Digital Media Cafe Blog 5th November: Featuring Louis Saha, the Austin Grand Prix and Manchester City – David Granger

By iSportconnect | November 5, 2014

Saha Launches Network for Sports Pros

The former French and Manchester United footballer Louis Saha has launched a social network which he hopes will help athletes and their agents and coaches better manage their careers and their clients. And Saha’s motivation for entering the social arena comes from a statistic he quotes which shows around 50% of sport professionals go bankrupt after they hang up their boots.
To that end, Axis Stars is designed help active professional players and athletes and also those in their post-career. The network has already attracted well-known footballers such as Didier Drogba and Robert Pires, as well as NBA players and those from the worlds of boxing and motorsport.
 
New Frontier: F1 Needs To Spread Some Social Love

America has always been a tough test for Formula One. Tough to sell to the native crowd and tough because F1, its sponsors and backers need to have a secure foothold in the US. It seemed on Sunday as if the sport had once again hit the self-destruct button with two teams not racing due to money problems and a further two threatening to pull out of the grand prix because of the perceived bias in financial favour of the big four teams.
Thankfully those teams with cars at the Circuit of the Americas did run, but again the American sporting public were left scratching their heads at the state of the sport. But perhaps change will come not from Formula One, but the Americans themselves. We’ve long championed on this show the social marketing work of the Austin Grand Prix, and now the Circuit of the Americas itself is taking the initiative. Their CEO Jason Dial is the former chief marketing officer for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and intends to make the US Grand Prix as much of a festival on the track as online – bringing the sport to the fans with all the insight, insider information and backstage content 21st century fans expect, but F1 occasionally fails to deliver.
The other sea change needed to make this possible however is of course to up the ante in social media, something F1 could certainly do with improving. To appeal to the American fanbase which is saturated in great content, Formula One needs to lose its aversion to social.
 
Ultimate Second Screen: CityMatchday App

In contrast to F1, Manchester City have long been keen advocates of improving the social and digital experience for its fans who watch either at the Etihad Stadium or from their sofas. And they’ve improved the digital experience further with a new app which launched in time for the weekend derby match against United.
CityMatchday is basically everything – including the kitchen sink – you need in a second screen including a live video replay facility. So now if you missed part of the action or want to see something again, you just use the app to rewind and replay. This is in addition to live behind-the-scenes videos and interviews, footage from the players’ tunnel, the press conferences, commentary from special guests and tactical cam which gives a bird’s eye view of action on the pitch. And just in case that wasn’t enough there are games to play through the match to try to predict the results and scorers and vote for man of the match.
We’ll have links to the free download for iPhone and Android on this week’s blog, where you can find out more details about the app’s features. Now, if only F1 could come up with something similar…

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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