Three Teams Dancing & Taking Fans Behind the Scenes

A good social media presence in sports goes far beyond the scoreboard and venue walls. It taps into the heartbeat of your team, community, players and journey. Sports are emotional; but they’re even more emotional when you tell a story beyond the game itself.

Look around you. There are so many stories to tell. From gameday rituals to team bonding to the silent moments before the stadium fills with fans, there are many ways to give fans a look behind the curtain. Take the time to tell the full story, not just the game story. Here’s why:

1- Fans crave this content because it’s something they never get to see unless you provide it.

2- It helps to humanize the team.

3- And, it tugs at people’s emotions (and people share content that evokes emotion).

During this year’s NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament, several teams have done a great job telling their full story socially. And, big stages like this are a great time to focus on the behind-the-scenes content. The game is elevated and storytelling should be too. After all, emotions are high.

I’ve gathered few examples of teams rocking their behind-the-scenes content during this year’s tournament. Hopefully they inspire you to start looking beyond the action for content too:



UCLA has created a video series called “Made in March” that combines both game action and behind-the-scenes shots. In the videos, there are snippets of how the team travels, voiceover from the locker room and much more. The videos are short, but give just enough glimpses into the days so you understand the journey the team is on. It’s a simple and powerful use of video.

In addition to the video series, UCLA Athletics has leveraged to showcase the team’s journey. The photo essay platform is a great way to tell a simple, yet powerful, visual story. The work from the Bruins is a great example of how to use Exposure.


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Wisconsin has nailed social storytelling on Twitter during this year’s tournament. Scroll through their Twitter feed and it feels exactly like a “day in the life”. From a peek into workouts to team selfies, Wisconsin fans must feel like are on their journey with the team. This is a great example of how behind-the-scenes coverage doesn’t have to be complicated; a few good photos and descriptive copy can go a really long way. It’s also very clear that their social/communications team is trusted fully as access doesn’t seem to be a problem here (start building those relationships internally, now).



Much like Wisconsin, Oklahoma has hit a slam dunk with their social storytelling on Twitter. The content is compelling, gives fans a glimpse into their team’s personality and captures the emotion of the journey. Again, access and trust is key. Without access, it’s impossible to tell a behind-the-scenes story. Below are some of the golden moments from the Sooners.


These three examples above scratch the surface of how teams can tell a behind-the-scenes story. While many tend to flock to Twitter for this, there are so many other ways to tell your story. Think about leveraging Facebook albums, Snapchat (takeovers), Instagram and video features all as a way to take fans behind the scenes. Don’t limit yourself to one platform; tell the story cohesively across all. With planning, access and open eyes and ears, you can bring your fans along the emotional journey. Remember, it’s not just about the scores and the championships, but how the team gets there.



What other teams are doing a good job of telling a behind-the-scenes story at this year’s tournament? Share your examples below!

Thanks for reading! 

Content Inspiration from Kansas Men’s Basketball

If you follow NCAA basketball at all, then you know the Kansas men are all a roll. There’s no arguing their dominance. They won their 11th consecutive Big 12 title and have found themselves dancing.

In addition to their great ball skills though, Kansas also has a knack for social media. A quick glance at the Kansas men’s basketball accounts and it’s easy to see they have defined a look and feel, planned ahead and put time/energy into their content. There’s a lot of inspiration in their work.

What I love most about Kansas’ approach to social media is their focus on good content. It’s not just about play-by-play, but about creating good content that stands out from the noise. Remember: A good social media strategy starts with a strong content strategy.

I’ve compiled a list of some of Kansas’ best content. Their presence is a great example of what a thoughtful and strategic approach to social media looks like. Hopefully some of their content and ideas will serve as an inspiration to you:


Bracket Graphics

For the tournament, Kansas Hoops has created bracket graphics to showcase matchups and the road to Indy.


Quote Series

A quote from a student-athlete or a coach can make a strong content piece, especially if the quote is emotional. Kansas does a great job picking compelling quotes at the right moment and turning them into beautiful and consumable graphics:


Commemorative Graphics

Kansas recently celebrated its 60th anniversary of the first of (then) 726 victories in Allen Field-house. As part of the celebration, graphics and images from the night were black and white. This series is a reminder that design can be a great way to denote/celebrate something special. Don’t be afraid to mix things up to make a statement:


Fans Tweets Turned Content

Turning fan tweets into content is a great trend. It’s a simple and smart way to make fans a part of the community, while also generating free content. And, @KUHoops is one of the accounts that does this the right way. This is a smart use of user-generated content and an easy idea to replicate:


Videos of the Perfect Moment

Part of the key to success in social media is keeping an eye out for the extraordinary in all the chaos that’s around. Keep your eyes and ears open, always looking for that perfect moment to capture. Kansas has done a good job capturing some strong candid moments on video. Here are a few examples:


Creative GIFS

This GIF is on point. It’s simple and sleek, but also engaging. A reminder that good content does not have to be complicated:


Simple Stat Graphics

When infographics became all the rage, teams started throwing a lot of information at fans. Sure, infographics make the data a lot more consumable, but they are typically still a lot of information. Kansas does a good job of highlighting the right stats and in a way that is simple and powerful. More does not always mean better:


Statement Graphics

Simple but strong statements are a great way to rally fans. As these statement graphics below prove, short and sweet often wins. It’s all in the copy:


Stellar Game Day Graphics

Kansas has created a look and feel for their game day graphics. The series focuses on the starting lineup, coverage and score/stats updates. The look is so fresh and so clean. Not every piece of content needs a lot of graphic design work, but creating certain templates for content you will create consistently (like score updates) is a great way to create a cohesive look and feel:


So as you can see, the Kansas men’s basketball team social media team does a great job with their presence. It’s all about taking the time to plan the content. Do it the right way, not the easy way!

Be sure to give Kansas men’s basketball a follow on Facebook and Twitter for daily inspiration.




What stands out to you most about Kansas men’s basketball’s social media presence? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! 

Be the Eyes & Ears of Your Fans

When you work in sports, it’s easy for forget about the extraordinary in your ordinary. Everyday you get up and are fortunate to go into the “office”. You’ve seen the locker room, know where coach’s office is and can paint a vivid picture of what the venue looks like in snow, rain and sunshine. You’ve been around the players, aren’t star struck when you see them and could care less what their gameday routine is. To you, this is all just business as usual (as it should be).

This everyday for you, your colleagues and your team is extraordinary for your fans though. They crave this access, inside knowledge and personal insight into their team. As a social media manager, why not try and be their eyes and ears? Tell the story of your team’s “everyday” for them.

There’s no wrong or right in our industry as long as you’re doing what makes sense for your team/brand. I’ve always felt though, that there is a lack of personal content by teams (in general at least). There is so much focus on the scores, the stats and the on-the-field action. There’s not enough focus on the players, personal journey, peek inside the industry quirks of the team and emotional journey.

Fans crave this content because it’s something they never get to see unless you provide it. It makes the team more human, helps to foster a deeper connection and tends to pull at people’s emotions (and people share content that evokes emotion). It’s important for so many reasons.

To be the eyes and ears of your fans definitely takes some planning. It also takes looking at things just a little different. Take a step back and think about all the ways you can bring your team and everyday to life for your fans:

How can you give them access to the stadium/venue? How can you help them get to know the players more? How can you show them what the routine looks like on gameday, both for operations and your players/coaches? How can you tell the story TV isn’t covering? What is it like to be on the sidelines, in the dugout, on the court, etc? What emotions go through a player’s mind on gameday? Are there any superstitions and fun quirks on the team? What’s the celebration like in the locker room after? How does the team get inspired? What personal hobbies, outside of sports, do your players have that they would be willing to share?

There are so many questions you can ask to help you tell a more personal story for your fans, but it all starts with a little planning and a content-first approach. In this busy world of social media and sports, challenge yourself to stop, pause and plan: How can I be the eyes and ears of my fans? How I can I bring the “everyday” of our team to them?

Approach each day through a different lens. Try to find that “extraordinary” in your ordinary. It’s an important story to tell and one that your fans will appreciate.

Do you think it’s important for teams to be the eyes and ears of their fans? How can teams approach content differently? Share your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading! 

Locker Room Access Provides Colts Digital Team Golden Content

I’m a big believer in behind-the-scenes content. And while I know that access can be hard to get, I believe it’s important in sports. It’s content that doesn’t compete with television, media or anyone else: It’s a team and organization’s story to own.

Content that peeks behind the curtain also helps to humanize the team and make fans feel like they are a part of the journey. It’s invaluable. If a team is investing resources in social media, then they need to be investing in a way to make behind-the-scenes access happen. I realize it takes time, processes and relationship building, but it’s worth doing the work to get it done.

There are many examples of great behind-the-scenes content this season, but one of my favorites comes from the Colts. Every game the social media / digital team seems to have stellar access to the locker room postgame. They have managed to capture golden content, ranging from victory dances to emotional speeches. I’m not even a Colts fan, but the content makes me want to root for the team. Why? It puts me in the middle of the celebration and shows the emotional, fun and human side of the team. The quick glances at these personal moments make the amoxicillin very likable.

I’ve compiled a few of my favorite moments from the Colts locker room access this year. I think you’ll see why type of access provides such a golden opportunity for teams:










What do you think? Is this type of content important for teams? Share your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading!  

Repurposing Tweets for Content

In the past week, I saw two good examples of teams repurposing tweets from players and fans as content. I really like this idea because it’s an easy way to tell a broader story and also makes your fans feel like they are a part of something bigger. While simple, I thought the idea was worth sharing:


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This is something teams and leagues can replicate easily with little time and resources. Now it’s time to start brainstorming all the opportunities to turn tweets into content and tell a broader story!

Thanks for reading!