Media & Technology: Web & Social
- How Interactive Competitions are Driving Fitness Participation
by Stuart Goldman September 2015
Stanford University raised a banner this year in recognition of another Pac-12 Conference championship.
- Do Social Media Bans Violate the First Amendment?
by Jason Scott September 2015
Several college athletics programs have made headlines and drawn criticism lately for instituting bans on social media use for their student-athletes.
- The AB Extra: July 24
by Laura Godlewski July 2015
Featured in this week's AB Extra is news about an accidental addition to the ACC Football Media Guide, a creative way to dry out the L.A. Angels' field and a gym especially for dogs.
A Cry for Help Buried in the ACC Media Guide
Someone in the ACC is seemingly unhappy about something to do with its media guide.
The ACC Football Media Guide was released on Monday and on page 145 beneath Wake Forest's 2014 game results reads the phrase, "F--- this s---."
Different media sources have speculated as to why such a message would appear. Some say maybe it's a response to Wake Forest's less-than-stellar season. Another detailed his experiences with media guides, saying just reading them turned his "brain to mush" and he sympathized with whoever had to actually write one.
It's not known who wrote the message in the media guide, but the ACC has since removed it and released a statement regarding it.
“We sincerely apologize for the offensive error in the media guide. It has been appropriately updated," the ACC said.
International Special Olympics Spend Night in LA Gym After Transportation Delays
Special Olympians arriving in California on Tuesday for the 2015 World Summer Games had to make the best of a bad situation when transportation delays stopped them from getting to their host cities. This resulted in about 1,500 athletes having to sleep on the gymnasium floor at Loyola Marymount University for the night.
Athletes from the Cayman Islands, Kenya, Norway, Mexico, Norway and Venezuela were those affected by the delays when they arrived in Los Angeles. Despite being tired from a long day of travel, Kenyan swim coach Collins Marigiri told Fox News, "It really wasn't bad... The athletes didn't have any problems."
According to Marigiri, "They had food. They had water. They had a place to sleep. There were no medical issues."
Some of the athletes played board games and took advantage of the opportunity to meet athletes from other countries. At one point, a conga line was formed. The Red Cross provided bedding for the athletes and all were able to leave for their host cities on Wednesday.
The Opening Ceremony for the Games takes place on Saturday.
Controversy Over New Lululemon Beer
Yoga apparel company Lululemon has another PR snafu on their hands after announcing the release of a Lululemon branded beer with a cartoon totem pole on the can.
The company posted a picture of the beer can on Instagram last week and immediately drew backlash with some saying the cartoon was insensitive to Indigenous people. Some also questioned whether producing a beer was the right choice for a yoga company.
One Instagram user commented on the photo saying, “The ‘totem pole’ is cultural appropriation and incredibly offensive."
The beer, called Curiosity Lager, is limited edition and only 88,000 cans will be produced in conjunction with the 2015 SeaWheeze Sunset Festival and Half Marathon in August in Vancouver. It will also be able to be purchased in some liquor stores across Canada.
L.A. Angels Use Helicopter to Dry Rain-Soaked Field
For the first time since 1995, the Los Angeles Angels had a game rained out. The rain soaked the field, forcing the team to take some creative measures to get the field in playing condition for the next day.
The organization deployed a helicopter to fly over the field to dry it in time for the Angel's double header against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
Despite being a little over-the-top, the field was dry by the time the game needed to start and the teams began play at 2 pm PT.
A Gym for Dogs... With a Pool
Dogs in Tucson, Arizona don't just have to hit the pavement anymore to get in their exercise. Now, they can become a member at A Loyal Companion, a rec center just for dogs, to get in their workout.
They can hit the pool to get some cardio or climb on inflatables to improve strength and balance. If they need some down time, the dogs can get a massage or reiki treatments or if they're looking to learn, there are options to enroll in obedience classes or therapy dog training.
Gym owner Kate Titus says A Loyal Companion is a great way for dogs to get exercise because many times, people don't walk fast enough for dogs to get enough of a cardio workout. She says her gym not only gives dogs a different way to exercise that's more complete, but it also allows for a nice bonding opportunity between dogs and their owners.
Currently, A Loyal Companion has about 50 to 60 members and dues start at $29 per month.
- The AB Extra: June 26
by Laura Godlewski June 2015
This week's AB Extra features controversy over a future Olympic stadium, Duke's Coach K's secret Twitter account and a new technology that will be used in Major League Baseball based off of video games.
Criticism Over 'Bike Helmet' Shaped Olympic Stadium
Even though the summer Olympics in Japan are still five years away, the country is facing major backlash over the design of the new 80,000-seat Tokyo stadium.
It's been likened to a bike helmet, a spaceship and a turtle and almost every major Japanese architect has criticized the design, made by architect Zaha Hadid.
Criticism has gone past the design, as well. The first design, which has since been refined, cost $2.4 billion. The original price tag was twice the allocated amount for the stadium, which many thought wasn't a good choice for a country still dealing with the aftermath of a major earthquake and tsunami. Additionally, a public housing project will have to be torn down so the stadium can be built.
The stadium will hold the 2019 rugby World Cup final, will serve as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics and will host all of the Olympic track and field events.
Rappelling Down a Building to Raise Money for YMCA
What heights would you be willing to go to in order to participate in a fundraiser? Some people in Duluth, Minnesota will be rappelling down a nine-story building in the city to raise money for the Duluth Area Family YMCA.
To be eligible to rappel, participants must raise $1,000 and pay a $50 registration fee. They will be lowered down the Sellwood Building by rope-trained professionals from a company called Over the Edge, which uses these rappelling events to help fundraisers.
The rappels will take place during the Sidewalk Days event and have been taking place during the event for the past several years. This is the first year the Duluth Area Family YMCA will receive the money from the fundraiser.
According to Katie McBride, the marketing director for the Duluth Area Family YMCA, “The money is going to go towards youth programing, things like getting new programs for our youth, getting youth to be able to have memberships or camp scholarships, and for Mentor Duluth to be in the schools. So it’s really going towards the youth here in the community.”
Scary Mascot for Scottish Soccer Team
Fans of Partick Thistle F.C. might be in for a bit of a shock if they happen to see the team's new mascot Kingsley at a game.
The new mascot came after the team signed a sponsorship deal with US investment firm Kingsland Capital. It was designed by artist David Shrigley, the new mascot and revealed to the public earlier this week, leading to thousands of comments on social media sites.
The original tweet introducing Kingsley has amassed nearly 4,000 retweets on Twitter.
According to Shrigley, “He represents the angst of being a football fan – which anyone who has supported Partick Thistle over the last few decades understands.”
It's not entirely clear what the mascot is supposed to be, it's been compared it to a very unusual looking sun while some say it resembles a Simpsons character. We'll let you be the judge
Duke's Coach K Has Secret Twitter Account
You won't find Duke University's men's basketball Coach Krzyzewski on Twitter under his real name, but he says he does have an account under an alias so that he can monitor his players on the social media site.
Coach K says he doesn't care about having his own official Twitter account or having thousands of followers, but he does care about what his players are tweeting.
"I tell my guys I’m following you. Then if I see something, you text them, you gotta watch. But there are a lot of cool things that they do. I do like that they do it.”
It's no secret to his players that he does this says Former Duke player Jahlil Okafor. “Everybody knows. When we’re on the bus, we always see his phone. He has the words really big. So we don’t know his Twitter name but we know he sees us on Instagram, we know he sees us on Twitter.”
Hopefully Coach K has passed along our blog post on the 9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes to his players!
New App Is 'Tinder for Athletes'
A Miami-based startup is building a new app called Sportsbuddy, which will match people in the same area based on their relative skill in a particular sport or physical activity, such as yoga.
After creating a free profile on the app, you select a sport to play and the "smart matching" technology suggests people who are nearby and are at a similar skill level. Once you invite someone to play, you can chat through the app to decide where to meet.
After meeting, users rate their match. This information is kept confidential but is used to better match people in the future.
There are currently seven sports categories including tennis, golf, soccer, yoga, running, basketball, gym and an "other" option. More will be available soon.
New Technology Could Give Insights Into Pitchers’ Mechanics
Michael Eckstein was at a business lunch with executives from the Philadelphia Phillies when he got the idea for Kinatrax, a technology that uses cameras positioned throughout a ballpark to capture the pitcher's motion and produces biomechanical data on the pitcher's form.
Eckstein based the technology off of the Microsoft technology called Kinect, which is a motion-capture system used in conjunction with XBOX 360 that allows users to control video games with their movements. Eckstein wanted to use this same idea but in a larger format to capture a pitcher's motion during games to understand the mechanics they use to throw the ball.
The technology, which uses ultra-high speed cameras, was successfully tested at the New York Mets' Citi Field while the team was away playing games. The Tampa Bay Rays will be the first team to use the technology at their stadium during a game.
The Kinatrax generates thousands of data points that can give insight into a pitcher's form and may also predict who might be at a greater risk for injury based on how they throw.
Check out a video of the technology in action below.
- Athlete Kicked Off Team for Vulgar Mo'ne Davis Tweet
by Laura Godlewski, Athletic Business Intern March 2015
A baseball player for Bloomsburg University was kicked off the team following an offensive tweet he posted about Mo’ne Davis, breakout star of the Little League World Series.
Joey Casselberry, a first baseman for the team, was responsible for the vulgar message and has since deleted his Twitter account where the tweet was posted.
- TeamSnap: Web and Mobile App to Manage Your Team (Sponsored Video)
by AB Staff January 2015
TeamSnap is a mobile and web service for managing recreational and competitive sports teams and groups. With its online interface, TeamSnap makes it easy to keep track of rosters, schedules, game and practice attendance and availability, team payments, statistics and more.
- Nebraska Fires Bo Pelini, Players Vent on Twitter
by Andrew Brandt December 2014
Though he compiled a 67-27 record in seven seasons as Nebraska's head football coach, Bo Pelini was let go by the university's athletic director on Sunday.
- The Latest Example of Poor Social Media Behavior
by Michael Gaio November 2014
Jake Marchment and Greg Betzold certainly aren't the first athletes to get in trouble thanks to social media, but they are the latest. (At least that we know of.)
- Should Athletes Lose Scholarships Over Social Media Miscues?
by August 2014
One of the debates that has intrigued me recently involves the increasing amount of coaches that are withdrawing scholarship offers due to a high school recruit exhibiting unacceptable or inappropriate behavior on social media. According to this story we published last week, high school coaches in Georgia are applauding University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt for dropping a recruit that misbehaved on Twitter.
- Mississippi State, K-State Set Up Football Series via Twitter
by Michael Gaio July 2014
Mississippi State's Scott Stricklin and Kansas State's John Currie gave new meaning to social networking on Friday. In what might be a Twitter first, the two athletic directors agreed to a home-and-home football series using the social network.