Welcome to Front Row Seats PR

front-row-seats

The purpose of this blog is to share, write and create content for ambitious PR professionals who share the same passion for sports as myself. As an enthusiast for sports I will bring excitement in the world of sports PR. This blog will primarily focus on players and athletes, but will also touch on organizations and events. Some of the content in this blog will involve crisis communication through media and athlete and organizational marketing.

My goal through this process is to gain experience in PR to one day become a leader in the field, while also providing important information to my audience. In addition my goal from you, is to communicate with me and questions comments or ideas of what you would like to see from me.

Thanks!

Two Major Ways Technology Has Changed Sports Media

 

1. Instant Communication

We live in an amazing time for technological advances in communication. Your voice can be heard immediately by a large audience by the click of a button. This idea has changed the face of the world of sports as organizations, players and fans can easily communicate with each other within seconds. One of the biggest concepts that has changed the way people are involved with sports is through instant score updates. According to

fantasy_football

Betoclock.com

salesforce.com, “smartphones will be almost as ubiquitous as TVs during the game, with nearly as many viewers planning to use their smartphones (82%) as TVs (84%).” People during the Super Bowl communicated with each other via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Fans also used apps like ESPN and Bleacher Report to stay updated with stats and replays. Replays on apps like this let fans control the content they want to see. Another beneficial aspect instant communication provides is quick communication with favorite players. Before social media was around to communicate with players fans either had to wait for the opportunity to speak to a player at a game or in a public place which is very hard to do or send the player letters which could take weeks to reply to if they ever even do. With social media you can tweet at players, direct message them and even become “friends” on social media sites.

2. Bigger Community 

As sports media grows and social media media compliments its evolution, the sports community becomes endlessly larger. People can react to issues, events and games instantly with friends, family and likeminded people. People are able to communicate with each other about a sporting event from any area which has cell service or wifi. Fans can join fan groups on sites like Facebook to support their favorite player or team. Fans can
actually interact with each other more than ever before thanks to the creation of communities like fantasy sports. Fantasy sports allow fans to create or join leagues where they form teams of their favorite players and based off their stats compete in games
against other fans. Players also have an outlet through social media to use as an outlet. Although this is a good tool to use to communicate and interact with fans it can easily

Paul george

Pictaram.com

damage a player. Players need to be more careful than ever when it comes to using social media as what may seem like a simple tweet can turn into a huge mess. For example Paul Georgia of the Indiana Pacers tweeted about his frustration he has for his team. In return his reputation with the team has been so damaged his fellow teammates and the teams executives don’t trust him and believe he should be traded.

All together the technological advances we get to experience have changed the face of sports media for the better. More people are able to be educated about sports than ever before. Ideas like fantasy sports have  evolved into a billion dollar industry which supports every major sports league. Fans can communicate quicker than ever before in new found communities. More importantly, the sports experience is more enjoyable and easier to be involved in than ever before.

 

Who Won the Deflategate?

It has been two years since the deflategate scandal emerged and it isn’t over yet.

Deflategate is the one of the largest sports controversies in recent years. It took the NFL,

Players Tribune.jpg

Courtesy of theplayerstribune.com

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots over a year to finally settle the case after it was
reopened. In consequence to the balls being deflated during the AFC championship game during the 2014-2015 season, Tom Brady received a four game suspension and the New England Patriots were fined $1 million and lost their 2016 first-round pick and 2017 fourth-round pick in the NFL draft.

 

It is easy to look at the Patriots and see that they have simply lost the battle because of their harsh penalties. The NFL although is the other contender in this long lasting struggle of power. Behind the scenes the NFL has has been losing ratings and trust. A lot of the loss

Goodell

Courtesy of Boston.Sportsthenandnow.com

in trust has to do with the commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell is the same man that has been accused of letting domestic violence problems in the NFL continue by not properly investigating. Goodell took the mission of deflategate on his own shoulders and personally took charge at Tom Brady for the deflation of NFL regulated footballs. The problem here is the penalties don’t make any sense. Players like Jared Allen have received two game suspensions for multiple DUIs or a one game suspension for assault charges. The most stunning charge was how Goodell personally suspended Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys for a horrible domestic violence charge against his ex-girlfriend. The Stunning part of this was that the suspension was in the same season as Tom Brady’s deflategate but Tom Brady received more of a penalty… for allegedly taking air out of footballs. Greg Hardy and Tom Brady both were suspended for four games, but Brady’s team was also penalized.

The transparency throughout the entire deflategate is what caused fans to lose trust. The problem is, the NFL did nothing to answer. The PR problem with this is no one understood or currently understands why it was that big of a problem if Tom Brady still is the best quarterback, and still won a Super Bowl in amazing fashion with regulation inflated balls. Why is this a bigger crime than multiple DUIs, possessions of firearms, drugs or domestic violence. The NFL cannot answer, they are not transparent and this is why they have lost trust. Goodell was actually quoted after being asked about what he does he said, “The thing you have to always do every day is earn that trust, earn that credibility and that’s in how you act and how you do things…Being transparent. Making sure people understand the decisions you make.” On top of all this in his 10 years as commissioner he has made over $240 million. Shouldn’t someone of that status be transparent with the fans? Shouldn’t he accomplish his goals which he personally states?

In all the NFL is the loser of the deflategate. After all the dust settled the NFL ended up paying more than $20 million during the deflategate scandal, they lost trust and ultimately lost ratings. Maybe this should have been a sign that they should reconsider the face of their organization Roger Goodell.

 

 

The Three Most Important Rules for Creating Sports Infographics

Infographics are becoming one of the most popular tools for the world of sports public relations. In a world which has exponentially developed smaller attention spans, infographics have emerged as a quick and easy way of getting information across to an audience. Essentially infographics are used to visually tell a story in order to get information across to a target audience. With sports this is especially crucial as the visual world of information dominates the new audience of fans. In fact, people across the globe are reading less and watching and viewing more. With in many cases, only seconds to get information across a infographic made right can mean all the difference. Reports are not always what people want to read but in many cases are crucial to get across to fans. Infographics are a brilliant way to get people to see the message you want to get across.

1. Target the right audience. The right target audience can make all the difference. WithinOregon sports, there are many audiences within audiences and its important that you target the right people. For example, posting a infographic about a University of Oregon mens basketball game on the GoDucks Facebook page may not have as much success as posting
it on the mens basketball Bleacherreport.com page. Infographics are not always supposed to be appealing and relevant to everyone. In fact they should be made for a specific audience to keep people viewing in those valuable seconds it takes for many to scan through a page.

2. Be Visually Entertaining. This is the primary point of an infographic. Being visually entertaining can mean too muchthe difference between someone viewing or tossing aside an infographic. According to T-sciences.com, “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.”Pictures also invoke emotion, which is extremely crucial to keeping someones attention with an infographic. The infographic to the left is a perfect example of too much text and not enough visuals.

3. Keep it Simple. Keeping it simple is the last crucial aspect to a infographic which can make or break its success. The more information on a infographic, in many cases the less successful it is. It’s hard as a creator of an infographic to not include information that in many cases you see as essential, but the less wording typically the easier something is to read. There is a fine line of what is too much information, so as a rule to be safe, include less but more important information to create success in an infographic. Just like I mentioned before people want to see visuals. Don’t let this fool you though, there are many examples of visuals being overdone.

In the world of PR we are faced with today, there is an abundance of information in the media. Infographics are a great way to stick out and get an audience to view your information. With sports, journalists want quick statistics they can put in their stories and they won’t spend much time reading through a thick report. Instead, infographics are a great way for them to quickly sift through the information. If you choose the right target audience, keep it simple and are virtually entertaining, chances are your information will be received with attention.

Speak or Play?

In response to Prlandscape.wordpress.com

Time for Kaepernick to stand up … and lead (SFChronicle)

Speaking out for what you believe in, in professional sports is a very controversial thing to do. In many circumstances like Colin Kaepernick’s confusing situation, people expect you to voice your opinions on subjects, even if it costs him his career. Colin Kaepernick chose to use his star status to protest against police brutality, by taking a knee during the national anthem during regular season NFL games. Recently he has opted to end his protest. As speculations swirl around his motives for ending his season long protest, Colin Kaepernickpeople expect him to finish what he started and continue bringing awareness to the problems he has identified in american culture. Kaepernick is also faced with the dilemma that general managers, across the NFL do not like the attention he is receiving. Kaepernick in a sense is faced with the choice of being silenced by his career or speaking out for what he believes is right. It will be interesting to see what stance he will take as this year unfolds. Kaepernick could also play it safe by toning down the “aggressive” stance many believe he took by kneeling, but in reality, had he not kneeled he would not have gained nearly as much attention and awareness levels would be much lower.

Terry Bradshaw who has publicly stated he does not support Kaepernick’s stance, is ironically faced with a similar situation. Bradshaw has always spoken out against Kaepernick’s stance, in fact he was quoted staying, “I do have a problem when people in Terrythis country don’t respect our flag and national anthem,” Bradshaw said. “All you got to do is look around—this country’s getting worse and worse and more and more immoral,
and we’re rotting from within.” He believes he should respect the flag and hold his personal feelings to himself. Ironically, Bradshaw who is a former NFL quarterback as well, is faced with a similar situation. In recent years Bradshaw has been working as an NFL announcer and broadcaster. He has publicly stated that he is pinned by his job to only state he is religious but cannot specifically talk about Jesus as he wishes because, “if we say Jesus, you automatically are pigeonholed and kicked off the desk.”

Both these people, even though they do not agree with each other walk fine lines in regards to what they can say and cannot say professionally.This raises the question of “does freedom of speech exist in professional sports?”. The easy answer would be an obvious yes, because either person can realistically say whatever they want, but the underlying status quo says no. What I mean by this is that any professional can say whatever they want, but it may cost them their career along the way. So is that realistically freedom? Many of these professionals are trapped by their contracts and salaries to stay silent when it comes to social issues.

Three Signs a Sports Organization Needs to Move

Moving a sports franchise is a very controversial thing to do. Nobody wants to lose their city’s team, but sometimes it is what needs to be done.  There are always rumors floating around about an organization that is considering relocating.  These rumors arise because a team shows one of these three signs explained below.

Loyal fanbase: Moving a team has to be absolutely perfect to work out successfully. Fan bases are crucial to a teams success. Without an active and loyal fan base, organizations do not most importantly make money, but also have need moral support for players, coaches etc.  This is the most obvious reason teams move in the eyes of fans and is what starts most of the relocating rumors.Hornets .jpg A quick example of this would be why the Sacramento Kings have so many rumors circling around their organization. Another organization with many rumors circling around them are the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have actually relocated so many times that this wouldn’t be a surprise for many if it happened. The Hornets actually have the lowest attendance rating in the entire NBA and many say because it is a product of the relocations. Without loyal fans, means no loyal attendance. This quickly starts a discussion of where to move. For more information on teams with this same problem check out Mens Journal.

Support from a city: Between the “Big 4” (NFL,NHL,NBA and MLB) there are over 100 professional sports teams. Not every city can support a professional sports team or in many cases multiple. Cities are more involved with their professional sports teams than many think. In most cases cities are asked to help fund organizations because in return sports teams provide a huge boost for a cities economy. KD.jpgIf organizations do not feel they are respected enough by a city, they can essentially pick up and move to another location that fits them better. A good example of this would be the case with the Seattle Supersonics. Although that move is said to have other motives behind it, this is the excuse they used as the city would not agree to spend as much as the owner wanted on a new stadium.

More profitable potential market: There are many circumstances in which an organization loses potential profit and sometimes it has to do with location. Professional sports organizations are just like any other business, if they have the potential to make more money doing something else, well most likely they are going to do that. Sometimes this something else means somewhere else. This is the largest reason as to why sports organizations choose to relocate and is the case for the two most recent relocations in professional sports. The now Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers both relocated to the City of Angels to make more money. NFL: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ViewsThe primary reason for this was larger fan bases. Even though Los Angeles has to split their fan base in two, their individual markets are still larger than the cities they came from. Many talk about how the Chargers move was bad because of this, but actually experts disagree. Like I mentioned before a loyal fan base is important, but can also create more profit. What better way to create loyal fans than start an instant rivalry a large market like Los Angeles. The people of Los angeles now will want to represent their team of choice more loyally by buying apparel and becoming more involved.

 

Are Postgame Press Conferences Pointless?

A very public area of controversy in sports media is the “postgame press conference.” What is the point? Well, tocam-newton cater to the needs of media. The question is, should they really be required for athletes and are they ethical?

There are two outcomes to most sporting events, either you win or you lose. In professional sports, players are required by contract to speak after a win or loss, or face a large fine. For many, speaking after a win can be part of the celebration, but speaking after a loss could be considered public shaming. It’s very unlikely players want to speak to the press after a loss, in fact in many circumstances they don’t even answer their questions. A very popular example of this would be Cam Newton walking out of a post game press conference in the middle of a question. Newton had just lost a game he was obviously very passionate about. After the loss the reporters asked questions that he clearly did not want to answer, it was obvious by his body language that he just wanted to get out, and he didn’t want to explain simple questions that reporters already knew the answer to.

Some athletes just avoid press conferences all together because they aren’t comfortable and they don’t find they belong in that kind of media. Marshawn Lynch is notorious in the media for this exact reason.  In an interview Lynch stated,”And I’m not as comfortable, especially at the position I play, making it about me… When I do interviews, most of the time it’ll come back to me. There are only so many times I can say, ‘I owe it to my offensive linemen,’ or, ‘The credit should go to my teammates,’ before it becomes run down.”marshawn This brings up a good point. The star players are constantly being challenged to do interviews, which brings a lot of lime light to them, when in reality it was a whole team effort. Another good point he made is “There are only so many times I can say”,this can refer to every game. If a player doesn’t want to talk they will say the same thing at every press conference. So is the media really doing their job by finding news worthy material?

So whats the point if he doesn’t want to participate? Is this kind of media productive? The answer is no, but it creates a story. In these two popular cases their reactions drew attention so the reporters goals were accomplished. The real question is, is this ethical? Is it news worthy? And how many countless interviews have not been newsworthy.

There has to be a way that organizations like the NBA and NFL can improve postgame press conferences. Speaking to someone who actually wants to talk could be of way more benefit than a popular figure who doesn’t want to be there, but has to because of their ability to perform better athletically. Press conferences are always going to be necessary, but they need to change to be ethical.

 

Three Reasons Twitter Is Necessary for Professional Athletes

In response to Prlandscape.wordpress.com

Would Public Relations Survive Without Twitter? (Forbes)

twitterAthletes use of social media is something that has caused a great amount of controversy since it became popularized. There are pros and cons to using social media, but when used properly it can be a great tool for athletes to use. Twitter specifically is something that can be of great benefit to athletes for a couple different reasons.

1. To get information across to media. Many athletes want to avoid or struggle with interviews and public speaking. It is understandable as to why, many athletes believe their they should just be tasked with playing sports. Unfortunately for them the media is unescapable for high profile athletes. Athletes can damage their career easily by not communicating properly with the media. There are countless amounts of press conferences that are embarrassing, funny, and have damaged athletes careers across the internet, for 20 of the most notable sports press conference fails check out this link, 20 most cringeworthy sports press conferences ever.  If an athlete is unsure how to answer a question, or simply doesn’t want to they can simply avoid the question all together, or dodge the question, think about it and address it later via twitter.

2. To promote personal brand and endorsements. Like like for everyone using twitter, athletes can network through their use of twitter. Twitter is a great social media platform to not only promote endorsements but build a personal presence that can in turn draw companies in. If an athlete has a good reputation, the more popular he or she is on twitter, the more a company will want to work with them. For example NBA star LeBron James charges $140,000 to tweet about a product or brand according to ESPN. For more information visit this link, LeBron James Price to Tweet.

3. To Form relationships. Twitter is a great way for athletes to communicate with fans. Without a fan base an athlete is nothing, so rallying a fan base around one’s self could turn popularity into profit. Fans look up to athletes in many regards as their heroes. Before social media came around, specifically twitter, it was near impossible to communicate with a professional athlete. Someone would have to send a letter, or try and see them in person to be able to communicate with their favorite player. Now fans can keep up with their favorite player’s life, and even communicate directly with them from their phones. This is a great way for players to develop loyal fan bases as twitter humanizes athletes who are is some senses dehumanized through their celebrity status. The larger and more loyal a fan base is to a specific player can mean more chances for endorsements as a previously mentioned.

Overall twitter use by athletes remains a controversy. There are many circumstances that athletes can damage their careers, but when used properly twitter can serve as a great tool.