Those in attendance deemed the first “Blogs with Balls” conference a success and it comes as no surprise that these sports bloggers wrote about the event, providing us with plenty of recaps on what went down and what exactly they talked about.
HHR Media Group and RxSN announce today “Blogs with Balls,” a regional social sports blogger and new media gathering featuring speakers and panelists specifically focused on sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies. The event will take place on June 13, 2009 in New York City and will be the first in a series of regional gatherings centered on the ability of these groups to maximize new media outlets for promotion and advancement.
Neil Best, who runs the Watchdog blog for Newsday, was in attendance and noted how it brought together sport blogging royalty. Fang’s Bites has a great breakdown on what was discussed in the various panels throughout the day.
Panel #1 – The Future of Sports Media with Jim DeLorenzo of Octagon, Richard Ting of R/GA Media Group, Christopher Russo (not that one) of Fantasy Sports Ventures and Kathleen Hessert of Sports Media Challenge.
This was a fascinating panel. The personalities all discussed those athletes who have embraced social media like Twitter have found the network to be a great tool to get their messages across. Kathleen Hessert discussed how Shaquille O’Neal, instead of going after a fake Shaq on Twitter, just signed on, then began Tweeting and then squashed the imposter. Richard Ting discussed how the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard uses social media to reach his fans. Overall, this was the best panel of the first part of the day.
There has yet to be an announcement about when the next regional event will be held, but I think it’s safe to say that there will certainly be more after its successful showing. Should there be a Blogs with Balls event closer to Detroit, I’ll try to attend because I think sports PR practitioners need to know how to interact with sports bloggers. You may work for a very popular team that has a full press box every game and tons of media coverage nearly year-round. Even so, there will be plenty of bloggers writing about your team and it would be helpful to understand where they are coming from and how you can create a healthy, positive relationship with the key bloggers covering your team. And if you work for a team that struggles to get coverage and fill the press box, you really need to know how to reach out to bloggers.
Did any of the SPRB readers attend the event? What do you think someone working in the sports PR field could take away from Blogs with Balls?