Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Eighth In Insta Interactions

TigerBlog wrote about Derek DiGregorio yesterday and the continuing efforts of his family to raise money to combat Ataxia Telangiectasia, the deadly disease that struck Derek as a child.

What TigerBlog forgot to mention was that Derek is an honorary member of the Princeton Class of 2012, an effort that was spearheaded by former men's soccer player Manny Sardinha. TB was reminded of this in an email yesterday that said: "Manny chose to create a relationship between Derek and his class after featuring Derek's Dreams and the ATCP at an awareness day with the PVC at a men's soccer game.

Derek's Dreams is the foundation that his family created a long time ago. The ATCP is the A-T Children's Project.

The email came from Jess Deutsch, the Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services. She was also one of the people there Saturday morning at "The Million Dollar Bike Ride" in support of Derek.

Jess is a Princeton alum, as is her husband Ted. She played tennis, and he played baseball.

Thanks Jess for the heads up on Derek and the Class of 2012. It's another way that the Princeton community has rallied around the DiGregorio family.

TB should have remembered about the Class of 2012. Steve Carell was the Class Day speaker, and there was a picture of Carell with Derek, his brothers Zack and Aaron and Howard Levy's children Lior, Mia and Noa.

TB got the email from Jess yesterday morning, right around the time he saw that Dei Lynam had knocked down a hole-in-one. Dei is a longtime NBA commentator on television who, among other things, has been the Princeton women's basketball color commentator on ESPN+ the last two years.

And how did TB see that Dei had a hole-in-one? On Instagram, of course.

TB hasn't talked to Dei since the end of last basketball season, but he feels pretty up-to-date on what's going on with her, her husband, her kids, her family because of her Instagram posts. He can stay in touch with his cousin Nicole the same way.

Dei posted a video of the ground as she walked along, from the fairway to the green and finally the cup, where you could see the golf ball and hear her reaction. It was a very cute video, and it's also a very 2019 way of sharing information.

TB then texted Dei, who responded that it was actually the third hole-in-one of her golfing career. That's three more than TB has had, though he was once playing with someone who had a hole-in-one and who, upon seeing the ball in the cup, replied calmly "this should really help my score."

In other social media news, there's a company called SkullSparks that is in the college athletics social media business. Yesterday, along with Jess' email and Dei's golf video, TB also saw a graphic from SkullSparks, who had researched the main athletics Instagram accounts for FCS schools to determine which ones had the most interactions in 2018.

Princeton was the eighth-ranked team in the top 25 that SkullSparks released. Only one other Ivy League school was in the top 25, and that was Columbia at No. 15.

It's good to see that the social media efforts of Princeton Athletics are, by this analytic, very successful. Princeton's communications, marketing and multimedia teams have put a lot of effort in the area of social media, recognizing the importance of it in today's information market.

In fact, the social media explosion has completely reshaped college athletic communications, much the way that the first athletics websites did so 20 years ago or so. There was a time that the best metric of success for Princeton communications would be the number of page views and unique visitors that would get on a monthly basis.

Now, social media has become more important in many ways - not all, but many. Think about it. Where do you go for information?

TB hopes there will always be a market for postgame stories, but really, the immediacy of social media has overtaken that, TB thinks. As such, it asks all kinds of questions as to the kinds of content that needs to be produced, what's most effective and what's next.

These are the questions that Princeton Athletics continues to ask. The rankings that SkullSparks put out yesterday was a nice reminder that these efforts have been effective.

TB was happy to see that Princeton was eighth.

If you're wondering who was first, it was Villanova. Oh, and Sacred Heart was fifth.

In this case, eighth is good. And a sign that there is always more work to do.

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