SBD/Issue 9/Events & Attractions

IMG Sports Marketing Symposium: Examining Social Media In Sports

Fernandez, Hessert, Vaynerchuk, Mandel And
McBeth (l tor r) Discuss Social Media Landscape

Simply owning a Facebook page and a Twitter account does not cut it in today’s social media landscape. Companies hoping to leverage social media into increased exposure and revenue need a well-defined strategy that layers social campaigns with traditional marketing. That was the message yesterday at the SBJ/SBD IMG Sports Marketing Symposium during a discussion titled, "It’s the Place to Be: But What’s Working in Social Media and Sports Marketing?" Panelists included MediaLink Senior Partner Eric Fernandez; Sports Media Challenge President Kathleen Hessert; AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions VP/Marketing & Media Innovation Maria Mandel; Wieden + Kennedy Old Spice Community Manager Dean McBeth; and VaynerMedia co-Founder Gary Vaynerchuk. “The online consumer is dramatically smarter than we thought,” Vaynerchuk said. “And BS does not go as far anymore with them.” Hessert said she sees many companies rolling out social marketing tactics -- using a Twitter updates or a Facebook fan page -- without connecting them under a strategy. Social media efforts the panelists like include players giving shout outs to fans via Twitter and the Nets using the geolocation website Gowalla to drop virtual tickets throughout N.Y. They also cited using geolocation sites such as FourSquare to smoothen stadium activities such as parking, buying concessions and using the restroom. “Traditional marketing is about numbers and scale,” Fernandez said. “Social media is more about engagement level -- less about the number you’ve amassed and more about the dialogue.”

CLARIFICATION: After Tuesday’s 20-minute “debate” about whether or not companies can measure return-on-investment with Turnkey Intelligence VP Steve Seiferheld arguing no and rEvolution Senior VP Darren Marshall arguing yes, members of the audience were asked to text in a vote answering, “Can a true ROI be calculated?” Of the 55 people responding, 56% voted no, while 44% voted yes (THE DAILY).

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