Adam Lefkoe is a weekend sports anchor for WHAS – TV in Louisville, Kentucky. Like most sports anchors, he delivers premium coverage of sporting news in a top 50 market by developing captions for that week’s top plays. A central component of developing these captions is including a catch phrase. Problem is, he has never been one to use them…he finds them a bit corny. Two months ago he resolved to fix this problem and along the way implement strategies to integrate new media with TV. He did this and more…here’s his story:
Crowdsourcing – The Beginnings
Adam put his idea into action two months ago. He first created a Facebook fan page and reached out to friends and family to tell them about the page he had created (you can submit your catch phrases too!). He created this page to serve as a platform for his fans to submit captions for the Top 5 Plays of the week. In January, he received five comments for that week’s Top 5 plays. He included all five comments in that week’s show. The next week he received 15 comments…the following week this number exploded to 80 submissions. His page had become more than a repository for comments; the page had created a competition amongst his viewers.
Integrating New Media with “Old Media”
Adam sees TV as the old guard. But as a medium that still maintains a strong sense of legitimacy. “People have a fascination and love affair with television…everyone has grown up with it, everyone has one.” The problem with television, he says is its ability, or lack thereof, to integrate with the internet, “They should be the same avenue; there should be no divide, especially for sports.”
In just two months Adam has taken a problem and turned this into a creative outlet for his viewers. Adam’s inbox is now flooded with more than 50 submissions per week, in addition to the Facebook posts that come in daily. His innovative use of Facebook has earned him praise outside of his TV gig.
Two weeks ago on a radio show, the host asked Adam if he had any catch phrases to share with the audience. He didn’t have any with him on the show but he proceeded to deliver Ron Burgundy catch phrases (Will Ferrell’s character in Anchorman). He placed the clip online, which was subsequently syndicated by sites such as brobible and thebiglead.com. Days later, his clip had reached between an estimated 70,000 and 100,000 viewers.
Integration, Immediacy, Intimacy
When asked why he thinks his methods of crowdsourcing are so effective, he responds unequivocally, “people immediately see results of what they have submitted…that’s the reward with the catch phrases.” At first, he thought that creating the Facebook page was weird and a bit unnatural. He soon learned to dismiss what people thought of the page, “the page may annoy people at first but eventually, if it builds enough steam…watch out. I think of it more as a marketing tool.”
He recognizes that to compete with the likes of ESPN, he must create content that is more focused and centralized to that specific area, while at the same time making it more entertaining for those outside the area. He adds, “A lot of TV stations will shoot TV stuff for the web, that’s not interacting, that’s delivering.” He is looking for complete integration between television and the internet.
Adam acknowledges that he is the youngest guy in that market in sports and understands that television cannot exist alone in a silo. “To be young and not see limitations of the old media and to think that you can exist in that medium is very short-sighted…integration with the internet is completely necessary.”
Embracing both television and the internet to serve as platforms to distribute his content is at the forefront of his mind at all times. He’s not done creating avenues for people to share more content with him. He is currently creating a webpage where users can submit videos that can make it on air. As Adam creates another avenue for his fans to submit their work, his fans continue to clamor in cyberspace, attempting to outdo each other for the chance to be on primetime television. Adam has taken a one-way channel that has historically pushed news on people and turned this into an integrated, two-way channel….genius if you ask me.
Check out Adam’s Facebook page
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