Snapchat Doodle Contest from Callaway Golf

Engagement is important on any social media network. After all, the ability to connect with our consumer one-on-one is what sets it a part from other media. This week Callaway Golf hosted a Snapchat doodle contest.  Doodle contest are a great example of how brands can engage with consumers on the platform. For the doodle contest, Callaway Golf shared a picture of their Chrome Soft golf ball, asked fans to screenshot it and then draw a Halloween costume on the golf ball. Fans then shared their creation to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ChromeSoftCostume

This campaign is strong for several reasons. Here’s why it works:

Template Format
Callaway Golf provided users with the same “template” to use for their snap drawing. That helped keep things consistent and guided some direction. When thinking through Doodle contests, figure out how you can provide your fans with a starting point like Callaway did. It might make the contest a little less intimidating too without a purely blank canvas.

Product Front and Center
Callaway found a way to get consumers to share their product (front and center) in a way that is authentic. Anytime you get your consumers to want spread the word, it’s a win.

They Got Fans Engaged
It’s important to find unique ways to get fans to interact and engage with your content on Snapchat. This helps foster a deeper relationship with your fans and will have them coming back to your stories and snaps over and over again. Doodle contests, like this one from Callaway, is a great example of how to get them engaged.

Cross Promotes
Asking fans to draw a doodle and then share the picture on Twitter and Facebook helps to cross promote your account. There’s a good chance that people sharing their images could prompt others to look up your account and grow your followers. Win!

As a side: Consumers are creative. Take a look at some of the stellar entries here:

A big thanks to @HashtagChad for some insight into this campaign. Be sure to leave your thoughts on Snapchat doodle contests below. 

Thanks for reading! 

#SMSports Advice on Networking

This is the first post of a career advice series focused on networking, resumes, interviewing and and getting a job. More than 10 professionals in the sports industry and/or social media took the time to offer their advice. For this post, the focus is networking.

It’s now easier than ever to connect with people you admire in your industry. Social media networks like Twitter and LinkedIn provide opportunity to follow, learn from and talk with some bright and interesting people. And, you should absolutely take advantage of this digital world we live in to build relationships with people you admire in the space. Here’s what I’ve learned about networking so far:

It’s not about getting a job.
Networking is not about getting a job; it’s about building relationships. Don’t go into networking with the intention of getting anything out of it other than a relationship and the opportunity to learn. It’s from the actual relationships that doors will open.

You have to reach out the right way.
The sports industry is full of wonderful people who are often willing to offer their advice and insight. And while many people will lend advice, there’s an art to asking and networking. If you want to reach out to someone for advice, make sure you build a bridge the right way. Read how you can do so here.

There are many ways to network.
I’m a bit of an introvert, so networking in a room full of strangers is a little intimating to me. Thankfully, there are many ways to network now. If you don’t like networking in the traditional sense, take advantage of the digital world. From Twitter chats to LinkedIn to the #smsports community, let social media bridge that gap for you.

Now it’s time for great advice from some of my #smsports friends below:



A big thanks to everyone who contributed their advice: Chris Dion, Mark Burns, Tod Meisner,  Karen FrebergAmie Kiehn, Samantha Hughey, Geoffrey Blosat, Eric Shainock, Neil Horowitz, Kari Culver, Michael Schottey, Natalie P. Mikolich, Tyler Pigg, Mat Smith, Rob Knox and Katie Prchlik. Stay tuned to the next post in the series!



What advice do you have to others for networking in the industry? Share below!

Thanks for reading!




Quote Tile Inspiration

Emotion is a powerful tool when it comes to social media content. People are more likely to share content that evokes emotion, whether it’s surprise, amusement, hope, happiness, etc. The truth is, emotion works in marketing.

Thankfully, sports are full of emotion. Look beyond the stats to find powerful bursts of emotion and stories. Take the time to tap into the emotions from the players, coaches and fans. When you center the focus on the emotional storylines, you’ll create shareable content that resonates.

Tapping into the emotion doesn’t have to always be labor intensive either. If you want to produce quick content that evokes emotion, look no further than quote tiles/graphics.

Quote graphics/tiles are exactly as they sound: Graphics that highlight a powerful quote, statement, etc. And, you can pull these quotes from a variety of places. Ideas include press conference transcripts, tweets (from players and fans), articles (a great way to drive back to a .com) and Q&A’s. Think about all the places the voice of your team comes from and leverage those assets you have.

This idea is nothing new in social media or the sports world. The industry has been doing it for a long time. Still, I would challenge you to think about how you can leverage human emotion more. What sources can you tap into? How can you use design to highlight the emotion in a powerful way?

If you’re looking to revamp your quote graphics, I’ve compiled a list of quote graphics/content to serve as inspiration. I would encourage you to make this a part of your regular content mix, because again, emotion wins. Now enjoy the examples!







What other great quote tile examples have you seen from teams and leagues? Be sure to share your links below! 


Thanks for reading! 

A Subtle Prompt from the @Seahawks

We are extremely immersed in the platforms daily as social media managers. This is a blessing and curse. We know all about the latest and greatest, but we often use the apps and networks differently than the average consumer. It’s easy to forget that we are not our audience, and we can become jaded about certain things.

Calls-to-engagements are one of the things that get written off  because to us they feel forced, phony, cheesy, etc. And while you don’t want to always resort to gimmicks, sometimes your fans need a little nudge. Calls-to-engagement should be a tool in the toolbox.

If you don’t want to use obvious prompts though, there is good news. They can be subtle! The Seattle Seahawks gave a great example of what this look likes:

This tweet promoted their fans to reply “Hawks”. And whether or not this prompt was intentional, it’s a great example of thinking creatively about what might encourage your fans to action.

If you aren’t thinking about ways to get your community engaged, then start strategizing around it. Calls-to-engagement are a powerful rallying cry. They can catapult a great piece of content even further, draw new fans in and simply help to build a stronger community. They should absolutely used.

Want more ideas for calls-to-engagement? Check out this post here.


Have you seen any good examples of subtle prompts? If so, share them below!

Thanks for reading! 

5 Guidelines for Sponsored Social Content

Sponsored social media content is an everyday occurrence these days. Wherever teams and leagues push out content, there’s a good chance there’s a sponsor logo lurking somewhere. All too often though sponsored content is forced or screams advertisement. When content becomes forced, it just adds noise to the community and little value to the sponsor.

The good news is you can do sponsored content right with cross-department planning, creativity and a fresh look at things. If you want to do sponsored social content right, then here are some guidelines to get you started:


No. 1- Content comes first.

You should approach sponsored social content like you do every other piece of social content: Focus on creating value. Whether the content is to inform, entertain or educate, the value does not come from logos or brand names; the value comes in the heart of the content.

When you approached sponsored pieces with a content-first approach it ends up being a win-win for the sponsor and fans. Why? Because it doesn’t add noise to fans’ timelines and fans wan to pay attention (which has worth to the sponsor).


No. 2- Integrate sponsors gracefully.

Repeat after me: Do not create content just so you can slap a sponsor to it. Instead, integrate sponsors with content you would produce anyway. This makes it more valuable to fans and the organization.

Social media is all about being authentic. This philosophy should translate to content, even sponsored content. Find ways to integrate sponsors naturally and authentically with the content and their product.


No. 3- Be selective.

Social media content is starting to look like a billboard with logos on anything and everything. Stop the madness because it just cheapens the content. Instead, choose the number of sponsored content series selectively. Spend time ramping up series with a creative and strategic point of view. A few strong/valuable sponsored content franchises beat many lousy ones. It’s about quality over quantity. Trust me.


No. 4- Don’t make logos the hero.

Slapping a logo on your graphic or “presented by x” in the copy does not add value to anyone. The logo is not the hero. The sponsor name is not the hero. Don’t annoy your fans by serving your fans what they perceive as ads. Make the content hero, then integrate authentically. That’s how you win.


No. 5- Keep it consistent with the brand.

Good sponsored content doesn’t stand out from the rest of your content and scream ad (hat tip to@LynneaPhillips for this great point on Twitter). Instead, it should have a similar, consistent look and feel to everything else. If a fan scrolls through your Instagram feed and can immediately see it’s sponsored, they are going to tune it out. Try to keep your sponsored content consistent with the rest of your content as much as possible. Again, it’s all about being authentic to make people listen.

Now you are probably asking how you put these rules into practice. Below are some good examples of sponsored content.


This is a great example of sponsored social content that makes sense. There is a strong tie to the sponsor's product with content theme.

WHY: This is a great example of sponsored social content that makes sense. There is a strong tie to the sponsor’s product with content theme.


This snapshot is from the Vikings Instagram page. As you can see, their sponsored content fits in nicely with their look and feel.

WHY: This snapshot is from the Vikings Instagram page. As you can see, their sponsored content fits in nicely with their look and feel.


Another example of sponsored content that makes sense. On brand for Cooper + valuable to fans.

WHY: This is another example of sponsored content that makes sense. It’s on brand for Cooper and valuable to fans.


WHY: The Dove Real Strength sponsored content for March Madness is how you sell social. It’s probably the strongest piece of sponsored content I’ve seen, period. Dove leveraged their sponsorship to showcase how the men of the tournament demonstrate real strength through uplighting, heartwarming and emotional stories. The content couldn’t be more on brand for Dove, and it was also extremely compelling for fans (just look at the engagement below). Wins all the way around!


Another great connection between the content and the sponsor. "Drive" goes hand in hand with Ford.

WHY: This is another great connection between the content and the sponsor. “Drive” goes hand in hand with Ford.


The value is in the content here. Fans like to see the players all dressed up; it gives a peak into their off -the-field style. This is a great example of taking a content first approach and integrating a sponsor.

WHY: The value here is in the content. Fans like to see the players all dressed up; it gives a peak into their off -the-field style. This is a great example of taking a content first approach and integrating a sponsor.


Who hasn't been to Cold Stone on their birthday? The logo is subtle here and the connection is strong.

WHY: Who hasn’t been to Cold Stone on their birthday? The logo is subtle here and the connection is strong.




These examples skim the surface of good sponsored content. What examples have you seen? Share them below!

Thanks for reading!