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Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Bucks

Halftime Tweet from Bucks Charlie V

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The Twittering Charlie Villanueva

The Twittering Charlie Villanueva

On Sunday afternoon the sports world may have changed forever, and in Milwaukee, WI, of all places. In their quest to secure the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference the Milwaukee Bucks pulled off a huge win over the defending champion Boston Celtics. What’s so life altering about that you ask?

The changing moment actually came at halftime. It happened in the Bucks lockeroom with the game tied 41-41. Just after Bucks Coach Scott Skiles addressed the team, forward Charlie Villanueva commented, “In da locker room, snuck to post with my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.” What made this different is that Villanueva didn’t say this to a teammate or to a ball boy coming around to pick up some towels. Charlie V (@CV31) made the comment at halftime on Twitter!

For those that don’t know, Twitter is an online service that allows users to send out 140 character messages called Tweets. These Tweets can range from what you’re doing at the moment, to sharing interesting news, and connecting with professionals in your field. Some of the fastest growing users of Twitter are athletes, sports teams, celebrities and politicians. A few popular athletes on Twitter are the Suns Shaquille O’Neal (@The_Real_Shaq), Jason Richardson (@jrich23) and Steve Nash (@The_Real_Nash), the Jets Kerry Rhodes (@kerryrhodes) and golfer Natalie Gulbis (@nataliegulbis).

Villanueva raised the stakes Sunday afternoon. Up until this point athletes have mainly used Twitter to connect with fans and become more personal. One of Shaq’s favorites is to Tweet his location and the next fan that approaches him will get a prize. But, I believe this was the first time that an athlete has Tweeted during an actual game.

As a PR and marketing person I love that Villanueva is not only using Twitter, but that he’s actually buying in. I don’t see a problem with his halftime Tweets, although I suggest, and maybe he has done this, that he notify his coach and the teams PR people. That way nobody is caught off-guard, especially with an ever-growing list of reporters on Twitter. Last week alone Twitter was mentioned on PTI and Around The Horn, so you never know when a social media comment can cause a controversy, as the Philadelphia Eagles learned last week.

It will be very interesting to see where this leads us though. Will Coach Skiles have a reaction? My guess is he isn’t aware of Twitter, so it will be especially interesting to see how he feels about a player taking time during halftime to send messages. It will also be interesting to see how the league feels about Twitter, they were very slow in reacting to how blogs have changed the media.

But, the real question is, how will Charlie V’s Tweet change the way celebrities interact with fans? We’ve already seen senators and congressman Tweeting during President Obama’s address a couple weeks ago. Are we going to see bands Tweeting during concerts? Will we see SNL cast-members Tweeting in between skits? The options for celebrities to connect to fans, and to be creative while they do it, are growing daily.

You do have to hand it to Charlie V though, not only is he trendsetter, be he responded to his coaches halftime plea by scoring 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Bucks pulled away. He also backed his Tweet up by posting two more times Sunday night. Once to comment on the win and how he said they’d turn it around at halftime, and once when he got home to let everyone know he was settling down to catch a movie. The key to Twitter, and social media in general, is not only to comment but to engage, and Charlie V is scoring points on that front.

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Written by Brian Gleason

March 16, 2009 at 3:04 am

Follow-up on Johntel Franklin Story

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This is going to be a short one, but I wanted to follow-up on the Johntel Franklin/Dekalb, Ill., story. Check out my previous post for details of the story and where I wrote that the Milwaukee Bucks should honor both teams.

Well, Saturday night both Franklin and his teammates from Milwaukee Madison High School and Darius McNeal and his teammates from Dekalb were guests of the Bucks in their 109-93 win over the Washington Wizards. The two teams were honored pregame and during the first quarter when they were named the “Home Court Heroes”. Both teams received plaques, 30 tickets and had the opportunity to have photos taken with Bucks players.

In another sign of sportsmanship from Dekalb, the “Barbs” as they’re called, collected donations at their game Friday night to help the family of Johntel Franklin. I’m sure Franklin would much rather have his mother back, but hopefully it eases the pain a little knowing how much people have risen to the occasion for him.

Kudos to the Bucks for honoring both teams and to Dekalb High School for the amazing sportsmanship that has been shown! Once again, hopefullywe’ll see them at the ESPY’s.

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Written by Brian Gleason

March 2, 2009 at 1:39 am

Milwaukee Bucks Honoring Dekalb Boys Team

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I posted a few updates to my original post about the story of the Dekalb, Ill., boys basketball team showing ultimate sportsmanship in their game against Milwaukee Madison, but thought some recent news warranted a follow-up.

On Friday, most likely as I was writing my original post, ABC’s “World News with Charlie Gibson” named the Dekalb team their “Person of the Week“, and the Milwaukee Madison coach, Aaron Womack, Jr., wrote a letter to the editor in Dekalb’s local paper. So the Dekalb team is definitely getting their due.

My post specifically mentioned the Milwaukee Bucks and it looks like they’re stepping up to the plate as well. According to the Daily Chronicle, Dekalb’s paper, the Bucks have invited the “Barbs” to their Saturday, February 28 game versus the Washington Wizards.

Dekalb will get a chance to meet the team pregame and be honored at halftime. Kudos to the Bucks for stepping up to the plate and making this happen. Yes, they’ll get great press, but it’s for all the right reasons.

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Written by Brian Gleason

February 22, 2009 at 2:51 am

HS BBall Teams Should Be Honored

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Updated 2/21 @ 8:42pm: Madison Milwaukee’s coach submitted a letter to the editor in Dekalb’s local paper, and ABC’s “World News With Charlie Gibson” named the Dekalb team “Person of the Week”. Also check SportsCenter Sunday for more on this story.

I read this story from the Associated Press on Rivals.com, and my first thought was that in a week where we had A-Rod’s press conference, Charles Barkley’s return to TNT after a DUI, and those were just in the sports world, that this amazing story of sportsmanship should be getting even more play.

If you haven’t heard about this story I really recommend reading the Associated Press story on the Rivals link above. I don’t want to just simply retell the story, and the link has some great details. The short version is that last Saturday Dekalb, Ill., High School traveled to Milwaukee to take on Milwaukee Madison. Seems like a regular high school basketball game, right?

It turned into one of the most heartwarming sports stories in a while, and something that most pros could learn from. Hours before the game Milwaukee Madison guard Johntel Franklin lost his mother to cervical cancer. The senior guard was not expected to play or even attend the game, and therefore wasn’t added to the roster. But, to the surprise of everyone in the gym, Franklin showed up in the second quarter and wanted to play.

Johntel McNeal

Johntel McNeal

The issue arose when officials notified both teams that it would be a technical foul, and two free throws for Dekalb, if Franklin entered the game. Dekalb wanted to decline the technical, but that wasn’t an option, so they huddled up and their coach, Dave Rohlman, asked for a volunteer to shoot the free throws.

Dekalb’s captain stepped up and volunteered. This is where the story really begins to tug at the heartstrings. According to the Associated Press, Coach Rohlman said to his captain, Darius McNeal, “You realize you’re going to miss them, don’t you?” McNeal went to the foul line and rolled the ball twice to the baseline, ensuring each attempt was official. The Madison team, realizing what had just happened, began applauding towards the Dekalb bench with the entire gym following suit.

Again, there are far more details in the Associated Press story, but I’d also like to take a PR look at this. Besides the amazing acts of theses young athletes, my other reaction was that I hope the Milwaukee Bucks get involved. The Bucks have had a tough season, but they can do the right thing here and make this a bright spot by honoring these kids. I have to think that the Bucks have or will contact both schools to invite  them in to catch a game, pregame warm ups and snag a few autographs.

Of course the Bucks would get some positive press out of this, but believe it or not, the marketing and PR people that come up with these idea really are trying to do a good thing, and this would certainly qualify. I’ll keep my eye on this and and definitely post a follow up if the Bucks do anything.

One more thing, can we also lock Johntel Franklin, Darius McNeal and the Dekalb coach down for an ESPY? I’d love to see these kids honored in front of the best athletes in the world.

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Written by Brian Gleason

February 21, 2009 at 4:02 am

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