IMA 501 – Eirik Bjorno

Abstract:

All over Europe the main sport is soccer. There are millions and millions of soccer players across Europe who dreams of making it with one of the big clubs. But with so many young talents, the competition for the spots is incredibly hard. So what do a 18 year old player do when he is done with high school and have used the last 12-13 years on one sport, and realize he wont make it at the professional level just yet?

More and more players are looking to combine their sports with education. As the European educational system is set up it is hard to combine the two. Two different institutions that demand a lot of time and efforts, without working together makes are almost impossible to do. Therefor we see more and more European athletes seeking to find opportunities in America. I did it. My friends did it. And plenty of people back home would like to do it.So why not use my 4 years experience to something positive. Why don’t my knowledge about the NCAA system and American educational system to help my fellow athletes back in Europe to come over to America to combine school with sports?

Right of the bat Soccer is the sport I know the most about, but I know plenty of swimmers, golf, volleyball and tennis players who would be good enough to compete at

different college levels. To set up a recruitment business as a player who has gone through it, could be valuable both for me, and for the prospective student-athletes. I used recruitment agencies that helped with paperwork’s and to get in contact with potential universities. After I have gone through the process and discussed my experiences with my roommates, we have developed an understanding on how we could make the process more smooth and clear. A better online environment and society could help the student-athlete in the process.

Mission Statement:

Our recruitment agency focuses on bringing clear and concise information about the recruitment process to the student athletes. By providing to-do-lists, fill-in-budgets and calculators available online we want the prospective student athletes to understand where in the process they are at all times. Lastly we focus on bringing you as a student athlete the best service we can. By being available to you on Skype, Email and phone you can tell us about your needs at any given time. By providing services in English, Norwegian, French and Dutch we make sure you get the help you need. On the other side we provide coaches and college recruiters with all necessary academic and athletic information. Log in and find what you need to know about the athlete, all in one place. Videos, resume, grades, SAT scores and contact information are available to you at all times.

Flow Chart:

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Homepage:

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Athletes – MyProfile page

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Athletes – Checklist page

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Homepage design:

recuriment page

About Us Page Design

recuriment about us page

Social Media:

The last 6-7 years the use as social media in your marketing is crucial to get the result that you need. Most companies have their own account on all the different social networks. However, there is a big difference of being present on these cites, and using them effectively. The whole Social Media topic has turned into a part of the curriculum for media practitioners. For my page in particular, the use of social media as our marketing platform will be significant.

The inforgraphics presented below, gives us an understanding of how much time people actually spend on social network, and how popular these sites are compared to the other major networks out there. Only Search engine Google has more users than Facebook each month, and the next two sites are also search engines. It is more powerful than we can imagine.

                                                 top most visited web prop           spend their time

For my page in particular the presence on social networks will be a major factor in our marketing strategy.  We want to reach young athletes all across Europe and convince them to continue their career at a College in America. To post photos, videos, and information about how to get in contact with us, as well as how it is to be a student athlete. To use Instagram, twitter and Facebook to broadcast the beauty of college life can help convince customers who are on the fence to become our customers.

To use Social Media effectively you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each network. Who use Facebook, when do they use it and what should you post? It is a science. Lets look at the different social networks.

FACEBOOK:

Facebook is the network that offers you the most options at their site. You can build you corporate Facebook age into fully functional webpage as well as it offers a great way of interaction with the customers. But there is a wide spread on how different companies decide to use their Facebook pages. Some a re great, while others doesn’t take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Below is a list of the most popular corporate Facebook pages. The graphic to the left indicates how many people interacts and talks about a brand on Facebook, while the other is a list showing the number of fans the respective sites have.

engagement             # fans facebook

The number of fans that you have does not necessary  mean that you have a great corporate Facebook page, while the other graph is a better indicator on how your brand is doing on social network. your goal as a Social Media Strategist is to get people to talk about your clients products. As we can see of the graph Coca Cola is clearly winning both categories.

To take a look at Coca Cola’s Facebook page we can see what they are doing something really smart. Their homepage has the traditional Wall feature, but if we take a closer look, they have incorporated a piece of their web store to their page. Here you can shop your favorite Coca-Cola merchandise, and will be linked straight to their store online store if you choose a product. Smart. I would grab this feature for my corporate webpage. I would build it up so some of my pages from my website would be accessible through Facebook, just as Coca Cola is doing.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.31.49 AM          Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.31.23 AM      

To introduce a Facebook page that is more relevant to my project, I will take a look at Red Bull’s page. As you may know Red Bull sponsors some of the best extreme sport athletes in the world. Ski stars, Formula 1, BMX riders and many more are all on Red Bulls Payroll. They take full advantage of these ambassadors as their theme and pictures are all extreme, and crabs the viewers attention right of the bat. They try to get people to engage in discussion about their extreme photos and videos. They also have incorporated their own TV channel, RED BULL TV into their Facebook page. This is a concept I’m a big fan of. It is also set up in a way that you wont be redirected anywhere to watch it, you simply stay in your Facebook window the whole time. I will look closer on their marketing strategy when I get to the Instagram section of my analysis.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.51.45 AM      Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.52.30 AM

How to use Facebook in the best way:

—Post length:
—Facebook allows 420 characters per status update, BUT Keep it short & sweet!
—Posts with 80 characters or less have a 27% higher engagement rate
—Post timing
– —Most brands post during the day, when the Social Media strategists (and everyone else) are at work.
  —Brands that post outside business hours have 20% higher engagement rates
—- Most brands post during the week.
—  Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday, Friday & Sunday (Rates do vary by industry)
Post Content
Posts that end with a question have 15% higher engagement rates than those with questions in the beginning or middle.
—“Where,” “when,” “would,” and “should” drive highest engagement.
Avoid asking “why” and “did” questions.

Twitter:

—Twitter has changed the way corporate business conduct their marketing and information flow. Information about promotions supplemented with a link to the online store, provided to all the followers in a blink of an eye changes the way companies conduct themselves in the market place. If Adidas has a sale on running shoes for one our online, they can tweet it to their 2 million followers instantly. Sky is really the limit when it comes to the instant message system Twitter really is.
Untitled
Twitter can be used in soo many ways. Below I have different examples of good use of twitter. All of them might not be completely in my field, but these things are general tips that would make your corporate Twitter Account a lot better.
american express dunkin
American Express: Posts news and like we see here; Special promotions. Asking for customer interaction, and promote their offer in a effective way.

Dunkin Donuts
: This is a top of the class example of how customer service is done on Twitter. An immediate response to a specific complain a customer posts on a social network, and further providing the customer a way of resolving the problem. At the end of the day, it is the customers who keeps any business alive.
H & M xbox-blog-full
H&M: Another example on how Twitter can be used. A behind the scenes look from a photoshop with one of their most famous models; David Beckham. By hash-tagging #DavidBeckham you draw attention to you profile without focusing on your own products. By adding a photo that gives you the fell that you have been granted behind the scenes access makes the customer feel special when they follow your account. Yet again a smart move from H&M.
Xbox: The Xbox response team claim that they are the most responsive brand on Twitter. Here we see an excellent example of customer service. Dylan McElroy tweets about his xbox, without hashtagging anything still Xbox picks it up, and respond instantly.
nike delivery               nike_football-blog-full

Nike: Nike also have a well developed Social media team bringing the organization closer to its consumers. By acting friendly, being helpful on a personal level, you gain customers.

How to use Twitter in the best way:

When to post:

Twitter has opposite busy ours than Facebook, and Saturday is the best day to, even though it seems that companies don’t take advantage of the high relative engagement rate on saturdays.

twitter v Facebook busy hours twitter days

Post Content:—
– Links –> Tweets that contain links receive 86% more retweets than those that do not.
—- —Length –>—Tweets that contain less than 100 characters receive 17% higher engagement than longer tweets.
– Frequency –>
frequency twitter

 

INSTAGRAM

Instagram has grown up as a great addition to the two major social networks. Instagram is most effectively used if you link it up to Facebook and Twitter. This way you make your readers aware that you are present on all the networks. By posting interesting photos and an effective use of hashtags you can draw attention to you corporation and services. I follow two companies on Instagram that I feel do an excellent job.

Red Bull:

Yet again I want to highlight RedBull. They use Instagram in a very engaging way. By creating the hashtags #flyingfriday and #givesyouwings they encourage interaction with their followers. Red Bull post spectacular photos with their athletes every friday. With hashtag they hope their fans will do the same. Below you see some of the photos from both RedBull and their fans.

photo gf5 photo 4gffg photo gfg3 photo 3 photo 1 photo 2

New York Nets:

The other account I would like to mention is Brooklyn Nets. They have taken Instagram and use it as a part of their news outlet, and they post tons of behind the scenes material. From locker-rooms, team-talks and other situations where fans normally don’t have access.

photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

Linked In

To have a good professional network is important for any Business. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to post job openings, or search to find candidates that could fit your company well. It is an excellent tool to use. But it is important to have your account set up in a professional way. Adobe was voted as the best company on Linked In in 2012, and I want to show show some examples why. I also included some photos from Nike’s LinkedIn account, so we could see the difference.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 2.52.10 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-10 at 2.52.26 PM

As we can see Adobe’s account has different cover photos, it describes its products properly, it has an engaging video that will show the company from a positive side. It is overall professional made.

If we compare it to Nike’s account below, we find that the page is not fully filled out. It has only two products explains, and the cover photo is simply not clean and appealing to me. Also their lack of interactions with job seeking LinkedIn users is a turnoff for me.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 2.53.40 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-10 at 2.53.03 PM

YouTube:

As YouTube has changed their channel layout, it is hard for me to pick one channel above the other. There is really much choice in what you can change on the design. I would have to mention NBA as a strong channel though. Their nice and clean design, combine with the Social Media logo’s makes the page both convenient and nice to look at. Youtube is not something I will be spending alot of time on for my webpage though.

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Pintrest:

For me Pintrest is not one of the social medias I would spend much time on. This is simply because of their demographics. As shown in the graphic below, Pintrest has mostly women between 25 and 34. My target audience is for the most part potential college students. So I’m looking at people between 18-20 years old. Also 50 % of pintrest users have children, which is far from ideal for my purposes.  Major difference. To spend time on a social network that is not drawing people into your project is a waste of time and money, so therefor I simply decide not to have a pintrest account for my website at this point in time.

Pintrest

PR – Article:

To promote my website I would have to rely on publications in many different european countries, or internationally known online publications/blogs. I think the best thing would be to go for a feature article on previous college soccer players helping others to reach their academic and athletic goals. To be mentioned in a blogpost for Sports Illustrated would be the ultimate for my company, as well as several posts in more local newspapers and publications across Europe.

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Budget:

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Link to ‘live’ Website:

http://www.pelldesigns.com/ima-503/eirik/content/home.php

One comment

  1. Patrick · October 20, 2013

    Eirick,

    This is a very good concept. I don’t think there are many sites out there within this specific space. This leads me to see the disconnect between coach and athlete. The age difference and the general traits of the old time coach regardless of age is what pops into mind. Many would think of the outside person not sitting in front of a computer – handhelds exist of course but mentally that is inside not outside if you get my meaning. Doing not consuming.
    However I am sure the usage is large. This is where the iterations of this product for web, mobile and in long run television delivery.
    The revenue generation of this becomes huge here. The ability for schools and other institutions is endless. Many schools even high schools are starting to use this vehicle to deliver content and revenue for athletic programs. Due to budget cuts athletics are among the first areas to suffer. I have some links of HS sports programs that are using this to fund programs. Some much content can be here. Videos, lists, diagrams, calorie counters, Nike Fuelband, huge area of growth.
    Home exercise – Wii like device products and areas of possible validation – President’s Council on Physical Fitness – Move Michele Obama’s council.
    Much to discuss.
    Marketing is going to be a lot of work. Finding celebrity athletes to back this – coaches, etc. Lots to discuss.

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