Like most other NSW dwellers, I have fallen victim to the sport that dominates the nation: AFL. And who can blame me? It is unrelentingly Australian and as such, gets more exposure, sponsorship, TV time and viewers than all other sports including rugby and cricket. Which is why, for the past several months, in an effort to make myself a more well-rounded sports enthusiast, I’ve been looking forward to learning more about the Sydney Kings and the Sydney Blue Sox. I can’t deny that I have failed miserably but I also can’t deny that I’ve made every effort… but the Kings aren’t giving me anything (the Blue Sox are also fairly limited, but that’s a post for another time).
The Kings have suffered in recent years, being cut from the league and coming back to a skeptical crowd. Yes, they are the most popular team in the NBL (woot woot) but considering their lacklustre performance combined with the disappearing/reappearing act of 2008-2010, they need to work harder to ensure they stay the most popular team. Not only that, but they need a stronger presence in Sydney, in general.
And here’s why they’re failing: they are out-of-touch with social media. Actually, forget social media, they’re out-of-touch with media in general. When was the last time you heard a news report on them? Or read about them in the Sydney Morning Herald? Maybe around the time of the Andrew Bogut fiasco? Yea… that was a year ago. One big story a year isn’t enough to put the team on the map.
Even the Kings homepage – the most recent story was published on 1st August. Nearly three weeks ago. Twitter? 5 tweets for the month of August (Ah! They tweeted again while I was writing this – make that 6 tweets for the month of August). YouTube? Two posts this month (credit where credit is due – that’s not too bad for the off-season). The NBL homepage? The Kings aren’t even in the first 30 news stories (three pages).
I know the season isn’t in full swing just yet… but c’mon. You cannot leave your fans like this. And if you do, you won’t have very many left when you return.
What would I like to see? I’d like to see the Kings get more involved! Maybe you’re not trading or drafting a bunch of players like other teams, but what about player profiles? It’s a classic. Or maybe showcase the charity work the team is doing (oh, and if you’re not doing charity work, maybe it’s time you start). I haven’t seen advertisements for premium seating or season tickets yet… where’s that? Can anyone really afford not to advertise when it’s free? Even the Blue Sox do it. And the team has dancers, right? Why not do a feature on them? Maybe a story on what the team has learned since it’s demise in 2008. I’d love to know about the changes you’ve made in the past few years that have gotten the team where it is today. Tweet photos of training (remarkable, withing minutes of me writing this sentence, the Sydney Kings retweeted Ben Madgen’s photo of training camp). Post videos with montages from last year. I love the Wollongong Hawks bloopers video! Even just linking all your accounts so I can find them with ease. Don’t make me go searching – not everyone is as dedicated as I am when it comes to being a fan.
I have to note that I was lucky enough to speak with David Wolf, the previous GM of the Sydney Kings who is a very, very smart man. I am so impressed with what he had to say and the way he brought the Kings back from the dead. I hope that nothing I say here offends him, but I hope that someone at the Kings eventually realises that if the team wants a presence, and people at their games, they need to put a little more effort into media. Ideally, a lot more effort.
(If you want to do something about this, Sydney Kings, my services are on the table!)