Social Media and the BayHawks

Friday, May 15, 2009

Let me pause from basketball talk for a post to quickly address the issue of social media in sports. From youTube to blogs like this one (and others more widely read), the Internet has already had a profound impact on the sports industry. Social media is the IT topic of the Internet and business today, and the business of sports is no different.

I regularly see the NBA updating its Facebook status. I get regular Twitter updates from Bill Simmons commenting on games, and Shaquille O’Neal commenting on everything.

With that in mind, I think the D-League would do itself a big favor to take the reigns and make social media its darling. It’s one of the best ways to spread news quickly and reach a broad audience. And no one’s totally sure how to best make it work just yet.

The Erie BayHawks are out there trying their hand at social media. You can follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook or find them on MySpace (although the layout on this one makes the page nearly impossible to navigate).

I definitely think it’s good for the BayHawks to be out there. I also don’t think they’re in with everyone else, trying to figure out how to effectively use these technologies to market themselves, connect with fans, and build up the BayHawks name in cyberspace.

This blog is just a tiny part of the blogosphere, which itself is just a small piece of the social media world. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m pretty sure someone out there does, and it’s probably not someone running a D-League franchise. It’s probably someone fresh out of college. Today’s graduates have been using Facebook for years. While you sent Fido out to fetch the Sunday paper, they were tweeting about the headline they’d already read.

If I have any social media advice to offer the BayHawks and the D-League, it’s to take this seriously. I don’t think social media is a fad. Twitter is the evolutionary descendant of the telegraph. Facebook is the grandchild of Instant Messanger and E-Mail. These innovations make life and communication easy even if figuring out the best way to use them is hard. Don’t overlook them. Don’t misuse them. Invest in the time and talent to get them to work for you, and it’ll pay off in the long run.


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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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