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April 17, 2009


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I'm not a sports fan (so probably wouldn't buy any souvenirs or book a flight to NZ) but I love the idea of the team doing the Maori war dance before the games! I will post the video to my Facebook page.


I've been looking at Wildfire app (FBs contest app) and they have the ability to video contests. I think if they urged fans to recreate the Maori dance and submit their version and give away prize packs or tickets it could get some notice. Just a thought though.

Big Geek Daddy

I would focus on kids. If you have players that can be showcased as positive role models there is a lack of that in Pro Sports. What about a series of videos geared towards kids showing how the game of Rugby is played and explaining the rules? How about a Baby Haka or Baby All Blacks Clothing Line? Dads that are fans would buy these items which leads to further promotion.

Mark from yBC

David - I hope you are enjoying New Zealand.

As you know, I'm a Kiwi living in the UK - have been here for 8 years - and am probably going to be here for many years to come. I follow the All Blacks passively (but passionately when I do) and from time to time get to see them in live matches here. (My three most recent matches were Twickenham, Cardiff and Paris).

David (Barton-Ginger), it's been ages since I've been on allblacks.com, and I am not really "following" fixtures, news etc closely enough. At present, I find out about what's going on almost by accident.

But I'll follow you guys on Twitter in a heart beat.

You see, it's easy, and (this is very important) it's the way I want to receive information and have conversations. So if YOU join ME on Twitter, we'll have conversations. But if you expect me to go to your website to find out what's going on, I'm not likely to get there.

In summary: I'm not rugby mad, so NZRU is not on my radar. But if we are following each other on Twitter, and you tweet interesting stuff, I am likely to be much more aware of what NZRU is doing, current fixtures etc etc.

So: my suggestion - get a bunch of key NZRU people on Twitter. Get some All Blacks on Twitter. Run some promotions on Twitter. And watch the impact it has on your web traffic and ultimately your business.

That's just for starters. Then there's always video. But what would I know about that??

Stacy Lukas

I totally thought this was a racial thing when I first saw it.

Linas Simonis, PositioningStrategy

For David Barton-Ginger:

Maybe you will find some useful ideas about promoting sports online, using blogs, other tools, in my last e-book "The 2 Marketing Steps Every Women's Basketball Team Should Make". The second part of e-book is mostly about the presence online, about encouraging players to start blogging, podcasting, using other social media tools.
You can download it from by blog www.positioningstrategy.com or directly here: http://www.positioningstrategy.com/ebooks/The_2_Marketing_Steps.pdf

Also I would like to hear from you about your experience and results of your efforts. Maybe David Meerman Scott will allow you to post a post about the results of your experiments here after a while?

Stuart Foster

The Haka is beyond bad ass. If any sports entity has the unique opportunity to seize global attention through social media it's the All Blacks.

Lee Hales

I agree with building on what makes the All Blacks unique.
What about people submitting their own videos to your you tube channel. Haka from around the world. With the World Cup coming up perhaps a World Cup twitter account to build up a following pre world cup. Add into the mix some blog posts by individual All Blacks.

Siobhan Bulfin

Some great and helpful tips there thanks David MS!! You can see there are comments from all over. In addition to the above, I'd leverage off the pockets of fans the AB's have all over the world - in France, US, Aus, Japan, Canada etc and use social media to do this. Rugby's biggest threat in NZ is soccer - so look to what the football clubs are doing also.

Galvanise an already huge existing community and support them. Give them special offers.

Understand the different fan 'personas' i.e Dad, kids under 12, women, non- kiwis, farmers, corporate etc etc

Siobhan Bulfin
Marketing Now!
Wellington, New Zealand

Wendy Adams

Speaking as one from the women target group (or the women persona as mentioned by Siobhan), I watch rugby for the fit bods and legs, as well as for the game (obviously ;-), so definetly need to get some of the well known and the up and coming ABs on Twitter and for me you need to show what they're made of - on the field and off - with competitions and give-away's to encourage take up of whatever you want our target segment to do! Come back Dan all is forgiven!

Bill & Ted

I'd personally like to hear rather less about the All Blacks rather than more!

They already saturate every day in NZ - they can't sneeze without it being reported as "news". I would hardly say that they needed any more marketing at all, personally.

Rugby is only a game involving a ball - ultimately it is a sometimes interesting but always pointless diversion from real life!

If social marketing is a means to direct this at those who want to hear about it rather than at everyone regardless of whether they do or not, I am all for it!

Ron Mader

As a fan of rugby and New Zealand, it's great to see the Twitter. I'd recommend breakout sessions, brainstorming about specific topics, such as how to use social media as a tool to promote the upcoming World Cup (which will be held in NZ).

Luke Abbott

Hi David MS
- Great webinar at the Digital World Conference a few weeks back. Really enjoyed it, thank you.

Hi David BG,

I really like the Haka ideas posted above. On a similar note you could also accept 'video' questions and edit these into the Q&A sessions that already exist. I think viewers might get a kick out of seeing themselves associated in such a high profile way with the team.

If going down the Twitter route, you'll need 'buy in' from the team in order to make the conversation worthwhile. Find some media and technology savvy All Blacks (there must be one or two) and get them on Twitter. Get them tweeting about games, the team, training etc.

What about a series of videos, maybe a video style blog especially in the run up to big games & competitions. While footage of the games might be owned by tv channels, you have access to the best known rugby team in the world. You have the ability to create as much interesting exclusive content and use that to leverage the social media strategy and build customers.

There's other options like a regular All Blacks podcast that fans around the world could download. Get fans submitting photo's from games to build up photo albums of matchs. This could work with the Facebook page.

Just thinking back to Irelands (winning!) Six Nations campaign last month. There was so much opportunity lost by the team to connect with fans outside of traditional media. Ireland went (and still is) rugby crazy, it has overtaken football (soccer) in terms of fans for now anyway. Periods like this when big competitions are on would act as times to drive recruitment to the social media communication, as the games themselves will generate the interest. Its during the downtime when generating content to drive visitors to the site will prove hardest. But with access to the team it shouldn't prove impossible.

Best of luck with it.

Paul O'Leary

Hi David, if the powers that be need convincing of the potential for social media to connect with fans, suggest they check out the Twitter community following athletes like Lance Armstrong. The personalisation allowed by social media can compensate for some of the over exposure of the AB's brand in mainstream media. Cheers, Paul

Ben Young

Hey David,

Great to hear you shifting into this space, what the All Blacks lacks imho opinion online is a real sense of community. Real fans are spread out in a fragmented fashion.

I would be focusing on building a real All Blacks community, the community will then attract others to join.

Grab Seth Godins latest book Tribes give it a read, will give you some inspiration. Twitter is a great start, as someone else mentioned you will get interactions from people that aren't as much fans as they could be.

Throwing some ideas out there:
- All Blacks Social Network, where fans can interact with the all blacks.
- Haka competition, do it for kids though, as that involves them and their parents. Give them tickets to a game and meet the All Blacks
- Get the All Blacks on twitter, or have Graham Henry on Twitter during a match, relaying what's going on. Risky but worth a shot.
- Blog! Have an insider on the team blogging as they follow the All Blacks around, videos from the locker, photos, expose the behind the scenes action to real fans.

Hit me up on twitter @bwagy if you want to have a chat. Enjoy this journey it is very rewarding.

David Meerman Scott

Thank you all for the great comments. I'm sure that the ideas will be helpful to (the other) David and the team.

Lisa Lomas

I suggest you do the SocialTraffic Course. Youtube is a great way to get your site to number one, we just proved this via a new tactic used. Integration, Content Syndication, there is much to do and it can all be hands free and viral.

Ps I am kiwi and patriotic.

John Hyde

His biggest problem is to convince the "suits" that social media is going to help.

These people only understand numbers - so he needs to get some numbers.

Have some special deals - eg discounted tickets or merchandise - that is ONLY advertised in the social media channels. Then track who and how many people click through and how many buy.

This will also help to see which channels work best for the All Black fans.

John in Christchurch

Truth about Abs

New Zealand All Blacks: Experimenting with social media to reach global fans <-- Wonderful to read!

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