Author Archives: matttmmba

Mariners vs. Seahawks….is this a really a question?

Seattle is home to two professional level sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners. While they are not in direct competition with each other on the field, they are in competition for keeping fan interest which converts into dollars in the long run. In addition to this, much of the money made in profession sports is made based on the “brand” not exclusively from the wins/loss ratios of the team that hits the field. The brand of sports is much of the reason that we are willing to pay a salary of $240 Million dollars to secure a household name like Robinson Cano.

There are obvious differences right off the bat even before looking at their Social Media presence. The Seahawks are current Super Bowl champions and the Mariners have experienced several years of less than desirable baseball. The Seahawks are in their off season while the Mariners Season is currently underway. The Seahawks play significantly fewer games but are more reachable to the general masses as their games are televised on regular television channels. The Mariners play 162 games a year, but with only a few exceptions their games are televised on Root Sports a television station they own which is available on cable services like Comcast but not on Direct TV.

To start, let’s look at Topsy for the past month for both of these teams. You will see a lot more action for the Seahawks on Twitter than for the Mariners. While this may be alarming initially if you are responsible for the Mariners Social Media page it is important to remember that the NFL draft is currently going on, which clearly adds to the most recent peaks in chatter.

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When we look at Social Mention we can see a clear difference between the two teams. Here are shots from the Seahawks and Mariners respectively. Again, the Seahawks are likely riding the wave of being Superbowl champs with their 25:1 sentiment ration. It’s hard to imagine much negativity being said about them (49 fans not included). You can also see that a much larger number of people are talking about the Seahawks overall. On the Mariners side, you will see a 16:1 ratio. Since Social Mention is a ‘point in time’ analytic, this number probably varies significantly based on the win or loss of the day’s game, and in this case, they beat the Twin’s 6-2 snapping a 4 game losing streak. The highlights of the game came from a stellar pitching performance from Felix Hernandez (@realkingfelix – 210K followers) and Robinson Cano (@robinsoncano – 457K followers).

Having a little more than half of the number of contributors as a team in the off season does not bode well for the overall sentiment towards the Mariners brand.

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On Tweet Reach Seahawks:

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On Tweet Reach Mariners:

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Tweet Reach is the first time we see higher exposure for the Mariners than for the Seahawks. This is likely a direct result of the Mariners winning a game today.

With both teams vying for top spot when it comes to their $150 jerseys and unlimited options of swag, social media can help them by allowing fans to feel connected to the players even during the off season or at times when the team is showing less than ideal results on the field.

 

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Pyramid vs Redhook

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are spoiled by the variety and accessibility of craft brewed beer. In the 1980’s a revolution started in which micro-breweries became popular and the trend has exploded since.

In Seattle two early players were Pyramid Alehouse (est. 1984) and Redhook Brewery (est. 1981). Today both of these brewers are alive and well (but I would likely not refer to them as micro-brew anymore), and they must compete for customers in the beer imbibing Pacific Northwest. Both of these companies have used social media to some extent and the table below shows the channels that they participate in.

 

Pyramid Brewery

Redhook Brewery

Active?

Facebook

Yes

Yes

Yes/Yes

Twitter

Yes

Yes

Yes/Yes

Instagram

No

Yes

No/Yes

Blog

No

Yes

No/Yes

Youtube

Yes

No

Yes/No

Other

Brewers Notes – signup newsletter

Pandora Music Channel

 

 

The information above is pretty standard. However if you look deeper into the data you will see that these companies use social media differently. To set the table for this discussion let’s look at the physical presence of each company.

Pyramid has four locations and they are all on the west coast. In Seattle the location is adjacent to the football and baseball stadiums. This provides for an automatic walk-in customer base throughout the year.

All four of the locations are accounted for on one Facebook page. This seems to lessen their ability to promote location specific events or discussions. There is also evidence that Pyramid is not overly responsive to questions or comments from customers who communicate via these channels. On the bright side Pyramid has 60,000 plus “Likes” on Facebook, but only 752 check-ins.

One thing that Pyramid does have however is a signup newsletter for customers. This allows the customers to sign up directly for information and not be shut out by the arbitrary algorithm that has been set up by Facebook.

Being that Pyramid is a larger company it appears that they use social media mainly for marketing purposes.

Redhook on the other hand is located in Woodinville. This makes it more of a destination for customers and is far less likely to get walk-in customers. The second Redhook brewery is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and is also somewhat rural.

Because of this configuration Redhook tends to use social media as a way to interact with customers. Redhook is active on the channels that it participates in and is commonly chatting with customers, responding to their feedback or answering specific questions. Redhook also uses Instagram very successfully thereby allowing customers to post pictures with their favorite beer and link them to their (customer) pages as well.

Redhook also hosts many events and uses social media to share the upcoming events. These events are very popular and garner a lot of attention from their brand loyal customer base. Events include Sounders FC games, outdoor movie nights and fundraisers. This is an interesting idea because Redhook only has 3,248 “Likes” on Facebook, but has 58,190 check-ins at the physical site! This seems to indicate that Redhook values check-ins more and likely receives better visibility on Facebook.

In total it appears that Redhook uses social media more as a platform to communicate with customers and less to advertise to them. 

In closing it is noteworthy that both of these companies have embraced social media and that there are commonalities in their methods.  Yet they are definitely using these methods to accomplish different objectives.  In my opinion both are successful.

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