Tag Archives: UKSN

UK Sports Network… A New Beginning

Rather than starting off the week with a post about the latest happenings within digital sport (you can get that with this post about NUFC and their Twitter relaunch), I wanted to put something together that is a bit closer to home.  Anyone I have met or been to a recent event will know that I’ve been getting VERY excited about what is happening behind-the-scenes at UKSN.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working full-time on the website and events since the end of last summer.  Putting together partnerships, new events and ideas during that time whilst still paying the bills with some consultancy work.

One of the areas I’ve been spending a lot of time on is the website.  The current site design has not changed in over 4 years, a point I’m sure that has not gone un-noticed by regular visitors.  Aside from tinkering with the widgets and images there is little for me to do, especially with my lack of coding skills (something I hope to rectify in time).

There are two main points I’ve been looking to address;

1.  The Name

UK Sports Network was set up as just that when I started it on LinkedIn in November 2009.  But does it actually provide the right indication as to what it is and what we actually talk about?  No, I don’t think it does.  Thus I’ve been looking to go down a different route, starting with the events.

You may have noticed they are not called UK Sports Network or UKSN anything. They are called Digital Sport London, Digital Sport Glasgow, etc.  The reason for this is that it is the direction in which I am taking the business (and yes it’s maturing into a business now).

The new name, Digital Sport, will be reflected in a new domain name, look and feel to the site.  I want to open it up to be not only UK based content but the latest news and opinions from around the world.

2.  The Site

It seems like everything has changed in the world except for the site!  I’m proud to look back and see how far UKSN has come in a relatively short time, especially as for most of it it’s been a hobby.

It is said that standing still is a sure-fire way for a business to fail, and it has been time for a new site for quite a while now.  I’ve been lucky enough to be able to get to know some of the most exciting tech start-ups within the sports space. Opening up possibilities in working with that tech to deliver cutting-edge solutions.

More will be revealed soon (including who we’re doing it with) but the plan is for the new Digital Sport site to be up and running before the end of next month.  Trust me, it’s going to look amazing and will be available to view on desktop, mobile and tablet – so you’ll be able to get all your news on the move.

The site will not only provide a new, slicker experience but also greater depth and amount of content as well.  There will still be articles written by myself and guest contributors, BUT there will also be links to other relevant articles around the web, video’s, Vine’s and great images.

Basically, we’ll be providing a one-stop shop for all your digital media and sport needs in one place. A ‘Digital Sport Hub‘. This will be the first step in a whole bunch of new ideas designed to help you in your day-to-day roles within digital and sport.  The events are going to get bigger and better, research projects will begin and providing you access to more information a priority.

We’ve already started that process with events in Glasgow (19th March) and Manchester (17th April), as well as London events in collaboration with Sunset+Vine (24th March) and Aqueduct (22nd April).  Keep your eyes peeled for more, different events in the coming months.


So while it’s sad that UKSN will be no more, it’s also an extremely exciting time to be working on this.  This has been a passion of mine for the last 4 years and I’m determined to see it grow for the next 4+ years as well.

Thank you to everyone who has ever read an article on here and been along to an event.  Without you this opportunity would not exist and I’m humbled by how lucky I am for that.


Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 08.26.52



Top 1,000 Twitter accounts and how sports teams/athletes fair in it

This week a new Twitter ranking list was released, something that has become more common as analytics tools become better and interest by those on the lists in where they stand increases.  This one was by US company Majestic SEO who have developed their own way of ranking that does not rely on the number of followers but on the accounts prominence on the web.

According to Forbes, Majestic SEO’s method uses ranking factors that include the number of links to a Twitter account and the quality of the website linking to that account. It also removes any influence from Twitter, including the number of followers. It allows a website to register one point per Twitter account; multiple pages within one website that each link to a specific Twitter account only count once.  To explain further, Majestic SEO’s Marketing Director Dixon Jones told Forbes that;

This list is different because it is based on the number and, importantly, the quality of websites that link to the Twitter profiles. Whilst other scores like Klout aim to measure things like the engagement of people, this intrinsically requires data from Twitter itself. Majestic requires no input from Twitter, and the score cannot be affected easily by manipulating tweets. Lastly, our list does not assume the “influencer” is a person. It may be a technology or a brand, and it may be in any language.  So in short, our list is independently collected data based on engagement from other websites, not other Twitter users, and is totally global and language agnostic.

We measured the citation flow, trust flow, external back links, referencing domains, referencing IP addresses, and referencing subnets. For those that are really interested in what these terms all mean, there is a video on this at http://blog.majesticseo.com/training/link-metrics-for-the-future-welcome-to-flow-metrics-video/

This all gives another interesting insight into who is allegedly doing Twitter well and who needs to step their game up.  The top 10 in the final list consisted of; Joomla!, Barak Obama, Twitter, YouTube, Lady Gaga, Prestashop, Justin Bieber, Mashable, Squarespace and Wikileaks.  Some very familiar names in there in what is a very US dominated affair.

So where does sport, and more interestingly for us European sport, sit within this list?  Well the actual list you could get from Majestic SEO (in the form of an Excel sheet) was down to 50,000.  So it makes it a pretty comprehensive study, but for this post we decided to take a look at just the top 1000.

Interestingly the top Sportsperson on the list was Rio Ferdinand (@RioFerdy5) at number 84!  He far outranked any other athlete or team that there is, showing how influential social media has become for a player nearing the end of his career.  For him it has developed into something much bigger than am sure he ever hoped, and may well become something he is as well known for as his footballing days in the future.  5 Mag and his range of clothing looks like just being the start for the former England star.

The highest ranked football club is Real Madrid (@RealMadrid).  Now this might come as a surprise to some as FC Barcelona beat them in terms of numbers of fans/followers on almost every platform they are both present on.  The club have been at the forefront of innovation within the space for a long time, with Adam Bader (Social Media Manager) and the team doing a great job.  If any of you are interested in where FC Barcelona ranked, it is number 3,623!  Some work to be done there maybe.

It’s an interesting read if you get the chance.  You can download the whole list by going to http://blog.majesticseo.com/forbes and am sure can pick out other interesting pieces of information from there in addition to what you read here.  To skim through the rest of the Top 1,000 and pick out interesting teams/athletes of note;

84   Rio Ferdinand

200  Real Madrid

257  NBA

287  NFL

301  Andy Murray

313  Chelsea FC

390  Rafa Nadal

452  Olympics

457  Cristiano Ronaldo

589  AC Milan

597  Usain Bolt

807  Arsenal FC

976  Diego Forlan

984  Gerrard Pique

Some that made it onto the list but just missed out on the top 1,000 spots were; Wayne Rooney (1286), Manchester United (2424), FC Barcelona (3623), AS Roma (8258) and Man City (3855).

What do you think about the metrics used and do you think a leaderboard is the best way to encourage businesses/teams/athletes to work harder and do better on the platform?


EVENT RECAP: Video, A Missed Opportunity For Sport?

Leading lights in video production, social media and sport descended upon Bar Kick, Shoreditch on Tuesday night to discuss the poser: “Video: Is it a missed opportunity for sport?”

After some grabbing of free drinks, introductions and reacquainting, the evening was kicked off by Dan McLaren who provided a brief overview to the evening. Setting up for a night of discussion around the opportunities for video across different platforms and with various objectives in mind.  We then enjoyed a quick intro from one of the sponsors, Stream UK.

Richard Welsh, Creative Director at Bigballs Films was the first to present as he introduced Bigballs and discussed their development as a partner with YouTube on the Copa90 channel. Richard spoke of the need for brands to be “agile” in the direction video content progresses; meaning companies can no longer think “year-by-year” about video, and must go granular and learn “minute-by-minute”. When producing content, brands must be willing to listen to audiences and adapt to the feedback received. He spoke of how Copa90 had used “Comments Below”, a show focused around discussions on football, to dictate the talking-points and content for the following week.

YouTube Preview Image

After Richard wrapped-up his presentation, there was plenty of food-for-thought to be discussed in a relative intermission before Pusher took to the stage to produce a live demonstration of reactive content and polling by asking the audience to vote on a choice of “Best Premier League goals of the season”. The demonstration was successful and was sure to provide onlookers with ideas about how the platform could be adapted for the needs of other, traditional broadcasting.


After a bit more mingling, the evening was concluded with a star-studded panel featuring (left-right) Dan McLaren of Pulse/UKSN, Mark Coyle of BT Sport, Denis Crushell of YouTube and Tom Hines from the RFU.

YouTube Preview Image

Questions for the panel were submitted from the audience and with the hashtag #UKSNvideo on Twitter. Much of the conversation revolved around the legalities of content ownership rights, second-screening opportunities and the value of user-generated content. Interestingly, the panel were unanimously agreed that the second-screen phase was going to be short-lived and that Smart TVs will soon integrate the second-screen onto one. Mark, being in an interesting position with BT Sport, strongly defended high-end production of video in an age of user-generated content.

For more detail in what happened on the night we have Storified all the tweets that used out hashtag, #UKSNvideo.  We’ll also be releasing video’s of the main presentation and panel session.  So stay tuned!


UKSN Event – 22nd January w/ Richard Ayers Q&A

It has been a fantastic journey for UKSN over these last 3 years, evolving all the time and now seen as one of the leading social media and sport blogs!  2013 promises so much more for both the site and the group as a whole.

To help celebrate our 3rd birthday we’ve put together an event here in London to start the New Year with a bang!

Come along and get together for a drink with friends old and new in the industry.  With almost 70 people already booked on there’s a great band of people to meet and get to know.

With us we will have Richard Ayers who will be taking part in a Q&A session, which UKSN founder Dan McLaren will be hosting.  Richard is the CEO of new digital agency Seven League (working with RFU, ECB and Harlequins RFC) and holds a number of other key positions but is perhaps best known for being Digital Innovation Consultant at Manchester City FC (previously Head of Digital).

Richard is also Head of Digital & Content at Limelight Sports and Associate Consultant at Two Circles.

We’ll be speaking to Richard to find out his views on social media, what the future holds for the industry, speak more about ‘datatainment’ and more specifically on how all this affects sport.  There will also be the opportunity to ask him questions on the night as we open up to questions from the audience.

After the Q&A and quick intro from the great guys at Squawka we’ll be switching on the Carling Cup semi-final second leg – Aston Villa v Bradford.  With Bradford leading 3-1 from the first tie, a big cup upset could be on the cards!

Richard Ayers


You can book your place on the event now, there are still a few places left >  http://uksn3rdbirthday.eventbrite.com


Venue:  Sports Cafe (upstairs), Piccadilly, London

Date:  Tuesday 22nd January

Time:  6.00pm


Sponsored by:


Squawka is the UK’s leading free second-screen web application dedicated to providing football fans with unrivalled real time data alongside social media for the match they are following.  Squawka takes data from Opta and visualises every stat you could wish for at the touch of a button. In addition, Squawka use the players on-ball actions to build the incredible Squawka Performance Score which crunches over 14m data points to show you the best and worst players on the pitch.  Despite still being in beta, Squawka has accumulated over 300k users since going live in June 2012.


Writers Wanted

After more than 2 years in existance its time to take UKSN to the next level.  Over the next few months there will be some changes to ensure it remains one of the best resources for social media and sport information out there.

During our history we’ve been lucky enough to have input from some great writers who have contributed their thoughts and ideas to the site.  If you think you’re up for the challenge and would like to contribute to the site with either a one off article or on a more regular basis then get in touch!

You dont need to have had previous experience of writing for sites or had work published and there are many benefits of being involved;

  • exposure to an audience of around 10k people a month – many of whom, are regular visitors to the site and are influential in the industry
  • no deadlines or rush, whatever you can contribute to the site is great (we all have day jobs after all)
  • can lead on to other assignements writing for other online (and offline) magazines
  • increase your profile – especially important if looking to build your brand or break into the industry
  • and much more :)

So if you want to get involved, have a great article just sitting around or know someone that does, email me or get in touch on Twitter at either @UKSportsNetwork or @DanielMclaren 


Canadian Social Media Policy, Michael Owen, David Villa and a Match Made in Heaven!

This is the last mash up summing the week in social media and sport before the Christmas celebrations really start!  It has been a fantastic year, a sentiment I hope you share too.

2012 is going to be another year of massive change in the world of social media as we see adoption rates accelerate and new technologies spring up.  With so many massive sports events to look forward to, including the first ‘social’ Olympic Games here in London.

Anyway, back to the week that was.  Here is your weekly round up…


David Villa on YouTube straight after surgery

Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa fractured his leg playing in the World Club Championships in Tokyo, meaning he will miss at least the next 4 months which may even extend to the Euro 2012 Championships.  To show his fans how we was getting on, his team posted a video of him coming out of surgery and then him giving a message to his fans.  This was posted on his own YouTube channel.  Who needs journalists to break news when the players can do it themselves?!


Super Bowl to be streamed online in 2012

Big news for all fans of the Super Bowl.  It was announced that next years big game will be streamed online by NBC Universal on their website and via Verizons NFL mobile app.  With the tight broadcasting rights around many sports this is going to be an interesting one to see what the uptake is like.  With the BBC planning to show all the Olympic sports via red button and their website next year too, could we see the rise of the internet enabled TV?


Canadian players develop own social media policy

The coach os a world junior ice hockey team is not on Twitter, and does really too much for it. But his players do enjoy it. So when it comes to making a policy for their conduct on it why not let those who know it best decide how they should use it?  It sounds like a great plan and appears to be working well.  Could this be the way forward for social media policy making?


Arsenal Facebook – Emirates 360 Panorama

As part of the clubs 125th anniversary celebrations, they have developed a Facebook app to enable fans to take themselves and friends who went to the Arsenal v Everton game on the 10th December.  Not a new idea but one that adds something new to their page and fans always like seeing themselves in the crowd to show friends.


Michael Owen fires back on Twitter to fan banter

One of the drawbacks for any ‘name’ on Twitter is that they are open to people throwing abuse at them or trying to wind them up enough to get a response.  This time it was Michael Owen’s time to lose his cool at one fan in particular.  It did seem to catch him at a sensitive time as he was tweeting about how he was upset by the amount and type of abuse levelled at Blackburn manager Steve Keen during the game against Bolton on Tuesday night.  Sometimes a simple ‘block’ or ‘block and report spam’ is the best answer though when emotions are running high it is easily done.


Pro team to sport Twitter handles instead of names on jerseys

Another trip over the pond to see what our friends in the US are up to.  This time it is one of the National Lacrosse League teams who have made some headlines.  They have announced that for their Feb 12th game each player will have their Twitter handle in place of their name on the back of their shirt.  In the meantime this requires each player to have a Twitter account and the club will be running Twitter training sessions in the lead-up to the game.  A bit of a PR gimmick but with the traning they are heading in the right direction at least.


Social Media and Football: a Match Made in Heaven

An article from The Wall Blog telling us something that most of us know, that football and social media are a perfect match with so much potential.  It takes a brief look at footballers and social, clubs and what they are doing plus a roundup of what the future holds.  It is a subject that could go on for much longer than a couple of hundred words as it does here but still quite a nice little summary.

Social Media & Sport Presentation

Below are the slides I used to give when I spoke, along with Daren Forsyth, at a UK Sport conference with some of the National Governing Bodies present, all eager to learn more.

It gave a pretty top line overview as to what is currently going on in the world of social media and the impact this is having upon sport.  We went through the Opportunities that were now being presented and also the threats that this new world is bringing (as we have seen from many back and front page headlines over the last couple of years).

The aim was to open a window into this world as we realise it can be scary and the easy option is to pretend it doesn’t exist.  We wanted to make it a bit less scary, answer any of the concerns being raised by those there and create enthusiasm to get involved and be pro-active.

I’ll be sharing more presentations in the coming days from other people that I hope you will find even more interesting.  Any questions please fire away on here or email me at daniel@theuksportsnetwork.com


UKSN Influencer Award 2010 – who would you nominate?

As we hit December and look back at a monumental year that 2010 certainly has been, we wanted to do more than just raise a Christmas glass of champers to it.  On a personal note  I have been lucky enough to meet many people who work on social media in different capacities within sports clubs, associations, athletes and brands as well get an awesome job with Carat Digital in London.

As part of our celebration of the year we want to find out who you see as being the most influential person here in the UK when it comes to Social Media within the Sports Industry.  All you have to do is fill in the survey you will find on this post and that pops up on the main webpage.

Nominations will be taken until the 15th January 2011 and the winner(s) will be announced at the next UKSN Networking Event which will be at the end of January in London.

Thanks to everyone for a great year and looking forward to an even better 2011.  Now get nominating!…..

Continue reading UKSN Influencer Award 2010 – who would you nominate?

Revamp for UKSN looms

After 8 months in existance it has been an interesting journey for The UK Sports Network and myself.  Now that I am embedded full-time in the social sphere with Carat in London and the direction the articles and interest shown has taken I have believed for a while a revamp is needed.

Over the next few weeks the site will develop more of a focus on the digital aspect of sport, which I believe we already serve well at the moment.  This will not only include more focused writing but a new look to the site as well.

I would like to take this opportunity to get your feedback and insights.  What content would you like to see on the site?  should we do more interviews/product reviews/breaking news? 

Any thought you have are gratefully received and I will start to implement them as time goes by.  With me being London based I aim to run more events and spend more time on the site (great news!).

My ultimate aim is for the site to help filling those gaps in information that are going to be most useful within the digital sports market.

If you would like to become involved then do get in touch.  I want to bring together a group of dedicated writers who are professionals within the space and have a lot to offer.  In the meantime the site will continue as normal, I hope you keep enjoying what we offer.

Thanks again and look forward to reading your thoughts.


London Sports Networker Event

Monday this week saw the first co-hosting of an event between Sportsnetworker.com and The UK Sports Network.  LinkedIn author and speaker Lewis Howes was over from the US and, as is now customary, held an event for sports networking professionals in the city of his visit.

The venue was the Sports Bar & Grill at Marylebone Station where we were able to take over the function room.  In January a free event was held which attracted around 130 people.  With this event being a paid affair and the first one in London our estimates on numbers were a little bit if a guess.

We had in the end just under 100 register online and a further 30 paid on the door for what was a bustling, vibrant evening with a great diversity of people attending.  One of the more familiar faces to be seen there was SkySports presenter Kevin Cadle who was a hugely successful basketball coach with the London Towers before making the switch to presenting American Football coverage on the satellite channel.

The evening was sponsored by Football Fans Census who I would like to thank for their support.  Unfortunately Tim could not make it to the the venue himself due to a family illness.

I hope that everyone who attended enjoyed the evening and made some great new connections that will help with their businesses.  I had some great chats with Jim Cowan from Cowan Global, Andy Smith at the FA, Dennis Mills from Major Events International, Honor Hancock, Antongiulio La Corte, Jurgen Reid and many others.

There were some suggestions of how we can make the event better which I will take on board.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions then do get in touch as I am always looking on moving these forward and increasing the amount each person gets out of the night.

Continue reading London Sports Networker Event