Daniel Suárez: Habilidad. Fortaleza. Pasión

Skill. Fortitude. Passion.

To describe driver Daniel Suárez, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said those very words on Satruday. The reason France said them was because of the history Suárez made at the Menards 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Suárez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series race.

“Daniel Suarez has competed in NASCAR for a relatively brief time, yet his impact on the sport has been immeasurable,” said France. “Combining impressive talent and an incredible personality, Daniel has attracted fans throughout North America.”

The 24 year-old from Monterrey, Mexico had shown flashes of that talent with six second-place finishes previously in NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck racing. It wasn’t a question of if for Suárez, but when would the breakthrough happen. He also became the second foreign-born driver to win on an oval track (via MRN.com). The first was Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.

The victory was also a win for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Begun in 2004, Drive for Diversity was created to help draw in more minorities and women to the sport, not just as drivers but in crew, sponsor and owner positions as well. The program was built similar to a 2003 program created by Joe Gibbs and NFL legend Reggie White. Each program’s focus was to increase diversity in the predominantly white sport of stock car racing.

Suárez joined the program in 2013. It provided the opportunity not just to race, but to race on many levels and circuits. He’s raced in NASCAR’s series in Mexico, as well as trucks and other lower-level series here in America. The program, said Suárez in 2013, exposed him to other drivers and gave him the “needed experience” and media training necessary to compete at the highest level.

*

A fitting moment for NASCAR too with the announcement of their partnership with RISE, a program initiative created by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross to help promote diversity. I heard directly about the RISE program last month at the Sports PR Summit. 

IMG_2667

The partnership was announced, coincidentally, the day before Suárez’ historical win.

Progressive steps for a sport that hasn’t always been known for its diversity.

*

Three years after joining the Drive for Diversity program, Suárez is now an XFINITY Series race winner. The victory also helped Suárez increase his series lead over Elliott Sadler (434) and Ty Dillon (416) with 452 points.    

It was an emotional moment for Suárez. “I don’t think I can speak English or Spanish right now,” he said in a post-race interview. No need to. His driving today said it all.

Habilidad. Fortaleza. Pasión.

***

CadChica Sports

Seismic Shift in the Sports-Social Media World

WRITER’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on the now-defunct Yahoo! Voices network on May 23, 2012. The article is no longer available on Yahoo’s network. Reprinted here as the author of original work.

***

Seismic Shift in the Sports-Social Media World

A tremor in the sports-social media world took place this week.

Did you feel it?

Most didn’t realize it when it happened. But, the early rumblings of a seismic shift in the Twitter/Sports relationship occurred, unsurprisingly, in the world of NASCAR.

On Friday, Twitter and NASCAR representatives announced a “business” partnership that is the first of its kind between Twitter and a sports league. The early details of this partnership, scheduled to begin next month at the Pocono race on June 10, entails a promoted NASCAR hashtag (#NASCAR) as well as a NASCAR specific page to take the fan-sport interaction to another level.

Currently, Twitter has promoted tweets that occur on users timelines. According to Twitter: “Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers. To what extent the “promoted tweets” have been successful or not depends on who you ask. But according to this May 2011 article, Twitter expected ad spending to triple from 2010 to 2011.

So how does this affect Twitter’s new relationship with NASCAR? Can you say: #WINNING?

NASCAR has long been known for being a “fan’s” sport. History shows large attendance numbers at races as well as the driver interaction with fans proved to be beneficial to NASCAR’s growth. Despite the economy cutting into those numbers, NASCAR has been able to evolve and adapt, using social media to do it.

Because their drivers were already accessible to the public, the use of Twitter by NASCAR and their drivers was a natural extension. Highlighting this was Brad Keselowski, earlier this year. During the Daytona 500, there was a fiery crash that Keselowski had opportunity to snap a picture of as it happened in front of him. Using his phone, he tweeted the picture to the world.

Not knowing how this simple act would take off (he gained over 100,000 followers in just a matter of hours), it proved the connection of Twitter and sports beyond just the sport of NASCAR. It was a trending topic online but work offices around the country. The power of NASCAR. The power of Twitter.

Twitter social media shift

Fast forward to Friday. Twitter and NASCAR joining forces. Hashtag promotion. A NASCAR-specific page on Twitter. A page where tweets will be curated (gathered), from media, the fans, drivers, their families and crew centrally located in one place. What are other fans saying about the race? The media? Anything happen before the race fans should know about? Fans will no longer have to search for the hottest topics during the event. Twitter will do it for you.

That is a good thing. Less work for the fan to do, the more likely they’ll be to stay on that page. A captive audience if you will. And in the world of advertising, that’s the best type of audience to have.

If it succeeds, that tremor, that seismic shift…is only the beginning for Twitter and sports. 

***

CadChica Sports

Social Media, Gaming Key to Formula E’s Growth

There’s a new kid in the town of Miami. 

Have you heard of it? It’s the Miami e-Prix. And, it’s coming to you live on Fox Sports 2, today at 3:30pm ET. 
And, on social media. 
CONNECT WITH FORMULA E
*
For as much as I love sports themselves, there is a part of me that is fascinated by social media’s role in them. News and conversation around sports can take place on any number of social media platforms. And, it’s also a way for said “new kids” to get their name out there. 
The FIA Formula-E Series is heading to Miami today. Formula E? I know, I know. You’ve heard of Formula 1, but not Formula E. Formula E is a unique motor sport racing series. Unique in that the goal is to run on sustainable technology. 
Cars are designed to run on a single battery – no re-fueling required for these cars. Two cars per driver for the 50 minute race. The noise that racing fans are accustomed to with NASCAR or Formula 1 cars is not present with the F-E cars. Crashes can happen, but to this point (thankfully), not to the point of their more powerful counterparts. 
It may sound kind of odd. A car race using no traditional re-fueling pit stops, changing cars as routine and minimal noise. With challenges like these, especially at a race in America, how does Formula E get their name out there? How do they get the word out? 
I spoke with Formula E CEO, Alejandro Agag, Michael Andretti and driver Lucas di Grassi about that yesterday during Media Day.
*
Where do you see social media now and in the future for Formula E?
Right now, we’re focusing on building the race. The race is just the base. Then, everything else needs to go through video and social media. My next focus is an online, real-time video game. 
You can talk about social media very vaguely. We are totally user-friendly, for example. All of our races are on YouTube. That doesn’t happen basically in any sport. But, we want people after 48 hours to just go and watch the race. You can say it’s a lot, but we need to do much more sophisticated things. The kids are getting more and more sophisticated. I see it with my kids. It’s incredible what they do with these things. 
We need to get a focus group of say, twenty 10-14 year-olds and have them tell me what they want. That’s where we’ll really get the good feedback. 
In the short-term (for social media), the online real-time video game, without a doubt.
 
(Note: Agag said that this video game is at least two years or more down the road. But, it is something he really wants to implement for the next generation.)
 
FIA Formula E Fanboost   Miami ePrix
 
On #FanBoost (the social-driven system of fans voting to give a speed boost to their favorite driver during the race): 
Yes. Very positive reaction. We are working on enhancing it more. 
It’s important to continue dialogue with the teams. Growing together, taking cues from each other, is how a young sport like Formula E will see itself connect with fans in this social media age. On working with teams and social media strategy:
“We are totally open. There are rights issues to be concerned with…” but “we are for teams doing their own thing (on social).”
*
In a November pre-race press conference, Agag described Formula E as being a “championship for the younger generation”. As they move forward in trying to grow Formula E, social will play a key part in their strategy. 

**
I also had the privilege of sitting in on the driver/team press conference yesterday. Live-streaming the conference on Meerkat, I was able to ask Michael Andretti and driver Lucas di Grassi about the importance of social media and connecting with the next generation of fans. 
Andretti: That’s one of the things that what Formula E is doing that’s a little unique. With the Fan Boost, and all of those things – they’re trying to connect to the kids and the phone that you’re holding right there. That’s important. We’ve heard talk of ways they’re trying to get kids to interact with them even more with what’s going on with the race track. I think that’s all part of it. To get the fans actually involved.
di Grassi: It’s very important to connect with the younger generation. When they think about buying their first car, they think about buying an electric car. To change an old mind that V-8’s and V-10’s are the car to get, it’s very difficult. But, if the first car that you buy is electric, the chance of you staying with an electric car for the future is very high. That’s why it’s very important to engage with the younger generation. 
*

 Much like the racing series itself, I would describe the social strategy of Formula E as a work in progress. With anything new, it takes time to build. Having an idea for growth and connecting with the next generation of racing fans is a solid place to start. Logistical, as well as organizational, issues will need to be ironed out. But, as di Grassi alluded to above, thinking like them, will be key. 

***

CadChica Sports

Jeff Gordon Rocks the NASCAR World

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/jeffgordon/photos/a.10151862908901054.1073741828.70210011053/10153005554691054/?type=1&theater/” width=”550″/]

And, just like that, Jeff Gordon rocked the NASCAR world. 

Don’t worry if you didn’t hear the news. When Jeff Gordon announced this was his last year of competitive racing today, much of the sporting world was focused on New England. Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick was addressing the dreaded #DeflateGate controversy at the same time Gordon was making the announcement. 

There’s never really a right time to announce something like this is there? When an athlete knows, some try to fight it and continue on. Others, know it and leave on their own terms. Jeff Gordon is doing it on his terms today. Not leaving racing completely, but the grinding long-haul that is the NASCAR season and Race for the Chase is done.

*

As a non-NASCAR fan, I didn’t get it for the longest time. Get in a car and drive around an oval. Okay, part of me still thinks that. But, as in other sports, technology and fitness have changed NASCAR racing. It takes a certain amount of athleticism to drive, react, adjust and endure in NASCAR racing. The driving of today is nowhere near what it was back in the 60’s and 70’s (not that I watched it, but you know…). 

When Jeff Gordon came along, you could say he was viewed as a “pretty boy” of racing. He didn’t seem to quite fit the mold of what fans considered a race-car driver. But then…he raced. And, he won. On top of that, he went mainstream. He became a face with non-NASCAR fans like me. Oh I knew of the “King” Richard Petty and his peers. But, he didn’t resonate with me like Jeff Gordon did. His commercial endorsements are how he became a name to me. 

In 2011, Business Insider put together a list of athletes who made more money through endorsements than in their sport. Surpassed only by fellow driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Gordon had made 76% of his money through endorsements.  As of June 2014, Forbes lists Gordon as the 86th highest paid athlete in the world. 

Today, Jeff Gordon and Pepsi go hand-in-hand. Especially for these recent Super Bowl commercials.

*

FINAL THOUGHTS: I never did become a NASCAR fan. Not sure that I ever will. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a respect for those who are (like my friend Keith F.) and those who work in racing. I get it. And, I get why Jeff Gordon could be polarizing to die-hards. He wasn’t like the old-school racers that fans had grown to love. He was his own type of racer, at least from my perspective. I could be wrong, but I believe he helped take the sport beyond the confines of the South.

And, it hasn’t been the same since. 

*

TWITTER REACTIONS

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG

DON’T CALL IT RETIREMENT

IT’S FITTING, DON’T YOU THINK?

NASCAR REACTION

MEDIA REACTION

MORE TO IT? POSSIBLY

NO DOUBT A BOON FOR BUSINESS

FAN REACTION

THE ONLY WAY TO END THIS POST

***

CadChica Sports

Tuesday Ten: Jaime Carlin from Texas Motor Speedway

The show is Tuesday Ten.

Ten for ten minutes.

Late in the day (5 pm PT/8 pm ET), most of my guests are either heading home or on their way to there. I want to be respectful of their time so I try to keep the question-and-answer portion at exactly ten minutes. Sometimes, my guests have so much knowledge and insight that I want to keep listening.

And listening.

And listening. 

In the latest episode, Jaime Carlin from Texas Motor Speedway fit that description to a “T”.

When it comes to marketing, I come from a consumer point-of-view (POV). With social media, I’m learning more about it from a marketer’s POV. Not so much selling. But rather, telling a story through facts, data, personalization and engagement.

Utilizing those traits, Jaime and her team at Texas Motor Speedway have done a fantastic job of telling their story. They know who they are in the racing world. And, they marry that with their local identity, too. It requires balance and that’s some of what Jaime will share at the Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference (see details after the video). 

Hear more from Jaime in the video below:  

My thanks to Jaime Carlin and Q1 Productions for making this interview happen. Follow Jaime and Q1 on Twitter:

Connect with Texas Motor Speedway on these platforms:

Further details on the Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference agenda and speakers, including keynote speakers, Jeramie McPeek (Phoenix Suns) and Greg Cosell (NFL Films), can be found here.

If you are a CadChica Sports reader, you’re eligible to receive $100 off of your conference registration fee. If you have any registration questions, send an email to sports@q1productions.com and include the discount code CADC.

Q1 Sports  Q1Sports  on Twitter***

CadChica Sports

2013 SSM Digest

Kobe Bryant and Maria Sharapova.

No, they’re not a new sports power-couple. Bryant and Sharapova were the subjects in my very first SSM Digest back in January. I started the SSM Digest to track the hottest topics in the social media-sports (#SMsports) world. Nobody that I knew of was doing anything of the sort. I set out to catalogue the latest happenings in #SMsports each month.

It all started with Kobe and Maria.

Note: Each month listed below is a hyperlink to that month’s SSM Digest

***

January 2013

I said back then:

Time will tell if this proves to be a winning strategy for either Sharapova or Bryant.  I am, by no means, not one who focuses solely on Twitter followers. The fact that you can “buy followers” proves that those numbers can be skewed. Add in the fact that there are people who follow others just to “gain followers” (think people with relatively equal numbers of followers and following), numbers can be deceiving. But the way Bryant has used Twitter to engage, proves that he’s well on his way to “getting it”.

That first tweet from Bryant has been retweeted over 50 thousand times. Sharapova’s, 2600+ times. Again, I’m not one to focus just on one’s Twitter follower numbers, but Kobe has 3.9 million followers compared to Maria’s over 700 thousand. Both have only tweeted in the 600 range for number of tweets sent. Sharapova follows 40 people while Kobe at least follows 852.

Safe to say that the Black Mamba gets the edge over Sugarpova.

***

February 2013

February was a very interesting month for me. I decided to do something that to my knowledge had not been done before. I “watched” the Super Bowl through Twitter. No television. No radio. Just Twitter.

Seriously. As much as Twitter had become embedded in the sports lexicon by early 2013, I figured it could be done. I wanted to see how well I could follow a game just through Twitter. Every play. Every questionable call. Blackout. GIFs. Replays. Varying perspectives. I got it through Twitter alone. My little Twitter experiment can be read here.

I said back then:

I am able to see conversations transpiring across a wide range of mediums. I try to be in tune to all sports on Twitter. It helps me to get a vibe for how people are viewing their sport, or, in the case of a sporting event like the Super Bowl, how they perceive it. Thus, it provided all the insight I needed to know as to how the game played out.

While the Super Bowl was the biggest story, we also had National Signing Day drama,

Danica Patrick leading a lap at Daytona, death of Dr. Jerry Buss, Richard Sherman-Darrelle Revis war of words plus a multitude of other sporting events including college basketball that I could not mention. Most memorable? This terrifying crash at a Nationwide race.

***

March 2013

Sports had a case of the madness. March Madness, that is.

I said back then:

Many think of madness as simply the NCAA tournament. But it is so much more than that. Teams vying for conference titles down the stretch of the regular season generated some great games like the Michigan-Indiana game on March 10th. Or perhaps it was the surprising #1 ranking for Gonzaga.

Before we get to the madness, a word from Phil

Ha! A Zen language we don’t know about? *Sigh, no.* It was funny at first but it was simply for “promotion”.

March also brought us a posterization (Brandon Knight), Tiger-Vonn coupling, #RandomActsOfOpeningDay, sports reacting to a new Pope and a potential hoops scandal too. But we all know what March was really about this year, right?

DUNK CITY!!!!!!!!!!

Aww, yeah! Dunk City babyyyyy! Florida Gulf Coast took the NCAA tournament by storm with upsets and dunks and just playground style basketball. Not everyone liked their show, but it sure made for a fun Cinderella run.

***

April 2013

Scandals, the Final Four, Kobe Bryant injury, Jason Collins coming out, NFL draft. All transpired during April. Only one stood out to me:

I said back then:

Social media, particularly Twitter, was the go-to resource for news. This is both a good and bad thing. The vast amount of information provided an exorbitant amount of factual news as well as rumors, instantly. Access to the Boston police scanners on the internet, to a certain extent, made matters worse for law enforcement.

Upon reflection, many tweets and posts showed how people felt about the tragedy and its aftermath. Contrast what transpired in the social media realm with the event itself. We wanted instant knowledge, instant justice. Instant, instant, instant.

But the event itself is not about instant. Pardon the cliché, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about endurance. It’s about venturing forward when everything within tells you not to.

Marathon. Endurance. Forward.

Viewed over 2.5 million times:

***

May 2013

Gotta get to the playoffs. That’s what the NBA and NHL did in May. On the ice, do you remember this hit (viewed over 2 million times)?

Off the court, the Oklahoma City Thunder and others came through when their fans needed them most

In David Stern’s court: Seattle-Sacramento. Sacramento-Seattle. Who would get to call the Kings their own?

I said then:

For as much flux as the Kings were in under the Maloof ownership for the last few years, it seemed inevitable that with David Stern as commissioner, the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen had no chance of completing the purchase of the Sacramento franchise.

On the court? Well, close to the court at least.

Sure the games were entertaining. The NBA and its teams stepped up their social media game, led by the Golden State Warriors. Horse racing and Brad Keselowski made news. Super Bowl L too.

Ahh, yes. The biggest worldwide news of all? The pitch:

Do you remember this sports moment from May?

***

June 2013

I said then:

Did anyone ever tell you that June is the best month of the year?

No? They should have. It truly is. Two world champions crowned. A golf major won. One tennis major completed while another begins. The final collegiate sports championship earned. The last of the triple crown in horse racing run. USA Soccer shining after rocky start to World Cup qualifying. Athlete arrests, auto racing tragedies, my show cancelled, controversial comment/tweets bring firings in college and media, I got another year older and…

Okay, I’m a little biased. June was a month for the ages in sports.

*

*

*

*

Odin Lloyd's sister's Facebook*

*

*

*

Triumph, tragedy, stupidity and my show cancellation. On second thought, maybe this past June wasn’t the best month after all.

***

July 2013

I said then:

Dog days of summer in the sports-world. Not much happens in July, right?

Wimbledon, Aaron Hernandez, NBA & NHL & Twitter handle trades, Brad Stevens to the Celtics, Dwight Howard, Marshall Henderson, Manchester United, EA Sports, George Zimmerman verdict, UFC upset, MLB All-Star week, college football Media Days, Metta World Peace, Yasiel Puig, failed drug tests in track & field, British Open, Tiger & Phil, Olympic hockey returns, NFL & HGH testing closer to reality, athletes quit Twitter, PEDs & Biogenesis, Johnny Manziel…

If ever a month proved there is no off switch for sports, July was it. Constant. 24/7/365 – sports news in the social media world rolled on. In the social media realm itself, creative uses for Instagram and Vine were on display

One team even used Instagram for a meet-up (as opposed to “tweet-ups”).

A sign of things to come? MLB leading the way with a live-stream in a tweet during the Home Run Derby

There simply was a bounty of stories in July including Andy Murray ending the drought (my favorite take on it below)

***

August 2013

Dempsey and Johnny and Chipper..oh my!

In the early days of my Twitter life (I should hashtag that #MyTwitterLife), I wasn’t afraid to let my fandom show. That was before the sports masses jumped on board. In today’s Twitter (#TodaysTwitter), with the volume of people using it for sports, you have to be more careful about showing your fandom. Some may disagree with that, but I believe it is necessary for those in media.

My caveat to that, however, is when one of my teams do something good or positive. BIG caveat is the Seattle Sounders.

It really was an innocent hashtag, #DempseyWatch. Every so often in the Twitterverse, hashtags take on a life of their own. It helps when…

If not hashtags, well, stories too can take on a life of their own. And when your name is Johnny Manziel, the spotlight can amplify every little move you make. 

I said then:

The Manziel saga, because that is what it’s become now, dragged on through the month. In the end, Manziel would be suspended for a half in the Aggies’ home opener against Rice.

He’d go on to make even more news on August 31 with some of his on-field actions during the game.

Every brand has to needs a presence somewhere in the sports-social media world, right? Dempsey and Manziel have theirs. Chipper Jones (Atlanta Braves) has…no, had…wait…has (again) his. (Jones rejoined the Twitterverse on September 9th.)

Sometimes, brands have to go big or go home. In the U.S. Open’s case, they chose the former option.

***

September 2013

Welcome back, NFL and college football. You made my job curating these SSM Digest much harder with your return.

I said then:

This month, due to the sheer volume of items to track, I’m changing the structure to this month’s digest. Less input from me and more of the stories, images and videos that crossed our timelines in sports-social media. The biggest stories lead us off followed by a few of the images that grabbed my attention, followed by some daily sports-social media news.

I changed the structure of my digest due to “sheer volume”. Football, baseball, soccer, NASCAR, tennis proved quite challenging to track everything. It all begins though, with football.

Despite separate litigation issues hanging over their heads, the NFL and NCAA football came back with a vengeance. Most days/weeks, you could find trending topics on Google or Twitter included something related to those two sports. But, there was one other sport that captured the attention of another type of football fan around the world.

Football has an iconic place in American culture. Two other sports icons were part of September news too.

Okay, this isn’t iconic, but I couldn’t resist adding to my year end post

What’s a year-end post without an “own goal”?

Side note: Check out my “Fun with Topsy Search” post reviewing the first time popular hashtags were used according to Topsy.

***

October 2013

Get your game face on, October!

We welcomed back hockey and bid adieu to baseball. And, we also said “thanks”. Wait! No we didn’t. We said, “you’re welcome”. Well, U.S. Soccer did:

I said then:

Mexico survived to play another World Cup day thanks to a last-minute flurry by the USA in their 3-2 victory over Panama. The U.S. victory enabled Mexico to solidify that final World Cup qualifying spot. That Mexico needed a U.S. victory to qualify was not lost on fans of both teams, nor the official U.S. Soccer account. Expect to see that tweet on most end-of-the-year Top 10 lists.

With over 83 thousand retweets and 31 thousand favorites, I do expect it to at least be in the Top 10 of Top Tweets for 2013.

One of the top stories in baseball, aside from the Red Sox winning the World Series (and Facebook)

…had to be the Pittsburgh Pirates. Back in the postseason after 21 years (Roberto Clemente’s number), the Pirates, their city and their social media were a joy to watch.

Another team’s social media that is a joy to watch has to be the Golden State Warriors. Their team is embracing the social media outlets they use with passionate innovation (#passionateinnovation). Innovation like this G+ Hangout called #WarriorsLive:

Also innovating this month were the New Orleans Saints becoming the first NFL team with a Snapchat account and the Tampa Bay Lightning freezing their Instagram account (a first).

Innovators in their own right, we lost two football legends in October.

***

2013 was a professional roller coaster. Starting the year with two jobs and by summer’s end I was jobless. Until November. My new job with Sportsmanias meant less time for writing up my monthly digest. Abandonment was not on my mind. As the year was drawing to a close, I had the idea to create this year-end digest instead. Although I have no links for November and December Digests, I did curate content that helped shape their storylines.

*

November 2013

Welcome, November. The month where hockey players grow their mustaches and beards to their heart’s content. Movember arrived. No shaving allowed.

Also not allowed? One of the more bizarre stories occurred between two Dolphins players, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. 

The story itself was fluid all month-long Even to this day, the situation has still not been resolved. Just another in a long line of off the field stories the NFL didn’t need. Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter summed it up:

As the NFL world changed…constantly, one sports returned to “normalcy” (think six-pack), despite what flows from Donovan McNabb’s mouth.

Not normal? On second though, maybe this is normal…for Alex.

Apologies for not touching on amazing NFL games, college basketball, college football, soccer, #SFBatKid, Veterans Day celebrations, Thanksgiving, WWE, NBA, women in sports, Google Glass, YouTube videos, MLB awards, Twitter and the Phoenix Suns and so on and so forth. Suffice to say November did not disappoint. Especially when you have Minnesota Golden Gophers Head Coach, Jerry Kill, dancing upon his return from his health hiatus. Go Jerry!

***

December 2013

Coaching changes.

Coaches in trouble.

Free agent signings.

The final BCS Championship game.

World Cup test draw

And…a now-deleted penis tweet (saved via the beauty of Twitter).

Whew! That’s plenty, but December isn’t even done yet. We have the college bowl games, Liga MX final, NFL season wind-down, NBA digging in to their holiday season and am I missing anything?

***

There is much to reflect upon in social media-sports. 2013 was a huge year. Fans engaged on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, G+ more than ever in social media. Unfortunately, not always in a positive way.

We saw a rise in Infographics and GoPro/Google Glass videos, more specialized apps, creative team promotions, heightened social-television relationship and more.

Professionally, I have “met” some amazing people in the sports media/sports biz world through Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Social media in 2013 made the world a little smaller for me in sports. Knowledge is a precious commodity. I’ve learned more this year via my “friends” about journalism, marketing, business and yes, social media despite my lack of a college degree. Although I do like to say I have a degree in Common Sense from the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Life. But, I’m still learning. Social media is a great teacher, beyond just Twitter.

As for 2014, I don’t know that we’re fully prepared for what 2014 will bring in social media-sports. I expect there are things to come that we haven’t given a thought to yet in terms of creativity, platforms, or even tools. The actual sports stories, oh my, I can’t even imagine what we will see, especially withe the Olympics and World Cup in our future. Sounds exciting.

But, before I close, in reviewing this past year’s content, there is one photo that captured my heart and I wanted to make sure I shared it with you. I’m always looking for the good in sports and this is perfect:

***

CadChica Sports

UPDATED: Coming Together For Jason (#LEFturn) Leffler

UPDATED:

According to the AP’s Jenna Fryer story tweeted above:

But Leffler still invested specifically with his son in mind, his loved ones say, and took steps to ensure his son would be cared for before his death and in the event of his death. He had disability insurance and other policies, and funds established for Charlie.

Good to know that Charlie will be taken care of, not just by Jason, but by racing community comes together:

***

Being in sports/social media is not always centered around the “fun” of sports. There is a sad side to.

On Wednesday, the NASCAR family lost one of its own after a tragic accident at the Brighton Speedway in New Jersey. Jason Leffler, affectionately known on the circuit as #LEFturn, was killed after his car crashed into the wall during a sprint car race on Wednesday night. The grief and outpouring of condolences and support on Twitter was felt across the sports community as a whole.

These tweets show how the racing community, and hopefully, the Twitter community can come together as a whole to help support Leffler’s 5-year-old son he left behind.

There’s more that can be done. NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski and Indy Racing’s Tony Kanaan are out to prove it:

https://twitter.com/TonyKanaan/status/345640477418201088 https://twitter.com/TonyKanaan/status/345635870281433091

Follow Brad, Tony and other racing drivers/media for more in the next few days ahead:

As tweeted above, to help contribute now:

USAC Benevolent Foundation

c/o Executive Director Bill Marvel

4910 W. 16th Street

Speedway, Ind. 46224

Jason Leffler

***

CadChica Sports

1 2