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Interview with NHL Sports Agent Scott Norton on Social Media, Twitter Campaigns

Sports agent Scott Norton represents some of the top players and prospects in the National Hockey League today including current Los Angeles Kings captain and 2010 U.S. Olympian Dustin Brown.

While Scott is used to his clients making headlines with their on-ice play, Norton made headlines of his own for a charity campaign that he started on Twitter called ‘Make My Day Mondays‘.

I recently got to chat with Scott one on one about the movement he started, why he joined Twitter and what he sees as the future of social media use in the sports industry. Here is what he had to say:

When and why did you decide to join Twitter? At the time, were any of your clients on Twitter?

I looked into various social media sources and during the Spring of 2010, I made the decision to delve into the Twitterverse as a means to better promote my clients and the game of hockey. None of my clients were on Twitter at the time, but with my impetus, a number of them have joined now.

As an agent, how does social media allow you to publicize and promote your clients in ways that traditional media do not?

Social Media has been great for myself, my company and my clients as a way to not only interact with the fans, but allow us to brand our clients as whom they are in real life. Unfortunately, mainstream media only has so much space and so many characters to expend on the sport of hockey. Social Media allows us to go way beyond that and let people into the world of a hockey player and tell [their] great stories.

You created the “Make My Day Mondays” (#MMDM) charity campaign on Twitter. Why did you start the campaign? How can people get involved? What aspect of the campaign are you most proud of?

I began the “Make My Day Mondays” campaign [in August] as a way that my clients and I could set an example for everyone and help make this a better place one #MMDM at a time. I am lucky to represent the best athletes in the world. This is a way for guys like Dustin Brown, @DustinBrown23 and [St. Louis Blues forward] Cam Janssen, @CamJanssen55, to once again show that athletes are in fact role models and [remind everyone] how each individual can do their part to help.

Every person can get involved by doing a random act of kindness and/or giving to someone less fortunate each and every Monday and then telling us [on Twitter] so others will follow their lead. For those on Twitter, they should tweet about their good deed and add the hashtag #MMDM. We are also moving this effort to Facebook, so that a person can go to the cause’s Facebook page and add their act of kindness.

I am most proud of the acts and actions of my client base supporting this effort. It has not just been the NHL stars like Brown or Janssen but also American Hockey League players (and NHL prospects) like LA’s @CoreyElkins, Toronto’s @Alex23Foster and Vancouver’s @BillySweatt who have been diligent with their acts every week.

Twitter gives professional athletes a way of speaking directly to their fans and detractors. In what ways does this direct link influence your clients and other pro athletes? How can it help/hinder their success in building personal brands?

As I touched on earlier, this is part of the charm of Twitter. The fact that the athletes can interact with fans and others allows these guys to get their personalities out there, even if it’s only 140 characters at a time. If an athletes understands the benefits of these Social Media outlets, as well as the potential downfalls, I do not think these can hinder their success at all. There are always going to be naysayers, as there are in the mainstream media, and athletes have to learn to properly deal with these people and move on with their lives.

What do you see as the future of the sports industry in social media?

ENDLESS! I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg with where we as a sports industry can go with Social Media. For one, I certainly hope that the NHL, the NHLPA and all of my fellow agents learn to embrace Social Media and utilize it to grow our game of hockey!

What do you think of Scott’s Twitter Campaign and the use of Twitter by his clients?


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3 Responses to Interview with NHL Sports Agent Scott Norton on Social Media, Twitter Campaigns

  1. Jamie Favreau October 13, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    This is a really great idea and I think it also gives the players a purpose for being on Twitter. Sometimes they might see it as something they have to do!! Instead they are making life better for their fans and their fans can see it. Which I think is an added bonus.

    I love the fact this is with NHL players. Sometimes they go unnoticed and this is a step in the right direction for the NHL. We are a small fan base but we are definitely passionate.

  2. Brendan Wilhide October 14, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Thanks for your comment, Jamie. I agree that these players are doing a great thing. I think we’ll see more athletes use social media to help the less fortunate in the future. The best part is that the #MMDM movement has now spread beyond the NHL and AHL players to the fans. The charity movement is growing at a rapid pace thanks to social media.

  3. Jamie Favreau October 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Yes I know I used Facebook Causes for my birthday wish and raised almost $1,000 for Operation: Kid Equip last year. I wasn’t as successful this year but it is a great way to raise awareness and money.

    It is just great to see players using the platform. I know sometimes they have conflicts with fans and bloggers but for the most part it is great. I also like interacting with the sports media as well.

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