Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BWB6: Athletes Off The Field

I'm in Chicago for Blogs With Balls 6 and taking plenty of notes. I'll be posting my notes from each panel here for the use of anyone who wants to check them out. Keep in mind that these are highlights, not complete transcripts. Every effort is given to be as accurate as possible; apologies for any transcription mistakes. Here are my notes from the second panel, Measuring Online Influence.

Athletes Off The Field
Don Povia, @HHReynolds, moderator
Shawn Smith: @1stLadyXAMSport
Mike Dolan, @mikedolanaq
John Thornton, @JohnThornton

SS: Has an agency with her husband
“I do all the marketing, the PR.”
MD: “I’m the editor and publisher of Athletes Quarterly.”
“We’re the official magazine of major league toilets.”
JT: “I’m an NFL agent at Octagon. Before joining Octagon last year I had my own agency.”
“Before that I had a 10-year career in the NFL.”
“I forced the Bengals to upgrade their website because I had more traffic than them.”

SS: Connor Barwin: “The dude is so authentic to what he loves.”
Barwin’s big on environmental causes

JT: “Athletes are taken advantage of a lot because we have our eyes elsewhere.”
“That’s the biggest reason athletes get in trouble. We’re trying to be the best at what we do and we’re not focused on post-career.”

MD on athletes trying to differentiate themselves: “It’s an elite fraternity. If you’re in the NBA, there’s only 400 of you, but there are 400 of you. They’re trying to find ways to stand out in a culturally-acceptable way so the team doesn’t give them a hard time.”
“Building that audience gives them a bit more leverage with brands because they’re not relying on playing time.”
“It makes them a more valuable commodity.”

DP: “How has social media helped and or hindered the players you work with?”
SS: “In the old days, it was press releases.”
DP: “Do press releases matter now?”
SS: “Not at all.”

On account managers:
SS: Facebook: “We make it very clear that it’s third person, it’s a fan page.”
“I will never ever manage an athlete’s Twitter account.”

JT: “I played with Chad Johnson. He took to Twitter and it went crazy.”
“He was a good player so he could do what he wanted. If he was an average player, it wouldn’t have lasted long.”
“Teams are watching.”
MD: “There’s nothing in it for the team for you to be a star on social media.”

JT on agents: “As soon as they didn’t do what they promised, I fired them. ...I fired four of them in 10 years.”
“Athletes have to hold people around them more accountable.”
“It’s not about how much money you have, it’s about what can you do when you’re done? Can you find something to make you happy?”
Dhani Jones: “He made a career out of being a weird guy.”
“Every time I turn on the TV, he’s hosting something.”
“He did it the right way. He didn’t do it for right now.”
“He’s doing much better than guys that were getting bigger endorsement deals while he was playing.”

SS: “It’s about learning who they are off the field and what they’re really passionate about off the field.”

JT on shady competing agents: “Those people will be out of business soon enough.”
“I’m going to recruit them the best way I know how. I’ll be honest and I’ll play within the rules.”
“They’ll come back to me.”
“There’s so many agents and not enough players.”
“There’s shady people in any business. There’s probably shady people in here.”

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