SXSW – Key Learnings Day 2

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come” – Victor Hugo

I think this quote kind of sums up the day but my colleague summed it up nicely at dinner “It’s not so much a ton of new ideas but rather just an articulation of them”.

Well said.

Here’s my highlights from #sxsw Day 2:

1. Session on Gaming: Gamers know the secret to success is to lose fast and find the edges. I love this. Can apply to virtually every area of business. Also, gamers believe constant improvement is possible.

2. Food trucks & social media: One of the biggest drives for food trucks is Yelp. Made me think if/how I can use it for sports buisness. Can I get our restaurant listed on foodie sites? Can i get us listed as events all over town? Some basic ways to use sites looking to “recommend” to list you.

3. Branding: U can’t win friends (customers) if you only talk about your self. The most influential content will transcend the brand with an engaging mix of articles, info graphics, video links, etc that span across common interests. I think this is a common problem with sports teams and business in general. They like to talk about themself.

4. Branding with Athletes: CAA said its hard for athletes to have true brand exposure on Twitter only. So, they’ve created platforms like this for fans to interact with their brands.  httpv://

5. Nike Fuel Band: If you haven’t heard about it, here is the info. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post the Tampa Bay Lightning are leading the way in terms of sports franchises and RFID technology, however this band has my mind spinning. Can’t wait to discuss how we use this technology to enhance our customer experience. Hands down, the best conversations so far have been between my team and this band.

6. Cyborgs – Amber Case was definitely one of the most thought provoking speakers I’ve heard. Hard to describe her keynote so I’ve just linked the notes here.

I think that’s enough for one day. I know I’m exhausted.

However, before I go I’ll give a shout out to Fed Ex for what I think was one of the best marketing stunts of the show so far.

The human charger.

Meet Rodney (or per the picture, Rodney’s back) aka my human Fed Ex charging machine. I just plugged into his jacket and he’d walk with me between sessions.

It was awesome.

As is this conference.


SXSW – Key Learnings Day 1

Amazing conference.

So many awe-inspiring ideas in one place. The best part is the ability to dream about how we can use all this technology in sports. I’ve taken so many notes, it’s hard to wade through it all but… here’s some of my favorite stuff so far from the 3 best sessions:

1. Macrowikinomics with Don Tapscott – he talked about 5 principles for the age of network intelligence. They are Collaboration, Transperency, Sharing, Interdependence and Integrity. When talking about transperency he said “Imagine being naked. If you were going to be naked on the internet, you’d make sure you were lean & buff”.

Gave alot of great examples but 1 of my favorite was the story of the CEO of Gold Corp who owned land where there was supposedly gold but no one he hired could find it. After years of looking and almost giving up he put a contest on the internet with a $500k+ prize to whoever could locate the gold. At the time putting data like that on the internet for the masses was unheard of. He changed the game. And, they found the gold and it made him a billionaire. You can read the whole story here.

He also shared this video about the starlings in Northern England to prove his point that when everyone works together phenomenal things can occur.

2. Designing for Women.

Some facts: Women make or influence 80% of consumer decisions. Women spend 60% of all ecommerce dollars. Women buy not just for themselves for for the ones they love. Women spend more time on social media than men.

So, when selling to women: emphasize benefits over features & craft your narrative to let her know what your product can do for her and her people 🙂

3. The Sports Fan in 2015. Since this is my livelihood, i was interested. Plus, we were featured (see pic to left) as a brand to watch because, and i quote “The Tampa Bay Lightning are leading the way in sports when it comes to the Fan Experience.” For more info on our cool new STM jerseys, read this.

Here’s the trends to look for in sports in the future.

1. Fan Regrouping Apps – TM is working on this now. Ability to sit next to your friends by seeing where they are at online.

2. Crowdsourced Coaching – more directed but still giving problems to fans to solve.

3. In arena personalization – the ability to know when a STM walks in (we can do this) but also, to send them the food they want at a certain time.

5. Explosion of second screen apps – ability to place bets on player stats, food ordering, etc.

6. Biometric enhanced box scores – ability to see a players heartbeats per min during the game.

7. Remote fandom – fans around world can tune in for press conference & actually ask the questions.

8. Redefinition of fan access.

I’ll add the slideshare video when they post it.


Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

There are so many great reasons to celebrate his birthday.

Like his books.

His quotes.

His way of making learning fun.

Or simply the man himself.

Here’s a great article on how he was truly ahead of his time.

And here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abondon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is” – Dr Seuss

Happy Birthday!


Everyone is a King

Recently, 3 events have happened in my life that made me think of the olden times where Kings sat on their throne and demanded entertainment.

One was while I was in Dubai.

Check out this photo. This photo is actually one of the better ones of me attempting to fly. Although the Prince was not there, we were skydiving in his private wind tunnel. Think big glass hamster ball in the middle of the room.

The way it was set up, people could sit on couches all around and watch you attempt to fly (aka smack into the glass and look like a total idiot in my case).

I could just imagine all the royalty sitting around watching us and when they got bored we’d just be ejected right up into the air out of their sight. Out of sight. Out of mind. Bring on the next entertainment act.

Second was this past weekend in Vegas at KA. If you haven’t seen the Cirque show you should check it out. Basically, the story is one of turmoil where a young prince and princess who are twins are seperated and their kingdom is overthrown. Before all the drama happens though, they had a happy life where they’d sit around and wait for local folks to entertain them in various ways. They’d just sit there in front of the thrown as their parents (the King) brought in various comics, dancers, acrobats, etc to entertain the family.

And of course, lastly (and most god-awfully) is this SuperBowl commercial from Pepsi. Truly a horrible commercial for many reasons. But again, a great example of someone trying to entertain a King.

As I experienced these 3 events over the last 2 months, i couldn’t help but think that in today’s world:


As a marketer, i feel constant pressure to entertain my audience (as I should). Due to the wide (and quick) acceptance of social media people are entitled, everyone has an opinion & everyone feels like they are owed your best.

Whether you like it or not, it’s a reality.

So, the sooner you start marketing towards individuals rather than the masses, the sooner you will win the customer war.

One. At. A. Time.

Today, this question keeps popping up in my mind:

How would we change our approach (collateral, TV spot, presentation) if we knew we were performing in front of a King and not just a fan?