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Date archive for: March 2013

Phil Jackson Joins Twitter, Sets it Ablaze With Typo

The sports social media landscape is usually heavily active on Twitter, especially NBA Twitter.  Yesterday, legendary coach Phil Jackson made his Twitter debut by posting one single tweet, intentionally full of typos.  Within hours, his Twitter account was verified and his follower count was in the tens of thousands.

The deliberate vagueness of the tweet, especially considering that Phil Jackson is a well-read individual, set off NBA Twitter on a retweeting rampage because 1) Phil joined Twitter 2) the typo caused intrigue 3) writers/bloggers/NBA lovers can’t help themselves when anything NBA related grants them an avenue for jokes/wit.

Also, the Lakers social media presence is backed by an army of passionate brand advocates combined with L.A. sports media outlets that also rely on the Lakers brand for consumption of their product; 710 ESPN spent a good half-hour talking about Phil’s mere presence on Twitter (probably longer as the day went on).

Today, Phil’s Twitter account capitalized on the buzz it created with what’s probably the most successful typo ever by posting the following video:

We wouldn’t have expected any less from the Zen master who’s long been known to play mind games with his players as a way of guiding them into the necessities of his system.  In this case, however, the intent was to generate buzz not just for Phil’s presence, but rather as a way of highlighting his new book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.”

Well played, #zenmaster.

Phil Jackson Joins Twitter

NBA Noche Latina & Why I’m OK with Just “Los” & “El”

The last Noche Latina of 2013 saw Los Bulls take down the 27-game winning streak of El Heat in remarkable fashion.

In-between quarters and during time-outs I got the urge to check out the hashtag for the NBA’s multi-cultural marketing efforts on Twitter.  I wasn’t sure what I was looking for—at best I was hoping to find a few others “like me,” who also happen to be the target audience for this campaign, and at worst I figured I would be greeted with a few typical reminders that “this is America” (actually I did get one of those messages directed at me, but I think it was in jest; or at least I hope it was).

What I found was something unexpected, different and very intriguing in its own right: several tweets expressed an overriding bewilderment about the genuineness of a “Noche Latina” that “half-asses” the Latino part of the campaign by not fully translating the team names and instead settling for mere prepositions.  People more or less wanted “Toros” and “Calor” splashed across the jerseys instead of Los Bulls & El Heat.

While the concern of many may be geared solely at critiquing the NBA for critiquing sake, there was some level of serious curiosity that I felt the need to address from a Latino perspective.

First, when I, and probably countless of other Latinos in the U.S., talk about the local NBA teams with our parents whose primary language is Spanish, I never refer to the Lakers as “Los Laguneros,” nor do I even make the least of attempts to Google whatever Clippers translates to in Spanish (barco of some kind, I’m sure).  I refer to the teams as “Los Lakers” or “Los Clippers,” which is precisely what you’re seeing the NBA attach itself to with this campaign.

The team names and brands are so ubiquitous that even those who don’t watch basketball or speak English know what I’m talking about when I utter the word “Lakers.”  In fact, there are probably more Spanish speakers who know who the Lakers are, even if they don’t know what a Laker is—by the way, how many English speakers know what a Laker is?  (Seriously, somebody needs to shed light on this enigma)

As Spanish speakers, we have come to embrace plenty of English words around us, especially those of brands and teams.  The process of acculturation involves the acknowledgement that English will be the primary way of communication in spite of our ability to be multi-lingual.  In that respect, the NBA is not half-assing anything, but instead accurately depicting the sentiment of their target audience: bicultural and bilingual basketball fans.

If there is some level of unhappiness with the words “Los” and “El” being included in the national discussion of a sport that acknowledges and makes strategic efforts to court the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., it is nowhere near the levels of reactionary hate that would come from a full translation of an established brand into Spanish.

Not that we need that anyway.  I, for one, am perfectly content with the nod to our language via “Los” and “El.”

Bracketology: More Proof Nerds Are Taking Over Sports Knowledge

March Madness is upon us and as we watch our brackets crash and burn, a new breed of sports expert revels in our misery: nerds!

The latest example comes from the L.A. Times, where mathematician Tim Chartier’s numbers based method has yielded tremendous results over the past few years:

What Chartier does is use complex math to win the Final Four pool on a regular basis. How regular a basis? He’s been in the top 3%  of the 4 million submissions to ESPN’s March Madness tournament challenge, which is arguably the major league of sports prognostication.

The piece is interesting in reinforcing the advanced methodology that is currently being employed given the superfluous amounts of data that is easily accessible in today’s information-driven landscape.

Check out the rest of the article here and prepare to have your sports manhood taken away in the near future by nerds with vision.

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