The optimization of the digital space by sports teams, athletes and brands to effectively communicate and build a return on the invested infrastructure remains a moving target. For every success story like WCSN (which made a quantum leap forward Monday with their deal with NBC Sports) and mlb.com there are efforts that continue to fall short on expectations and return. We all know the digital space needs to be a part of the overall strategy, but what part and at what investment is still in question, and will probably be driven by the demo that the entity is trying to reach. Here are some best practices that are worth noting recently…on the social networking side, Media Post had a good piece on how the Los Angeles Clippers used the digital social partner Water Cooler to create a facebook platform that drove ticket sales, gave fans an incentive to recruit other.and build casual talk around the team, whil.on the international side TechCrunch has a breakdown of the new soccer social networking site Footbo.com and how it's simplified platform is ready to unite soccer club fans from around the world in one place.?Bot.are examples o.keeping it simple and driving interest.Use the passion of the end user to go and find the other fans and bring them in to the community.New York Daily News piece on the text messaging relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Pete Ros.. Now it is in no way unusual for athletes to be texting each other…what makes the story intriguing is the crossgenerational link between the two baseball legends, and the revelation that ARod is getting some real advice via his text service from Rose, almost in real time…can easily see a campaign between some athletes coming out of this piece. Lastly, for those who haven’t seen it, Time Magazine has a great list of various websites and their success and value…another good reference piece to bookmark.
Some other good reads…the Louisville Courier Journal has a good profile of sports mogul Jonathan Blue, president of Blue Equity…Sunday's New York Times business section had a good profile of India's Mukesh Ambani, one of the key figures behind the marketing explosion and western-style sponsorship now going on in cricket…lastly, in the Mixed Martial Arts world, the curious battle between the UFC and all others continues to move along…whereas in most sports, those in the same industry would not counterprogram (the NBA not playing the night of the NCAA Championship game being one example) on a night of another big event, the UFC continues to find ways to attempt to draw fans of the sport away from other promotions that may have benefit to the fans…when ProElite had their CBS show, the UFC counterprogrammed with shows on both Versus and Spike TV…now with the mega show the new promotion Affliction is putting on Pay Per View in July comes news that the UFC will do a live show on Spike that night from Las Vegas that was never on the calendar before.