From The Editor's Desk

Of Twitter Polls, Sportsbiz, and Mark Cuban

In the last couple of months, I’ve been musing over the “pull” of speakers for sports business conferences. In my waning tenure as the president of NAATSO as well as running the Sports Sales Boot Camp, I’m starting to consider who are the people who can move badges. Those folks who have the ability to sell out a joint, on their name and reputation alone. Make no mistake about it, this matters, especially when social media starts to cut into the realities of physical conference attendance.

I decided to create a Twitter poll. But I didn’t want it just to sit on my feed, and potentially only be seen by 500+ people. Despite having 3,424 Twitter followers, typical engagement isn’t going to be all of them consuming my tweet. The twitter scroll can move fast, not all users are online at the same time, or it may not be interesting to the end-user enough to engage with anyway.

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That’s why I asked a bunch of my Twitter friends to retweet it into their feeds. Some of us share similar followers, but there may be others out there who are reached that don’t know of my Twitter handle, nor care, but get fully invested when they see a retweet from one of the Twitter handles that they do follow. This is that growth hacking moment of the blog post, where I admit that the best way to do things, is not to do them alone, but to rope other people into helping. And its worked thus far.

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Other factors: I put this poll up for 7 days and I put in the hashtag #sportsbiz in order to ensure that it was searched throughout that time. A 5.8% engagement rate, I am told, is very high. And the rest of the analytics were very decent for a tweet that was not sponsored.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 5.09.47 AMNote: I screwed up on Peter Guber‘s last name. And Twitter doesn’t allow someone to edit and it had already started to get retweeted. I fully admit my mistakes, had a funny exchange with one Twitter user about it, and laughed a little. Sorry, Mr. Guber, you can misspell my name at any time if you wish.

Here’s what I found interesting about this poll though, I was completely expecting Gary Vaynerchuk to obliterate the competition. Why? Because most of my Twitter feed is filled with Gary Vee quotes, videos and his rampant use of Snapchat. But he didn’t do too well in this polling. The man has 1.2 million Twitter followers alone, so I would have figured that his disciples would have at some point searched his name during the 7 days.

GaryVeeGary Vee only got 33 votes in this poll. To me, this is shocking.

gruber“Peter Gruber” (or Hans Gruber’s brother in Die Hard With A Vengeance) only got 26 votes. This may have been more about name recognition (or my misspelling of Peter Guber’s name). Peter is someone who has a good following, but they also tend to be a little older, more of the executive level, who may not be utilizing social media in the same way. Plus, by adding a letter to his last name it may have been confusing to some of those voting.

noneNone of the above received 54 votes. Consider what that is saying, that 54 people wouldn’t be a lock at a sportsbiz conference for any of those listed.

cubanWhich leaves us with Mark Cuban, who received 261 votes.

Mark Cuban is a lot of things, but boring he is not. I think this has something to do with it. Especially since the poll asked who would be an “absolute” lock for someone to attend a conference. Maybe there’s a way to get Cuban to a sportsbiz conference down the road, because there are certainly enough people who want to hear from him.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 5.09.04 AMI liked the poll feature on Twitter. Some of the analytics stuff certainly confounds as well as delights. Just depends. But I definitely thought that Gary Vaynerchuk would have been a much higher demand in the poll, but those voting proved me wrong. That is one of the key lessons to all of this, you cannot simply rely on your gut, but also investigate and ask people what their thoughts are. Especially when it comes to them paying good money to hear someone speak, or show up to a game. Too often, we diagnose what the customer wants, and forget what the customer wants to pay for. There are times when that isn’t mutually exclusive.

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