By Ashley Bening, SFAMA (Interim) Blog Manager
“My rule is to listen first”
– Bryan Srabian
On Tuesday September 20, 2011, SFAMA gathered a panel of sports marketing gurus to speak at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The elite group included:
- San Francisco Giants Director of Social Media, Bryan Srabian
- Pac-12 Chief Marketing Officer, Danette Leighton
- KNBR Program Director, Lee Hammer
- Maloof Sports & Entertainment – Senior Director of Marketing, Kyle Eichman
The “Play Ball with the SFAMA” event was held at the club level of the Giant’s stadium. The club level walls are lined with epic autographed baseballs and the view is incredible, not to mention, the SFAMA logo was proudly featured on the Jumbotron.
During the pre-panel networking, delicious appetizers were passed, the room was buzzing with sports marketing professionals, Lou Seal was making his rounds, and tons of Tweets were traveling into cyberspace.
Citrix, leaders in desktop virtualization, networking, software-as-a-service, and cloud computing technologies, sponsored the event and donated gift bags that were given away in the business card drawing.
The event began with this impressive giveaway with swag such as a J.T. Snow signed baseball, a limited edition Willie Mayes bobble head, and an autographed Sharks puck.
The Giants were playing the Dodgers in LA that night, so SFAMA took over the park to hold this exclusive event. Lee Hammer was humorously giving the Giant’s game score updates every ten minutes in his classic announcer voice.
Moderator, Richard Rodgers, from USF Sport Management was holding court and asking the tough questions. One highlight from the panel was when Rodgers asked the panel, “What is the best idea you ever stole?’
Down the line, Brian Srabian answered, “I wouldn’t say stole the idea, I would say borrowed the idea for orange. I started Orange Friday and Orange October. It was a grass roots thing. It was all about getting more orange out there.” Lee Hammer commented, “We are stealing from Twitter and Facebook. We don’t get to see our fans. It’s a little different how we interact.” Danette Leighton said, “We steal from Pop Culture.” She emphasized the importance of having creative people working with you that are not afraid to take big risks. Kyle Eichmen stole the idea of 100 events in 100 days but edited the idea to a more manageable 30 Events in 45 Days, which has proven to be incredibly successful for the Sacramento Kings.
There is room to adapt and evolve the current marketing strategy. The consensus was that sports marketing is just scratching the surface of what is possible in social media. These experts are still learning something new everyday and there are always new and exciting ideas on which to take risks and implement into their current marketing structure.
Overall, “Play Ball with SFAMA” event was a homerun. Click here for find out about future SFAMA events!