Minnesota Timberwolves President Chris Wright

Uploaded by CharlesHogge on 20.05.2012

Yates: Welcome to the Google+ Hangout.
I really appreciate everyone for being on. I've got to give
major kudos to Ken Troupe who got this organized
with the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the leaders in social media
and what they're doing in this space.
we have...
Jeff...and...the name is always...
You said everyone has pronounced it different ways.
Yates: Jeff go ahead and pronounce your own name. Jeff: Let's go with Munneke that's the most
common. Yates: There we go.
Jeff Munneke with the Minnesota Timberwolves and also Bob Stanke with the
Minnesota Timberwolves
and Ken Troupe
Who's the one who's really organized this entire thing. Wanted to introduce them
and then i've got a few questions to get started
and then we'll open the floor to questions out there. Ken go ahead, you got the floor.
Ken: Hey thanks Chris. As Jeff mentioned we've known each
other for a long time in the tickets sales side of the business
and now that I'm back out on the social media side and doing LinkedIn training.
I was fotunate
enough and was able to go in last december and train the ticket
sales and service team on LinkedIn. Started relationship more with Jeff
obviously that I already had and then obviously Chris Wright is a
really sharp guy and really gets it. He's probably one of the best presidents
or leaders in the sports industry in my opinion so...
Hopefully he will be able to jump on here. Jeff thanks helping me put this
together and Bob thanks a lot too for everything you did on your end.
Yates: Well I've got to start this first one out right off the blocks and I know you guys
did it just for us.
Minnesota Timberwolves just announced yesterday.
You have a pretty cool
thing in social media called
Minnesota Lynxs, Wolves Nation, Lynx Nation.
What I'm reading is, this is the fist in the NBA to do this.
Tell us what this is about
and how have you guys become the pioneers in the social media space?
Yates: That's for you Jeff starting out of the block. Jeff: You know what, I may
if you don't mind, refer to Bob on this one. Bob just started with organization
here two weeks ago.
He's already brought just great technology and just
unbelievable programming into our organization. So if you don't mind
I'm going to have to defer
over to Bob to take Lynx Nation
Yates: Alright Bob, what do you got?
Bob: Wwe're super excited about this new development. We are the
first ones in the NBA
to have a site like this and really it's a way for us to really
attract, connect, engage and entertain our fan base.
We have very loyal fans and have since 1989
on the Wolves side and since 1999 on the Lynx side.
So it's really a system that
puts a game inside of the game element to this.
It's a peer gamification play.
Fans can earn points and badges and produce great contests and rewards.
Making real time at the game.
It's a scalable site so that
you can go from your desktop to your mobile device.
It has responsive design that
goes right down to a mobile device to give someone sitting in their seats
the experience of a second screen type content portal. So yeah, we're
super excited. Lynx Nation launched on Friday Today we had the Lynx
home opener.
They got us a big win today and www.LynxNation.com was a big win.
We're super excited about that.
Wolves Nation is coming soon. We will finish development on that in the next
couple weeks and we'll launch that before the NBA draft.
You know to answer your question on why the Wolves are
leaders in this space.
It's really credit to the leadership inside the company. It's credit to
Chris Wright and Ted Johnson who is the V.P. guy that I report to. Who really
are cowboys so to speak in that you know we're just going to take every
chance we got we're gonna see what works and what doesn't work and
coming from a development background with fifteen years in this
business, that's exactly what wins this game. So you know I've been with the
wolves organization for a little over four weeks now but I've been a fan since the
beginning and it's always been fun to watch this organization be
Yates: Jeff obviously your the Vice President of the fan experience community.
This is something that you can no longer just throw out the
basketball let the players play
and fans just sit in their seat
You've got to engage them. How important is this space and what are you all are doing to make
the experience
more than just the actual game?
Jeff: Oh, your 100% correct and we're having such a great time with this
and we really encourage
all our staff members to get on all the social media aspects whether it's
Twitter, Facebook, Blogs,
and you know this application that we're doing right now I see huge opportunities
for us with our season ticket holders and fans. A couple unique things that
we've done is we've invited some of our top social media season ticket holders
into both Timberwolves & Lynks Media Day in the last couple years
and come in as an actual reporter
and so what we do is we give them access, give them credentials, we have them come in
and Tweet and Facebook all their observations.
They just have a great time with it and we actually set up a booth just like a working
media member and so for for each of those opportunities we've had ten
season ticket holders but basically are working media members and their Tweeting
out amd Facebooking out their observations. They are obviously talking
to all their friends. You can't believe where I am today I'm down
talking to Ricky Rubio or Seimone Augustus
and then they Tweet out their observations. So it's been really, really fun
Yates: Alright Ken I'll let you start since you got them on. Then we will
open it to the floor for anybody who wants to question or whatever.
Ken go ahead.
Ken: Thanks Chris, what kind of feedback or what kind of build up or buzz do you have from
season ticket holders or fans coming to you wanting to be a part of
what you're doing on social media?
Like being part of that media day and things like that. I mean,
do you think this year you will have people beating down your door
to be part of that?
Jeff: Yea, no question the fact that we had a couple repeaters from Timberwolves
media day over to Lynx media day this year just because they're so active
with it. They're really passionate season ticket holders. You're right
it is gonna be a little bit of a delima I think going forward
that all the people that have had the opportunity to be a participant in this
are going to probably say, "Hey, can I do it again?" Obviously with a season ticket base
of eight thousand on the Wolves side and several thousand on the Lynx side
we want to create as many opportunities for other people to
get this benefit in the future as well so we will redo it and have other people involved
next year.
Ken: Excellent.
What other questions are from the floor here?
Yates: Fire away.
Gentleman and ladies,
one lady.
If you all don't, I'll keep asking questions all night, you know me.
Jeff: I might mention one other thing too that Ken turned us on to when when he had
a meeting he came and did LinkedIn training with our Timberwolves staff, is that
he suggested we use Tout.com
and i've been using Tout in almost every game day for testimonials, for
opportunities to video some of our touch point program for season ticket
holders and that's given nice fifthteen second shots, then shared to our social media
areas to just say, "Wow, how do you guys do that, how does a season ticket holder
get involved?" So that's been another really fun aspect as well.
Yates: Yeah, that's interesting you bring up Tout
I utilzed that a lot this weekend at the P.G.A. Tour and was doing videos
for Byron Nelson.
And it's so easy, my background video and it would always be a pain because
I would do a new video and I have to put in the computer and have to edit it. It just
takes a long process.
For anybody who doesn't know Tout it is a cool aspect that you can film
something on your iPhone
and it goes directly to, fifteen seconds to your account
and it goes directly to Twitter or Facebook which makes it
efficient and it makes it almost like it's live.
So I really like that. Ken: The reason I suggest Tout is because
if your talking about making a true connection with the fan or with a
season ticket holder.
You know and putting that piece of video or that piece of content out there
it's forever going to be out there. That's really making a connection with somebody.
I know in my experience in the sports business and the ticket sales business
is making that presonal connection with somebody is just so important. That's why
things like Tout you know and Google+ Hangouts and things like that are going
to be, and maximizing LinkedIn again
are going to be very small part if you are good at it.
Yates: We want to welcome Ben. Ben over here on the far,
I don't know what side he is for you. He's on the far left of me.
Ben works with Google
and heard about we were doing this and works in the Minnesota area. Social media is amazing.
He will help promote you guys and he's a big Twolves fan.
Ben: That's true, that's actually why I wanted to jump on. I just wanted to see
and introduce myself. We have actually been working with the Timberwolves
a little bit. Actually this was when Scott Spiridigliozzi was still there and
I know you guys were transitioning a little bit. So it's kind of nice to meet
you Bob, I believe you have taken over some of the stuff he was doing so it's really cool
to be able to jump on and see what everyone is talking about.
Yates: Excellent.
How about you Matthew, what's up with you?
Matthew: Hello,
yeah I can talk. Yates: I didn't know if your mic was on or not. Matthew: Oh, no it was just off.
This is actually my first time ever for #SBChat or Google+.
I'm kind of observant right now, I'm still in college.
Yates: Oh you're still in college, that's okay.
You don't have to make that a disclaimer. Matthew: I'm still getting my feet wet in the sports games.
I'm all ears right now. If I have questions, I'll fire through.
Yates: Hey man, when I was in college I was on public access television at midnight, so go for it.
I was pathetic,
I'm still a pathetic, but so what. Jason always has something to say.
What's up Jason?
Jason: I mean, being in this Google Hangout here
and doing #SBChat. You are already ahead of the game, you are already head of all your peers because you're making connections
that are as valuable if not more valuable then just sitting in class
to be honest. I mean this business is very relationship driven.
Whether that be B to C, B to B, peer to peer.
I mean you want
to meet everyone that you can and just network, network, network.
So I give you kudo's for taking that initiative and being here tonight.
I actually have a question for the Twolves for your social
media. What kind of evaluation or benchmarks do you measure
to have a truly effective campaign?
Jeff: Bob, do you want to take that one?
Bob: Yeah, sure, you bet.
So when I came in four weeks ago one of the first things we did was
basically did an entire interactive audit.
All of our websites as well as all of our social media properties trying to
find you know where we're at today and where we want to be twelve
months from now, thirty six months from now so that audit
included the good and the bad.
Things that we were doing good
and things that we haven't done at all.
One area of that is definitely
the measurement tools one that we need to improve on so
Going deeper than just how many likes are we getting on Facebook.
We want to make sure that were engaging to the fullest degree
possible. So we're going to dig a little bit deeper and we'll look at some new
analytics tools
to really measure engagement levels a lot deeper then we are now.
In general all the main metrics that you would expect from a social media
campaign we are measuring.
I think
that metrics is one of the biggest things we haven't done and it's tough
because there are things that we manage that we can't measure.
So we just need to do a better job of measuring.
Yates: What's interesting is the NBA
and you guys are a very popular league but let's face it the NFL has always been #1.
For once the NBA is beating them.
This is going to make you feel good. You are beating them in the social media space according to general census.
I don't know if you have heard this report that came out recently.
You all have 180 thousand fans on Twitter and Facebook.
According to social media analytics from them since 2011 you are the
number one sports league in social media. That's got to give you guys pride that the
NBA has taken this and taken it seriously. A lot of people laugh at
this, "Oh social media I don't need to be on this non-sense."
If you really do embrace the space.
and really realize that it can be as powerful as ESPN or Fox Network
and you can own it, this space, and you can do great stuff and these reports prove that.
Why do you think the league has taken to it and what have you all been pleasantly
surprised or excited about?
Bob: I think it was Mashable that came out a couple of years ago and said that the NBA was
the first one to reach five-million followers on Twitter.
The NBA gives credit to
David Stern who is our commissioner
who again
it shows leadership has been very progressive.
We put a lot of energy behind building
a very
powerful global
marketing engine.
We are a part of that and its nice because
I have regular calls on a weekly basis
with some of these guys
and gals over there and they're always talking about what they're
doing next and what they recommend we try and there's a lot of knowledge
sharing between the league. So really besides being individual teams we're a
powerhouse of thirty teams helping each other
as well as having a
wonderful association to back us up.
Jeff: I think the other thing too I'd say is that the NBA is perfect for
social media. You have quick bites of how highlight films of dunks or great passes and
I think those things can be logged really quickly. We know
that we saw that from Ricky Rubio this past year. Every single night is a
highlight film of some crazy pass he has thrown and so immediately he comes
on the floor everybody's got to flip cameras out, everybody's got there
iPhones out and their taking photos of all the spectacular passes and immediately
transmitting those on to you the internet. So it is really fun to
see what he brought or the elements he brought to the table for us this last
It may have happened anyway a little bit but I think he enhanced it even
further for us.
Bob: Thanks to the awesome team play we had earlier this year
and Ricky Rubio and the awesome play of Kevin Love, we had the third-highest growth rate
among all the NBA teams due to our social media presence.
Yates: Wow! Nice guys.
Ken: To be fair
you guys have a couple of really nice players,
You guys were also forward thinkers.
you guys behind the scenes did a lot of efforts.
Chris and Jeff and you guys did a great job.
I just have a quick question coming from metrics before we get too far off.
Bob this might be something you might want to make a note of and Jeff maybe you can
answer this.
I think it's important to try to
know what kind of sales your generating off of social engagement, from
your ticket sales reps and from your corporate sales guys.
I know that I've been getting
quite a lot
of emails that spring from
reps saying "Hey I've sold something else off a connection from
LinkedIn and things like that. Jeff can you speak to
what kind of ballpark dollars you guys think come from
relationships on LinkedIn and Bob this is something that you want to
figure out how you measure, every team should.
Jeff: Ken you are 100% right and we haven't done a good job to date
measuring those
but since you came in and gave us a new logic and ways through
That has been a big piece of what we tried to measure
this last year.
Also, I'm putting this year who's on Twitter, who's on Facebook,
who's on linkedin and then coming up with a game plan. So our fan
experience specialist are now meeting with the sales reps to come up with a
game plan and how to use social media better how to track it and ultimately
how many sales you made from it. I don't have the exact data or numbers of how many
we sold
off of social media this last year but I think it's coming. It's definitely
coming and we needed to do a much better job of it.
Yates: Well that brings up that point of this article. I'm going to go back to this
article I'm reading.
I can send you a link.
I'll put it over here on the chat.
It's about the NBA.
They say since they have been doing social media
they're TV ratings are up 52%
and sales have went up 30% and they attribute a lot of it to when they
started engaging in social media two years ago.
So there is,
it's starting.
Social media is so new so when people say what's the R.I.
You know what's the R.I. on emotional engagement with somebody and the personal touch
with somebody? They are going to always come back, and if you keep touching people, they do.
Over time
when you start seeing this stuff there will be more case studies because
there is no history behind it.
It's so new.
I think we'll see more of that over time.
Ken: I mean everybody who works in ticket sales that does it well
knows that relationships is how you grow that business and how you
maximize your suites, your groups, and your season ticket sales to one point.
So if you can use social media now to engauge like that, that's the way to do it
and you can see the results the NBA is getting
is great.
Jeff: You know we are actually going to be coming out with the campaign here in the
very near future.
To not only capture but make sure we have every single birthday every kid's
name but also see what's your Twitter handle, are you on LinkedIn, and are you
linking to us and so we actually have a whole campaign with every season ticket holder
coming up here this summer.
Yates: Interesting, that's pretty cool.
I like that.
Yea that's pretty cool, You know what would be really neat too, if you get someone to buy
like a season ticket, and this is off the top of my head,
let's say if you buy a season ticket, tell us your birthday
and you get a player to say
Happy Birthday John, a season ticket holder, thanks for renewing.
How quick would that be on Tout? You could do a little video.
Jeff: It's a great idea.
We actually did some really cool spots this year with Kevin Love
and Ricky Rubio on a renewal campaign. We had Ricky Rubio talk in spanish just as a
reminder that renewal is coming up. We had Kevin Love sitting right next to him and
said well fans what he's trying to say is that, renew your tickets, hurry up.
Then we have a reminder email of the same thing, it was really successful.
To show the light side of both Ricky and Kevin to our fans
Yates: Alright Chris Kosmala you have been quiet. Congratulations by the way, he got a new job
Kosmala: Thank you.
Yates: He was with the LSU Tigers and I don't know why you left but
okay. No, I'm kidding.
You are now in Philadelphia?
Kosmala: I am working for
Comcast Spectacor with the Fliers, the Sixers, and the Wings all in Philadelphia.
Yates: Good job! Kosmala: Thank you, I'm happy to be here.
Yates: Congratulations, you always have questions, fire away.
Kosmala: Well I am kind of
going off of a little bit of what we've been talking about. I've noticed that
at last week's S.B.J. the Linx actually got a little bit of love about
how they're weaving the olympics into the season and how
the organization is holding different events, community
events, or watch parties, or what not. How do you plan to integrate
weaving that out into a social media strategy or are you putting that on
additional programs
because of the Olympics or in spite of?
Jeff: That's a great question we just had the WNBA commissioner in our office for
the last couple years as well.
There are some restrictions to social media based on the Olympic team
that we have to navigate through.
So there's some things that the players can and can't say obviously we're
hopeful that they can have a all their thoughts and all their observations come
quickly that week can use to all of our fans but obviously there's
to be some basic things like viewing parties. Opportunities if they do
indeed win the gold, I'll say when they win the gold
and come back.
When we've had this before when some of our players have came back from the
Olympics we've had opportunities to come take photos with that player
with their gold medal and when you get the chance to touch
that thing, it's pretty amazing. It's quite a deal and so what we'll have
some stock not only during
to watch the olympics and just talk all the players through all that all the
things that are happening
overseas but also when they return are great opportunities for starters well
Chris: Sure, that's actually really cool.
In Sports Business Journal they kind of spelled everything out you know. I think the
the watch parties is a great idea, some of the other community events. Then afterwards
touching a gold medal, I think that, even if your not basketball fan in
general, you know that something you would still got to just because like you
said when you get to see a gold medal in person that is really cool.
Jeff: It really is, we have had Kevin Love come back and we have held a couple of events
with him and when people actually get to touch that medal and see how heavy it is
and ultimately just be in and around, that prestige of being around
a Olympic gold. It's a pretty neat deal. So we're hopeful that no one of
three young ladies from the Linx come back we will have the same opportunities.
Kosmala: Seimone is still very much loved down in Baton Rouge and I can attest to
that. There are still people who talk about her,
people still talk about her all the time.
Yates: I'm hearing that Chris Wright, the president of the Minnesota Timberwolves is trying to get,
the problem is
we're totally full right now.
So we are going to have to have a volunteer or I'm going to volunteer someone. A college pledge
I love you bro but
you're gonna have to back out. Matthew: No problem.
Yates: You're the pledge for the night and we will haze you.
Come back again.
Ken: We can send you a link so you can watch it.
Yates: Get the hell out of our show!
Thanks for coming Matthew. Matthew: Have a good night.
Ken: Nice job Chris.
Jason: Chris loves kicking people out.
Yates: You have to pick on them.
I'm definitely not
kicking any of you folks. I like you all too much.
We need the folks from the Twolves
Brad Harrison may have jumped in too soon.
We have actually built up an audience here Charles. This is getting scary.
Charles: And challenging.
Hey Brad, I'm glad you came on but get the hell off our show.
Brad: (laughing)
Yates: We are trying to get the president in here from the Minnesota Timberwolves and punks like
you keep coming in on the show
That was a joke Brad but not really.
Brad we love you, but come back in about twenty minutes.
We got to get the Pres. on man.
I got to do what it takes, right Charles?
Charles: We promised the people the Pres. We got to give the people the Pres.
Jeff: What's the name of the guy who makes all the football cuts? Is it "The Turk?"
Yates: Yeah I'm "The Turk."
That would be funny like I'm "The Turk" and nobody wants to see me.
There are some people who don't want to see me on Google+.
I am "The Turk,"
but you got to be.
You got to roll with this thing.
You've been quiet, it's your turn.
Throw something out there.
Allison: What would you guys say is...
I know you said that you rolled up the Lynx and the Timberwolves in the upcoming NBA draft.
Do you have anything as far as a differentiation between the two?
Are you trying to keep them the same?
What are you looking at as your biggest difference between the two programs?
Jeff: Bob, do you want to take that one for the Lynx and Wolves nation?
Bob: Yeah, I can take that one.
So initially they will be very similar in terms of their model
and their infrastructure
The WolvesNation.com will definitely have a very large
audience initially off the bat. We're using Lynx Nation right
now as a good beta test for us considering we just launched it three days ago.
Now's the time to work out the kinks and get everything figured out
before we expect a very large Wolves audience to jump on the WovesNation.com.
So off the bat they're very similar they're gonna look very similar
but who's to say that three months from now we may have learned some
valuable lessons from LynxNation.com and roll in some new things
for Wolves Nation.
Yates: You guys should look at...I've got some buddy's here
FanCorps and Ken knows these guys.
I should connect you guys with FanCorps.
Really interesting concept, what they do is
brand ambassador type stuff for fans.
It's not just join our page,
they've got to send you pictures and stuff and posting cool stuff and they get bonus points
and then they can utilize that
to get discounts at the stores so it drives traffic to your store.
It's really some interesting stuff that you all could look into.
Jeff: Do I see Chris Wright coming up there?
Yates: How's it going?
Wright: Technology guys, it's a beautiful thing.
Yates: Hey man, not bad.
Thanks for coming on.
Wright: Not at all it just simply for whatever reason Chris
with the 4G Verizon phone
I could not get in and so I found a laptop. Thanks for the link Ken Troupe
and here we go.
Jason: I hope Verizon is not a sponsor.
Wright: No longer, no longer Yates: That's the way to do it we can get AT&T
as the sponsor.
We really appreciate you coming on.
Basically what we've been talking about and the reason you couldn't get on the is because the show has been so
popular that
we had it totally full so we had to kick some people out for you. It's like Survivor.
Wright: Maybe that was because Jeff Munneke was on.
Jeff: We were just saying that Chris Yates has got to be "The Turk." He's got to be the guy
coming down the locker room and booting the guys off like on a football team like "The Turk"
Yates: It was great! I had to get the Pres. on.
Wright: Well thanks so much guys.
Yates: We appreciate you coming on and Ken
we appreciate you getting him on. What we've been talking about and one of the
things that were really impressed with the Timberwolves have been doing. You all are the
pioneers in the social media space.
As the president of the team,
how impressed, how surprise,
how excited? What words would you use?
You know when people first dive in they're not really sure what social media would
do for the team. What about you, is it exciting, is it surprising? What do you
think about it?
Wright: Well I mean there is so much in the question you asked but
obviously the basis of everything that we do these days we
try anyway to
number one, put the consumer at the center of everything that we're doing.
So we are trying to create relevance across every single platform
inside of
our different sort of worlds. Obviously the digital
world is a very, very important and significant piece of that.
Any way that we possibly can we lean on data.
We rely on
good clean information that we're getting and if you take a look at all
of the the data
it tells you that
the social media world is having such a heavy influence now.
In so many different buying decisions that people are making.
For those of you follow us on Ticket Master they're live
analytics on
is doing some great work in the social media space and
so if you take sort of some, just ticket buying alone.
The recent data that we take a look at is 14% of people
in some way shape or form have used Facebook or are influenced by Facebook
with their buying decisions.
14% of beat people who are buying single game tickets are influenced by
Facebook and then twenty percent of them
use social media in some way shape or form
to sort of invite friends to go to games
with them.
Then after that 47% of them are basically saying that
Facebook is where they go to voice their opinions after the
game to talk about their experience. So in terms of the influence of social media
just in terms of ticket buying alone
social media is having a major influence in buying decisions
and then is creating impressions for you afterwards
in terms of the experience that they had inside of your arena.
Yates: Alright your done, thank you, that was all that we needed from you.
Group: (Laughter) That was awesome.
Way to go, see you later! Wright: Okay, thanks Chris.
Yates: That was excellent, that was a great point.
One of your views goes right to what's important, social media is about engagement
but you guys are in the business of making money and you're pointing out
that there is some ROI to this and it's early but you're already
noticing that.
Wright: Yea, we are noticing that and obviously we try to do some things as much as we
possibly can
to pave the way as it were in terms of the social
interaction as well about fans and
I don't know if Bob Stanke is on tonight but you know
he can talk much better to this. He's our director of digital.
He is a great guy leading the charge in terms of where we are going with our
Wolves Nation and our Lynx Nation
You know that's the... You know we've just launched our Linx Nation
site which is really where all of our social
media comes together but it's
a place where our fans can interact with each other. You know
gamification is huge these days.
You know we are providing for them games
online, inside of that social space where they can sort of
show their true colors, follow the team,
you know build sort of a profile for themselves in terms of
the Lynx and and Timberwolves Nation space. So we're
very very excited about that space and you know what Bob Stanke and our
digital guys are doing as well.
Yates: We appreciate your announcing that the day before you came on our show we
know you did it for that reason.
Wright: Yeah, absolutely.
Yates: All right let's open to the floor. Who's ready
to lead off? I always like to let Ken who put this all together. Ken why don't you start out.
What would you like to ask?
Ken: You know what Chris I think that you are doing a great job with the Wolves Nation and the Lynx Nation.
There is a lot of people who pay attention to this and watch this show, they're still trying to figure out just how to get in
and how to start
engaging in social media for their sports team.
What would you say would be the one or two
starting points for teams that aren't really heavily involved at this point?
Wright: Well that's a great question. I mean you know,
Ken a while ago and Jeff Munneke is the monster of this. Jeff pile on after I
finish here.
Probably about five, six, seven years ago we used to talk about it internally.
If your going to break it down to each individual fan what is, how do you
create engagement for every single fan with your franchise and then really
the essense to that is how do you communicate with your fans. So
how do fans want to be communicated
too? So a lot of people used to obviously like a letter,
a lot of people used to like fax, but then you know as
our world matured a little bit it became email it became
text and then now it's
Twitter, it's LinkedIn, it's Facebook, etc.
You know if you build your fan base
one of the key things that I would tell anybody is that how
well are you going to get to know every individual consumer
on what they want out of their experience with your team
and then as you do that the question becomes how do they want to be
communicated with.
What is their,
what is the avenue in which you can reach them and how do you reach them
and and how do they want to be communicated to?
You know that's what we're trying to do that's where we continue to try to
figure out that
every single day.
Is it Facebook, is it Twitter, is it text, is it email? What is it? What's the,
you know, what's the line of communication preference for every single
one of your fans and
that's a chore.
Your fan base is massive whether it's season ticket holders,
partial season ticket holders, individual ticket buyers.
It's massive, but every single one of them has a preference.
If you're Tweeting a 62 year-old like me
and that is
not my preference, I want everything by email
and then.
You know because I'm just a casual user of Twitter
then you're not going to be successful in really truly developing a
relationship with that consumer.
Jeff: I would like to add to that by, sorry Chris. I wanted to add to that by
saying that one of the things we are going unvail here in the next month or so is
a campaign called Wolves All-Access which
we've been doing for a while but we just didn't formally have a name for it but it's going to be
called Wolves All-Access. Where
we're coming up with niche events
for the season ticket base all throughout the course of the year.
So we feel that on the Timberwolves side we have eight thousand season ticket holders.
So within that niche you probably have
people that like dogs, people that might like to go walk their dogs.
You might like to have people that watch movies, you might have people that like
a certain type of music.
So what we are going to do is we are going to crete all these different events that we are going to have small
niche events all throughout the course of the year
where it's a social opportunity to go and network with all those like season
ticket holders and build that relationship internally there as well.
Yates: Bob is showing you right now if anybody wants
to look at what's going on it is kinda cool.
What I like Chris is what you said
is you mentioned how these things interact with fans and both you and Jeff can answer this question.
Jeff it probably excites you a little bit too being V.P. of Fan Experiences.
You did not mention radio, you didn't mention newspaper, you didn't mention T.V.. Which is relying
on other people to transmit your message. You were talking about Facebook
Twitter, YouTube, and social media which
you can control that messaging and you don't have to wait for some one to
come cover you. How exciting is it for you to now have the power of the message?
Wright: Yeah I mean it is phenomenal. I mean you've got to,
you know, my C.M.O. Ted Johnson tells me all the time Chris
the old adage is still true you need to touch them seven times before that sort
of message resonates and you know
we still have a blend of whether it be radio and television for instance
as well as everything that we're doing in the social space as well but
different consumers receive messages in different ways
and if
you have a bucket of consumers who really are active in the social space
and you can utilize whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, whether it be Twitter.
All of the different sort of tools that you do have available today for
a series of messages.
If you are moving consumers towards buying a particular product that
you have available.
If you've been able to touch them three or four times in the social space
because they are active in that social space
it therefore reduces the spend that you need in what is deemed traditional immediates
these days, radio for instance and T.V.. So therefore, you know, you can
move a lot of the resources and tools
you have that were
used to be spending traditional advertising over into the digital space
to increase your staff,
increase your product line, increase different aspects of
how you want to grow that space to make it more active.
If that makes sense but you know and that's what we are slowly doing
we're getting out of the more traditional media and moving more into
the social space to really sort of
encourage consumers to have a relationship with us.
Yates: I think Bob has to hit the road. Bob do you want one last
comment or statement on the way out? It sounds like you're taking
over the space for the Minnesota Timberwolves
for people and social media, last question and I know you have got to roll.
What excites you in this new space, is there something you're looking at, and what do
you think is the future?
Bob: The sky is the limit for us there are so many things for us to try.
Every new tool that comes out we can evaluate take a look at and
for everybody out there doing social media no matter
what industry or field they are in give things a try and don't be afraid to fail and
fail fast.
That's kind of a key point that all the books have said and all the
great blogs have sad but
until you put it into practice and really learn from your mistakes
that's the only way you are going to do it. So that what we are going to do with the Wolves is that we
keep trying new things and we are going to turn
digital in a market to discover and an engagement tool
and I'm looking forward to helping lead that charge. I know I
wasn't a scheduled guest tonight so I really appreciate you guys having me on.
Yates: Absolutely.
Charles: Thanks for coming. All right we've only got about...
Ken: Thanks for jumping in. Alison: Thank you. Jason: Thank you.
Jeff: Thanks Bob.
Bob: Have a good night.
Jeff: You too.
Yates: Hey Charles all those other people we killed earlier, you know, they may be able to
jump back on now.
Charles: Yeah, I'll send out links.
Ken: I bet Brad will jump in.
Hey Chris have you started
or what success have you had with a Pinterest account yet?
Wright: Can you say that again?
Ken: Have you guys started a Pinterest account,
and if you have what kind of successes have you had
or what are you
doing with that? I'm just kind of dabbling with it at this point.
Wright: You know Munneke, have you got, any of you guys started doing
anything like that or not? Jeff: Yeah, we actually did in fact, one of
the folks, Alex Conover who's on our social media side is listening in right now
and maybe he can type in the comments here on the chat side.
We actually did a couple contests with Pinterest as well as Doodle
and had some success with that. We're just going down the path obviously
with Bob coming out here in the last month he's going to take us in some new
directions that we've never touched before but we have dabbled in it a little
bit with some contests and I myself have started to try to figure out how to
do some things there. So if I can figure it out anybody can figure it out.
Ultimately there would be more stuff into Lynx Nation and Wolves Nation
down the road for us as well.
Ken: You know I think it's 75% women right now in Pinterest
so that's why it's important.
That's what I found out as I started doing some of my
interests or "Pinterests,"
I think I have about a hundred followers or so and they're all females so
I was thinking what in the world is going on here.
Yates: Yeah the...
I just put a link up here on the left
talking about
the Celtics and the New York Giants
have done really well Pinterest. You all can
get some ideas on what they're doing.
Anything in sports, you know I've been doing sports since the
early nineties and it's all visual.
Whether it's photo's,
videos, fans want to see, we are a visual society.
So that's why these things are doing so well. Tha's why YouTube and Pinterest do so well.
Especially with sports the people want to see the action.
They don't want to just read about it.
So that's why these things and social media is such a great platform.
Especially stuff like Google Hangouts a lot of teams are now having
players come on and talk to fans and interact with fans directly it's a cool tool to do.
Charles: I just spoke with Alex Connover and he should be on his way in.
Yates: Who is that?
Charles: Alex Connover he work under Bob.
He said that he will be on his way in, in just a few.
Yates: We only got about...
ten more minutes now guys so if you guys can hang on just ten more minutes if that's ok. I know your
time is pretty limited, so we appreciate you staying on this long.
Kosmala: Hey Chris, I actually do have a question for you kind of going off Pinterest is that you
mentioned that here in the U.S. it's very female oriented or more female users
but in the U.K. it's actually the opposite there is actually a lot more male users. Do you think or see
that changing anytime soon here in the U.S.? I mean obviously
Pinterests biggets growth area will be male users but do you see men
overwhelmingly signing up or for the short term do you think it's going to be mostly female?
Wright: Jeff, I mean you've used Pinterest,
what do you think about that?
I mean did you see any,
do you have any male followers or is it all female right now?
Jeff: You know it's largely female and from my understanding
it's largely to do with with shopping,
different things for
wedding planning type of thing. I think that's where it started is what I've
gathered. I've tried to put on there different things whether it's music or
books or movies that type of thing just to generate something just to get going and
once again I haven't dabbled too far into it. If Alex does get on here, Alex
is pretty versed in it and actually has ran some really fun contest for both
Doodle and Pinterest so maybe if he has time he can jump on here. Kosmala: Sure.
Wright: Just going back
to the question around sort of the Brits and obviously
you know the strange accent is coming through.
You know obviously if you take a look at the traditional sort of British
sports you know if you take a look at the demographics of those sports I mean
they are so skewed by male.
Whereas you know in our game
you know obviously over 30% of our audience today is female.
So you know what Jeff Munneke has done which is
phenomenal in our client development area
is really the touch point program that we have developed there that you know
embraces social media tremendously. It really looks for a lot of
female events
and networking opportunities
you know for young women to be engaged in our franchise. You know
we have something call "Ladies Night Out" which we use a lot of social media for to
try and sort of gather interest and this doesn't really
pertain to Pinterest but
I think Jeff if I'm correct towards the end of the season we had
our largest
gathering of
females in that "Ladies Night Out" of about 480 women
if I remember correctly. That has grown from small groups initially that said
you know started at
twenty or thirty women coming to those events.
Jeff: Correct. Kosmala: Wow! Wright: The great opportunity we have in that audience
to really grow that audience through social media.
It is a little Pinterest related and I'll throw in a free idea for you since I'm on your books.
You can do a "Pin Board"
for "Ladies Night Out" and encourage your ladies to pin photos from that night on
that board. Jeff: That's a great idea.
Ken: That's something, that's really good engagement
and they will then, all the people that follow them will then see those
photos and things like that. That should really help.
I'm doing some work with a "AA" team
this week
and one of the things I'm going to do is launch a Pinterest account for them because
they are very family,
long driven. You know obviously minor league sports.
So that's what kind of intrigues me about Pinterest. I know that they've been
having some success and
I just posted an article about thirty ideas for Pinterest that was on "The National" the other week
You know just posting
photos for engagement and things like that on your pins and then also
merchandise and women specific merchandise and things like that I think
a lot of teams are having success with
Jeff: That's a great idea, oh sorry Chris.
Yates: We have three Chris' on here which is always hard.
Everyone keeps saying "Chris" and I'm like ahh and then "Hey Chris"
I do have to ask, you said that your accent or whatever where are you from?
Wright: I'm a Britt through and through
Chelsea Byam was a must see watching over the weekend. I'm an
old EPL guy who came over here for a, for soccer reasons.
Yates: Okay, now I can ask you a question.
You know soccer over there is so big
and the passion and all that.
What's the difference between and why were you interested in coming over
here and owning a team from United States like a NBA team as opposed to owning
like a soccer team over there?
Wright: Yeah I mean I wish I was the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves but unfortunately
I'm not. You know I run the business side... Yates: That's right, I'm sorry.
Wright: You know you have elevated my status in 45 minutes
to bein an owner.
You know I mean being part of a thing was one of the hardest things. You know my background
was with Edward J. DeBartolo with the San Francisco 49ers and
of the Penguins and then I came here to be with the Minnesota Strikers
and then ended up in sort of the NBA.
you know it's fascinating really in sports I mean we use to do everything
that we possibly could MRL to get people into the arena to
watch the games.
So we were very grassroots orientated back in the day
to try and find those people who would go and support sports
and support indoor soccer.
Really today that one-on-one marketing mantra
is really what we're utilizing in professional sports and in the NBA today.
It really is all about one on one marketing and really figuring out what
the consumer wants and then over delivering on every single consumers needs.
Really say I go back thirty years ago in in my career to today
not a lot has changed except the way that we do business
and then obviously the social media is a massive part of that today.
Jeff: I was going to say to everybody to in regards to our female audience in Pinterest.
We also have something called "Ricky Rubio"
that tends to work pretty well of us. In fact
Ricky showed up at our Lynx home opener
and all game long he had a trail of young females trying to get his
autograph. So Ricky doesn't hurt us in that regard
Wright: For everybody who's online sometime you should just go to Ricky's
Twitter account and and take a look at the number of follows. It was
interesting for us today I mean we are all tweeting around the game
but Rubio walks in and immediately tweeted from court side.
I think it's 860,000 followers
right now and that was followed up with Lindsay Whalen at the end of the game.
She has somewhere in the region of I think 28,000 followers.
Followed by a tweet by Maya Moore
you know who's got 68,000 followers.
It's just fascinating to see
the number number of people that are following all the
professional athletes today and what a great opportunity that is for the teams
obviously to access everybody who has interest in our start.
Ken: You know why he's so popular is he has the same birthday as Laura Meyer and myself.
So that's why he's popular.
Don't bring that up because Laura has a birthday phobia.
Yates: By the way Brad was someone we kicked off earlier for
Mr.Wright to come on so we're going to allow brad one last question before we wrap
up in three minutes. We felt bad that the Turk had to lay it on you Brad.
Brad is back, Brad do you have a question.
One thing I just wanted to add about the Pinterest thing is. One thing that we saw is,
One of our early boards that we did early on is we just had a board filled
with photos of various drivers.
Yates: He's with Nascar by the way everyone.
Go ahead Brad
Of all the stuff we have done it's probably had the best as far as
repinning and interactions is great because you know the amount of
there again you know the number of females on Pinterest and
obviously with Nascar that's a market
that you know you want to market to every market. With the past 20 years you can see them at Nascar
and motorsports.
So the female market has grown and that kinda helps with Pinterest really
feeds right into that.
It's kind of a no brainer for us
to have a presence on there.
Yates: Alright well I want to wrap this up and say I appreciate you guys coming on.
What you think...I'll let you all get your last closing comments Jeff we will start
with you and then Mr. Wright with you.
Jeff go ahead.
What did you think about your first Google Hangout and
just about all this social media stuff or anything
Jeff: I'll tell you it's fascinating and as Bob and I were sampling this the other night and now being on it Live.
I can completely see the application as it presents itself for
small season ticket holder visits or having a player come on to meet maybe some of our
high level or "A" level accounts or
maybe it's a specific group to ask questions about a renewal.
So this is unbelievable access and unbelievable opportunity I think for
us to engage further with the fans.
Yates: Alright we are going to close with the President. The president always gets the last word.
Wright: Hey thanks and first of all I apologize for being late to the party.
You know what, again when your sixty-two and you've got technical problems you
mind doesn't quite work as quickly. As I look at the audience here
the average age is going to be around about what, twenty-five twenty-six
and Ken you and me are the old one.
Yates: Let me lean down and you can say again, there.
Wright: I think we take the average age just up a little bit but you know for
those of you that are sort of in the trenches on this stuff keep
fighting with people like me.
You know to get the resources that you need to really develop the digital
space inside of
whatever sports property it is that you work for.
You know you guys are the trailblazers, you are
where the great world of sports is going from the
communication standpoint
and you know remember that it is one on one marketing, figure out your consumers.
Figure out the way that they want to be communicated with
and make sure that you fight for the resource. Get into that
president's office or the VP of communications
make sure you fight the resources that you need to be able to communicate with
your fans.
Yates: Outstanding.
Thanks everybody and we'll see you again next sunday sports business chat
with some of the great
thought leaders and sports business people in the world.
Thanks everybody!
Go TWolves! Group: (Thank You)
Social Sports and Entertainment #SSE Sundays at 5:30pm PT | 7:30pm CT | 8:30pm ET Hosted by: Chris Yates of Huddle Productions Produced by: Charles Hogge of Huddle Productions Captions by: Charles Hogge of Huddle Productions