Over the last few weeks, social media has provided endless opportunities to expand my global network of industry leaders. As I sit here in awe of the uniqueness this new medium continues to pull forth on a daily basis, I wonder where I'll be in merely a few weeks from today.
Social Media Connects Me To The Entire World
Two days I ago, I Skyped with a 21-year-old boy named Michael for nearly two hours. Michael resides in South Africa and is currently in pursuit of his dream to become a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, the realities for Michael seem far from positive when you dig deeper into his life.
As I listened to Michael's story that morning, he told me there isn’t a day that goes by where 10-15 people aren’t killed. Two weeks ago, his father died and when he was 15, his older brother died at the age of 23. As I pried into the details of their deaths, I became increasingly aware of the hardships he faces every single day, constantly. Michael doesn’t deserve this way of living and I feel compelled to do something about it.
Don’t worry, we’re not getting married.
Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
I am going to help Michael showcase his skills to the people that matter... I am going to help him become pro. Unfortunately, Michael does not have any equipment to video-record his talent. I happen to know someone here in Canada who used to live in the exact same city Michael lives in now: Benoni, Gauteng. I reached out to my friend and asked if he could get me connected with someone in that town to video-record Michael while he plays soccer. He said he doesn't know anyone off the top of his head, but he did say he will look into it for me.
Later that day, I texted Jason Rutherford, the MLB scout in Southern California that I'm currently working with. I asked him, “where do I even start?” He recommended that Michael look into Fresno Pacific University, a big soccer school in the States and Fresno Fuego Soccer. Jason knows the admissions officer for foreign students at this school as well, which will help me get the inside scoop regarding admission requirements for students just like Michael. The next step is create a player profile. This is something Jason has been doing for years and insisted he will help me create profiles for my star players as I continue to immerse myself in the professional football/soccer entertainment industry.
This morning, I chatted with a young man named Simon, who lives in Manchester, UK. His job is to find new football talent for the world's greatest Football Clubs and Leagues. Simon is contacted by professional soccer teams with a detailed resume of what they want in a player. They look for things like strengths, weaknesses and the player’s nationality believe it or not. Every Football team has a different style of playing the game and they are looking for a perfect match when hand-selecting prospects for acquisition.
New York City
An hour after this Skype call, I spoke with the CEO of an American Football company in New York City named Neil. Neil hosts sporting events and is currently working on an event for amateur American Football players aspiring to become pro. These 21 and 22-year-olds do not receive many opportunities to get noticed by scouts from the professional leagues. It is Neil’s job to generate exposure for the event, which ultimately generates exposure for the players. I consulted with Neil for 45 minutes about my personal experiences regarding my own talent getting noticed by “the big boys” through a multitude of social media marketing strategies.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Last week, Ryan Babel’s marketing manager sent me a direct message on LinkedIn, asking if I would be interested in helping out with some of the social media components involved with Ryan’s digital presence. Ryan is a dutch soccer player who’s kind of a big deal - and I didn’t even know that until I started doing some research well after several email conversations with his manager. I just sent him a social media marketing plan proposal this evening... wish me luck!
The 2014 TCS Amsterdam Marathon & Dom Tot Domloop Run
I'm also working with a social media company in Amsterdam that provides social media marketing services for sports events. They provide social media coverage for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which is happening on October 19 this year, as well as the Dam Tot Damloop Run on September 21. I'm planning on participating in these runs myself and would promote my training routine and progress via the Nike+ FuelBand before and during these live, broadcasted runs... wish me luck on that too.
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