Digital Media Cafe Blog – Featuring Wi-Fi in Stadiums, Raynforest, Puma and Vine – David Granger

August 20, 2014

Poor Signals: The Second Screen Revolution

Last week it was Manchester United banning tablets, this week it’s the fans who are revolting over technology at football matches. On this occasion it was PSV Eindhoven’s fans using some rather low-brow language to urge the club and its supporters to concentrate on the game, not their wifi signal. They’re against turning matches into experiences for casual fans. They were quite vocal about it. Interestingly this all comes in the same week that the San Francisco 49ers had their first game at their new home ground, the Levi’s Stadium. This place is so bang-up to date it even has an army of tech gurus in bowties to help the fans navigate the stadium app which can do everything from streaming video to… ordering your interval refreshments which are then brought to your seat. Yes, you heard that right. But… it wasn’t all slick and efficient – the wifi in the stadium kept breaking down and food orders were not delivered. Nothing more frustrating.

So in the past couple of weeks we’ve seen some very different opinions, regulations and experiences of second screens at live sporting events – and not many of those are positive ones. Could it be the case that the sports fan just wants to escape technology, see some live action and just watch the game? Should second screens remain on the sofa? Let us know what you think.

Raynforest: Sporting Match-Makers

Now, if your company is in need of some sporting celebrity promotion then where do you find an athlete or team that fits your brand profile? Well, just in case that one was keeping you up at night Raynforest has come to your rescue. It calls itself a sports influencer marketplace and essentially matches up brands who want to be associated with sporting personalities with potential brand ambassadors.

So if you’re a sports influencer you can sign up to the site. The influencer can create a custom profile and search for campaigns they’re interested in, while a brand’s marketers can invite influencers to work with them on a campaign. Of course, from an athlete management perspective this is a great place to demonstrate how social media savvy our clients are, and use that to financial gain, removing a lot of the time-consuming searching and scouring.

Puma: #troublemakers #called

Ever since the hashtag used to launch Scottish singer Susan Boyle’s album – check out the link, that one is not for broadcast – brands should have been on their guard about launching tags for the public to play with. The latest to fall foul was Puma’s PR campaign to personalize online autograph cards. Tweeters could type in their name which would then appear on a card signed by the star if they used #FasterForever. So Puma ambassadors like Usain Bolt and Cesc Fabregas were addressing some very unsavoury characters – but it may have been an epic PR stunt, as the clothing firm’s latest ad tagline is Calling All Troublemakers. Which they certainly managed to do. But, like Susan Album party, these are not one for the easily offended.

Rights-holders: It’s Not Fine To Vine

Online technology and rights-holders were again drawing up battle lines as the Premier League has started clamping down on footage of goals being posted and shared online. This time it was Vine, the Twitter-owned platform for six-second videos which was targeted. For the fans Vine is a great way to replay a game’s best moments – it’s short, it loads quickly and it loops, so you can watch the magic over and over. But for the Premier League, not so much. As the FIA does on YouTube, so the rights-holder of football in the UK is keen to keep viewers using the official channels. The Premier League, while insisting it doesn’t want to be killjoys is using gif and Vine crawlers in the fight to keep its intellectual property in the rightful hands of Sky, BT and The Sun and The Times who’ve paid big money to show the football. But if the internet does anything it gives everyone the power to publish and while it’s right that their IP is protected, it’s going to be a difficult battle to stop every posting on every channel.

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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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