The Golden State Warriors gave fans unprecedented access to the team’s War Room during the 2012 draft.
This week we feature a 3-part series highlighting social media best practices from the 2012 NBA Draft. In part two, we speak with Kevin Cote of the Golden State Warriors about giving fans exclusive live access to the War Room. Kevin oversees the team’s Digital Marketing efforts, including its website, social media, e-mail marketing and mobile. He’s been with the Warriors for seven years.
Sport Techie: Giving fans exclusive live access to the War Room during a draft is an incredibly creative idea. How did this come about?
KC: For us, social media has been an incredible way not only to engage with fans, but to give them behind-the-scenes access like never before. We covered everything while AT the draft last year, so we were hoping this would give fans yet another perspective and a unique look behind the curtain. We know how important our fans are to the success of the team, and we want to engage and reward them in as many unique ways as possible. We also want to be as transparent and accessible as possible, and taking advantage of the access we have is the best way to do that.
Perhaps most importantly, this all came about because of the support, trust and forward-thinking nature of our ownership group and basketball operations department. We have an ownership group that has placed a heavy emphasis on digital and social media, and that means that we need to be thought leaders in the digital and social space. Our General Manager Bob Myers has been incredibly amenable to granting us access such as this because he understands the value of social media and the importance of our fans. At the same time, he also trusts us enough to know that we wouldn’t compromise the situation in any way.
Sport Techie: What results did you see?
KC: Overall, the experience went extremely well. We were able to take advantage of our access without compromising anything from a strategic basketball standpoint. We were able to give fans a unique look at what actually goes on in the War Room – through tweets, photos, videos, etc. – and give them instant reaction and analysis from our owner, our general manager, our scouts and even a basketball legend like Jerry West. The feedback we received from fans was overwhelmingly positive.
Sport Techie: What takeaways could you share from this?
KC: The success and positive reaction from fans reinforced why it is so important to create and carry out ideas such as this. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that we are all constantly striving to utilize in new and creative ways. We were able to give fans unprecedented access, while also respecting the sensitive information at hand. And again, it made us realize that we need to continue to be thought leaders in the digital and social space when it comes to all aspects of our team and our business.
Sport Techie: Are you considering the potential of this type of “fly on the wall” fan access for in-game use? What are the challenges with doing this?
KC: We’re considering anything and everything when it comes to this type of coverage. The biggest challenge is toeing the line between giving fans a look behind the curtain and not giving out too much information. Fans are coming to expect transparency and exclusive access from teams, but they also understand that certain information needs to be kept private in order to maintain a competitive advantage on the floor. So for now, we’ll continue to charge ahead, and we can’t wait to see where we will be one, two, five years from now.
Sport Techie: Thanks, Kevin!
(Photos Courtesy of Golden State Warriors)