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Gail Sideman

Author Archive | Gail Sideman

An Athlete’s Journey To Success

A lot of us endure setbacks in life, but few are lower than what a 15-year-old aspiring athlete experienced when he heard his mother’s parting words as he walked out the door with his worldly possessions in one small duffel bag: “I wish you’d never been born.” Little did he know, those would be freeing…

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Lombardi a Success for Broadway and Sports PR

Mention the name Vince Lombardi and images of a hard-nosed, demanding and driven football coach with a distinct gap between his front teeth, come to mind. Add to that, the Green Bay Packers, which he made famous worldwide, multiple national football championships and the same name on a trophy that now bears the name, and…

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The Minnesota Vikings PR Soap Opera

The Minnesota Vikings are grateful for two things this week: Wade Phillips, who became the former Dallas Cowboys’ coach when owner Jerry Jones pulled the plug on his tenure, Monday. Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre’s career performance of 466 yards and a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday. The former is what bumped the…

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Text Messages Aren’t Good for PR

Nothing is sure in this world except death, taxes and text messages that will come back to bite you in places that will hurt.

Right now, future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, Brett Favre, is smarting from even the suggestion that he texted a former game-day reporter for the New York Jets (there is no verification of these stories and the investigation by the NFL is in its infancy). This news evolves as golfer Tiger Woods continues to reel from released text messages, voice mails and his eventual admission to infidelity that cost him millions of dollars in endorsements and his marriage during the past year.

My guess is that phone companies are vetting each future endorsement prospect like never before.

There is a lesson here for everyone, however: everything we record in type or voice and transmit via Internet, phone or cable, is forever traceable and transferrable. The messages are also resilient to destruction. They are the movie ticket stubs that we keep for years as mementos or prom dress that hangs in a closet decades after your big night. The big difference is that texts, emails and voice messages tell stories. There’s little to guess about what’s being communicated because it’s out there for people to read and hear if that once-special someone chooses to share what you may have assumed to be forever private.

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PGA Responds to Missed Opportunity

Has it really been one month since I constructively criticized the PGA Championship for not allowing fans to bring their cell phones into its 2010 event at Whistling Straits?

It should not have been that long, because it was quickly after that blog was posted that I received a phone call from Ken Lovell, Vice President of Media Development for the PGA Tour.

With the Ryder Cup on the docket for this weekend and people thinking golf during an already predictable media-heavy football season, I decided that today was the “better late than never” time to share what Lovell told me about how the PGA is in tune with its fans’ desire to shoot photos and react to what’s going while they attend a professional golf tournament.

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PGA misses PR Opportunity with Fans

A couple of weeks ago I was faced with a challenge unlike anything I’d experienced in the last few years while attending the Professional Golf Association’s premier event – the PGA Championship — at the beautiful Whistling Straights golf course in Kohler, Wis. I went to the tourney as a fan, not as a member of the media, which limited my communication throughout the day.

According to PGA rules, I was not allowed to bring a phone or mobile device of any kind (which in my case, are one in the same) into the venue. I could deal with having to silence my phone, but to be removed from social media and email was trying for someone who depends on those tools to run and monitor a publicity business.

After all, I was pretty excited about the prospects of how I could monitor other holes from my iPhone – the PGA touted its apps like few other organizations do. But they weren’t app-licable to me. I was there.

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LeBron James Further Destroys PR

Really LeBron?

I just shook my head and mentally shook LeBron James by the collar when I read his tweet directed at critics, yesterday: “Don’t think for one min(ute) that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!”

(For the record, I wouldn’t lay a hand on a man three-times my size, especially if I was coaching him.)

Ok, so I guess I won’t be invited to his South Beach Christmas Bash. Oh, well….

Missed drinks donning umbrellas with The Decided aside, James is still a young player in the NBA. He has no championship rings and he still has lots of endorsements to sign before he comes close to Michael Jordan, the star basketball player he has been most compared. James’ endorsements may even trail Tiger Woods’.

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Baseball Fans Sidetracked

While Major League Baseball diehards were tuned into each of their favorite teams’ games during everything from LeBron-athon to World Cup soccer, and especially their all-star game, it wasn’t easy for it to hold the attention of the masses according to W. Scott Bailey in the San Antonio Business Journal.

It was reported that Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, broadcast by FOX, received a 7.5 Nielsen rating which makes it as the least watched Midsummer Classic in history.

My initial thought as we head toward the start of National Football League training camps: is there any sport or off-season activity that would distract NFL fans from their season?

Is baseball officially not America’s Pastime anymore? We’ve long heard that professional baseball television ratings pale compared to the NFL and even the NBA, much of the latter which is broadcast on cable outlets. But a scripted special about where an NBA free agent is going to play next and – soccer?

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LeBron’s Exulted Brand Takes Detour

I swore to myself before the start of the NBA free-agency period that I wouldn’t write about LeBron James. Sports media are putting in enough hours of coverage about his team status, for all of us.

I realized, however, that I work in and write about sports publicity and PR, and since James announced he would share his intentions of what team he’ll join for the next few years in an hour-long broadcast on ESPN, his story became a good PR/bad PR story.

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Tennis, Soccer take Different Paths to Positive Press

Last week former tennis star and current broadcast analyst, John McEnroe, was right when he said that the three-day, 11-hour record-blasting Wimbledon match between John Isner of the United States and Nicolas Mahut of France was “the greatest advertisement for our sport.”

Change channels to World Cup soccer where referees became the story. Players, coaches and analysts seemed to question calls at every turn. Fans, particularly in the United States where soccer popularity remains infantile, have been outraged.

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The World Cup (publicity) Winner is…The Vuvuzela

Some have called the vuvuzela’s sound bothersome, others want them banned, and South Africa calls it a symbol of its brand of football. Last Friday, World Cup soccer began with the biggest buzz I’ve every heard when soccer was the lead topic. Game chat didn’t last long, however. It was drowned out by another kind of buzz, the vuvuzela.

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Sportsmanship Reborn for MLB

Sportsmanship was reborn on June 2 and it wasn’t without a lot of labor pains. In one of the most debated and discussed baseball games in years, Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly called a Cleveland Indians’ ground ball to first base with two outs in the ninth inning, safe. A video replay showed otherwise….

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