Tag Archives: Cricket

Surrey CCC tops the Social Media Cricket Championship

Analysis released recently from programmatic advertising experts, RadiumOne, has revealed Surrey County Cricket Club is the top performing county in the LV County Cricket Championship – on social media, at least.

Despite relegation to the second division last season Surrey, home to Graeme Smith and Kevin Pietersen, has maintained a consistent lead over its rivals in both divisions across all social channels.

Worcestershire and Kent are both also outperforming their on-field displays on social channels, with the two teams ranking third and fifth (respectively) in RadiumOne’s Social County Cricket Division One – in spite of their Division Two league status.

Sussex, Middlesex and Derbyshire would be caught out for a duck if their positioning was decided by social performance. Both Sussex and Middlesex appear a division below their actual rankings in RadiumOne’s analysis with Sussex having almost the fewest interactions with its fans out of any team in County Cricket – only Glamorgan ranks lower on this measure.

Meanwhile, the research has revealed that Middlesex posts very little content compared to rivals of a similar stature. Derbyshire suffers from having one of the smallest online followings of all Counties.

Elsewhere, Lancashire’s promotion winning performance on the field was emulated online with the club sneaking into RadiumOne’s Social County Cricket Division One.

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“Given how last season ended it will be interesting to see how the social and physical leagues match up this year. Clearly, Surrey has put a lot of work over a number of years into developing a content strategy that has paid-off, and placed them at the top of the Social County Championship; it’s just a shame that on field performance hasn’t maintained its Division One status!

“Having an engaged social community provides a club with more than just bragging rights. With potential audiences able to connect, wherever they are, being able to talk directly to them can be a powerful asset for activating a county sponsorship deals. Identifying the types of content fans are most engaged with and the brands that they prefer from their behaviour and interactions across the web is a powerful bargaining chip in partner discussions.” – Abeed Janmohamed, Commercial Director, RadiumOne

 

Radium One Cricket

Cricket Australia celebrate Ashes win with personalised Twitter #TheUrnReturns gift

A great little Twitter activation from those humble guys at Cricket Australia.  After the thrashing they dished out to the England team, they have marked the occasion by delivering personalised pictures of the winning team to all who want it.

To grab your gift so all you have to do is tweet @CricketAus and include the hashtag #TheUrnReturns.  In doing so you are sent an automatic tweet from the Cricket Australia Digital Media account – as below.

By clicking on the link you get a lovely photo of the celebrating team.  It’s a simple yet effective activation that is seeing plenty of use, the hashtag has seen around 10k tweets in the last few days.  A marked peak with only the end of the 3rd test sparking more with over 11k in one day.

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Twitter Australia has helped push the activation and it will be a must for all Aussie cricket fans I’m sure.  Hopefully with the next Ashes in 2015, the England team will have had chance to take stock and recover from this most demoralising of defeats.  Below is our own UK Sports Network photo, one which I definitely won’t be printing off and putting up on the office wall!

#TheUrnReturns

 

Spurs top Social Media league table of 148 UK sports teams

The first ever index ranking British professional football, rugby and cricket teams according to social media performance has been launched with Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur topping the tree.

The Sport Social Media Index is a league table of 148 British professional football (English Premier League, Championship, Leagues One and Two; plus the SPL) rugby (Super League and Premiership) and cricket (County Championship Divisions One and Two) teams, ranked according to the best use of social media by their official club channels.

To be published annually, The Sport Social Media Index, produced by PR and social media agency Umpf with partners William Hill, was four months in the making.  The table is compiled by measuring the performance of each team based not just on an algorithm, but research from a team of nine people who looked at eight social networks, as well as a panel of four judges who presided over the results.

It includes an overall table of 148 teams ranked first to last, plus nine additional tables showing rankings based on each sporting league.

The leading professional team in the inaugural Sport Social Media Index is Tottenham Hotspur with a score of 69.9 out of 100, more than two points ahead of second-placed Chelsea (67.6) and almost three points ahead of Leyton Orient in third (67).

According to the judges, Spurs generated a strong data score with excellent levels of community engagement, offering a great breadth of social media channels, which it used to their potential.

Michael Sheehan, Social Media Customer Experience Manager at William Hill, said:

“Tottenham deserved to be crowned this year’s winners as they have truly mastered the art of engaging with their fans on multiple platforms. Their content is fresh, engaging and resonates well with their supporters.

“Leeds Rhinos were another notable winner in their respective category as they have also demonstrated a clear understanding of social media. Their use of clever hashtags and stunning imagery has shown the importance of social media for educating and engaging with fans and potential supporters alike.”

Full league tables, methodology and judges’ bios available at :www.sport.socialmediaindex.co.uk

So, how did the judges decide upon the final results?  Be way of an insight, below are three case studies covering Premier League, League 1 and Rugby League.  It shows what types of content and interaction saw them being picked out as examples of the best there is.  Do you agree with the judges?

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Tottenham Hotspur generated a strong data score with excellent engagement.  The club not only has a great breadth of social media channels – including official pages on Vine, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google Plus – but uses them to their potential.

Judges acknowledged the variety of content available across all channels, praising the platform-by-platform tailoring of content, noting that material was used when it was appropriate for that channel. Judges were also impressed by the strength of video content.

The availability of unique, behind-the-scenes footage was another highlight, and it is no surprise that this activity receives very high engagement as it taps into fans’ curiosity.

Match day coverage is also excellent and the club provides detailed coverage of the first team, U21s and U18s.

This image generated in excess of 12,000 likes and more than 1,000 shares.

spurs

 

LEYTON ORIENT

Leyton Orient is the highest placed non-Premier League football team in the Index. The East London club – which averages home attendances of around 5,500 – had one of the highest data scores of all 148 teams.

Its ratio of community growth, engagement, responsiveness, plus range and depth of activity enabled the club to achieve high scores in the algorithm.  Orient scored well with judges who praised their excellent breadth of official channels, use of media and noted their high levels engagement.

Judges said Leyton Orient showed a great understanding of what content their fans like to see and were generally in tune to the wants and needs of their communities.

The use of archive material, such as the ‘on this day’ stories, plus Q&A sessions with high profile figures such as the manager and chairman and use of hashtags to monitor and collate questions, were noted by the panel for generating large reach.

Jonny Davies Media & Communications Manager at Leyton Orient said: “Our social media channels are hugely important to us. Not only do they allow us to break news to fans as soon as it happens, but they also allow us to give fans a more 360-degree view of the club and make them feel at the heart of everything we do.”

leyton orient

 

LEEDS RHINOS

Rugby League side Leeds Rhinos finished fifth place in the overall Index, the highest placed non-football team. The Yorkshire club received a very strong data score, good marks for the amount of official channels available to fans, and for the content that was used on each.

The judges highlighted the excellent use of hashtags across the board as well as clever use of visual assets such as their Facebook cover picture to advertise upcoming games and player achievements.

Also noted was the impressive use of fan photos from home games, the constantly changing cover photos, as well as behind-the-scenes access – although not groundbreaking, the panel agreed that it showed a willingness by the club to put time and resources in to creating content which can be consumed by fans for free.

As well as the timeliness of distribution and the responsiveness of moderators, judges were generally impressed with the club’s understanding of social media and how their staff fostered and developed communities.

leeds

 

Will England #Rise to win the Digital Ashes?

Guest Post: Aaron Jaffery (@aaronjaffery) is Managing Director of Digital Sport Consultancy NineteenEightyFour.

A growing public interest in English cricket has undoubtedly risen from the Ashes. The popularity of the sport has increased ever since Michael Vaughn led the side to victory over the seemingly-invincible Aussies back in the Summer Series of 2005, and this is reflected in the burgeoning presence of the English Cricket Board in digital and social media channels. This is not to say that the Australians have been left behind.

What was, in the Nineties, a foregone conclusion has once again become an intense and unpredictable rivalry; although this heightens the entertainment for the neutral spectator, Cricket Australia have had to ensure that their digital strategy keeps a fan-base that is used to victory, engaged in defeat.

Yet while both the English and Australian Cricket Boards have acknowledged the importance of digital engagement, perhaps they have not yet taken full advantage of the marketing opportunities available through social media during the Ashes Series itself.

 

FIRST TEST: WEB PRESENCE

The websites assigned to each Board is impressive in terms of digital performance. Both homepages display an attractive and easy-to-navigate user interface that provides direct access to the corresponding Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts of the ECB and Cricket Australia. Unsurprisingly, they offer access to news, photos and video highlights of the current Ashes Series, as well as archival footage and past statistics, and include squad lists, itineraries and broadcasting schedules for both TV and Radio coverage.

What is interesting, however, is that while the ECB focus on the reporting element of the Ashes – the latest news, stats and exclusive interviews, all instantly available through the Ashes Breakfast Email feature – Cricket Australia seem more concerned with the personal side of their national squad and its supporters. The “Meet the Australian Men’s Team” feature is particularly attractive to a cricketing newcomer by creating an individual profile for each player that appears alongside his live Twitter feed. Furthermore, the “Fan Face Off” section of the Cricket Australia website taps into the rivalry of the Ashes by measuring the digital presence of both national cricketing Boards.

This is achieved through a direct comparison of social media statistics, in a bid to increase fans’ online engagement with their national side. While the ECB’s website demonstrates a greater endeavour to improve the accessibility of the Ashes for what seems to be an established fan-base, Cricket Australia appear to be more aware of the need to expand their digital outreach to include the more inexperienced cricketing supporter.

FIRST TEST: AUSTRALIA WIN (1-0)

 

SECOND & THIRD TESTS: SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE (Cricket Boards and Teams)

So who is winning the battle of the fans in the social media sphere? Cricket Australia boasts an impressive 2,061,280 likes on Facebook; making the ECB’s 764,970 likes somewhat disappointing in comparison. However, the English fan-base on Facebook is largely divided between the ECB and Official England Cricket, which amasses a further 766,337 likes, making the total a more acceptable 1,531,307 with the two pages combined. Twitter is a closer affair, although the ECB still trails with 225,220 followers compared to Cricket Australia’s 262,105. Content is mostly similar, and so this close encounter can be considered a draw.

However, the popularity of individual players on Twitter seems more favourable for the English. Kevin Pietersen, the most-followed cricketer in either Ashes squad, is followed by 1,457,787 fans: more than double that of Aussie captain Michael Clarke, with only 616,201.On average, the English professional cricketer tweets more regularly than the Australian and, noticeably, with more personality. Clarke, Ryan Harris and James Faulkner limit their tweets to publicise infrequent news updates or advertisements; Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Anderson offer personal anecdotes, amusing photos via Instagram, and inter-Tweet sarcasm, that is often directly associated with the Ashes and is appreciated by their online fans.

Somewhat astonishingly, many of the Australian squad do not even have Twitter accounts at all and those that do are outnumbered by the amount of parody accounts set up by fans. The absence of Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Chris Rodgers, George Bailey and Peter Siddle from the social media channel signals the vast potential for increased digital outreach that is still to be exploited by Cricket Australia.

SECOND TEST – BOARD SOCIAL MEDIA: DRAW (Australia 1-0)

THIRD TEST – TEAM SOCIAL MEDIA: ENGLAND WIN (1-1)

 

FOURTH TEST: FAN CAMPAIGNS

Yet it is Twitter that seems to be the chief medium through which both cricketing Boards have chosen to focus their digital campaigns. Both teams have a trending phrase – ECB continue with #RISE from the Summer Series, #uniteaus is selected for Cricket Australia – that successfully unifies the digital cricketing fan community and that is subsumed by the internationally-trending #Ashes. What is more, Twitter seems to be the first choice for developing fan engagement with the two Boards. ECB have allied themselves with Twelfth Man, the official fan community of English cricket, and have launched the competition Twelfie Selfie.

This encourages fans to upload a photo of themselves supporting the English cricket team during the Winter Ashes using the Hashtag #TwelfieSelfie to either Twitter or Instagram, where the winner will entertain Mathew Hoggard in their own home to watch the second Ashes Test on the 6th December. Australia’s corresponding campaign is in commercial partnership with KFC, who have altered the colours of their logo design to green and gold because, because “England’s colours are red and white”.

They promote an online quiz of quick-fire questions, where one wrong answer leads to disqualification, but success could lead to the major prize of $5000. However, while this is included within the renowned KFC #bucketheads trend on Twitter, the specific hashtag for the competition, #KFCgreenandgold, tends to get lost amid the online support for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers who also lay claim to the hashtag #greenandgold.

The ECB’s engagement strategy seems to be have the potential for greater success. Because it mainly uses Twitter the campaign is better advertised and accessible than its Australian counterpart, which is primarily accessed through the Cricket Australia website. Moreover, there is nothing to limit the participants in Twelfie Selfie competition: anyone can upload a photo. Cricket Australia’s KFC quiz, on the other hand, is reliant on a certain degree of cricketing knowledge and thus excludes newly-recruited fans.

FOUTH TEST WINNER: ENGLAND (2-1)

 

FIFTH TEST: SERIES COVERAGE

The most important consideration with regards to fan engagement during the Ashes, however, is undoubtedly how to provide digital coverage of the Series: particularly for those fans on the other side of the world to where the matches take place. In this Winter Series that is the English, and the ECB have striven to report the events of each Test in greater detail than previous years. Not only is the whole Series televised live on Sky Sports 2, but, in response to the station’s highest ever outreach to listening audiences, Radio 5 Live now provide around-the-clock coverage of the Ashes.

Sky Sports have also launched the Ashes Event Centre PC and iPad app, alongside the ECB Cricket app for both iPhone and Android, and the ECB website provides access to a number of RSS feeds as well as their own Audioboo channel for further audio coverage. In many ways, the time difference has actually enhanced the ECB’s strategy for an increased digital presence, as it means that fans are reliant upon social media and mobile applications for a regular engagement with the Ashes when live television coverage becomes inconvenient.

Because we’re based in the UK its difficult to a certain the true extent of Australian coverage. So, with England building an unassailable lead with a diverse range of tools, bad light stops play and the test is declared a draw.

FIFTH TEST: DRAW – ENGLAND WIN THE SERIES 2-1

 

What is apparent from looking at the digital strategies of both the ECB and Cricket Australia is that they are largely comparable. In terms of statistics, there is not a lot that separates them in the popularity of their social media channels, and the user-interface of both websites are similar in their navigational simplicity and attractive display. Yet on the occasion where their campaigns can be distinguished from one another, it is always down to one Board conveying a greater sense of personality than the other.

This explains why the English players boast far more Twitter followers then their Australian rivals and, similarly, why the Cricket Australia website demonstrates a greater sense of accessibility to the inexperienced cricket fan than that of the ECB. It is primarily this sense of digital personality that can be further developed by each cricketing Board in the design of their online channels to capitalise their turnover during future series of the Ashes.

 

Summer of Sport: Comparison of 4 Sports Events and their use of Twitter

Sports Digital Agency Seven League, founded by Richard Ayers (former Head of Digital at Manchester City), has put together an interesting piece of research based around one month of sporting events in the UK.  Here is what they found…

Within two weeks at the end of June and start of July 2013, there were four great sporting moments in the space of a fortnight;

  • The British and Irish Lions defeating Australia in the 3rd Test
  • The British GP at Silverstone
  • The Wimbledon Finals weekend
  • The First Test of the Ashes

Whilst the shortest of these was only 80 minutes, when you consider the build-up and the aftermath there is a significant window of attention around each event.  It’s important that the Twitter accounts for each sport capitalise on this attention by building up to the event, covering the day of the event, having live coverage and then maintaining their activity post event.  They compared the four major events in order to understand the differences, strengths and weaknesses in their twitter performance.

Summary

Four different approaches were taken to tweeting across the events

Lions

›  The Lions tweets were informative and celebratory, with a larger emphasis on rallying support from followers than any of the other events

British GP 

›  The Silverstone account was mainly used for customer service — it primarily tweeted responses to questions and traffic information, with very few general tweets discussing the race

Wimbledon

›  Wimbledon’s tweets were very informative, focused mainly around set commentary and quoting from interviews after matches. They used hashtags more than any of the other three events

The First Test

›  The ECB First Test coverage follows a distinct pattern —behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the players warming up in the morning, commentary of the tests in the afternoon and finally links to interviews/videos from that day in the evening. They are the only account to really tap into audio, and were more comfortable using a wider range of platforms (e.g. Vine)

Summer of Sport

 

Observations

Silverstone takes a very different approach to the other three events. It’s very much about customer service rather than engaging and exciting fans.  Of the other three:

The ECB has the best balance of media tweets — it shares photographs, videos and links evenly. It also is the only account to use audio.  Wimbledon and The ECB are both very informative. However, Wimbledon goes into so much detail that it would alienate casual fans. In contract the ECB appeals more to both casual and hardline fans by only giving basic information in tweets whilst providing links for fans to find out more.  Wimbledon and The Lions were very good at including details of the experience of the event day itself for fans at home.

tweets per day

 

types of tweets per day

 

 

Comparisons by Day – Pre Event

 

pre match tweeting behaviour

 

pre event tweeting 2

 

pre event tweeting behaviour 3

 

 

Comparisons by Day – During Event Tweeting

 

event day tweets

 

event day tweets 2

 

event day tweets 3

 

 

Comparisons by Day – Post Event Tweeting

 

post event tweets

 

post event tweets 2

 

post event tweets 3

 

 

CBS & LiveWire Sport bring updates from The Ashes to commuters on the Tube

CBS Outdoor UK this week announced that it will be bringing up to the minute scores and text commentary from The Ashes to digital screens on the London Underground, for the duration of the hotly-anticipated test match starting on 1st August.

As the Ashes returns to Old Trafford for the first time since 2005, match updates will be brought to commuters via Cross-Track Projection (XTP) screens throughout the five days of the match.  As part of a three way partnership, LiveWire Sport will supply editorial updates, which will feed into a brand new Content Management System – Broadcast on Demand (BOD), developed by Fin London.

As well as providing score updates, this dynamic delivery system will also feed in Tweets from passengers on the Underground.  Within minutes, every part of the creative can be changed at the touch of a button. This activity demonstrates how the flexibility of XTP screens can be leveraged to bring highly sought after sporting updates to the valuable London audience in a high dwell time environment.

Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director at CBS Outdoor UK:

“we are really excited to bring the very latest updates from one of the oldest sporting competitive rivalries – The Ashes to commuters on the London Underground.  We have worked in partnership with Fin London and LiveWire Sport to deliver a true first, and we look forward to offering similar engaging content in the future, given the vast range of sporting activities which engender huge interest and passion in the capital.”

The campaign will run from 11am-7pm from 1st – 5th August and feature on 60 screens within central London and you can also follow the hashtag #undergroundashes for more details and get involved in the conversation.

tubecricket

 

cbso

 

#undergroundashes

 

 

Pepsi IPL takes Twitter integration to new levels for 2013

The Pepsi Indian Premier League (#PepsiIPL) kicks off again soon amidst its usual fanfare of music, Bollywood celebrities and the biggest names in the world of cricket.  This year however see’s the tournament ramp up its social presence, working in collaboration with Twitter and digital agency Pulse Innovations, to engage fans like never before.

Sports specialists Pulse Innovations first launched the IPL site last January, securing a three-year contract encompassing strategy, creative, build and operations. Creating a live match experience that included almost-live Hawk-Eye and video replays, live fan polling and twitter team battles proved a success with cricket fans worldwide. Coupled with social-into-broadcast integration, the IPL became one of the most innovative digital platforms within sport.

Building on last year, new innovations for 2013 include the ‘Twitter Mirror’ (something that was first seen at this years Oscars), Twitter Discover page, Hashtag Battles, a Twitter Counter, Top 10 Trends, Loyalty Corner, social sign-in and much more!  It promises to be an immersive experience no matter how you connect with the competition.  David Strachan, Creative Director at Pulse, explains more;

“This year our focus was very much on social and mobile.  Working in partnership with Twitter we’ve introduced a number of new features that should really excite the fans, including the Twitter Magic Mirror, a first for sport giving fans a glimpse of what goes on within the teams during game time. This coupled with some great 2nd screen initiatives will put the IPL on another level to other sports in terms of fan engagement.”

Their other focus was mobile, and not just on the major platforms:

“We’ve introduced a ‘feature-phone’ site, a simplified version of the smartphone site. It felt strange developing what was effectively a WAP site, but given the huge audience in India who still use feature phones it was an obvious step. In terms of mobile, IPL is now available on iOS, Android, Windows 7/8, as a mobile site and now a feature phone site. Truly multi-platform.”

The IPL starts tomorrow (2.30pm GMT) with last year’s champions Kolkata Knight Riders hosting the Delhi Daredevils.  Here is a round up of all the new features you’ll be able to play with over the 2 months.

Twitter Magic Mirror

A first in sport, the Twitter Magic Mirror will, in select celebratory settings, allow Cricketers and Celebrities to tweet out candid pictures with one click through the @IPL account. The Mirror will travel the country, and give fans an authentic, behind-the-scenes view of the IPL.  Today saw it used for the fist time by Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni;

MS Doni Twitter Mirror

Discover Page

Pepsi IPL 2013 Discover Page” will help users around the world to easily sign up for Twitter, view/join the #PepsiIPL conversation, and follow their favourite cricketers, teams, personalities, celebrities and more, with one click.

Twitter Discover IPL

The Team Hashtag Battle

On the Live ‘Match Centre,’ there will be hashtags for both teams (eg. #KKR and #DD). As the teams fight it out in the middle, their fans will indulge in a battle of hashtags to ensure that their favourite team triumphs on the popularity front.

Live Tweet Counter

The ‘Match Centre’ has a counter that keeps rolling as people tweet anything related to the match, or the Pepsi IPL 2013.

Top 10 Trends

There is a section on the homepage that ranks the Pepsi IPL 2013 teams on the basis of how talked about they are on Twitter. It will help fans track the overall Twitter popularity of their favourite team.

The Loyalty corner

A box on the homepage where the fans can announce their allegiance to a team on Twitter. All they need to do is select which team they support and hit ‘TWEET’.

Pepsi IPL 2013 Conversation

Boxes on the official website’s homepage and live match centre, through which the fans can let the world know who they’re supporting, their predictions and match moments.

Pepsi IPL 2013 Tweets

There will be a section on the official website that will feature tweets from the Pepsi IPL 2013 franchises, cricketers, commentators and administrators. The section will act as a fan’s one-stop destination to know what the ‘who’s who’ of the Pepsi IPL 2013 are talking about.

On Television…

Twitter features on the Pepsi IPL 2013 website, such as the Tweet Counter, Trending Topics and Team Hashtag Battle, will be flashed on the TV screen during the live telecast of the Pepsi IPL 2013 matches, with the support of a real-time data stream.

Pepsi IPL website

Fan/Celebrities Tweets, Pictures and Vines: Viewers will be invited and encouraged to tweet and vine on the Pepsi IPL 2013, and the best tweets of the day will be picked, to be read out by the commentators on air.

In summary, Rajeev Shukla (Chairman of the IPL), said.

“It has been our constant endeavour to make the fans feel that they are a vital part of the IPL, and not just passive spectators on the outside. Our relationship with Twitter, one of the world’s most popular and prominent social media platforms, will bring the fans closer to the Pepsi IPL 2013 and the cricketers participating in it, in a thoroughly engrossing, interesting and enjoyable manner,”

 

The Pepsi IPL 2013 starts on 3th April 2013 and runs until 26th May 2013.

 

Fun Digital Content: How ‘Owling’ is helping bring light relief to England Cricket

Following on from my ‘Planking’ post yesterday, yes it was a bit random but showed how athletes can engage with fans away from their chosen sport and be perceived as being closer to them, I thought I’d continue my look at the lighter side of athletes and how digital is getting involved.

Whilst having half an eye on England taking on India in the first test match tomorrow, for work purposes obviously, I noticed on the Official England Cricket Facebook page that another new craze is hitting our cricketers.

Thanks to the ECB’s Social Media man Steven Dent they have developed a very relaxed tone in their social media posts, they sometimes veer away from the cricket matches themselves and this helps keep interest when not much cricket is taking place.

A couple of recent posts have shown the England players competitive instinct and interest in ‘Owling’.  Now if you have not come across the activity before, it takes the same principles as ‘Planking’ but instead of lying flat you find a place to perch and pretend to be an Owl!

The interest from my point of view was the coverage of it on Facebook and how it brought some fun into what could easily be quite a stat heavy page.  Content is an issue that affects every page we manage, it’s this that gives it an interest, personality and a reason for us to press ‘like’.  As well as being served useful content we also want to be entertained, it is a fine line and much of it is experimental to gage reaction (internally as much as externally).

It’ll certainly be interesting to see if it extends beyond Steve Finn and James Anderson in the coming days/weeks…. and if they will be up to anything during the Test match!  Now that would be fun to watch out for.

What links B&Q, Google and Matt Prior?

I saw this today and thought it was a really neat, reactive piece of thinking by the guys at Dare.  This came on the back of Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper come batsman, getting rather agitated after being run out in the 2nd Test at lords yesterday.

An ECB spokesman described the incident: “Prior put his bat on the ledge where the wall met the window in the dressing room. The bat handle bounced off the wall into the window, and the glass broke.

“A lady spectator suffered a small cut to her ankle. It was an accident, and Matt Prior has apologised.”

So how was this cricketing incident taken advantage of?  Well take a look at the screenshot below…and also try it yourself by Googling ‘Matt Prior’ and see what comes out top in the search.

It is an interesting and very clever way in which B&Q has taken advantage of a topic that people will be searching for online.  There are surely lessons here for businesses, clubs and individuals on how you can market for very low cost by being very flexible and reactive.

Imagine if Liverpool, for example, were pushing a new product or tour that wanted people to find easily.  Why not bid on your player keywords with a link to the relevant tour/product?  At the moment there is no-one taking advantage of Luis Suarez on Google, so why not go down this root as a low-cost way of marketing?

If you are very reactive, could you not take advantage on the day or week a new player is signed or manager starts?  Manchester United or a sports business could be, as we speak, taking advantage of the space when lots of people will be searching for Phil Jones today or Jordan Henderson now probably going to Liverpool. 

A little creativity and it could really pay off.

Glamorgan Cricket – PR & Social Media #Fail

The last few weeks for Glamorgan Cricket fans have not been easy ones to stomach.  The walking out of Matt Maynard, Jamie Dalrymple and Peter Walker after the management decided to appoint a new captain for 2011 has caused massive disruption and press inches.

Controversy is not something new at the club which has had to deal with the renaming of the old stadium (something that still irks die-hard fans 3 years on), poor performances on the field and the drive from being an old fashioned county club to an Ashes hosting multi-million pound stadium business.

It all started with the naming of unknown South Africa opening batsman Alviro Petersen and former club wicket-keeper Colin Metson as Head of Coaching.  This was done without the knowledge of the current captain, director of cricket and chairman hence now all three have resigned.

The club has responded to the criticism of the Chairman, Paul Russell, and CEO, Alan Hamer, with a letter to members and appearances on radio.  But is this old fashioned approach and lack of social network presence be their undoing?

Currently their main presence is a 2,500 strong group of friends as they have set up as a person rather than a group or page.  Their twitter presence involves the @GlamCricket account which has tweeted once in over a year.

The response to the negative remarks on their Facebook page has been to delete them from the wall with apparently hundreds of remarks being taken off.  If there is one way to wind up a angered fan even more is to deny them their voice.

A quick grab from the page:

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