The 1st Tweet By Each Team After Selecting Their First Round NFL Draft Pick

2014NFLDraftThe post is pretty self explanatory. We compiled the first tweet by each team after they made their first round selections. The first two picks, made by the Texans and Rams respectively, synced their tweets with the pick selection announcement made by commissioner Roger Goodell. Scroll down to see the first tweets of all 32 selections.

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney

2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles

4. Buffalo Bills via trade with Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins

5. Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack
The Raiders deleted their first tweet after picking Khalil Mack. The quote below was the original tweet and did not include a picture.

The first tweet that now appears on the Raiders timeline is:

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans

8. Cleveland Browns via trade with Minnesota Vikings: Justin Gilbert

9. Minnesota Vikings via trade with Cleveland Browns: Anthony Barr

10. Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron

11. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan

12. New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr.

13. St. Louis Rams: Aaron Donald

14. Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Shazier

16. Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin

17. Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley

18. New York Jets: Calvin Pryor

19. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Wuan James

20. New Orleans Saints via trade with Arizona Cardinals: Brandin Cooks

21. Green Bay Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

22. Cleveland Browns via trade with Philadelphia Eagles: Johnny Manziel
The Browns deleted their first tweet after picking Johnny Manziel. The quote below was the original tweet and did not include a picture.

The first tweet that now appears on the Browns timeline is:

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Dee Ford

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett

26. Philadelphia Eagles via trade with Cleveland Browns: Marcus Smith

27. Arizona Cardinals via trade with New Orleans Saints: Deone Bucannon

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin

29. New England Patriots: Dominique Easley

30. San Francisco 49ers: Jimmie Ward

31. Denver Broncos: Bradley Roby

32. Minnesota Vikings via trade with Seattle Seahawks: Teddy Bridgewater

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NCAA Men’s Hockey Teams Up With John Buccigross To Reveal Top Seeds In Tournament Before Selection Show

2014 Frozen FourThe NCAA found a fun and unique way to unveil the top four seeds for the upcoming NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament. The Selection Show airs on ESPNU at 12pm ET today, but the NCAA teamed up with John Buccigross to reveal the top four seeds and the regions of the bracket in which they’ll be playing before the show begins. At 11am ET, @NCAAIceHockey announced the overall #1 seeds in alphabetical order. After the seeds were announced @Buccigross revealed the order and the location of the seeds. The integration with Twitter won’t detract fans from watching the Selection Show as the rest of the field still needs to be announced including the bubble teams and the the opponents of the top seeds.

Here’s how it all went down on Twitter…

Then Buccigross proceeded to announce the top four seeds by ranking and their region.

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Panel Recap of the 2014 Sports Industry Conference

On March 12, 2014, the University of Toronto hosted distinguished members of the sports industry to speak at the Sports Industry Conference. For those in attendance, the speakers provided valuable insights into the industry, through the three panels and keynote. The event was also live streamed, and can be watched below.

Moderators are in bold.



Speakers: Richard Powers (Associate Dean and Executive Director, Rotman MBA), Matt Maccarone (Manager of Sports Marketing, Nike Canada), Greg Woods (Head of Marketing and Partnerships, UFC Canada), Corey Friesen (Director of Marketing, Under Armour Americas), Keith Gordon (President, NFL Players Inc.)

With a heavy focus on marketing, this panel appropriately featured marketing executives from sports apparel companies, the UFC, and NFL Players Inc.

Though there were strict rules against marketing at the Sochi Olympics, Nike and Under Armour did it anyways, creatively – because anytime you can further your brand on an international stage, you do it! In Nike’s case, to show off their brand, they used one of their most marketable athletes, Alex Bilodeau. Bilodeau, wearing a hat with a Nike swoosh under his helmet, was trained to take his helmet off whenever he could, basically becoming a walking advertisement for Nike.

Meanwhile, Under Armour was fortunate enough to provide the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic speed skating team at Sochi, but were embroiled in controversy when the team failed to meet expectations. The athletes put the blame on the new uniforms; even changing to the older Under Armour suits. Still, another deal was signed, this time for 8 years (covering two Olympics), which would give a chance for Under Armour to “fix” the uniform.

The UFC in particular is a brilliant example of good marketing. In Canada, the UFC is experiencing massive growth. Currently, on a per-capita basis, Canada consumes more MMA than any other nation. Dana White, the commissioner of the UFC, is an interesting case because he is unlike most other commissioners. For one, White is younger than commissioners in the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB. At the sprightly age of 44, White is much more tech-savvy than other league bosses. He’s made it a priority that Twitter be a big part of what the athletes do, providing incentives in cash to fighters who compose good tweets. Dana himself is a huge personality, and is extremely active on Twitter on his own as well. In many ways, he is the face of his own league, which some purists may be against. However, there is no denying that he has been behind a huge growth in the UFC.

The coming out of Jason Collins and Michael Sam was also touched on. Keith Gordon, in comparing the styles of David Stern (NBA commissioner) and Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner), mentioned Jason Collins as an example of Stern’s willingness to be a pioneer. In the NFL, the owners are likely to not care at all about a player’s orientation, since teams are so dollar-driven.

The transformation of advertising is important as well: maybe ten or twenty years ago, pasting an athlete’s face on a cereal box would be positively grand for his brand. But in today’s world, it just doesn’t have the same impact. Instead, social media is coming to the forefront as a premier marketing strategy, since it builds an audience and keeps it in special ways.



Speakers: Matt Mitchell (Professor of Business Economics, Rotman), Alex Rucker (Senior Analytics Consultant, Toronto Raptors), Reid Mitchell (Director of Scouting Adiministration, Toronto Maple Leafs), Alex Burwasser (Analyst, Bloomberg Sports), and Timothy Chan (Industrial Engineering Professor, University of Toronto)

Appropriately sponsored by Bloomberg Sports, this discussion was the one that brought the most light to the way front offices in sports are run.

A big part of this panel was the relationship between analytics and scouting. In basketball, this is particularly difficult, since there are multiple variables that interfere when scouting prospects. How do you compare a professional in Europe to a college player? Every league plays a different game, and in these situations, it’s almost impossible to judge by stats. The differences in leagues are most glaring in basketball, since the rules are completely different. For instance, in his last year in Europe, Ricky Rubio’s stats were down across the board (4.8 ppg and 4.1 apg in 22 minutes). In his first season in the NBA, Rubio blew these numbers out, almost averaging a double double with 11 and 8. What the numbers don’t take into account are the huge differences between the European game and the American one. In Europe, players are given less freedom to do what they want. There is much more freelancing in the NBA, and because of this, some players are just more suited to play in American leagues than others.

In hockey, the struggle is just as real as it is in basketball. Leagues other than the NHL only keep stats for goals, assists, plus-minus, and penalty minutes, which, as Timothy Chan put it, is “like the NHL twenty years ago.” Advanced metrics are very difficult to find in these leagues, forcing an even stronger emphasis on attributes such as character, size, and play style.

Mentioned as a player who exceeded expectations, Connor Brown posted a horrendous -72 in his draft year. Brown is now leading the OHL by 20 points. Obviously there may be some inflation due to him playing with super-duper prospect Connor McDavid, but as Reid Mitchell said, “I’m not saying he’ll be in the Hall of Fame, but boy he’s got a good start.” Plus-minus is a causal stat, and based on a player’s environment, he may end up either posting a great number or a very disappointing one.

But the panel wasn’t just limited to scouting – if it were, Alex Burwasser and Timothy Chan may have been left without much to say. The importance of “intangibles” and teamwork was in play, with Reid Mitchell placing high importance on both aspects of a player. In fact, traditional metrics were exposed to be of little importance when evaluating a player. However, there’s no doubt that there are statistics that teams use but hide from the public. More than anything, running a team is as much of a competition as what is going on during the matches. Each team is in a battle against each other. And because ultra-competitive people are running them, any kind of advantage will be used and protected.

When a player is performing well because of causal reasons, they become especially difficult to evaluate. Clearly there is no real way to know how good these players really are, which is evidenced by the multitude of bad deals that pro teams make. The Kunitz-Crosby relationship was used as an example: would Kunitz be as successful a player if Crosby were not his linemate? For scouts, it’s not enough to evaluate Kunitz when Crosby is out of the lineup, since with him out, there is a huge amount of cap space that would be filled if Crosby were not playing with him at all. This, however, only applies to salary cap leagues, where strategies that wouldn’t take place otherwise are employed.

In front offices, analytics play a huge role when contracts are being written. We are now seeing teams use more advanced stats than goals or assists when evaluating a player’s value. This often translates to better contracts, and a better way to correctly assess what a player is really worth.



Speakers: Gurdeep Ahluwalia (Anchor and Reporter, TSN), Debora Silveira (Senior Account Executive, Twitter Canada), Dave Hopkinson (Chief Commercial Officer, MLSE), Keith Gordon (President, NFL Players Inc.), James Duthie (Host, NHL on TSN)

Featuring people who have been on TV, and hosted by a very cool man, the Twitter panel was one that delved into fan interaction in sports and its growth as a result of social media.

When speaking about “trolls” on social media, James Duthie mentioned “Twitter Terrorism”, an act that him and his co-worker Bob McKenzie often engage in to combat attacks. One such act of Terrorism was when one person tweeted that he would kill Duthie’s son. Enraged, he went on a sleuthing tear that ended with him calling the tweeter’s hockey coach, getting him suspended from the team. In general, these hate tweets are a part of being on social media, and is nearly an expectation at this point. Because of this, it is necessary that public figures are careful about who they respond to and what they say online. As Duthie says, social media is a reflection of society in that most of the people are good, but the ones that are not may have a louder voice. A positive is that these few jerks are also shot down when they do gain traction, a reflection of the good on social media.

In MLSE’s case, Twitter is a huge part of their organization. The Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Marlies all follow back, since, as Dave Hopkinson puts it, “if you’re going to have an authentic connection, it needs to be two-ways.” The importance of this philosophy is that there is more fan engagement than if the organization saw it as only one-way street (such as Manchester United), and MLSE sees this two-way interaction as a good investment. An advantage for a company like MLSE is that they can see what fans are saying on a public forum, while engaging in the conversation.

It’s also interesting that some athletes who would be lesser known if it weren’t for Twitter have been able to build their brand through it. An example that was referenced is Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0), who is, by all rights, a marginal NHL player. Through Twitter, fans were exposed to his wit and humor, something you just don’t get from watching him on the ice. His hockey will always be mediocre on an NHL level, but when you compare him to a player like Phil Kessel, who rarely tweets but is an extremely skilled player, his personality shines through his Twitter account. Players are also given training throughout the year, and are told “don’t put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the newspaper.”

In the athletes’ case, Twitter is even more important because of sponsorships and endorsements. Almost all contracts now have a social media component involved, and because of this, the players could be more guarded than they usually are. A single tweet could change a person’s life.

Athletes will also use Twitter to engage in real-time connections. Twitter can create special moments for fans. Even a retweet or a reply by an athlete is special. Last offseason, Kevin Durant played pick-up with some fans at a local court, making their days. Did this build his brand? Yes, it did. Twitter offers the chance for athletes to maximize their potential as a brand. Because of this, many athletes have teams that help them decide what to tweet. An important note is that the tweets still need to be authentic, in that the athletes need to be themselves when they tweet. Fans want to know the person, not an account run by a group of marketers.

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5 Big Picture Takeaways From #DSFE14

Tuesday closed the doors on a great, information-packed two days in Dallas at the Q1 Productions Digital Sports Fan Engagement conference. I’d say most of us are still unpacking all the information, still filing it away neatly, trying to pluck out points most useful to our brands, while identifying ways to incorporate them into our strategies. Not every point will be agreed upon, not every tactic will prove beneficial to every brand, but as is the case with most anything, the best ideas are born from the discourse.
Trying to summarize and recap every major point from the many presenters would be an exercise in futility. Yet, some broad strokes really stuck out to me… the type of things that are applicable to any brand, any sport, any audience.

1) Write Everything in Pencil

Russell Houghtaling, Director of Digital Media at the University of Oklahoma, made this statement before laying out his presentation, but it’s a principle that holds true in every situation. New platforms constantly pop up in the marketplace and attempting to predict those of which have staying power and those that do not proves folly. Even those platforms which have been around the longest in digital, are still only 10 years old – babies as far as the marketing landscape is concerned. So we’re all still learning how to utilize them most effectively. Even examples of those who do it best are only captured across a few years, a small sample size of data when you step away from it.

So it’s all written in pencil. What’s good today may not work tomorrow. Being adaptable isn’t a perk; it’s a necessity.

2) Incentivize Every Experience

Chris Yandle, Assistant Athletics Director of Communications at the University of Miami, said it so well Monday:

In a humorous way, he touched on a theme that showed up in numerous presentations: fans need to be validated. Accomplishing this validation can occur in so many different ways. Some fans place a premium value on having their tweets replied to, favorited and RT’d. Others love having their picture on the big screen at the arena.

When you listen to Jeramie McPeek, the VP of Digital for the Phoenix Suns, talk about the Suns’ loyalty program, Club Orange, it becomes very clear that incentivizing each fan’s every action is of premium value. Buy tickets? Get points. Show up? Get points. Like, RT, comment, share? Get points. Then cash those points in for actual meaningful fan experiences, like taking a picture with the team or getting a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities, or maybe even eating pizza with the Suns Gorilla. The Suns want you to know that everything you do has value to them… and they want to reward you for that.

3) “Fish where the fish are.”

Katie Miller, Group Director of Sports & Entertainment Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, really drove this point home during the Sponsor Partnerships panel. It’s a simple tenet, but one often lost in broader discussions on creative strategy. Sure, in the idealized world fans would do and say and respond and think exactly as we anticipate them to. Unfortunately. This. Never. Happens. So you have to meet them where they are. Sometimes it’s better to not overthink these things.

As much as we all want to coach fans and direct them to engage in the ways we prefer, at the end of the day, we have to go where they are. If we don’t? We won’t catch any fish.

4) Use Every Weapon in Your Arsenal

Kenton Olson, Director of Digital Media & Emerging Media with the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, discussed how the Seahawks have cleverly leveraged celebrities into fan engagement, through mainstream outlets like Macklemore, which open them up to previously untouched markets. Craig Pintens, Senior Associate Athletic Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the University of Oregon talked about incorporating the Oregon Michael Jordan’s. Lauren Murray, Digital and Social Communications Manager for Jimmie Johnson Racing related turning the negative hashtag #blamejj into a comically fun winner for Jimmie Johnson.

Each presented creative, innovative ways to generate fan interest without an inside-the-box mentality. It seems a common mistake is targeting initiatives to the die-hard fans…the type that do not need to be won over. Olson, Pintens and Murray offer clear examples of ways to broaden the umbrella and attract fans that maybe wouldn’t inherently follow your brand because of a blind affinity to it.

5) Engage Fans Authentically

The days of slapping a sponsor on a post/tweet/status and calling it engagement are over (if they ever started…). Fans see right through phony tactics and dressed up versions of manipulation. As nameless and faceless as social media can be, fans want to be dealt with as you would any person face-to-face. Would you slap a Taco Bell sticker on your head and dance around your friend to convince them to like you? Then why treat the fans any differently?

The best way to connect, engage and, ultimately, produce repeat business, is by meeting the fans where they are and giving them an actual meaningful experience. This ties back to takeaway no. 2, but no one feels validated by hollow gestures.

As a blogger, I found #DSFE14 to be fascinating on so many levels, even if the exchange of information didn’t specifically tailor to my needs. My goals aren’t all that dissimilar from those of digital marketing pros. We all want to capture eyeballs and keep them returning.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway, though, even bigger than the five I mentioned above, is that the conversation doesn’t end here. This is merely the beginning. #DSFE14 gave us all an opportunity to gather, bounce ideas off one another, learn from one another and bond over the battles we fight on a daily basis. Yet, it doesn’t cease because the conference room doors are closed, and we’re all back to our homes and comfortable environments. Let’s do with one another what we all set out to do with our fanbases: engage, engage, engage.

Continue the conversation with @Q1Sports. We look forward to more meetings, more engagements and more opportunities to learn and grow with you all!

Q1 Productions has partnered with blogger Dan Davis (@ATVS_PaulCrewe) from And the Valley Shook for a series of blogs leading up to and after the Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference (#DSFE14). Dan will also be in attendance at the program, live tweeting from the official @Q1Sports account.

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More Than A Year In Advance, Arizona Already Engaging Fans Through Social Media For Super Bowl XLIX

As the hoopla around the Super Bowl comes to a close in New York and New Jersey, the preparations for next year’s big game in Arizona have already begun. Members from the Arizona Host Committee (AHC) were scattered throughout the region to participate in events and learn from the NY/NJ Host Committee ahead of next year’s Super Bowl. David Rousseau, Chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, and Jay Parry, CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, participated in events throughout the region. Also making a trip to the east coast was the AHC’s director of social media, or as listed on his business card, the “Social Media QB.”

The Arizona Host Committee’s Social Media QB was in New York and New Jersey throughout Super Bowl Week to learn from the NY/NJ Host Committee and provide original content for AHC’s social media outlets. Throughout the week, the Social Media QB sought new engagement opportunities for AHC’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and YouTube accounts. Just like a fan visiting from Seattle or Denver, the Social Media QB chronicled his trip through social media as he visited all that a Super Bowl in New York and New Jersey had to offer: Media Day, Super Bowl Boulevard, tourist attractions around New York City, a plethora of parties and, of course, the big game at MetLife Stadium.

In September, when all the @AZSuperBowl accounts were first launched, AHC only had 400 followers across their platforms. Entering the week of Super Bowl 48 in NY/NJ, they had approximately 12,000, but added more than 10,000 new followers by kick-off. The Social Media QB said the goal is to have 49,000 total social followers across all platforms in time for the 49th Super Bowl on Feb. 1, 2015.

Arizona has hosted two previous Super Bowl games, in 1996 and 2008. Social media was not around in 1996 and it was not yet a focus for the committee leading up to the 2008 game. The goal of the AHC’s social media platforms is to be a resource to all fans and visitors to the “Valley of the Sun” in the lead up to Super Bowl XLIX.

The Arizona Host Committee is also the first host committee to create Spanish language accounts. The Arizona Host Committee has a Twitter and Facebook account with solely Spanish updates.

While taking back many notes and experiences to Arizona, the most impressive feat, according to the Social Media QB was the Social Media Communications Center. The SMCC served as the central location for social media content creation, engagement, and rapid response during Super Bowl XLVIII. While details have not been finalized, the Social Media QB said plans have been outlined for a similar hub next year in Arizona.

The Arizona Host Committee social media platforms will be active throughout the year leading up to Super Bowl XLIX. Follow them here:


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