Social media – Pro skating’s digital skatepark

There are over 11 million active skateboarders today, but you wouldn’t know that sitting here in India. Even if you follow mainstream American or European media, you are unlikely to find too many mentions of the sport. Yet, wikipedia states that the skateboarding market was worth $4.8 billion wordwide, and that was in 2009!

The question then is, how does a sport still relatively marginalized by mainstream media attract millions of fans and build iconic superstars?

Well, back in 2000, this was how I learnt about skateboarders.


The X Games on TV. And my PlayStation with the game Tony Hawk Pro Skater. A combination of the two made me learn about guys like Bob Burnquist, Andrew Reynolds, and my personal favourite Rodney Mullen.

If not video games, it was movies like the ’86 cult classic Thrashin’ or videos shot and released by skateboarders themselves, that historically led to the acceptance of the sport as well as the popularity of its greatest performers.

Social media and pro skaters

The video below explains through opinions from pro skateboarders ranging from the age of 16 to 40, the importance social media plays in self promotion.

As a glimpse of the perspective that the video will give you – Ten years ago, a skateboarder had to get an interview with a magazine to get his face, name and word out. Today, social media serves as is their personal magazines.

Watch the full video below. You will hear skaters talk about social media and its benefits, endless possibilities, video capabilities of Instagram, and even show a little scepticism.

This video is part of a series on the Red Bull YouTube channel called “Pushing Forward”.


8 sports stars into digital sports startups

Grabyo grabbed the headlines recently for raising money from some A list footballers and basketball star Tony Parker. Apart from generating bad puns, the development also marks the continuation of a recent trend of sports stars getting involved with digital innovation companies, especially ones that are connected to sports.

Clearly, the present generation of athlete-celebrities have moved on from partnering in restaurants and buying small stakes in franchises to finding the next Zuckerberg.

1 to 4: Henry, RvP, Fabregas, and Tony Parker – GRABYO

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Social media trends and innovations in football

The International Football Arena (IFA) Berlin took place last week. First started in 1999, it is an event where top people from the business world of football get together and share ideas and insights from their individual fields of specialisation. Benjamin Stoll was there and has written a detailed account of all that was spoken about at IFA Berlin (not to be confused with the consumer electronics event).

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The primary focus of IFA Berlin was the emergence of Digital Media and its importance to the world of football. As the title suggests, social media was an important subject of discussion during this event. Below we give you a quick look at a few topics covered.  Continue reading

3 reasons why Nike gets social media

Nike saw the importance of digital marketing and shifted from traditional medium to digital media early. They are one of the kings in the social media space for sports brands, as Jessica Smith points out in her piece. As Jessica points out, there are 3 big reasons why Nike gets social media.

1. Restructured their resources

They restructured the spending of their resources and didn’t just throw money at digital. By reducing the amount spent on traditional print and TV ads (as much as 40% in the US) they rearranged that money to be spent on digital and social media campaigns. The company’s current marketing budget stands at $2.4 billion. Continue reading

Some fan engagement stats that you won’t see in India (yet)!

Q1 Productions have made an infographic filled video of fan engagement stats from American sports. Data like this is hard to come by in India where stadiums lack the technologies to engage spectators, let alone monitor how many have entered the stadium without a ticket!

Here are some interesting points that stood out for us.

  • 88% of sports fans use a second screen, i.e. their laptop or mobile phones for additional data on a game that they are watching live on TV.
  • Getting spectators to your stadium early increases their overall spending. 40% increase in early arrivals increased overall spend by 59% at Seattle Sounders FC
  • Interacting with fans in the stands with cheering activities such as ‘Shout’ can create new habits for them to follow.

Watch the whole video below


How digital marketing is bringing in more money for football clubs

The use of digital media and marketing by big consumer brands is par for the course in today’s marketing world. The latest trend is in football clubs joining the bandwagon. But while brands look for maximum exposure and impressions, with football clubs advertising money needs to translate into an answer to the million dollar question, “how many of those new seats in the new section in the stadium are being filled?”.

Here are a few insights from a post about where the money is to be made for football clubs from digital. Continue reading

How the British Open has broken from tradition and gone digital

A case study on engaging with fans at the venue


At the 2014 British Open, won by Rory McIlroy, fans at the venue had access to something they take granted in their day to day lives, but have been mostly denied at one of golf’s traditional show pieces so far — Wifi.

From a fan engagement perspective though, it is their switch to digital scoreboards (or leaderboards — the apt reference for golf) that is changing the way people stay informed about what’s happening.

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