Thursday, 26 February 2015

What's your Brier Prediction?

Don Landry of Yahoo Sports wrote a great preview of the Tim Hortons Brier today and we'd love to hear your thoughts on his choices and your own predictions!

Tell his bosses at Yahoo that curling matters by posting them to his blog. Click on the link above, read and/or scroll down to the View Comments link and VERY IMPORTANT, post something in the comments section!

Something positive about the Brier, about curling that may show Yahoo that they should be investing more into our great sport!

Sharing is caring!

Friday, 13 February 2015

CCA has sold their soul

Another great weekend of curling wrapped up on Sportsnet with the Men's Provincial Championships coming to a conclusion. Four of the 9 provincial finals played out on television as Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia all saw multiple weekend games covered on the Grand Slam of Curling broadcaster's network.

Herein lies the problem. Not a single word from the Canadian Curling Association about the coverage of the provincial championships that were on Sportsnet. The silence was deafening and brutally obvious as they did promote provincials that were being shown on streaming.

A total ignore of the televised provincial championships is a slap in the face of curling fans, of the provincials associations who benefit from good ratings to sell sponsorship and the curlers who are competing for the dream of playing in the Scotties or Brier.

According to reports, the Canadian Curling Association is contractually obligated to not talk about curling being shown on other networks. As a national association, they should be a promoter for the game.

Instead they've sold their soul to TSN who now tell them what they can or can't talk about in the sport.

Sports on television is the last safe place for advertisers to confidently put their money down due to everyone PVRing or binge-watching their favourite shows. Sports is something people want to consume live and major deals are taking place in hockey, baseball, football and US college sports. Curling is benefiting with the expansion of the Grand Slams and one has to wonder if Sportsnet will make a competitive bid on the Seasons of Champions property when it comes up in 2018.

Let's hope the CCA is willing to listen as the money on the table will only benefit curling.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Comment if YOU care about curling!

I know we all care about curling and if you're reading this you have a vested interest in helping to grow the game.  While chatting on the Inthehack or CurlingZone boards are great, it's still only being seen by other die hard fans of the game.

What we need people to do is comment on the news articles posted on the Internet, to show the we really care about the sport. The more comments a story gets, the more interest it seems to generate as it increases the buzz around the news.

You'll notice that when ready stories in the online newspapers, there's comments in the more popular stories. Please help promoting the sport by being more active on these news stories to show the papers that covering curling is a worthwhile cause for them and to the readers who will be more likely to read the stories.

We the Curling Lobby are Strong. Comment, Comment, Comment!

Want to get started?  Here's some feature stories from the last day:

BC Provincial Championship:

Jamie King and James Pahl among contender in deep Boston Pizza Cup field:

Balsdon looking to repeat in Ontario Tankard:

Gushue trying to bring Brier to St. John's for 2017:

Adam Casey: Newest Tankard skip not short on experience:

Top Seed McEwen wins opener in Safeway Championship:

Friday, 16 January 2015

Curling and the All Powerful #Hashtag

We've all wondered at some point what the big deal is about Twitter. Why to I need to care about being on Twitter, and why is it relevant to me?

For curling organizations, it's vitally important to have a strong presence on social media, and Twitter is one of the key platforms to be using.

The simplest use of Twitter is to feed out news and information from your organization to a set list of followers, such as stories on upcoming events, scores and results from ongoing events, and information that your membership can follow.

One powerful application that is often overlooked about Twitter is using it to generate interest and inform people who are NOT already your followers. This is where HASHTAGS come into play. You've seen them before, the words with the pound (#) or hash symbol in front of them and they're used to identify different topics.

Take for example, you're a curling club trying to attract new members for your Learn to Curl night. Every town/city/region has a hashtag that's sort of a community forum and this is where you really need to be targeting your message.  Tag the tweet with your community's hashtag and everyone who follows that topic will now see your message.

This is where it gets tricky, you may need to do some research on what the best hashtag for your community might be. For example, a lot cities use their airport code as a Twitter handle.

This should be done for all curling events, each time your club has some interesting news and especially when you're trying to attract new followers and/or interest in your organization. So this winter when the Brier is in Calgary (#yyc), the Scotties in Moose Jaw (#CityMJ) or the Worlds in #Halifax, you should be adding the hashtag to the tweet to get the word out! While it's a small dent in exposure for the event to do it, by calling on your participants and fans to be using the hashtags as well, you'll gain mass exposure as #curling invades another community!

Share the hashtag love and people who might not otherwise have found out, will be made aware of  your club, or your event going on in the city. If you're a curling club, for your next bonspiel, put a sign on the table with your important hashtags (and your club's Twitter handle) that your guests should be sharing. Every little bit helps and if we can come together as a community, we'll help share this great game!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Spread the Curling Word!

Ever wondered how Facebook generated the news feed you see each time you login? Sometimes the posts are brand new, and often they're days old!

While the exact recipe to how they make it happen is a secret, the general rule is that the more interactions a post gets, the longer it will stay in people's news feeds. And therefore the more interactions it will generate.

It's a cyclical process and as curling fans we can help this process by liking, commenting and sharing content that we enjoy. Don't be shy about leaving a "Great post" or "Thanks for posting" comment on something you've read.  Shares go a long way, and are a huge component to spreading the word as well.  And please "like" everything curling related you see.

So next time a friend posts something about their curling game, the bonspiel they played in or even posts from the curling related pages you follow, give them a like, post a comment and please share.

It's good for the game to spread the word!