My journey in the world sports media would be the equalivent of someone going to school to be a stock broker, getting their degree but then deciding to be a country singer. Fails at the country singer part, but takes the knowledege they learned in school years later to become an independent fiancial advisor.
I didn’t take the traditional route, but my foundation is based on traditional teachings.
This helps me because I know how the mainstream media operates and maybe even more importantly I know how professional sports leagues and franchises operate.
They don’t like people me.
Sports franchises like to control the media, control the criticism and control the content. Considering I am my own boss I don’t have to worry about an editor asking me to “tone down” what I say or do. I don’t have to worry about getting suspended for talking about a someone’s wardrobe on Sportscenter. It is hard once you have had that freedom and you have been successful with it to have anyone tell you what you should be doing.
Sports franchises know this, so to combat this they limit the access of bloggers and independent websites. They ban us from clubhouses and locker rooms. They make us jumps through hoops to get credentials and interviews. What they don’t understand is that I don’t been to be in a press box to see if a player is garbage are not.
I tell young bloggers not to get hung up on getting “credentialed“. The power you wield doesn’t come from a “pass” it comes from the quality of your content.
So when I heard the Saint Louis Cardinals was having a Social Media Night and I wasn’t invite didn’t bother me at all. The fact that their Social Media Night consists of solely of members of the “mainstream media” was not surprising in the least. I have never concerned myself with “local” affairs I always had bigger aspirations.
Matt Sebek of JoeSportsFan (One of the best sports blog around focusing on Saint Louis sports) though is a bigger man than I. Seeing the hypocrisy decided to take the Cardinals to task. Here is what he had to say:
The transparency of social media intimidates the Cardinals. As a franchise on pace to surpass 3,000,000 paid attendance for the seventh straight season, they need no promotional assistance. And like most businesses, they would prefer to control their message and underlying image. Thus, we’re presented with their version of “Social Media Night” – which highlights a few media members that work for the establishment.
What have we gained? What will we learn? Think paying audience members will hear about the social backlash of the Cardinals decision to alter their (then first-place) lineup by trading Ryan Ludwick to the San Diego Padres – who happens to be back in town that night?
An honest discussion about the trials and tribulations of how content is delivered to the fan-base from both ends of the spectrum (namely, mainstream media and independent journalists/bloggers) would be truly energizing – especially coming from the Cardinals. Not to fight; to advance the industry by discussing the trials and tribulations of social media.
You would think Saint Louis being my hometown, would be the place I would get the most support. That isn’t the case, Cali, DC, NYC, Miami, Vegas and many other places have given BSO much more love.
When the #1 independently black own sports site can’t get invited to its home team “Social Media Night” that should let you know that bloggers and independent sports sites in the eyes of a lot of the media and professional sports leagues rock a Scarlett Letter Jersey.