TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

Lessons in Media Relations from Derek Jeter

Sure, Derek Jeter is a great athlete…but can he teach us anything about communications and media relations strategy?

Kwittken + Company CEO/friend of the site Aaron Kwittken’s most recent Forbes story says “yes”. In fact, Kwittken goes so far as to call the veteran shortstop “one of the greatest communicators of all time.”

His points:

  • Jeter sidestepped the sports media entirely by announcing his retirement on Facebook (which he primarily used to promote his charity in the past), prompting The Boston Globe to call him “the Yankee you can’t hate
  • When the frenzy around his search for that 3,000th hit got too hot in 2011, he turned not to ESPN but to HBO, which made a documentary about the story:

Read more

Behind the Michael Sam ‘First Openly Gay Football Player’ Story

It was the perfect time to break the perfect sports story: one week after the biggest, most boring Super Bowl ever, a young man set to become an NFL pro told the media that he happens to be gay.

Of course it wasn’t just a spontaneous announcement from Michael Sam; it was a PR masterpiece of sorts orchestrated my one Howard Bragman, his agency Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, and many others.

You’ll note that Sam made sure to thank Bragman and Empire Athletes in his second-ever tweet:

Sam reached 50,000 followers faster than any account we’ve seen outside the Vatican—and most of the people who had problems with his announcement chose not to voice their opinions in public.

Now for some backstory behind this historic PR Win.

Read more

3 Tips for Breaking into Sports PR

shutterstock_151934867

Sunday’s Super Bowl was the most-watched event in the history of live television. After all the hype and chatter settles down, one fact remains: behind every team, brand, player and celebrity involved in the day’s events was a group of highly skilled (and well-paid) public relations experts.

In case you missed it, we recently spoke to three industry veterans who recounted their own experience and offered tips on how to score a great internship and launch a career in the big-stakes world of sports PR.

Here are three of the most important lessons we learned in the process.

1. Create a great portfolio

We all know that great PRs should also be great writers, but it’s easy to forget just how important one’s writing skills can be.

Mike Soltys, SVP of communications at ESPN, says “Writing samples are a big differentiator. A very small percentage of applicants have good writing samples to present beyond history term papers.”

Read more

How Mike Soltys Went From Intern to Top Exec at ESPN

sports-PR_article

In the fourth week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we talked to three industry veterans on what it takes to make in the world of sports PR. All of them agreed on one thing: scoring an internship is crucial.

PR pro Mike Soltys has an incredible story. He began his career in the early days of ESPN — as a lowly intern. And he’s been there ever since. Of course these days his title, vice president of communications, is a little more prestigious.

[Soltys] isn’t just a seasoned professional with more than 20 years in sports PR — he also happens to be the first intern hired by the biggest name in sports media. His 34-years-and-counting career started due to “a chance meeting” with ESPN co-founder Bill Rasmussen, who brought him on as an intern the summer before his senior year at the University of Connecticut. Tobias says that internships are “actually more important than they were 20 or 30 years ago” and that “getting one now is often as challenging as getting full-time employment” was in the past.

To hear more about how to kick off a sports communications career, read: How to Score an Internship and Launch A Career in Sports PR.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

ESPN Proves That Research Is an Imprecise Science

Research: how does it work? Based on the results of this ESPN poll, we can conclude that it’s an imprecise and sometimes misleading science.

According to this guy, the “survey” above was an experiment created by an ESPN-affiliated radio station in order to see whether it would be possible to reach a 100% consensus on any given survey question.

The answer, obviously, was no.

Read more

Drake Is the Toronto Raptors’ New Brand Ambassador

Drizzle

Looks like Drizzy of “YOLO” had FOMO on repping brands’ mojo.

Today the Toronto Raptors announced that proud Canuck Drake, better known as “that kid in the wheelchair on Degrassi“, would be the team’s new “global ambassador” as part of a rebranding campaign after they finished last season at 14 games under .500.

This sort of stunt didn’t work so well for Alicia Keys at Blackberry or Justin Timberlake at Bud Light, but there’s no question that Beyoncé  and Jay-Z earned quite a few media mentions for Pepsi, Samsung and the Brooklyn Nets. Also: Drake is a reliable presence at games who’s been known to hang out with LeBron, so it’s a more natural fit than, say, Will.I.Am and Intel.

Now what will Drake do, exactly?

Read more

StubHub’s Goal is to Score with Fans, Says CMO Ray Elias

Whether you’re a “social fan” actively networking, a “fanatic” attending every game, or a “premium fan” perched in front-row seats, StubHub serves the preferences of all three segments, said CMO Ray Elias. He spoke at The Incite Summit in New York on Wednesday about the brand’s customer service, social media and mobile efforts.

“Tickets are scarce, perishable goods, and StubHub manages the secondary ticket marketplace. We focus on the buyer and seller experience and the intersection of supply and demand”, Elias said. The market has evolved, and he identified key elements behind StubHub’s success.

Customer Service: Fans of entertainment and sports events didn’t used to receive the red carpet treatment. “We recognized the frustrations consumers were experiencing with ticket purchases”, Elias explained. “Traditionally the process wasn’t fan-friendly, so we applied the customer service models you’d find with Nordstrom and Zappos.”

A core issue StubHub regularly deals with relates to the authenticity of tickets. Elias said they need to deliver on the proposition that “our tickets are real and the fans will be able to get in”. He acknowledged that’s not so easy to convey from a marketing perspective. (Although he didn’t discuss their “Ticket Oakad campaign, it offers a reassuring presence, and according to a Forbes article, the ads have improved key brand perceptions).

Customer service plays a critical role in delivering on the brand’s promise, and Elias described StubHub’s service as ‘heroic’. “We have local reps on the ground, and ‘Make it Right’ customer service” to resolve on-site issues. “We’ve empowered fans, and that has fueled our growth.”

Read more

ESPN PR Wants You to Know Its Ratings Are Just Fine

This summer, Fox apparently realized that Americans really like to watch sports.

Well, they did launch Fox Sports 1 on August 17, almost exactly a month after media watchers began discussing ESPN‘s 32% ratings drop. The idea was that, now that ESPN’s domination of the American sports market appeared to be receding, upstarts like FS1 could fill in the blanks.

ESPN’s PR team isn’t having any of that. In July they aggressively followed ratings reports by explaining that the decline was all due to a shorter NBA season (31 fewer games). We’re not sure exactly how accurate that claim is, but the team doesn’t plan to let Fox capture any good publicity: yesterday the network posted and distributed a press release noting that viewership has risen 13% since August 17—the very day that Fox Sports 1 made its debut. Subtle? We think not.

The rest of the release is mostly statistics, but the message is clear: we see you, but you’re never going to catch us.

In other Misleading Press Releases news, Fox’s news network announced its new prime-time lineup with a release touting its status as “the most trusted television news source in the country”. This might be all well and good, but the Fox PR team neglected to mention that it’s also the least trusted news source and that distrust ratings are higher than trust ratings among the general public. So the world keeps on spinning…

Was Eminem’s ESPN Appearance Really That Strange?


Eminem made an appearance on ESPN’s Saturday Night Football halftime show that’s being called “puzzling” and “bizarre,” but to our eyes, it looks totally fine.

In a weird promotional attempt, Eminem (or Marshall Mathers, as ESPN preferred to call him), stopped by the show to talk with Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit about his new album, tease the video for the song “Berserk,” and talk about the Detroit Lions. But the rapper started off by giving a kind of hilarious blank stare. Right after the musical clip aired, he admitted that live TV kind of freaks him out.

I’m not an avid football watcher (the Super Bowl is about it for me) so I’m not sure how often a musical guest appears on this show. But just the shot of the three men standing in a row indicates that there are different styles at play here, which could have also enhanced the quirkiness of the interview.
Read more

NFL Reaches $765 Million Settlement with Former Players in Concussion Case

Breaking news: the National Football League‘s notorious concussion case headache is over—for now. The league reached a $765 million settlement in the class action suit filed by 4500 former players who claimed that they were misled about the toll a (brief, ridiculously profitable) football career would take on one’s mental and physical health.

Our big conclusion: this is more of a a PR fail than a monetary fail. Given the fact that the league brought in at least $10 billion in profits last year, looks poised to reach $25 billion within the next five years and miraculously retains its status as a non-profit organization, this is a big but completely manageable hit—each player will get just under $200K, which is less than what most would earn playing a single game. Oh, and we just learned that the freaking NFL, which is one of the most successful businesses in the world, doesn’t have to pay taxes. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Touché.

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>