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Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Viral video campaigns could be the much-needed answer to bringing deserved attention to women’s baketball.

Of the sports-related viral videos that I’ve seen, Gonzaga takes the lead – by far – with their newly-launched Inspired Season campaign to sell season tickets.

Stay with me here, this is fun.

By definition, a viral video is a video clip that gains popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or IM messages, blogs or other media sharing websites. [Think funny YouTube videos such as The Evolution of Dance or “I Got a Crush… on Obama.”]

As you can imagine, my attention was caught when I came across a viral video for women’s basketball. After reading a posting by Adrants (a site that evaluates advertisiments) which said Gonzaga’s efforts to sell season tickets were “well-executed,” I was thrilled – and very, very eager to check it out.

Essentially, Gonzaga University created a microsite (a URL that is separate from the University) called Inspired Season, which is dedicated toward a goal of selling season tickets for only $75. The main feature of this site is its viral video which is interactive through Web AND mobile technology.

The video features Gonzaga’s coach, Kelly Graves, who motivates you to buy tickets and inspires his team to take the court.

Adrants blogger Angela Natividad said,

“To sell tickets for its women’s basketball games, Gonzaga University produced a well-executed online campaign that makes your attendance feel vital.”

This campaign is so good – in fact – that Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick, claims he wanted to buy a pack after engaging the campaign, even though he’s, like, 2,600 miles from Spokane.

It’s important to note that coach Graves, 20 years ago, left a job with a finance company to commit his future to coaching women’s basketball. In 2007, he told Spokesmanreview that he “loved” coaching women’s basketball and never was entised to take a men’s job.

So here he is, leading Gonzaga’s program into his eighth season as the school’s winningest coach and leading women’s basketball into a new age of interactive video awareness campaigns.

To see the campaign, visit Inspired Season.

Did it make you want to buy season tickets? $75 is pretty cheap!

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In today’s issue of USA Today, we earned an entire section of the paper. Its title: “Women in Sports.”

I almost jumped out of my chair when I started reading. Seven complete pages of content and photos of women who have completed milestones in sport.

The cover article is particularly interesting.

Heather Tucker published a groudbreaking article in the world of women’s sports. She discussed the heroines of milestones of the past, heroines of the present and obstacles that lie ahead for the future of female sports. If you haven’t done so already, please go check it out here.

She discussed Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the “Battle of the Sexes,” a day after Title IX was passed.

She said, “King, who accepted Riggs’ challenge to play a televised match at the Houston Astrodome, soundly defeated him in three sets and put a damper on critics’ voices that women could not compete with men.”

Awesome. Totally awesome. I wish I were alive for that moment. Even though I wasn’t I know that what she did affected my ability to compete and succeed in sports twenty years later.

Tucker then pointed to Candace Parker, calling her a hero of today’s image of women’s sports due to her ability to beat five male competitors in the 2004 McDonald’s All-American Game, including Josh Smith, who won the NBA dunk contest the nest year.

She also mentioned Danica Patrick’s milestone in her “breakthrough” Indy-car race in Japan in April, when she became the first woman to triumph in a national oval-track touring circuit (Indy Racing League or NASCAR).

Then, Tucker talked about perceptions, and how the above milestones have inspired and influenced young women to compete on the playing fields today.

She said, “Perceptions of what women are capable of and what they can offer have been elevated thanks in part to these stars.”

Then, she wrapped up by highlighting the challenges that lie ahead, such as coaching, managing and team ownership, areas of influence that women have yet to solidly break through in terms of a “glass ceiling” in sports.

This is an incredibly crafted article. In my opinion, it’s too short. A lot of names are missing from this list of heroines. It takes much more than three influencers to break barriers. It takes an army, and decades of time and struggle.

Hopefully one day we’ll get there. Until then, articles like these will help keep the spirit alive. Thanks USA Today.

Other stories include player profiles on Jackie Joyner Kersee, Pat Summit, Mary Lou Retton, Janet Guthrie, Anny Meyers Drysdale, Nancy Lopez, Leslie Visser, Dot Richardson, and Brandi Chastian.

A separate article discussed sports marketers and how their altering their pitches as more female fans tune into sports. That particular article along warrants another post from me. I’ll be back in just a moment with more. (so excited!)

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I’m just another not-so-typical-20-something just-out-of-college overly altruistic and obnoxious about it pretentious individual… who has no idea what tomorrow will bring.

I moved about a year ago – three hours from home to the beautiful greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. I came to this place of one-too-many cocktails, suits and high heels because I wanted to save the world through my professional career. What I’ve found is it takes a little more than a dream, and I have a lot of work to do.

In the mean time, I’ve realized something… by participating in sports as a kid, I was setting myself up for successful opportunities, long after I hung up my sneakers. All of that hard work, all of those years of obsessing over practices, coaches’ impressions, newspapers, rankings, everything… it has all come full circle. It’s true, what the NCAA says — most of us go professional in something other than sports.

I grew up playing A LOT of basketball. I started in about fifth grade when I played for St. Rose of Lima basketball, then gradually became a part of the Penn-Jersey Panthers AAU basketball program where I met all kinds of great girls in New Jersey. I went on to play basketball for two years at Camden Catholic High School then transferred to Haddon Heights High School and graduated in 2003. I turned down a few basketball scholarships and chose to play for The College of New Jersey Lions, and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Exercise Science and Health Communication. Right now, I work for a public relations firm in Washington, DC. On the side, I coach a Classics Basketball AAU team and play in Headfirst Sports Leagues.

Now, since I’ve hung up my sneakers, I’ve discovered is that as female athletes, there is an incredible disconnect between the billions of us who play sports and the very few who choose to follow the stars. Not only this, but we as female athletes are incredibly underrepresented in print and on the Web. So I will do what I can to bring as much as I can to the online space. I strongly believe that by simply listening (and I mean really listening) and paying attention, you’re empowering yourself beyond measure. Knowledge is very, VERY powerful. And if I can bring it to the table, I’ll always have a seat.

That is what this blog is all about.

Welcome. I’m glad you’re here.

(Disclaimer: the thoughts an opinions on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not reflect those of my current or previous employers).

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