Old Coaches, New Platform Creates Digital Business Success
The rule of really any business today is adapt or die, and in the ever-changed sports business and tech world the adaption is taking place almost on the fly. That’s true not just of media companies who until recently were only using traditional methods to communicate with consumers, but with teams, leagues and even athletes and coaches, who may have shunned technology changes in the workplace not long ago but are now adapting at a breakneck pace. The phrase “Coach wants to see you and bring your iPad,” was heard every time a Cincinnati Bengal player was released during this summer’s running of “Hard Knocks” on HBO. It is hard to imagine the legendary Paul Brown muttering those words during a training camp, or even Bear Bryant while he ran his notorious hot summer workouts at Texas A and M or Alabama, but today change is the only constant.
So it is with that in mind that some of the oldest school of old school coaches, prodded along by an ever-changing seventy-something going on forty leader, have come to adopt social media and the digital space like never before in college football, and bring their thoughts directly to the fans in real time while consumers follow their favorite school, either in a massive stadium or on broadcast.
The platform is called “Coaches Cabana,” and it is the brainchild of former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer , longtime sports television executive Neal Pilson, and two veteran Switzer business partners Mike Henry and Joe Tippens , and it literally brings Switzer and some of his legendary colleagues, Jackie Sherrill, Galen Hall, Fred Akers, Pat Jones, Danny Ford, Ray Goff and others, into a real time conversation with fans during a live broadcast, only they are conducting the conversation through social media and in a broadband platform that is agnostic of the broadcaster. The coaches provide color for a broadband site that has no live rights for the events it is covering. You never see the action with the coaches, you watch on TV or at the game and follow along with the coaches thoughts while injecting Joe Fan directly into the lively conversation. There is no filter, no restriction on most advertising (some of the shows are done from local bars, with lots of alcohol placement in the images), and the 14 coaches involved speak freely and openly about the goings-on during the broadcast. Poor play from “Johnny Heisman”? Jackie Sherrill will let you know.Continued on the next page