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Volume 26 No. 49
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Social Studies: Vikings Work To Be At Forefront Of Latest Technology

Vikings Exec Dir of Digital Media & Innovation Scott Kegley (@Vikings) began his career with the 49ers and was with them when they broke ground on Levi’s Stadium. Now in his fifth season in Minnesota, he has seen the Vikings open U.S. Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center, providing plenty of content to build around in recent years. Kegley’s group within the Vikings Entertainment Network oversees the editorial, digital and social teams, as well as the mobile app. He said, “That unified media approach is so powerful. It does make it nice because the sharing of information across media groups, whether that’s digital or social or production or gameday entertainment, you can share those resources across those different avenues and create a singular message. Driving awareness, branding and getting the word out on certain things and being consistent with everything you do is really important.”

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follow: Ian Padgham. He’s the artist behind Viking Quest, but before I first started working with him in San Francisco, he was just someone who’s work I admired. Working in social, you have to be creative. But then you meet someone like Ian and you realize how to take that to the next level.
Favorite app: From a social media perspective, I like Instagram. What the platform has done with Stories and IGTV, they are constantly changing.

Average time per day on social media: Too much. When I leave work, my battery is usually at 14% on my phone. I don’t know why it’s specifically that number. I think I use it the exact same amount every day.

Working with players, execs on social media:
There are certain players who, if you are specifically interested in social, we can work with them on a more individual basis, like a "do’s and don’ts" or "tips and tricks." Ultimately, we can utilize OpenDorse as well after a game or during events with videos that we make specifically for them with their highlights from training camp. That’s really important, because the engagement when a player is showing that content is really a huge increase from when we share it from our own channels. We work with our PR team when rookies join the organization and can speak to them about who we are and how we can help. We have a lot of other accounts internally, and our group is really a resource for those groups: our cheerleaders, our women's initiatives group, our mascot. That is an area we are going to grow even more.

Preseason “Minnesocial” game:
This is the third season in a row that we have done it. The fourth preseason game, the starters don’t play. Coming from San Francisco, when I was there, we didn’t control our preseason broadcasts. They partnered with a local affiliate. I’m working with our Director of Broadcasting Skip Krueger. We thought of ways to integrate social into that broadcast. We have a heat map where you can see, visually, conversation is happening about the Vikings around the world. We (were) able to stream that game internationally on Vikings.com. We take questions for Paul Allen, the voice of the Vikings, throughout the game. Then in the third quarter, our general manager joins the broadcast booth, and he answers questions from fans. We also have a ticker going across the screen so fans can join that conversation.

Staying atop tech developments/trends:
A lot of times, going into the offseason, that’s our time to plan for what we want to do. In February of '19, in a way, I’m planning for the '19 season, but in a way, I am planning for the '21 season. Before the '17 season, the NFL was able to permit teams to start their own connected TV platforms. We have been talking with people, and it wasn’t something we were able to do at that time, but when the NFL announced it was something teams could do on their own, there wasn’t a lot of debate internally over if we should start our own connected TV channel. It was more of, “Why would we not?” We knew we needed to start building an audience. We want to do things before they are the norm.

New for ’19 season:
We launched international social accounts with the UK and Germany. We have a company that we work with called Seven League, and they are helping us manage those channels because the time zones are so difficult to work around. And when you want to be speaking to that audience, you really have to know that audience and be ingrained in that culture. We launched a Twitter account in the UK and Germany; we have Instagram handles in Germany and the UK; and Facebook groups for the UK and Germany. We’ll be working with some of the fan groups there to even do a couple of meetups and maybe watch events, specifically in the London area.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.