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Sam Taggart

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11 Great Sports Tweets From Early 2011

We’re just two weeks into 2011, yet between NBA trade rumors, the BCS National Championship game, and the NFL Playoffs, we’ve already experienced a lot of excitement. Here are some of my early favorite tweets from the world of sports in 2011. Blake Griffin, Professional Athlete, LA Clippers (@blakegriffin) “I know everyone is saying this…

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Sports and Social Media in 2010

2010 was a big year in the world of sports and social media, as leagues, teams, individual athletes, and sports fans alike began to truly understand and harness the power of social platforms. For me, 2010 was the year when social media went mainstream in the world of sports. There were many highlights, too many…

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The Decision 2.0: Valuable Business Tips from Cliff Lee

“It’s plenty of money. When you hit a certain point, enough’s enough. It’s just a matter of where you’re comfortable, where you’re happy, where your family’s the most comfortable, what team gives you the best chance to win. At this point, it’s about trying to win championships. That’s really the No. 1 thing for me….

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Monetizing on Facebook

Before I start, let me say that monetization should be far from the first concern for a brand when deciding to engage on Facebook, or with any aspect of social media. Social media is primarily about developing meaningful relationships with fans and consumers. It provides brands with the ability to humanize themselves, engage with consumers…

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5 NFL Twitter Accounts I’m Thankful For

Ah, Thanksgiving… Family. Turkey. Beer. Pumpkin pie. And football. For me, Thanksgiving is a day to spend with people I love, and to take a step back to think about all the things I have to be thankful for. What are you thankful for? At the top of my list are good health, happiness, family,…

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Taking Control of Your Content

It all started on October 29th during a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks. Minnesota Center Kosta Koufos missed an open jumper. Several players, including the Wolves’ Kevin Love and Wes Johnson, went for the rebound. Love was hacked, sending him to the free throw line. As Love prepared to take his…

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Incorporating Social Media into Televised Sports

Watching sports on television is an inherently social experience. Typically, fans watch televised games together, and when they don’t, they tend to text or chat while watching. More and more, fans hang out on social media platforms during games, treating their team’s Facebook page, for example, as a chat room. Why then, is the encouragement…

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LeBron James Shares New Image Through Nike Ad

Before you read further, watch Nike’s latest commercial, “Rise,” featuring LeBron James.

The Background

Since most of you already know the story, I’ll make this as quick as I can. Feel free to skip through if you know the background. The last four or five months have been interesting for the King. After seven years in Cleveland and no championship rings, LeBron James decided it was time to leave.

In a prime time ESPN event called The Decision, LeBron announced to the world that he would be “taking [his] talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat. Cavs fans were furious, their hometown hero (LBJ is from Akron, Ohio) was leaving them, having never delivered the championship he promised.

Basketball fans from all over were upset as well, mainly with how LeBron decided to handle the announcement. Even though the money raised during the show was then donated to the Boys & Girls Club of America, most thought it was a pretentious and selfish way to announce his decision.

Throughout the offseason, LeBron has come under a lot of fire. He’s been called out for quitting on his team in the playoffs, for leaving Cleveland, for The Decision. Dan Gilbert, the Cavs’ owner, publicized a nasty letter about LeBron.

Recently, LBJ came out and said he thought that all of the backlash from The Decision was partially a race issue, and that if he were of a different skin color, none of this would have been a big deal. Also, in the past few weeks, LeBron has retweeted several hateful and derogatory tweets, examples of messages he says he receives every day.

In the end, LeBron’s image has changed from a beloved NBA superstar, a hometown hero, and possibly the one-day greatest basketball player of all time to the biggest villain in the league (yes, above Kobe, he’s going to get booed everywhere he goes), a selfish superstar who betrayed his city for more money (smaller contract, bigger endorsements), more fame, and an easier championship ring.

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Where Are The Sports Social Networks?

Being that I’m a huge sports fan and an avid social media user, I always wonder why there are no good sports-themed social networks. Many have tried, but none have succeeded.

In my opinion, sports and social media are a perfect marriage. Sports fans love to talk about sports. We spend hours of every day watching, reading, and talking about the teams and players that matter to us. Sports fans also love to show and demonstrate our pride. We want to show the world our allegiances. And most importantly, there are plenty of instances where sports and social media have succeeded!

I spoke to my boss and great friend AJ Vaynerchuk about it. He brought up the valid question: “is there really a problem there that needs to be fixed?”

I’m not sure of the answer, but I’m going to talk it through right now:

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A Simple @Reply Goes A Long Way

I work with professional sports organizations and athletes for a living, consulting them on best practices in social media branding. That being said, before working as a social media consultant (I hate that term), I am a massive sports fan (GO PHILLIES!). I’ve loved sports for as long as I can remember, and ever since I realized I would not be a professional athlete, I’ve always dreamt of working with them in some capacity. I have several athletes’ numbers stored on my phone, and I would be lying if I said I think it’s no big deal. Because I don’t think that. I think it’s freaking awesome! That’s why I understand this: a simple @reply goes a long way…

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Will Michael Vick’s Road to Redemption Ever End?

54 for 89 (60% completions). 6 passing touchdowns. 1 rushing touchdown. 0 interceptions. And a QB rating of 110.2. Those are Michael Vick’s numbers three weeks into the 2010 NFL season. Vick started the season as backup to Kevin Kolb. But after a Week 1 Kolb concussion and a dominant Week 2 performance by Vick in his place, head coach Andy Reid made the decision to give Vick the chance he’d been waiting several years for, to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League once again.

But this post is not about Michael Vick the football player, it is about Michael Vick the person.

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Missed Opportunity for the NFL on Opening Weekend

As I write this post on Monday afternoon, the day after Opening Sunday (and six hours before kickoff of Monday Night Football), the NFL is being mentioned on Twitter at an extraordinary rate. In the past hour, “NFL” has been tweeted 1,500+ times.

I want to take this as a chance to highlight a missed opportunity for the NFL. In the past four days (Thursday was the first game of the season and yesterday was Opening Sunday), the league has received thousands and thousands of mentions and @replies, yet they’ve failed to respond to a single fan. It’s about time for the league to stop using their account as a news feed. To be fair, the MLB doesn’t do much better, but the NBA and NHL both respond to fans all the time. And you can bet if it were opening day, their feeds would be full of @replies.

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