Whats the role of media for sports teams ?

I’m going to make this short and sweet. In the year 2011, I’m not sure I have a need for beat writers from ESPN.com, Yahoo,  or any website for that matter to ever be in our locker room before or after a game.  I think we have finally reached a point where not only can we communicate any and all factual information from our players and team directly to our fans and customers as effectively as any big sports website, but I think we have also reached a point where our interests are no longer aligned. I think those websites have become the equivalent of paparazzi rather than reporters.

Have you ever watched TMZ where they catch someone walking down the street and ask questions like “are you upset about your divorce ?” or “Who is better, Kobe or Babe Ruth”. You know the type of questions that make the recipient look at the person asking and either roll their eyes or wonder why that person is even there. Those are the type of questions asked in locker rooms today. They are asked not for some journalistic purpose, but as a traffic generating opportunity.

Do we really need to ask Dwight Howard and Deron Williams where they think they will be going in TWO YEARS  ? Do we need to ask players “are you upset about the loss ?”

There is never a loss of words or lack of depth in questions asked in the locker room after a game.  Which got me thinking. Why are they there ? This isnt 1983. This isnt 2000. In the year 2011,we are in a completely different media landscape.  So let’s take inventory of the platforms in the locker room

Newspaper: Newspaper has to be in the room. I know this is counter intuitive to some, but it is a fact. Why ? Because there is a wealthy segment of my customer base that does not and will not go online to find out information about the Mavs.  If I don’t have a PRINT beat writer and /or PRINT columnist showing up and writing about the Mavs, both sides lose.  So congrats Eddie, DP and friends. You are safe to dance another weekend.  If you work for the local paper and only publish online…you could still be in the bottom two.

TV: The same logic that applies to newspapers, applies to TV. They own a segment of the population that doesn’t always read the sports section, but will turn on the TV to catch up. It may be the local news broadcast for some. It may be ESPN.  In any event, they get their news the old fashioned way, they find the remote. Unfortunately for the Mavs, we don’t always have someone from the local news or espn in the locker room with a camera. They pick and choose when they think they should be there to get original footage, or to just pull highlights or other shared footage and add some voice over.  We like anything that gets us on TV to reach our fans for whom TV is their primary source of Mavs info. TV, you are safe to dance another week.  Producers of internet video on TV network/station websites… Your fate is not yet known. You are not at the top of the food chain.

Internet Reporters: Reporters whose primary job is to write for an internet site typically fall into two categories. Paid and unpaid. Unpaid writers typically do it as a labor of love and IMHO far exceed the influence and impact of their paid counterparts.  Sure there are many who just rant and rave, but enough realize that if they work hard and provide support for their writing, they may just get noticed by a big website who will pay them to write . If you can back up what you say with well thought out and in depth analysis, you know the things that some people used to call journalism, you are welcome in the locker room

The internet reporters who get paid , IMHO , are to the Mavs and any sports team, the least valuable of all media . I’m a firm believer that their interests are not only not aligned with sports teams like the Mavs, but in fact are diametrically opposed.  They tend to look at the number of page views they get for any article as ‘their ratings”. More is better. Which in turn leads them to gear their work towards generating more pageviews.

Now at this point traditional wisdom might say ” well if its about the Mavs and its generating pageviews, then it must be something that Mavs fans are interested in, so it must be a good thing. Its the equivalent of one of the dumbest sayings of all time “all press is good press”. All press is not good press for a sports team.

Internet writers will tell you, transaction rumors generate the most traffic.  From a sports team perspective, this is not good. Why ? Because internet writers have so little creativity and originality.  Any idiot can start a rumor, at which point the writer says (and to be fair, its not just internet writers who ask, but its 99pct internet writers who publish), “I hate to ask this but the rumor is out there that you are being traded to the pismo beach panthers. Can you comment”.  From that point until the trade deadline, the same question in some form is asked over and over and over again of everyone in the organization.  The hope isn’t that someone will say “yes its true”. The hope is that it will elicit a comment that is headline worthy. “George Mikan said he would happily consider a trade to Pismo” And on it goes and goes and goes. The result is that the team is often negatively impacted. Players get distracted. Team personnel get distracted and spend too much time dealing with the rumors.  Its a negative for any team.

Of course rumors wont go away if a writer doesn’t have access, but we can reduce the stress of a player having a mike shoved in his face and asked the same question day after day. We also don’t have to legitimize the writer by giving them access to the locker room. We are better served making them the equivalent of the random “Maryslittlesportsblog.com” written by a 13 year old.

Right behind trades ? Negative Headline Trolls. . Talking to the Mavs internet writers, you would think we were out of the playoff race and had lost 60 or more games. Every loss is a catastrophe of epic proportions. It is as if every other team in the league is winning every game. Only the Mavs lose games. Again, we can’t stop anyone from writing what they want. Nor do we expect every article to be positive. If you want to disagree 100pct of the time and you back it up with facts. More power to you. But instead we get the equivalent of “Because I said so” as the depth of analysis. As one writer told me, his opinion counts for more because he is informed  And he considers himself informed because he has access to the organization. I can fix that..

I’m not saying that all questions and columns are bad. But it is much, much harder to find the good. It is rare for me to encounter an article/post on one of the sites and think to myself ” that is really good for us”. And that is from a franchise that has won 50 or more games for more than a decade. I can’t imagine how other teams feel.

So  why do we let them in the door ? What value do they serve to the Mavs ? Its not like they are journalists. They are Fox News/MSNBC for sports.  They may be popular, for now, but whatever benefit they served 4 or more years ago seems to have quickly disappeared.

Unlike TV and Newspaper,  I have access to reach their online audience. Not only do I have access, but so does each of my players through their own twitter and facebook accounts. Why not just use twitter, Facebook fan pages, Mavs.com and  or our own media platforms to communicate with online Mavs customers and fans ? How many customers and prospects could we possibly be missing  by losing internet writers ? And could we just spend money to reach whatever of their audience we don’t currently cover ?

By competing with them as an information source, can we pre empt their negativity with information that does a better job of selling the Mavs ?

By leaving them out of the locker room and organization, do we reduce their ability to have a negative impact on players ?

The last few years have brought about a lot of change in how people publish and receive information .  It might just be time to change how teams communicate as well

What do you think ?

101 thoughts on “Whats the role of media for sports teams ?

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  4. I’m curious how much Dallas area sports bloggers ragged on the Dallas Mavericks during the season, and if it was warranted considering the four game sweep of the Lakers in the playoffs. Might those same bloggers who criticized the Mavericks during the season want to take credit for not letting the Mavericks get complacent specifically because of their criticism during the season?

    They may, but it would be very weak premise.

    While the Mavericks won’t settle for less than a championship this year, sweeping the Lakers in four game is a stunning achievement and one that I am assuming Dallas area sports bloggers did not seem coming, which I feel gives credence to Cuban’s point about the bloggers he criticizes in this article.

    It’s easier for a blogger to be insulting than attentive, it’s more attention getting as well, and definitely not critical to the success of the Dallas Mavericks.

    Comment by alexlogic -

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  7. camelclutchblog, allow me the opportunity to berate you for using the phrase “at the end of day”,

    very truly yours,

    the society to rid the world of the phrase “at the end of the day”.

    On a more serious note, I tend to disagree with your assessment of sports writers. I too write baseball recaps based on what I see off the television screen, and never would I directly compare what I do to what a sportswriter does who interviews ballplayers.

    Veteran sportswriters know how to weave in a quote or two for their pieces. Veteran sportswriters probably can’t take as many chances as we can when it comes to valid criticism, so I think both are needed. What is most important in my opinion is how the game was played, and pointing out interesting moments in the actual game.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  8. It is refreshing to read someone in professional sports give “unpaid” bloggers some respect. Unfortunately not all sports executives are as in tune with the blogosphere as Mark. They read one or two trash blogs and lump us all into the same category of demons ala Buzz Bissinger. Finally someone gets it.

    I used to write for a newspaper website in a top sports market before I started my own sports blog. I could get press passes to professional sporting events in a heart beat when I was with the paper, where today they are virtually impossible to get as a blogger. Ironically my website receives more visits per year (and probably makes more money since every newspaper is losing money) as the newspaper website. Yet I am lumped into the pile of bastard children known as Internet bloggers.

    I think it would be in the interest of all of the major sports organizations not to stop lumping “bloggers” together as one in the same and instead review each credential request individually and make decisions based off of the journalistic integrity of the website and traffic. Not every sports blog is interested in making up fake rumors to boost traffic.

    Ironically at one of my stops in the sports world of digital media I worked as a web editor at a major sports news syndication company that not only published their own stories but syndicated to major newspaper and sports media websites around the country. Every writer sat in a back room with a million televisions and wrote their stories by watching games off of the TV just like most sports bloggers do. The difference being that all of those writers received press credentials upon request, yet the same blogger is thought of as some “kid living in mom’s basement.”

    At the end of the day as a sports blogger (paid in relation to making ad revenue off of my website) I don’t even know if I would attend a sports event as a “reporter” if offered. It would be nice to have that opportunity for some events, but at the end of the day I don’t think watching a game or event live would make a bit of difference to the final story that goes on my website. I would just like the same respect to attend events as those same reporters who aren’t working as hard as most bloggers and are being read by less than half of my daily audience.

    Comment by camelclutchblog -

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  14. Mark,

    I loved this post on connecting your athletes and organization directly to your fans. You should really check out Yowie.com, a brand new video chat platform started by a friend of mine that allows for athletes and fans to video chat directly, so that the fans get their questions heard and answered right by the players in a live environment. Here is a link to an event they did with Evan Turner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the #2 pick in last years draft: http://www.yowie.com/show/1xm

    Someone from your organization can reach out to them at yowieadmin@yowie.com to learn about creating chats between Mavs players and your fans.

    Best Regards.

    Comment by jhc811 -

  15. Mark, interesting point of view. But don’t you think it’s a bit unfair to say that all internet writers “have so little creativity and originality?” If anything, I think it’s the complete opposite. Print writers are forced to conform to the standard print format, which allows for little originality. The internet, on the other hand, gives writers a great deal of freedom to report stories how they see fit and engage readers in further discussions. As a team owner, I can understand your desire to keep the sports journalism in-house (whether it be via your players or your own facebook/twitter/website), but that seems far too controlled and it won’t provide fans with all of the information they are looking for. Like it or not, athletes are stars in their own right and fans want in-depth looks into their lives. Outside reporters will ask the questions people are looking to get answered.

    Comment by Sports Blitz Ditz -

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  17. I read your comments about yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com being more like paparazzi, and find that ridiculous! Both of these websites have more than proven their journalistic merits for years, serve tens of millions of avid readers, and have broken numerous stories like the Jim Calhoun and Jim Tressel violations.

    At this year’s Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, Yahoo! Sports had more finalists (with six) than any other publication. Yahoo! was judged in the largest category of the competition, next to major newspapers like the New York Times and web competitors like ESPN, CBS and Fox.

    These sites do a great job serving *readers* and providing solid sports journalism, and your comments are completely misguided and unfair.

    Comment by myaekle -

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  22. Great post Mark – it got me thinking about how to apply similar logic to the social media marketing space in general… and how there might be some similarities between how you feel about paid internet reporters, and how many marketers should feel about sites like Groupon. http://bit.ly/dMQvYm

    Comment by denisbhancock -

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  25. BrandlikeaRockStar said…”People have a strange conception that they should have unfettered access to sports celebrities, but the reality is that these players are part of a businesses that has one goal: to make money.”

    I’m curious if Mark agrees that his business has one goal, “to make money”. It seems to me a successful business is able to combine goals, so besides making money, the goal can be to provide a good product, to give fans a great experience, to create lasting memories of good times, to give fans something to look forward to, so to say the business has one goal, to make money, may be an oversimplification. Some professional sports leagues allow teams to benefit from luxury taxes which can help them make money whether they try to win a championship or not, so they are making money, but maybe not doing much else, is it fair to lump all sports teams into that category.

    Might make an interesting topic if Mr. Cuban is interested in responding to the comment…”these players are part of a business that has one goal, to make money”.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  26. cleareye1 makes an excellent point.

    Not only did this Times Reporter completely attempt to annihilate Marcus Thames of the Dodgers, the Times archives the column and removes the comments section, which were 90% against the writer and there were over a hundred comments.

    The article is broken up with ads, but it’s an amazing read and perfectly illustrates what Mark Cuban is talking about. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/21/sports/la-sp-simers-20110322

    Comment by alexlogic -

  27. Can we just get Derek Harper to quit saying “Without a doubt”?

    Comment by jmurraytx -

  28. People have a strange conception that they should have unfettered access to sports celebrities, but the reality is that these players are part of a businesses that has one goal: to make money.

    If taking control of the message makes business sense, that’s what sports teams should do.

    Of course, the media also has a choice of what to write about. They don’t have to write about the Mavericks or any other sports team unless they see doing so as good business (because fans want to read about it).

    Comment by brandlikearockstar -

  29. I hope Cuban buys the Dodgers.

    Comment by cleareye1 -

  30. The media can be locked out of the locker room for the same reason I keep them out of my bathroom. If they want an interview, let them request it. Manners go along way in communications.

    Comment by cleareye1 -

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  32. here’s a perfect example of fantastic article from espn chicago which to me was entertaining and factual: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=6300425/. The Chicago Bulls would never produce an article like this. You know you’re in the business of entertainment. Articles like that are entertaining.

    Look at Jersey Shore. Is that show 1/100th as entertaining without the soap opera of who’s leaving, who’s staying, who hates who? That’s part of the NBA fun, the soap opera of what happens behind the scenes…which it sounds like you want to eliminate.

    Comment by bjgomer13 -

  33. That’s very true, Great post!! I always figured Media’s role in sports was to give Brett Favre somebody to text message ;).

    -Chuck
    Siteadmin
    http://WWW.charlesbukowskiquotes.com

    Comment by chuckchbquotes -

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  36. imhbcv, I just want to point out that rumors are not necessarily the biggest gripe from the article. It’s the day in, day out actual covering of the games themselves that is being shortchanged and undermined by “rumors” and the hoped for reality tv moment.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  37. its just like you said – rumors get the most page views, but thats only because people want to read something and be the first to tell their friends. people want to hear a rumor as fast as possible so they become the ones who look like they have the inside scoop. how many people started telling their friends “LeBron is going to the Knicks”. get rid of the reporters and inform fans with the facebook and twitter posts from you, the players and the organization. they are the loyal ones anyway so give them some insight on up and coming events, maybe some behind the scenes access that they are the first to know about. then they’ll be talking all over town, “hey did you hear that the mavs did this…?” – you control the content and get buzz from fans.

    Comment by imhbcv -

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  39. Mark,

    Thank you so much for your column. It sheds light on a theory that me and my boddy Mo have had for years. CLEARLY, Mike Fisher has been a paid troll by the Mavs much like Newberg for the Rangers. YOU CLEARLY had a falling out with the Fish, and now that he has sold out to FOX you are airing your beef online. I must say, I can’t stand the FISH so I am pumped that you did this. The Dust Chip literally wasted a year of my life.

    Thank you,

    Jon

    Comment by fansalwayswrite -

  40. @wordsorter: Sounds like you have loads of journalistic integrity.

    “…it’s a problem when this same writer keeps generating rumors, just to increase a number of hits on a particular website. It sucks, but that’s the age in which we live.” This is main point that Cubes is trying to get across, and is what is wrong with the media today. Saying that “it’s the age in which we live,” (as a paid journalist like you claim) you should be trying to change it, not just accept your fate.

    “I tell this to sources that are irritated with what I write — your name is not on my paycheck.” This sounds terribly douchy.

    “If you want to pay me to be your PR flack, then I’ll be glad to churn out as much copy as you could possibly want that aligns with the interests of your organization.” This tells me you do not have a soul and should not be a journalist at all.

    “Otherwise, it’s up to you to tell me how much you want to tell me — and assume that anything you say WILL be used in print (in other words, there is no such thing as “off the record.”).” This says that I can’t trust you.

    Comment by brandonmohon -

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  42. Lets not over think this. The Mavericks are having a fine season this year, yet apparently there are daily complaints. Many of the complaints are probably fueled by comments made by anonymous posters.

    I think it is amazing that Mark has chosen to think out loud regarding this issue, and I think he has legitimate complaints that can be remedied by exerting some control over the basics.

    And that is the key. It’s control over the basics.

    This discussion is turning into another collective bargaining debate. Rather than acknowledge that MULTIPLE collective bargaining groups is hamstringing local government, the discussion gets polarized into whether one is for the middle class, or against them.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  43. MC, hope you read all these comments, as there is a lot of good stuff by posters in this thread.

    Restricting a specific media segment is, as mentioned by other posters, akin to the USSR’s Pravda or today’s state run Chinese media. Sports is a business to you. To fans, it’s entertainment, not just on the court but, as you put it, the “distracting” stuff outside of it. What would the world be like without great headlines of yore: Vick’s dogfighting, Plaxico’s errant bullet, ARod being fed popcorn by Madonna, Tiger’s lair, another Cuban rant and subsequent fine. Heck, throw in Joe D and Marilyn some 50 odd years ago and former Indian pitcher “Wild Thing”.

    Comment by therugelachman -

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  45. “By competing with them as an information source, can we pre empt their negativity with information that does a better job of selling the Mavs ?”

    If this is what you mean when you say that your interests are not aligned, then you’re right, but its as it should be. “Selling the Mavs” should never be the goal of any journalist.

    Comment by tadbanyon -

  46. Mark – I’m one of your biggest supporters. I think you’re the best owner in the NBA and perhaps all of sports. That said, I have to believe this is some sort of belated April fools prank. I basically just agree with all the people on here talking about how boring the mavs coverage is. I’m a D-I-E HARD Mavs fan and I’ve recently blocked the Mavs from my news feed because of how boring the content is coming from the Mavs. It’s like you’re trying to pull in all the fringe fans with these articles. I get it. But that’s exactly why I think it would be a horrific idea to get rid of internet media in the locker room. If someone told me that if I correctly guessed what prompted this blog and I’d win a million dollars, I’d say it’s the article on ESPNDallas.com about the mavs being one and done in the playoffs.

    Comment by bjgomer13 -

  47. Love you’re posts! You’re right on man… It’s crazy how much of an impact the media has on sports (it’s always had an impact but has DRAMATICALLY increased with twitter, FB, etc..) I can’t wait to read your next post! Great job.

    http://typesofteeth.com/

    Comment by ynky711 -

  48. I went to hit the apostrophe key and instead hit the return key and my comment above posted prematurely. Here is the final version. Would be nice if we had five minutes after posting to fix our mistakes. Just sayin….

    greenbsg, apparently you don’t understand what Cuban means by “aligned”.

    Aligned means YOU LIKE BASKETBALL, you like basketball to the point where you appreciate good strategy, good play, hard effort, and you like to study the stats.

    If you don’t meet that criteria, and still write anyways, then you are NOT ALIGNED, and Cuban has every right to want to cut you off. The sooner the better is my vote.

    I was able to notice something about two recent games between Charlotte and Cleveland that was not picked up by the sports reporters. In game one, Diaw replaced another player before halftime and basically dominated the Cavs big men, scored a ton of points, and Diaw even got one of his final two free throws to drop as Charlotte won the game by one point and kept their playoff hopes alive a while longer.

    This night, the two teams had a rematch and Ryan Hollins kept Diaw to only 3 points in 38 minutes, and Hollins was 7-7 from the floor. Hollins is the worst guy to study stats on because he is so active on the floor, and runs the floor like a track star. Hollin’s double teaming has helped his teammates out so much that his stats continue to look bad most games, even though his activity has been a huge difference maker. The Cav’s crushed Miami recently and it probably was due to Hollin’s activity.

    It takes someone who likes basketball, and isn’t a hater of the team or their won loss record, to honor good hard sports competition and give credit where credit is due. Many times, the true moments of sports games are just missed and not reported on at all, and worse than that, nobody seems to care.

    I hope Mr. Cuban stomps out those who are too egocentric to see that it’s not about their view of the game, its about what actually happened.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  49. greenbsg, you make Cuban’s point perfectly. You think you’re on par with an income generating sports empire, and after believing that huge shortcut, it becomes quite easy to prop up your own ego with careless writing.

    I wrote a very accurate depiction of what is wrong with many internet sports pages. You could learn from it. But, I’m a nobody, so you ignore my insight and instead go after the big daddy. This is what is pointless about the internet. You’d rather take your shot at the head honcho than gather shared intelligent information and use that to improve your own writing and response.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  50. I think this is just a veiled effort to limit the number of people who can see the Mavericks put on their frilly pink panties!

    Comment by edifyresearcher -

  51. Mark, I don’t think you meet your own standards w/r/t the value of web media. Do you belong in your own locker room? You have an inside track as an owner, but you shouldn’t have access based on your own criteria.

    Your philosophy here appears to be a failure of absolutism and conservatism. You take an absolutist stance on web media by placing people like Dave Berri, Tom Ziller and Seth Pollack in the same pool as some random fool who signs up for an account at Bleacher Report. That’s like equating the New York Times with the Glenn Beck Report.

    As for conservatism, your argument is that your print and TV audience is more valuable than your web audience. This may work as a strategy to connect with season ticket holders today, but who do you think is going to be buying season tickets in 2019? Will those fans get their news and information from TV and newspapers, or the local blog that you’re blocking from your locker room today?

    Hell, I’m with you that bloggers don’t need to be running around your locker room. That’s an entirely intrusive allowance for the media that shouldn’t stand today. But seriously, if you’re going to boot the web media and honor print media today, you’re clearly ignorant of the trends in media and where dedicated, season pass fans are getting their fix TODAY. The die hards that will support you when times are hard are eating up the sports blogs right now. You should drop the blanket statements and take a qualitative approach to media relationships, not one of absolutism. One of ten bloggers may have a better story to tell than your outdated print hack.

    You’re at the top, Mark Cuban. But as wealthy as you are, you cannot afford to stop thinking progressively. With this philosophy, you’re approaching dangerous territory. You have a PR team, don’t you? Let them pick and choose who gets credentials not on their medium of publication, but the quality and reach of their content. Makes cents, doesn’t it?

    Mike Payne
    thecoolist.com

    Comment by stylesleuth -

  52. their role is to get rating dude, but its a supply demand relationship.People love papparazzi.

    Comment by indir10 -

  53. This post was borderline bizarre.

    “I’m a firm believer that [the paid internet reporter’s] interests are not only not aligned with sports teams like the Mavs, but in fact are diametrically opposed.”

    Not “aligned”? You mean like Pravada was “aligned” with the Soviet Union? Or Mickey Spagnolia of dallascowboys.com is “aligned” with the Cowboys? Or George Dunham is “aligned” with North Texas?

    We want news and opinion. Not a mouthpiece for the Mavs.

    (And locker room access is a moot issue. When a player actually says something interesting in the locker room is the day I’ll start paying attention again.)

    Comment by greenbsg -

  54. If you believe in a free market, Mr. Cuban, then all is well. Right now, since anyone can be a sports reporter, everyone seemingly is a sports reporter. But not for long. It is survival of the fittest. Go Mavs!

    Comment by In the Bleachers -

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  58. You can become the sole provider of Mavs news, features, etc. if you’re the only place people want to go to watch/read. You have to focus on making your product better, not shutting other media out (unless they are acting irresponsibly). There are plenty of organizations that have great relationships with online-only publications (paid and unpaid). They just focus on having a reliable and interactive filter (media relations) to make informed access decisions on an individual basis, instead of placing a lame blanket “no internets allowed” policy.

    You can leave TV/Newspaper as is, but bc of rights (and access) restrictions you have a real opportunity to own the digital space (web, mobile, tablets, etc.). You don’t have to partake in rumor mongering, just be honest and entertaining as a media outlet, and the people will click over to you.

    Comment by ryancost1 -

  59. Another strategy might be to beat those tweeters, bloggers & big website beat writers at their own game. If the best businesses are aggregators of content, then focus on making all your Mav’s enterprises the best aggregator of Mavs & NBA content. Then that allows you to drive fans to those sites whose press is good press and those that aren’t good press, don’t get the page clicks and don’t stay in business.

    Comment by psmcgarrity -

  60. Content is king, and if the person producing the content is a professional, you can bet that some stories (videos, blogs) will paint the team in a wonderful light, some will make the team look terrible, and most will be somewhere in the middle.

    Why? Because that’s how it is in life and sports. Sometimes great, sometimes lousy, most of the time somewhere in the middle.

    I think the issue here is the “professionally produced” rather than the platform.

    As you have noted, the mere presence of a paycheck does not automatically make someone a professional journalist.

    A professional, however, can publish onto any platform – and you have fans who consume content on every platform.

    Comment by mvhannigan -

  61. Pingback: Mark Cuban would like to ban internet reporters from the locker room | ProBasketballTalk

  62. There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between controlling a headline so that it is accurate, making sure the photo is ACCURATE to what the main story line of the game is, and having commenters after the story use their real name,

    ….versus actually controlling the CONTENT of what the writers write, that is not being done.

    Nobody is telling the writers what to write, it’s the FRAMEWORK around the actual article that is causing bigger problems. If the headline is accurate, the photo poignant, and the comments after the story are linked to a real person, I believe many of the legitimate complaints that Mark makes would not exist.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  63. While there is something to be said for direct connection between teams and fans – I’m all for that, instead of treating fans like a paying nuisance (see Snyder, Dan or Yankees, New York) there’s also the reality that what the fan wants is not always what the team wants to give. There’s no way a team site is going to analyze the team’s draft needs, trade needs, possible cuts or signings with the public – emphasize public – objectivity of an ourside source. Say you’re considering a trade for, oh, Carmelo Anthony. Are you going to analyze a possible trade for him on the team site, or in team tweets or facebook posts? Of course not; you could (a) face tampering charges, (b) alert other teams about what you’re up to, and where your weaknesses are; (c) run Anthony’s price up by praising him or ruin any chance of getting him by saying he’s not worth what you’re willing to pay, (d)get fans’ hopes up by mentioning him at all if you’re not going to make a serious move for him. Much, much easier to let the media handle it. But if you are going to get him, why wait to let the fans know, even if you can’t really announce it until all the papers are signed? You can’t do that with your own sites.

    Even if you could, fans who have been burned by teams – you’re seen as a good owner, unlike a few thousand I could mention – sensibly should take team media with the same grain of salt they take regular media. Trust needs to be earned, even if you’re speaking from the “inside.” Just as a reporter or columnist loses trust with incorrect reporting that is proven so, so can a team – to the detriment of whatever good its openness does.

    Comment by raybarrington -

  64. I would agree that something should be done about restoring journalistic integrity. But the last thing I want concerning information about my favorite sports franchises is a series of press releases, carefully manipulated to always show the team in the best possible light, which is what your suggestion would either start out as, or quickly turn into.

    Comment by tadbanyon -

  65. I’d like to comment on your your final proposal, where you suggested keeping using personal media databases (facebook, twitter, Mavs.com etc) as an online outlet for your fans. As a long time Baltimore Ravens fan, I have seen the negative implications that many of these online reports have, and their agendas conflict with those of a fan. I remember two specific instances for my team, Ray Lewis’ murder trial in 2000 and our conflicting attempt to sign Terrell Owens in 2004ish. The media had a field day with both of these events, and as an owner I could only imagine the negative press and publicity which one would have rather filtered out. Its a joke what some reporters have succumbed to and can even dignify their work as actual “reporting”. Avid sports fans like myself who don’t have the time to sort through each and every piece of media submitted are having trouble finding what is actually newsworthy and what is horseshit jargon written by some basement hack whose intentions don’t coincide with our interests. That’s all I got chbefore I start rambling on. Good luck on the homestretch.

    Comment by acosflows -

  66. As a long time Redskins fan, it completley irks me that Dan Snyder controlled the only local sports radio station and delivered so much content exclusively via the Redskins website. It makes everything that comes from those sources feel like sensationalized propaganda – even if the views were completely valid. As soon as another radio station came along, I permanently moved the dial. I almost never go to the Redskins website and it has just furthered my dislike of the way the franchise has been run since Snyder took ownership. If you are going to go down a similar path as Snyder, you better hope that you have a fan based as loyal as the ones who support the Redskins.

    If you are looking for a more well thought out opinion – a few years ago I attended a lecture with Tony Kornheiser on the changing role of the media and the emerging convergence of how sports and politics were being covered. I don’t know if you have a relationship with him, but if you do, I’d recommend listening to what he might have to say.

    Comment by psmcgarrity -

  67. Great minds think alike.

    As you know, the current NBA rules do not allow you to monetize traffic online. Everything is controlled by the NBA.

    If the goal is the “sell” the Mavs in a positive light, then hire people that know the game inside and out. This would ideally include people that know the online game inside and out as well. Re-purpose and re-package the abundant of content that can be generated behind the scenes and in the locker room for a different audience – under a different umbrella. One that covers the game from a grass roots perspective…

    Comment by ryanmendezstreetball -

  68. Wow, Mark. You really had me agreeing with you on this until you said the words “it’s not in our best interest.” I’m going to answer this from the point of view of a business online/print journalist (which I am), but the same holds true with sports.

    Yes, it’s a pain to have a writer come into your locker room and ask dumb questions, then go out and post those questions, with damning comments about the Mavs, on some obscure website. And yeah, it’s a problem when this same writer keeps generating rumors, just to increase a number of hits on a particular website. It sucks, but that’s the age in which we live.

    But I’m sorry — unless these writers are receiving paychecks signed by you (or whoever your accountant is), they’re not required to writer, or print, much of anything that is aligned with the Maverick’s best interests. The moment you put them on your payroll, THEN you have the right to lash into them for printing crap about the team. Otherwise, they have just as much right to be as derogatory about the Mavs, just as you have just as much right to question whether this is okay.

    I’m not going to go into first amendment BS (that’s been done to death and IMO I think reporters go a little far on this). But these bloggers and online journalists are not the Mav’s PR department. I tell this to sources that are irritated with what I write — your name is not on my paycheck. If you want to pay me to be your PR flack, then I’ll be glad to churn out as much copy as you could possibly want that aligns with the interests of your organization. Otherwise, it’s up to you to tell me how much you want to tell me — and assume that anything you say WILL be used in print (in other words, there is no such thing as “off the record.”).

    You have a couple of choices here. You can either ban these folks from the locker room (in which case, get ready for more crap about you and your team). Or you can train players and others on your staff to respond to these reporters and so-called writers in such a way that you put the message out there that you want. It’s not gonna always work out that way, namely because there are jerk writers out there who will write what they’re going to write. But there are ways for you to control the message, even among unpaid and paid Internet columnists.

    In other words, accept the fact this is the age we’re living in, and instead of griping about media that SHOULD be aligned with the Mav’s interests, instead accept that it is what it is, then focus on how you, Mark Cuban, through your players and personnel, can put out the right message.

    Sorry this is so lengthy but it literally makes me see red when company leaders believe it’s the role of media to promote a company’s interests. That’s not the case.

    Comment by wordsorter -

  69. You are abusing your position as a local monopoly provider of NBA basketball.

    The idea that you are the one who gets to judge what counts as a “fact” about the team that you own is laughable.

    It appears that you are slowly turning into Al Davis.

    Comment by ken27601 -

  70. When did locker room access become the de facto position anyway? Why can’t you make 4 players available post-game in a press room, and any and all press can ask questions there? Silly questions like, “Would you consider teaming up with Dwight Howard on the Lakers in three years?” get a “No Comment.” Honestly, the three or four locker room quotes we get from a game story are rarely very illuminating, anyway. (Newspaper beat reporters are the best, imho, at getting quotes about strategy and turning points, etc. You know, things that actually affected the outcome of the game.) But for the most part, the whole thing has become theater. We are bored by athletes reciting canned comments, but appalled when anybody goes off script. I think the way the NBA is covered strayed from journalism a long time ago (I guess it is more like tabloid journalism these days, as you say.)

    Comment by maxemelion -

  71. Pingback: While We’re Waiting… MLB Free Agency, Sports Media and Thunder Hillis | WaitingForNextYear

  72. I’ve reversed my comment. I put my conclusion first, and then how I arrived at my conclusion below that. Saves time for those that just want the idea. Here goes….

    So my list is…Control all the Internet headlines of those who have shown in the past they can’t get it right, Control the photo that appears in the story, and thirdly, demand that all commenters following the article use THEIR REAL NAME when posting.

    Beginning of comment starts below…..
    I’m in a parallel universe to what Mark is talking about. I won’t even mention what city it is that I am an unpaid blogger for because there are many angry commenters who post anonymously in that city. I would rather remain anonymous specifically because I defend the owners from hordes of angry angry commenters who spew the same repetitive crap over and over and over.

    Whether you like the owner or hate the owner, what happens on the court can still be analyzed in a manner that respects the sport and what makes that sport entertaining.

    The problem is….the same beat writers that write for the their local newspapers, also write for the internet. I have found that what the writers write is many times less important than,

    A. The Headlines, which many times are a joke, a vicious joke that don’t accurately depict what actually happened in the game,
    B. The accompanying photos NEVER capture the most important moment in the game, it’s as if the photo selected comes from someone who didn’t watch the game at all and simply wants to slug something into the spot that matches their idiotic and misrepresentative headline,

    Actions A & B help to create an abusive comments section, which we’ll call C.

    C. The comments section is made up of MOSTLY NEGATIVE POSTERS who HIDE BEHIND THEIR FAKE NAMES and think their hostile and negative opinions are somehow essential for others to read and agree with. In my opinion these angry, delusional posters make up less than 10% of the total audience, but they usually “contribute” well over 50% of the comments.

    And I agree with Mark about hit counts. Hit counts drive the internet version of a newspaper to post all of the comments made by the negative commenters. Then to make up for a loss in viewership because the normal sane people stays away rather than read comments that don’t relate to the actual playing of the game, these internet sites use sleazy and slimy tactics to jack up their hit counts.

    Did you know that every time your page refreshes to give you a score update of your favorite team, it may be being counted as another hit. Every time the ad changes on your page, it may be being counted as a new hit, or page view.

    Some newspaper / websites push their readers off every few hours and force them to sign back in. The same member can then be counted multiple times in the same day. On top of that, the member may have to re-sign in at a main page and then navigate back to where they were, each navigation click being counted as another page hit.

    I don’t understand why newspapers don’t better control their internet comment sections to reflect discussion about the ACTUAL GAMES being played versus how much they hate the owner, coach, or general manager. It’s actually creepy how many times some people will regurgitate their personal hate for a player without even stating what it is they hate about the player over the course of a season. This hate speak is also applied towards the front office and the coach of the team as well.

    …..So my list is…Control all the Internet headlines of those who have shown in the past they can’t get it right, Control the photo that appears in the story, and thirdly, demand that all commenters following the article use THEIR REAL NAME when posting their comments.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  73. 1st – dig the iPad site. Kudos.

    2nd – spot on given your teams market position. A few teams like rockets (Yao)+ lakers depend more on this click happy traffic to drive world wide consciousness. Believe u + most teams depend on local consciousness to drive $$

    Comment by roykeely -

  74. Mark, I’m a former award-winning news journalist with 14 years media experience. You’ve identified a problem that I’ve sought to address as the CEO of an Internet innovation company.

    Imagine a day when fans can log into the team’s online locker room via any web browser and mobile device, freely tour the arena and locker room like running around a realistic video game and click on the lockers of any player and have instant access to all their social media. Fans can click on the big screen at the scheduled time of each Team Town Hall Meeting and engage in a live Q&A with the team players, coaches, administration, etc. The team controls the show. And fans can not only directly engage by posting their own questions in real time, they can actually join the show! That’s right, the technology empowers the team to produce online live CNN-like split screen and multi-screen video shots of players and fans while everyone is sitting in their own homes.

    The 3D arena provides the team with new advertising opportunities. New sales of merchandise. New options for local advertisers. New engagement options (games, contests) for fans, players and team administrators. Plus, there are lucrative spinoffs.

    Who needs any indiscriminate media that’s available when you can engage hundreds of thousands of fans directly before, during and after the game. With our technology, you can be more selective about which media actually gains access to the players and administration. And that’s a good thing for the team.

    Let’s talk. mike.green@vizitnow.com.

    Comment by Mike Green -

  75. There’s very little that teams don’t control these days in what gets out to the public. Media relations people do a great job of keeping the reporters from getting their hands on much more than the cliché quotes from the locker room anyway… so it’s already biased in the “facts” you’re getting about your local teams. Might as well let the teams just spend the money on doing the reporting themselves so that the papers/stations can save some money on hiring sports reporters. And if you’ve ever read an article on one of the NBA or MLB sites, remember, those reporters work for the NBA or MLB… so those are just as biased as a team doing its own reporting. Reporters now have to report more than just the facts… they have to give their opinion in columns, blogs, and TV & radio shows b/c it gets people hyped up to discuss their views on the team. If they only gave the facts, what conversation would that inspire? Remember, Mr. Cuban… Sports, much like Charlie Sheen, is a form of ENTERTAINMENT… and it will be treated as such by reporters… leading it to be much like TMZ. And you had better thank goodness it IS entertainment… b/c if it wasn’t entertaining, why the hell else would anyone watch and worship your team? BTW, as a long time sports radio chick, I’m hurt you didn’t mention sports radio. ;-)

    Comment by f4r! -

  76. What about radio? In terms of the Mavs, radio is the #1 way that I access information. The radio’s internet site is the a close second. Newspaper, twitter, facebook, and tv are nowhere close. If you really think that internet sites are like tabloids and basically bad for the team morale, you should ban your players from going on talk radio. Talk radio is often the most negative format with knee-jerk reactions every day. It also leads people to be hard core fans. Before I listened to 103.3, I wasn’t really a Mavs fan. Now, I follow the Mavs every game even after having moved away from the Metroplex.

    Comment by fortworthfanatic -

  77. Pingback: NBA owner wants to ban internet writers from locker room? | Ben Maller

  78. Since there hasn’t been a basketball player with a marketable personality since the 90’s there’s no reason for anybody to have locker room access; although it is good to know the players are staying aggressive and taking it one game at a time.

    Comment by jasonmorey -

  79. Internet writers are given locker room access? What a joke.

    Comment by jasonmorey -

  80. I don’t see any value to the public in the Mavs trying to control access to the team sources. I’m all for the Mavs controlling their marketing program, but as long as taxpayers are subsidizing owners and leagues through public financing of sports arenas, you must accept the trade-off of providing access. The public ultimately decides who has credibility and who doesn’t.

    Also, I don’t believe most national networks deserve any sort of kudos for their coverage of sports. From what I’ve been able to determine, national networks (i.e. ESPN, TBS, TNT) tend to be biased towards East Coast teams and leagues. Look no further than the this past weekend’s coverage of the Rangers/Red Sox series.

    At one point in the build up to the game on Sunday, TBS’ announcer went on and on about all the positive changes the Red Sox had made, adding two solid players. He then spoke about the major defections from the defending AL Champs’ roster (Cliff Lee and Vlad Guerrero). Then, as an afterthought, he mentioned that, yes, the Rangers did, by the way, sign the Red Sox MVP from last year (Beltre). Ho hum. Of course, the Rangers pounded the Red Sox all weekend.

    As to the blog coverage, I find that most of it on ESPN.com and dallasnews.com are more of the nature of stories in progress. They typically round themselves into actual columns over a day or so. That can get redundant.

    Where I use Twitter most frequently is in following my hometown soccer team, the Seattle Sounders FC. The Twitter feeds are critical to the many excellent blogs on the Sounders, who are probably the most heavily followed team in US soccer. The Seattle Times runs about 3 – 4 articles per week on the Sounders, but the writer is much more prolific than that, doing an additional 3 – 4 separate blog posts per week.

    Also, the many other blogs following them are excellent. Very many in-depth articles going much more into the x’s and o’s of soccer than local sports reporters ever do in any other sport. The blog presents that very unique opportunity for knowledgeable followers to really have high-level discussions on the sport.

    So, thinking aloud here, Mark, maybe you should limit access to those bloggers who are elevating and adding to the fan experience from an intellectual perspective. For example, there was an excellent blog post a few weeks back that showed why the Mavs’ zone defense was so effective vis a vis zones other teams (including the Mavs) have run in the past. Those guys should definitely get access.

    Sorry for the long winded response.

    David in Seattle

    Comment by dxkraus -

  81. I have been in many locker rooms pro and college holding a microphone and while, yeah, plenty of reporters ask inane questions, plenty of athletes come up with inane answers to even the smart questions. We can come up with a decent chicken or the egg argument as to how that started but the fact is the relationship between teams and the media is largely adversarial. Teams and athletes want to control the message so tightly that even the good, hard working reporters have almost zero chance to write a good story. I mean look at something like David Halberstam’s “Breaks of the Game” where he spent an entire year with the Trailblazers. Can you imagine a team giving a writer that much unfiltered access for a whole year? Impossible.

    I understand and agree with a great deal of your complaints. Lazy journalism is almost worst than no journalism at all and that side of the equation must work harder to get better…not only to serve the teams they cover but the people they are supposed to inform.

    But we all know newspapers are dead and the future is in websites like ESPN and Yahoo. If you cut them off, you’re only making the problem worse.

    Comment by galacticmule -

  82. Mark, I agree with you to a certain extent. It is annoying that anyone can speculate, and then we have to read Carmelo articles all season. It also is annoying when after one loss, writers will act like the season is over (or the reverse, where we have to hear how “clutch” Kobe is after a win, how “the old dog still has it”). But the point of the media isn’t to serve you, its to serve the public. They invest significant money and time into their favourite teams, and deserve the right to hear thoughtful opinions from neutral parties.

    Is Donald Sterling going to post on his blog/website from a neutral stance when he’s accused of being a racist landlord? No.

    Is LeBron James ever going to take responsibility for the decisions (or tweets) he makes? Probably not.

    You said that you look at articles as being “good for us” or “bad for us”, so if you’re going to be providing the news, how will you ever provide information that isn’t in your own best interests? This why we need neutral online journalists, and not just people employed by the team. Sure, some writers don’t offer thoughtful opinions, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t exist.

    You don’t actually say why TV or print journalism are important, other than how it benefits you. Once again, their purpose is to address the public, not be the PR rep for the Mavs or Mark Cuban.

    It’s surprising that you would suggest revoking credentials from writers you don’t agree with. I never thought I’d see MARK CUBAN promoting censorship.

    It is, however, nice that you share your opinion, even though I mostly disagree with it.

    Comment by charlesvanegas -

  83. Pingback: Whats the role of media for sports teams ? | RuanLe

  84. Mark,

    Not a bad rationale. However, there is one flaw. The reader/viewer or consumer will believe all reports coming out of the teams media “favorites” will be similar to state run media. Similar to the way China controls its media. Eventually, those consuming the media will suspect it is “one sided”.

    Comment by parrotheaddan -

  85. Pingback: Does Mark Cuban see a Future in Internet Sports Journalism? « Eye of the Hurricane

  86. I think it’s not a franchise decision…it’s a corporate one. If the league wants to court the media (and it’s up to them to define it with the input from the the franchisees) then it’s their prerogative. I’m thinking the last thing they want to do is to alienate the mouthpieces that still are relied on for “the story”.

    Disintermediation is kind of an oxymoron in the media business.

    Comment by Steven Blonder -

  87. I definitely agree that a significant portion of “journalism” circulating the internet is focused more on crafting an attention grabbing headline than it is on presenting worthwhile news in a healthy and non-dysfunctional way. you can almost call it data mining; beating a pool of utterly random bits of information until some sort of relationship is found. and if even the most dedicated of attempts at creating some phantom sense of causation or correlation fail, you can always just rely on the foolproof formula you cited above; I am right because I said so, and you need to believe me because I am important. Here, look at my media pass.

    Unfortunately, there is a problem. It seems that the only thing worse than a bad internet journalist is a bad AND pissed off internet journalist. given a keyboard and a reason, such an individual is capable of literally spamming each and every single one of his followers with loads of not only inaccurate data, but now perhaps even mean spirited data. obviously, they will not admit (either to themselves or their followers) the true reason for which their privileges were revoked. why would they, when they can instead rally against the big bad mark cuban. the censor…who just gave them another reason to write. and since that bridge has already been burnt, why not go out with a bang.

    since these individuals have followers in the first place, that implies to me that said followers (for one reason or another) have not been exposed to the more trustworthy news sources you reference above. given that, you run the risk of their taking whatever they read at face value. and mixing half truths with lack of context is a dangerous combination. you run the risk of alienating fans, which is obviously the last thing you want to do. given, a small number of fans, but fans nonetheless. ones who have simply had the misfortune of stumbling upon the wrong website once upon a time, and not being curious enough to explore further.

    all that sums up to what i was originally going to say in one sentence before i dove into this far too long comment. basically, agree with your assessment of the situation. it sucks, it really does. as a Mavs fan, i hate digging through the garbage. however, it seems as though the route you propose could potentially backfire, and give the journalists you reference the opportunity to stir up even more negativity around the players and the team than they currently do.

    Comment by ncichon -

  88. As owner of the Mavericks I can see why you would think this. I can’t blame you for not wanting your team to be distracted by a bunch of blog writers who thing the best way to get a page hit is by making up a rumor.

    However, this isn’t necessarily a new idea. The Bulls employ Sam Smith as their own personal blogger and story writer. The problem is, most of the content they write isn’t worth reading as a fan.

    I read nearly every NBA article from ESPN, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, etc. I’ll even read articles from places like Bleacher Report. The articles that are least interesting are the ones from the team.

    The problem with them isn’t that they are poorly written or that they don’t have decent information. The problem with them is that they are so blatently prositive to the team that you lose all impartiality. Whether you belive that exists or not, you have to at least give off the image of it.

    I guess it would save your players a few questions about trade rumors if you got rid of bloggers and espn.com writers and if that results in a couple more wins maybe it’s worth it to consider.

    However, from an NBA fans perspective, one with a journalism background none the less, getting rid of those extra writers makes me less interested in your team. And in a big city like Dallas, there are plenty of other sports alternatives for me to turn to.

    In order to really pull it off you would have to post negative articles as well as positive articles. Essentially have the writer cover the team like they would cover the team for a newspaper. The players could avoid hearing the questions about made up rumors, since I’m guessing the writer wouldn’t make up rumors, but would still have negative stories about the team. Yes, even about a 50+ win team.

    Comment by runningthroughtime -

  89. everyone hates the media, however the idea of the mavs (and other teams) producing their own news is ridiculous. Then the owner aka you would simply control everything put out to the world. For example the other night in the loss to the Lakers i believe it was, Chandler said the teams not where it needs to be. If you the owner dissagree (or even if you don’t) you would then keep that quote from coming out to the fans, and masses. Big Brother doesn’t need to be in charge of everything.

    Do they start rumors? Yes, it’s expected. This is professional sports, and the whole point of pro ball, is to entertain us, the fans. The medias job is to keep things interesting. A pro sports team’s job, is to win. Focus on the winning and stop caring about the media and the rest will work it self out.

    Comment by Ender A. Wiggin -

  90. Mark – Real interesting take.

    Here’s mine: I’m a married, 36-year-old father of 2. I live/work in Dallas and make about $120K per year. I consume a LOAD of sports content – primarily football and basketball. My primary vehicles for consumption are the following:

    1) mobile device (heavy Twitter use for news aggregation)
    2) internet (message boards, fan sites, traditional sites)
    3) radio (listen a lot in the car and in my office)
    4) TV (all weekend and several nights each week)

    The newspaper is dead to me. I used to love SportsDay, but it has tanked. The quality is no longer there and yet its cost keeps rising. I don’t see them giving any more depth to coverage than message-board wonks.

    You say that your wealthy customers are sticking with it, but for how long? Those people didn’t get wealthy by paying through the nose for products that keep getting worse. (well, not the ones who earned their money)

    I’d stay away from restricting access, but you make some good points about the sensational storytelling online. At the end of the day, sports is just entertainment to me. Even if the news is bad or ridiculous, I’ll still consume it. Mainly, you don’t wanna be the Stars. Hardly anyone in town tweets, talks or blogs about them….

    Comment by bballcap -

  91. What if you hired a journalist, that is extremely well respected nationally, ala Sam Smith and the Chicago Bulls, to write for Mavs.com. He could still critique the team, and also write about the NBA. In my opinion, fans travel to the people producing the most useful and insightful news. I don’t go to ESPN.com for news about say the Detroit Tigers, I go to the Free Press or Detroit News. Even in Chicago, I still would go to the Tribune or Sun-Times versus ESPN.com, even though they have a “local” site (although with the addition of Mike Wilbon writing for ESPN Chicago that is changing). I go to ESPN.com to read national columnists and the premier writers for their take on the sport, i.e. Buster Olney writing about MLB.

    If you simply just “deliver” the content via Mavs.com, or Facebook, I wonder how many people will say, “well of course they are not digging into X rumor, or writing about their losing streak, or questioning X player why they haven’t been playing well.”

    You need an objective voice to lend credence, hence the need to integrate a reporter into Mavs.com that draws interest for his writing and is very well-respected…you wouldn’t need to put on limitations, because in almost all instances legit, pros don’t act like jerks or ask stupid questions, and they know to back up their work with sources and facts.

    Whether or not this means you don’t offer ESPN.com access is a tough question…I guess simply becoming the absolute definitive destination for objective Mavs news will change the game for you anyway. If fans come to you in droves, and don’t go to ESPN Dallas, then you essentially rendered them irrelevant anyway.

    Comment by mvtpr -

  92. Where does sports talk radio fall in this spectrum?

    Comment by hachehenry -

  93. This is so funny. I wrote my first blog post last night about the mavs. I was so frusterated about my friends giving up on the mavs. Here it is:

    http://jmavs1.wordpress.com/

    Comment by J&K G. -

  94. I long for the days (though I know they won’t return) when the team sold their broadcast to a local tv/radio station who selected the announcers and “covered” the games. Chick Hearn used to tell Laker fans minutes into a game if he thought the team stunk that night. I’m exhausted with the long form “infomercials” today’s local NBA broadcasts have become. The team hired announcers are a cross between spokespeople and cheerleaders. It’s this sales driven self coverage/promotion that has created an audience for the paid or unpaid Internet hack. Who else is going to provide a balanced approach. Ultimately fans just want a fair shake, no different than the team itself.

    Comment by forkeith -

  95. Really interesting thoughts, Mark. I believe that all sports team organisations should become content providers in their own right. News should be broken on official online channels. It’s a skill that many are already doing very well, but others have barely dipped their toe in.

    I do have some different thoughts on online journos. Like you, I have come across the worst kind, like an online version of the tabloid journo, whose mission is to get clicks. They like to be controversial at the expense of good content and good writing and, ultimately, your brand.

    However, I’ve also come across online reporters who add value to the sport as well as content in general. It would a pity to tar all people who only write online with the same brush, especially considering the fact that more and more people are getting their sports updates online, rather than from newspapers.

    It’s also important to remember that many of your fans will stick up for the team in online comments of an article that puts your team or players in a bad light. They become your ambassadors and that’s more valuable than your media manager making a comment!

    Comment by Alana Fisher @ Brand New Directions -

  96. I am not a sports NUT, needing my fix on every little detail about a team and/or it’s players. I get 90% of my Sox/Bulls/Bears/Blackhawks info from reading my morning newspaper (love that filthy newsprint on my fingertips!), local news broadcasts,FB team postings, and of course, from watching games (on TV. Going to games is for an entirely different thread (rant)). I’m in my 40’s. My eldest is 17, and he gets all his sports info from ESPN and the net. Take from that what you want.

    As an aside, from an earlier more lighthearted thread, I was just wondering if there is actually a job with the Mav’s titled “NBA Sweat Mopper”. Would be great on a business card.

    Comment by therugelachman -

  97. What are your thoughts on sports radio station having access to the team? Seems like a huge amount of speculation/knee-jerk reaction cones from that medium.

    Comment by Jasen -

  98. Interesting, Mark. I see a sharp separation here between instant news (i.e. “what happened tonight at the game”) and longer in-depth stories (i.e. “a profile of Dirk Nowitzki”). Different skill sets. Different needs.

    I personally, as a fan, hate the canned answers we always here. I love hockey, for example, but every single time with pretty much every player it is the same questions and interviews.

    Ugh.

    Comment by therisetothetop -

  99. I completely agree with you Mark. I primarily use the Mavs site such as Facebook, Twitter, App, etc to keep up with the information I need about the Mavs. I find many sources no longer provide unbiased information anymore. They sell the side of the story they believe will get them the “best ratings” for themselves. Outside of local media, other tv sports channels don’t even provide information or very little on your team. ESPN rarely gives adequate coverage of the Mavs. They are biased in all sports and provide most of their coverage to certain chosen teams. Even local media in my opinion foes not give fair air time coverage to local teams. For me, I made the switch to Mavericks media bases for all my coverage at the beginning of this season.

    Thank you for all you do for us die hard MFFLs!!!!

    Comment by tracieramos -

  100. Pingback: Whats the role of media for sports teams ? « blog maverick | Whats going on!

  101. Couldn’t the Mavs better control the “message” they wish to convey through Twitter and Facebook pages? This direct connection with the fans would be far more beneficial than an internet reporter that puts his spin on the Mavs news.

    Facebook pages are free and would much better keep the fans hooked in. The online journalists can swing things anyway they feel. Its almost like statistics. The right statistician to swing the stats in his favor.

    Comment by Stuart Burt -

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