Tag:Social Media
Posted on: October 5, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 3:45 pm
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Ochocinco lost bet, quit Twitter for three weeks

Posted by Will Brinson

Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco hasn't tweeted since September 24. Lest you think this is normal, well, it's not -- Ocho used to fire out 40-plus tweets a day, and for him to go 12 days without any noise on Twitter whatsoever is disturbing.

As it turns out, Ocho isn't being forced off Twitter, per se, he just lost a bet, which probably involves his not-so-stellar play this season.

"Ochocinco hasn't tweeted because he lost a bet," Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald tweeted on Wednesday. "Twitter ban/lost bet last three weeks. Won't tell me the wager."

We checked with "Rap Sheet" on Twitter, and Ocho won't reveal who the bet is with either.

Or guess, because you care, goes something like this: there's was a bet between either Bill Belichick or Tom Brady and Ocho relating to number of catches against the Bills.

This makes sense for a couple of reasons. The Bills and Patriots played on September 25, one day after Ocho's last tweet. And Ocho had the most number of targets (four) that he's had all season, meaning you could jump to the conclusion, if you're inclined, that someone was trying to give him a fair shake of getting his hands on some balls.

He caught two passes for 28 yards, but dropped a critical pass in the Patriots loss, and that's not good enough to win any friendly bets. Or maybe he had a "don't drop any passes" or "run all your routes perfectly" bet going with Belichick.

Whatever, he's not talking about it, which means it's someone with authority and we probably won't see Ocho on Twitter until October 14 -- Rapoport says it's "retroactive," which is hilarious -- when the three-week stint is up.

So at the very least, we can rule out Tedy Bruschi.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Posted by Will Brinson

Rashard Mendenhall created one of the offseason's biggest controversies when he tweeted some stuff about 9/11 following Osama Bin Laden's death. The tweets got fans all stirred up, drew some remarks from teammates and got him fired as an endorser of Champion.

In response, Mendenhall is -- per CNBC's Darren Rovell -- suing Hanesbrand, the parent company of Champion in North Carolina District Court.

“This case involves the core question of whether an athlete employed as a celebrity endorser loses the right to express opinions simply because the company whose products he endorses might disagree with some (but not all) of those opinions,” the suit reads.

In all likelihood, this won't work like a normal "wrongful termination" case -- Mendenhall had a clause in his Champion contract that, per Rovell, allows them to fire him if Mendenhall "commits or is arrested for any crime or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence tending to bring Mendenhall into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult or offend the majority of the consuming public.”  

The problem here for Mendenhall is that because he's dealing with an issue like 9/11, he'll have an uphill battle to prove that the majority of the consuming public wasn't offended by his comments, particularly given the storm of media coverage it generated.

Additionally, he's seeking monetary damages for his termination, which probably won't play well in the media, despite what his attorneys claim.

"Although the lawsuit seeks damages, this case is truly not about the money," Mendenhall's lawyer Stephen Thompson told Rovell. "In this age of widespread social media, Rashard believes (whether an athlete can be fired for his or her opinions) is an important question for all athletes who serve as celebrity spokespersons, and he intends to pursue this lawsuit to vindicate his rights and those of other athletes caught in this situation."

Perhaps the biggest problem is the resulting image hit that Mendenhall could suffer. Even though he's defending a basic American tenant -- free speech -- he's going to remind everyone in the country exactly why he got fired in the first place; it's unlikely that the general public's stance has changed on his statements since then.

And, of course, he's suing an ex-employer and someone who signed him to an endorsement contract. That's never good for business, particularly if you're trying to find future endorsers.

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Dockett gets pulled by cops, live tweets it all

Posted by Will Brinson

Donovan McNabb recently said that athletes should stay off of Twitter. There's some logic to his thought process (see: the Rashard Mendenhall-9/11 public relations nightmare that recently unfolded) but, ultimately, Twitter is fantastic because it allows athletes to interact with fans.

Or, if you prefer, live-tweet what happens when they're pulled over by the cops and refuse to allow the men in blue to search their vehicle, as the case was with Darnell Dockett (who made our Top 10 must-follow NFL Twitter accounts last year) on Monday afternoon.

"I don't know why the police always messing w/me I'm never gonna let them search my car with out a search warrant!" Dockett exclaimed about 1:00 PM EST on Twitter. "No matter what!"

He then went on a rant while -- apparently -- pulled over on the side of the road, waiting for the cops to return with a search warrant. To the expletive-washed blockquote machine!
Police sitting here waiting on back up cuz I told them YOU NOT SEARCHING MY CAR! PERIOD! & now I'm sitting here! Owell I aint got [expletive] 2 do!"

There R 3police cars and they are talking! I don't see A search warrant they won't see inside this escalade! I got all day hope they don't!

Police said "do you mind if we look around in your Vehicle?" I said I sure DO! He said "I'm gonna call back up" I said u wanna use my phone?

I think they (POLICE) going to get a search warrant cuz they sitting here looking like fools waiting on something!

These COPS really think I'm stupid they playing good cop bad cop! BOY STOOOOP! I'm not falling for that! NO SIR YOU WILL NOT LOOK IN MY CAR!

This cop just ask me how tall R u & where R U from! I'm bout to ask him can I go across the street to POPEYS while we sitting here waiting!

I been sitting here for a HOUR 1cop by the driver window, 2talking at the car! And the 1by the window being friendly! Like wtf?

I asked the cop why he pulled me over he said I was speeding I said [CAPITALIZED BOVINE EXPLETIVE]! But give me the ticket that's when he asked to search my car!

So you gonna lie and say I'm speeding then you wanna search my car! Get the [expletive] ouutta here! Better go get a warrant *turns up radio*

OK so now I think they letting me Go cop just brought my DL's and registration! Yeah I'm bout to be out this MOFO!
So, yeah, this is still playing out in "real time" on the Internet.

And it's probably going to end awesomely one way or another, either with Dockett getting in some kind of trouble and tweeting all the way to jail, or with Dockett posting the officers' badge numbers on Twitter.

Regardless, it's pretty clear that McNabb was wrong about the power of social media.

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Posted on: May 14, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Mendenhall kind of claims he learned a lesson

Posted by Will Brinson

It's unlikely that we'll grow tired of talking about Rashard Mendenhall on Twitter. That's mainly because he keeps tweeting, of course.

Like, on Saturday, when Mendenhall seemed to start off on an apology tangent (or a "here's what I've learned" tangent at least), when he decided to veer in a similar "outside the box" Twitter rant.

"I've learned more these last few weeks than some people will ever even attempt to learn their whole lives," Mendenhall tweeted. "Conventional wisdom is the new Jolly Roger."

What? Conventional wisdom is a pirate ship? That sounds like an Anchorman quote.

I kid, of course -- Mendenhall is making reference to the use of "Jolly Roger" to mean "poison" or "a hazard." In which case, he's actually making a fairly provocative statement, only he's doing it in an intelligent way. (Which is quite different than what he did the first time.)
Mendenhall

The point Mendenhall's trying to make is that he wants people to "think."

That's all well and good, and anyone who says they don't want professional athletes to think and to have opinions about worldly topics is playing too much into a stereotype.

But it doesn't change the fact that Mendenhall still needs to do that himself before he decides to pass along an opinion in a shortened medium like Twitter that doesn't provide much room for explanation.

If he really has learned his lesson, he'll remember that next time around.

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 11:22 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)Posted by Will Brinson

In case you hadn't heard, Steelers' RB Rashard Mendenhall did some tweeting recently about Osama Bin Laden. It did NOT go over well with the general public. And it apparently didn't go over well with athletic wear company Champion, who fired Mendenhall on Thursday.

Mendenhall inked a post on his site attempting to explain his Twitter burst, but clearly that wasn't enough, as the company, who's paid Mendenhall to endorse their products, decided that Mendenhall's tweets were "inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand." So, they fired him.

"In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers," Champion spokesman told told Michael McCarthy of USA Today"While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship."
Mendenhall

It's not surprising at all to see Champion -- whose logo is colored red, white and blue, by the way -- pull this move from a public relations standpoint, as Mendenhall's comments alienated many a fan. But it is interesting from the perspective of how a brand, an endorser and a demographic interact.

For instance, here's an example of something similar from another form of popular culture: the Dixie Chicks, once upon an election or two ago, decided to speak out against George W. Bush. Because they are a country music band who caters to a particular, shall we say "more American" demographic, overcoming that sort of statement in public was nearly impossible. (Conversely, Green Day, a rock band whose listeners tend to be more liberal, can write an entire song ripping Bush, and the only consequence is that they sell more records.)

I'm not saying that Champion is a country band, but I do think that it's substantially more difficult for Champion to overcome a slew of average, everyday Americans refusing to buy their brand because they endorse Mendenhall.

And, of course, there's the fact that Mendenhall isn't exactly Tiger Woods, whose value as an endorser holds greater weight.

Look, Mendenhall didn't do anything wrong, he just did something stupid. Athletes -- and everyone -- today simply have to understand that using Twitter is just like being a at a press conference. While Twitter and Facebook and all forms of social media are a fascinating and fun way for athletes to communicate with fans and media alike, it's also a part of an individual's brand.

And as we've seen countless times, you don't need to break any laws to ruin your image in this country.

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Posted on: September 15, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Redskins partner up with Foursquare

Posted by Will Brinson

Foursquare, for those that don't know, is a location-based application for iPhones (and other smart phones, natch). It's absolutely pointless at times -- the "goal" is to go places and check-in and accumulate points. Whoopie, right?

Well, sometimes it's kind of awesome -- like when the Redskins announced today that they were teaming up with Foursquare to create a unique "Redskins Nation Badge" (you also get badges as well as Mayoral designations for unlocking certain achievements).

“Foursquare presented another unique way for the Redskins to engage our fans while creating a virtual loyalty program based on them attending or watching Redskins games,” said Redskins’ Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy Shripal Shah. “What really separates foursquare from other social sites are the incentives for checking in and the ability to share experiences with their friends.”

And the Foursquare guys seem pretty amped too -- although they should be, considering that in an increasingly crowded geographical-based application arena, getting this sort of big time publicity and partnership is huge.

"We're very excited to have the Redskins as our first NFL partner," Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development for foursquare, said. "The Redskins are demonstrating that the foursquare platform provides professional sports teams with a simple way to encourage and reward fan loyalty."

And the 'Skins will let folks who go to designated "Redskins bars" check in as well.

And in case you're wondering what the real payoff is, here you go: for restaurants, bars, etc., it's huge because now they can send alerts (think: "Swing by Ben's Chili Bowl and get a free side of sour cream") to Foursquare users and drive sales. For Foursquare, could you ask for a more geographically and demographically targeted group than 90,000 diehard football fans crammed into a stadium? It's pretty difficult to get any better than that, and it should equal an advertising boon.

Really, it's a win-win all around.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com