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Stars in the Blogosphere: Anthony Alsop

July 10, 2010

Let me introduce my latest Star in the Blogosphere, sports enthusiast and social media savvy Anthony Alsop.  

Anthony is the guy behind sports blog Sportspiel, which also has a sports marketing and social media focus.  

  

Having spoken to Anthony for some time on Twitter, I first met the man in person at a #socialmelb event. Anthony is unlike your usual sportnut – he is passionate about sport (and all types of sport too) but has the ability to not bore you to death with it either. He combines his love for sport with his interest in social media and this has resulted in an intelligent, interesting niche blog.  

Anthony is also responsible for organising Melbourne’s premier sport and digital media event, the Digital Sport Summit, which was an extremely successful event held last week at the MCG.  

Here’s my quick Q&A with Anthony.  

Anthony and basketball star Andrew Bogut

1. Tell me about yourself  

I am obsessed with sports. Ever since I can remember I’ve been shooting a basketball or kicking a footy around. When I was younger I’d squeeze 3 sports into a weekend for nearly 3 years, I think I only missed one game as well. I’ve also always had computers around me, my dad worked in IT for Ford and I can remember having a Macintosh in the study as long as I can remember playing sport. That Mac turned into a Commodore 64, which turned into a Sega, and then a Nintendo, and then the internet and it just snowballed from there.
I have a degree in e-Commerce, worked for a large IT firm for a couple of years and now have decided to go it on my own with sport and social media. Not only with my own site www.sportspiel.com.au but also a sport/social media conference, www.digitalsport.com.au.
I also write for sportsnetworker.com, whiteecho.com and some of my work is syndicated on theuksportsnetwork.com.  

2. Tell me about Sportspiel  

Initially SportSpiel started out as a way for me to get into the sports industry. Trying to land a job in sport without a sports degree, I knew I had to do something, and for me it was naturally the internet soI turned to a blog. My first few posts were just on sports topics, how to help start up the new Twenty20 league in domestic cricket, my first visit to an A-League game and also the World Cup. I then did a post on Essendon and Facebook, as those are two interests of my mine anyway, and I noticed my traffic started to jump. Then I did another post on sport and technology, and it jumped again, and before I knew it I had found my niche. I did a couple of posts ranking the top 3 sports teams in social media in Australia and it took off from there.  

3. Who or what inspires or influences you?  

Right now it’s just changing the sporting landscape, bit by bit. I know it sounds like a massive task, but I hope that my posts resonate with fans and administrators alike and they think, why can’t we do that?
What inspires me is what I see. The great thing about being a blogger is that if you see it, you can write about it. I really believe time is critical in the sports blogging world. If there’s a major event, if you write about it 48 hours said event, you’re old news. Being time sensitive is really critical and I like to be able to blog about something as soon as I see it. Also freedom of speech, I am a bit critical of organisations at times but I always try and make it constructive criticism, ultimately I only want the best for sport in this country and I think social media and digital technology can do wonders for it.  

4. What are your dreams for the future?  

My business related dreams for the future is seeing Australian sport on a level playing field when it comes to fan engagement with US sports. My personal goal is that I became someone that people look to in this industry as knowledgeable, and that should hopefully then allow me to work for myself. I love what I’m doing right now, and I want to keep doing it for as long as possible.  

5. Any interesting or quirky facts about you?  

I lived in Japan and can speak Japanese. For somebody who is this white, people don’t often believe it. I have also been on Deal or No Deal, I guessed the wrong amount though, I only had $50 in my briefcase.  

6. What is your favourite website?  

My favourite website…I don’t really have one as such. I have four different  homepages when I start the day. One is Gmail, Two is Hootsuite, Three is the NBA Homepage of ESPN.com (and this was my homepage for 10 years) and the last is Mashable.   

7. What is your favourite social media site?  

It has to be Mashable, they are the social media bible and a great source of information.  

8. What are your top 3 tips for those interested in a career in sport?  

1. Volunteer: You have to put in the hard yards, it’s one of the few industries where you can be extremely over-qualified for a position and still not get the job.  

2. Network: People need to know who you are. Most sports jobs don’t even make it to Seek or the newspaper, you need to be known by the people that are making the decisions. You can network both online via forums/blogs and Twitter, or offline by attending networking events, university events, etc.  

3. Do What You Love: There are heaps of jobs right now in the industry that have been obtained by trained professionals. Public Relations, Marketing, Graphic Design, Customer Service, these jobs are all needed at sporting clubs. Even if you love sports, you can still get into the sports industry with out having a sports management degree, just do what you do, and do it well.  

I wrote a whole blog on how to get a job in the sports industry here: http://www.sportspiel.com.au/2010/02/finding-a-sports-job-in-australia/  

9. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?  

Alive would have to be Michael Jordan, somebody I grew up idolising and he has this amazing image of a guy who is unflappable. I’d love to see what he’s like in real life.  

10. Mac or PC?  

I’m a PC…and I’m not bloated. But keep getting told I should be a Mac, it might happen you never know.  

verymisscoca.com thanks Anthony Alsop and wishes him and Sportspiel all the best.

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