With the NHL and NBA Drafts happening withing 24 hours of each other, it was interesting to see all the subtleties and action that athletes and their agents, along with eams, quickly pulled together. A nice composite of the goings on before, during and then right after the draft was put together by Goodwin Sports Management in their Rookie Chronicles segments, which followed their three guys…Terence Williams, Patty Mills and DeMar DeRozan…as they got ready and then had their names called on Thursday night. The best thing was the unique perspectives from each athlete and how they got ready and then went through what really was a life changing experience that few can appreciate. The immediate Twitter reaction, and their response to questions, also showed the impact active players can make for a brand with fans in a 24/7 news cycle. The Knicks also offered up their picks and coach Mike D’Antoni for a chat with season subs, also a nice touch for a fan base that craves access and is being given a chance to connect for the top dollar the team demands. On the NHL side, the draft in Montreal took on a multilingual feel, with a number of teams, from Vancouver's Roberto Luongo to Chicago's Scotty Bowman speaking in French to the Canadian crowd as they made the picks for their teams, a nice touch to give the teams a bit more diversity and personality on draft day. However the best play probably came from the Islanders, who on one of the few sunny getaway days in June, managed to amass 10,000 fans at Nassau Coliseum for a draft party as they took the league's number one pick and immediately built goodwill for a long-suffering and oft-ignored fan base. They not only made the popular choice in John Tavares, they had him messaged correctly and gave the fans all that they wanted to hear and experience in the draft…hope for the future. Well played out on the Island, across both leagues and into the digital space.
Some other good reads…another great site uncovered (by SI's Rich Deitsch) is newseum.com, which every day shows the top headlines from papers around the globe…for those looking for circulation numbers, good list put together by Brian Solis of PR 2.0…and the Times on Friday had an interesting look at home-schooled kids playing football in Georgia.