing side, Bart Barry on cbssports.com had an interesting read on Golden Boy Promotions growth and the potential issues the brand will face when Oscar de la Hoya stops fightinggood insight into a brand that is growing, albeit away from their core product (boxing) and what steps they need to take to stay relevant in a very competitive business...lastly, media bistro had a funny piece on business titan Warren Buffet and the trading cards of him that are being given away at this year's Berkshire Hathaway annual convention…interesting look at an unusual collectable and how it may be sold or bought in the market going forward.