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Marketing Resources for Pro Athletes

When a pro athlete retires for whatever reason, he is often in his 20’s or 30’s, and faced with a career crisis. The pressing question is, ‘what do I do with the rest of my life?’ Many retired athletes become motivational speakers, taking their powerful presence to the stage. Some apply their financial prowess to…

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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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Don’t Pull a Johnson…Follow the Rules!

Rules, rules, rules, why is it so hard for athletes to follow the rules!

On Sunday, for the second time in as many months, a ‘Johnson’ broke the rules in the world of sports.

First, way back on August 12th, Dustin Johnson grounded his club in a destroyed sand trap on 18th hole of the PGA Championship incurring him a 2-stroke penalty. The move cost him more than just 2 strokes as it knocked him out of a playoff for the major title. The entire world watched when Johnson first heard what he had unknowingly done.

Then it happened again, on September 12th. Seconds remained in the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game when Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and everybody else in the world thought he caught the game winning touchdown. The play was reviewed and overturned after it became clear that Johnson lost the ball while attempting to use it to help him get up from the ground.

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What We Can Learn About Branding from Stephen Strasburg’s Injury

Did we just witness the entirety of Stephen Strasburg’s professional baseball career in the span of mere months? I doubt it, given that the success rate of Tommy John’s surgery is over 90%, but it is a possibility.

Strasburg is one of the most hyped players in professional sports in recent memory and he was living up to the buzz in his first season. Not only was he delivering on the mound, with 98-100 MPH fastballs and dirty curveballs, but he was generating more television viewers, ballpark visitors, and straight cash for the game of baseball, a sport which is still struggling somewhat from the Steroids Era.

Many have called Strasburg’s injury a “sad day for baseball.” And it is. But let’s forget about the game for a moment and think about the individual. What a potentially awful day for Stephen Strasburg.

Considering that significant injuries happen all the time in sports (St. Louis Rams’ wide receiver Donny Avery tore his ACL last week, for example, and is out for the season), and that we live in a time where personal branding has become so important, is it foolish for any professional athlete, Stephen Strasburg or not, to not be focusing on building their brand off the field? [More...]

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Resources for Athletes – Part 2

In a previous article I wrote about two valuable resources that professional athletes can use to manage and improve their lives. In this Part 2 article, I’ll focus on Fan Inc., a new resource that helps former NCAA injured athletes receive the medical attention they deserve and I’ll also dive further into Sportsdrive to see how their high tech development tool helps athletes reach their highest potential possible.

FAN, Inc. Foundation for Athletes in Need – We see the glory of athletes when they’re “in the zone” and hitting their game like a Trojan. We see the sweet victories and think to ourselves, “what an exciting life.” What we often don’t see is the chronic physical pain many athletes endure for years after they’re finished playing.

Steve Strinko, former NCAA middle linebacker for Michigan State founded FAN, Inc. in response to experiencing his own post-career medical issues and also seeing a serious gap in services for former student athletes who have been injured while participating in a NCAA sanctioned sport.

FAN’s mission statement succinctly states, “To provide financial assistance to qualified former student athletes who are experiencing hardships related to an injury incurred while participating in an NCAA sanctioned activity.” FAN, Inc.’s goal is to assist under- and uninsured individuals in obtaining relevant, professional medical services.

As a grassroots effort, FAN is currently determining the extent of the problem. If you have knowledge of a former NCAA athlete with sports-related injuries who needs medical attention but is unable to secure care due to financial constraints, please visit the website and send Steve an email.

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Pro-Athlete Bloggers

One of the first posts I ever wrote for SportsNetworker was about Gilbert Arenas, the true pioneer of the social media space for professional athletes. Shaq gets the credit for being the one who led the way, because of his use of Twitter, but Gilbert was in the space first. And Gilbert was a blogger! Forget Shaq writing 140-character tweets in 2008, Gilbert was writing blog posts that consisted of hundreds if not thousands of words… two years earlier!

Anyway, this post is not about Shaq or Gilbert Arenas or anyone you’ve likely heard of before. This post is about Swedish professional golfer Alex Noren and minor league baseball player Matt Antonelli. Why? They’re both professional athletes and outstanding bloggers. We focus so much on Facebook & Twitter as the tools athletes should be utilizing, but let’s not forget the power of the blog.

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Professional Sports Age Requirements

Should athlete talent dribble through a season of aging before being presented to the pro sports world? Is college a necessary bridge between high school and pro sports? Let’s think about it for a moment. What would the basketball world look like without LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant; all of which jumped directly…

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Pro Athletes Help Fight Childhood Obesity

From the National Football League to the National Basketball Association, professional sports organizations and their athletes are realizing that they could have a positive influence when it comes to getting kids to move off the couch and onto playgrounds and in organized physical education. Newest to the anti-obesity team isBoston Celtics forward, Paul Pierce, and…

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Life-Streaming 101: The Starbury TV Experiment

Stephon Marbury should’ve refrained from life-streaming. Starbury TV, as far as I’m concerned, was an epic failure.  Why? David Neiman of Athlete Interactive put it so poignantly that I’ll just share what he had to say and let you judge for yourself: “We want athletes to awe us, and that’s precisely what they do when they’re doing what…

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Why Some Make it and Others Don’t: The Journey to the Top

Image by Harpo42   Let me just go out there and say it: Matt D’Orazio is a stud. Yes, that’s right, Matt is a football superstar!  Not only is he an eight year Arena Football League veteran, but he also has won two Arena Bowl Championship games and was the MVP both times.  In fact,…

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