Seems like in addition to more jobs opening up the new ideas that make good business sense are also flowing pretty smoothly. Like last week, and it would be great to grab five at least once a week, here are five other smart ideas on the table.
Martin Luther King Day As A Bigger Platform: The NBA does the best job of any sport in using the values that Dr. Martin Luther King espoused and taking the Monday holiday as a platform to showcase those values to a larger audience. Day games, special events in Washington and other cities and a national television audience all have Dr. King’s messages intertwined, with the idea (along with the hope of no fights in games) that basketball, and sport, can be a common ground for conflict resolution. While it is a solid one day or weekend platform, the real win would be for a national governing body, or the USOC, to take that platform and Dr. King’s messages and extend to a full day of service in a quiet January period. Engage athletes who are looking for exposure, especially in an Olympic year, to use MLK Day as the selling point for sport and conflict resolution. Even better would be to have all competing sports on the day…NHL, college sports and the NBA…also work together to have a unified positive platform for peace and sport, and then carry that platform through February, Black History Month. this would give brands an opportunity to engage not just for a day but for at least six weeks in programs, and give casual fans a greater feel for all the good that can come from sport. It is tough for baseball, in the midst of an offseason or MLS or even the NFL to truly engage in January, but the possibility does exist for smaller programs from even those sports. However to start with the USOC and then spread the MLK message far and wide would be a big step to honor a leader we lost way too early.
Meb The Marathoner: Another great piece of news this weekend was American Med Keflezighi leading the qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Marathon team for London this summer, with a personal best time in Houston. What’s even better is Meb now becomes a prime target for brands looking to espouse the Olympic ideal with a very promotable personality. Sketchers, which took a chance sponsoring Meb with a running shoe when his Nike deal expired, scored a huge coups with his qualifying, and that should open up a new path of brand activation for a very marketable story...already an Olympic silver medalist and a New York City Marathon Champion. Great opportunity abounds.
Diamondbacks MVP: The Arizona Diamondbacks had a renaissance on the field last year, and now they have created a new program to honor the best practices of the brands that work with them. The awards will be presented by current and former players, and are a great call to action for the team and their partners to see how they can challenge each other, and then reward that challenge publicly, with an Oscar-style event. Will it work long term? Not sure. Will it cause some bitter feelings from losing sponsors? Maybe. but the idea to set a high bar, create categories and then acknowledge that work is smart when everyone is looking for that little extra ROI.
Warriors Hash Away: NBA All-Star voting is in progress, and NBA teams are again challenged to find ways to get fans to engage in the process and feel like they are making a difference. The Golden State Warriors, a franchise always looking for a leg up, found an innovative way to reward fans via their “Dub The Vote” contest. Fans were encouraged to tag photos forming a Warrior “W” and attach the photo through special media channels to their votes for particular Warriors like David Lee and Stephen Curry. The resulting best shots and most creative votes are getting rewarded both online and in-arena on game nights with special prizes and meet and greets. Nice way to again create a little competition amongst fans, and inspire people to push for their favorite players.
A Social Media Search Begins: The search for a new social media star is on, one who can actually make some money with a real job. Comcast’s Xfinity Service is launching a contest to hire an individual who will serve as the new voice of Xfinity in the sports social media space and go behind-the-scenes at some of the biggest nationwide sporting events in 2012, sharing exclusive insights and updates with fans. The contest, entitled “Xfinity Presents: The Ultimate Sports Social Media Job,” runs from January 13 through March 25 in search of the next sports social media star.
The winner will receive a one-year salary and will be responsible for tweeting from the @XFINITYSports Twitter handle on continual basis, reporting live from premier sporting events throughout 2012, and educating and engaging avid sports fans in social media communities. In addition to live event access, the winner will also receive all the electronics for the ultimate sports pad, including televisions, home audio/video equipment, etc.
Each candidate will receive access typically granted to event personnel, athletes and media and be asked to chronicle their live experiences behind-the-scenes with tweets, video uploads, and short posts that will be featured on the Xfinity Facebook contest tab as well as their own social media channels. Following that weekend, a panel of celebrity judges will evaluate each performance and announce the winner of “Xfinity Presents: The Ultimate Sports Social Media Job” contest by March 25th. The winner will travel throughout the year to the biggest rivalry games, championship games, and premier sporting events. All the details are here.
Some good ideas worth a look, a follow an entrance or even a little replication