Viewing entries tagged
Bill Simmons

Grantland, HBO & Kenny Powers Team Up: Great Integrated Marketing

This is a fun, effective example of integrated / co-marketing done right. Grantland is ESPN's new sports and pop-culture media hub (led by Bill Simmons). To simply sum up Grantland: it is a robust blog with great daily content and it is ad-supported - but the ads are premium (1-2 per page and from just a handful of key sponsors).

This is a little different though. Grantland's header usually features key articles... and one of those is currently an article written by "Kenny Powers" (a fictional star of HBO's popular sports show Eastward Bound and Down). - It of course is eye catching: the Grantland audience will recognize Kenny Powers and be interested in the article - It is relevant: the Grantland audience is an HBO / Kenny Powers audience - It's integrated & clever: Kenny Powers wrote something on Grantland? Much more interesting than an 250x250 ad unit - It's timely: the new season starts next week

ESPN's Grantland & Bill Simmons Show How Publisher Networks Can & Should Leverage Twitter

I've written a fair amount about how publishers should be better leveraging Twitter, Facebook Subscribe, and social products... and even tailored it to verticals like sports. Here is an example of good work by ESPN and their new Grantland property. It's applicable to any publisher who is a network of content producers and/or sharers... and that is the majority of all publishers.

While this is a visual example of how to connect your content producers / sharers, it is also a reminder for brands to think of themselves as a connected network of individuals whose job is, in part, to be part to build the larger entity. This in turn drives more traffic to the overarching brand and builds the individuals beneath.

How it works:

First, Grantland is a new brand / destination (85k followers) operated by ESPN and managed by uber-popular Bill Simmons (1.5m followers). Grantland content is produced by a variety of ESPN personalities, celebrities, etc... and many pieces of content are collaborations between multiple voices.

When content goes live on Grantland (and it does several times a day), all associated personalities promote it. But they do it in more effective way than just retweeting @Grantland33's post. Someone will announce the article and include the collaborator's Twitter handles. Those users then reply in a conversational - but still promotional - manner.

The result:

- Grantland and it's contributors are actually followable... if everyone was a circular retweet, this would not be the case. - Grantland got itself off the ground by leveraging larger voices like Bill Simmons and ESPN's top-level brand - It in turn promotes its contributors - Who in turn promote their associates and their brand - Everyone wins as followings grow and content is effectively shared

Adam Carolla's Podcast: 1M Downloads... Radio, XM Officially Dead?

Last week, Adam Carolla transitioned from national radio talk show host. His contract with CBS prevents him from returning to radio (supposedly through 2009) - and in exchange, he is paid handsomely in the meantime. So Adam Carolla decided started a podcast - launching it last week. It had over 1,000,000 downloads... a staggering number:

Adam Carolla Podcast

I’m overwhelmed by your response to the podcast. In less than 24 hours, the first podcast was downloaded over a quarter of a million times, which is awesome.

This means that we’ll be able move along faster in terms of getting this project up into a new gear, and getting a little more production, more guests, and everything you guys deserve. I’m grateful to have such fantastic fans, and honored at this response.

I’ve been very busy working on this pilot with CBS, and getting all the parts in place for that, which has taken a lot of time and energy, but we’re still focused on putting a great podcast out.

Again, I’d like to thank everyone, and let everyone know that we’ll all get our shit together very soon, and bring this to a new level.

Keep up the good work.

-Adam Carolla

Consider that Corolla achieved one million downloads with: - no real promotion or advertising campaign (and no brand behind it) - a basic website based on Wordpress.com - no mobile-based website like ESPN's Podcenter (which is how I consume ESPN podcasts on-the-go) - just entered iTunes (important for access, subscription)

Adam Carolla is not alone in his success. ESPN's Bill Simmons (the Sports Guy) had over 550,000 podcast downloads last week.

These numbers are enormous. And for Adam Carolla to find such success so quickly and without a big brand or producer - talent should really ask themselves, why not follow Carolla's lead? Consider that Carolla used to start his show at the crack of dawn, talk for several hours, abide by FCC regulation... and it cost $20,000,000 annually to run. Now his podcasts are 30-60 minutes, free of censorship and available in a new format that is killing traditional radio and has rendered satellite radio useless - why subscribe to XM and Sirius when you can get Adam Carolla, Bill Simmons, The Wall Street Journal, etc portably and on-demand?

And if Carolla and others can find success in podcasting - then the supply of content will enable the medium to grow (to me, this really was the mitigating factor). But with 1,000,000 downloads and a lean staff, Carolla will certainly be able to find financial success.... which is, in turn, great for consumers.