Digital Media Cafe Blog 16th October: Featuring Drones, Formula One and Mike Scott’s Tattoos – David Granger

By iSportconnect | October 16, 2014

Hello and welcome to the iSportconnect Digital Café Blog. In this week’s edition we take a look at the argeuments over social media in sport, why new camera technology is both blessing and curse for sport and how one player’s taking his inspiration from his texting technique.

Drone Invasion: The 21st Century Pitch Invasion

We were going to feature here a piece about the use of drone cameras in sport. How the spectacle had been vastly enhanced by the use of remote-controlled digital cameras, and how they were improving the vantage point of everyone who was following either golf or other sports such as winter events, skiing and snowboarding.

But then this week, the whole drone scene changed with the football game in Serbia. The images of the pitch battles after a flag-bearing drone entered the stadium. We’ll leave the political commentary and write-up to those with more insight, but suffice it to say it’s not a use of technology which can be condoned and one wonders where it will lead to. Drone cameras are cheap, and while this kind of digital gadget is a boon for fans when used correctly, let’s hope it’s not the start of pitch invasions 21st century style.

Social Media in F1: Getting Behind the Scenes

Formula One thrives on good conflict. Whether it be on the track between drivers, in the Paddock between teams or in the factories between engine manufacturers, there’s nothing like a difference of opinion and a bit of rivalry. The latest one is over the use of social media in the sport. Whereas Bernie Ecclestone, the sports’ head and the man who decides where races are held and who gets to see them believes nothing should be given away for free, deputy team principal Claire Williams believes that to ensure the sport’s continued popularity more social media should be employed.

The example she used at a recent conference was that more life-behind-the-cameras content should be available. It’s not difficult to see how these two polar opposites of opinion come to pass. In very simple terms, for Ecclestone, the more people who have to pay to see the better, for Williams, the bigger the audience and the happier the sponsors. And, with respect to Williams, F1 has been doing social for some years now. All that behind the scenes content has been made available by Red Bull Racing with its F1 Spy and McLaren’s Fifth Driver since 2009. But it is always tempered by the strict regulations heavily enforced by Formula One Management and the simple fact that F1, as it’s as much about the race in terms of technical innovation as cars on a track thrives on secrecy – a picture of a motorhome in the Paddock hardly constitutes great behind the scenes content. Fans want a lot more, but teams and Ecclestone would never allow it. Social is all about giving content away for free and that’s not going to happen in F1’s current state. A state of conflict. F1’s default state.

Making A Mark: Tattoos’ Text Appeal

Emojis are a curious thing. The childlike cartoon symbols used in texts, social posts are either considered the lowest form of communication or a great shortcut to letting people know you’re being sarcastic. They divide opinion like little else.

But for one NBA player they have become a brand trait. Albeit a permanent one tattooed over his whole body. For Atlanta Hawks star Mike Scott has decided to make his mark on the game by getting himself covered in angry faces, mean faces, pairs of dancing girls, and more smiley and not so smiley faces – it’s all because Scott uses emojis a lot when I text and has done for some time. He claims he started the trend. It’s one way to stand out in sport, and demonstrate an understanding of the language of the digital age. But it’s not going to look cool when he’s 64. And yes, he’s having more done.

Having spent eight seasons in Formula One managing the digital channels for world champions Red Bull Racing, David Granger now runs Fact 51, a social and digital content agency.

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