While working out this morning and watching Terrell Owens on ESPN being interviewed by Stephen A. Smith I felt like I was watching another athlete trying to reach out to the public to tell his side of the story to protect his image but failing to do so. I think at this point its safe to say that if Dallas doesn’t win the Super Bowl, T.O. will be gone and blamed for their disappointed season. But T.O. has a bigger problem, he has an image / personal brand problem. T.O. is a very talented and gifted athlete but like most “troubled” athlete the media loves them because they make news. They are like T.O. Himself said in the interview the “villains” in sports and if you look at they way sports news or any media for example would talk about Shaq in one segment and then T.O. in another you’ll be able to tell that Shaq is Superman and T.O. would be Lex Luther.
So what is T.O. to do? He said today in the interview that because of the way the media and people view him he can’t get endorsement deals like other athletes. I think his buddy is still doing those “chucky soup” commercials. We’ll I’m not sure who is handling Terrell Owens marketing or who advised him to talk to Stephen A. Smith about the Cowboys after rumors about a possible altercation and sideline arguments with his teammates but as social media strategist this is what I would do to “TRY” to change his personal brand using social media.
My suggestions to Terrell Owens as his social media strategist
- No more interviews with media (print or tv) besides after game required interviews and in those, keep it short.
- If you must do an interview have your teammates with you
- Make http://terrellowens.com a more personal website and not a selling tool. Record personal videos on the site, talking about pre-game, family and community events. Include your teammates, family and friends with a good image.
- Have a personal photographer around and upload images to flickr of your non football life but not doing anything crazy. (going to the club, girls etc) Think like those flickr pictures of Barack Obama on election night.
- Create a fun fan user generated contest that includes kids.
- Stop talking so much and try not to look so hollywood, we’re in a recession people like someone they can relate with.
- Live stream charity events, using ustream.tv or mogulus
- Have a weekly fan only online Q&A moderated live video show
- Blog daily, it can be short during the season but during the offseason let everyone know what you’re doing.
- Take responsibility for your actions and stop yelling at your coaches and teammates during games in front of the world.
- Get more involved with technology and businesses, help fund a few startups and encourage others to be successful
- Start a video UGC site called: I am T.O. so other people can talk in 3rd person about you
- Allow his online community manager to see what others are saying about him to reach out to them or leave a comment
- Create a Terrell Owens iPhone application like Lil Wayne Where people can dress like T.O., workout tips, and a mini football game
- Create a fun workout video…dude you’re in great shape!
- Create a twitter account and use it, then after you score your next touchdown pull out your cell phone and tweet. “I just scored a touchdown did you see it? “
Now I’m not sure if all or anything of these ideas/suggestions will work and a lot does have to do with T.O. Himself changing but I think if you could break down the walls of T.O. the football player and get to know Terrell Owens the man you’ll either start to like him, say he’s not that bad of a person, he’s just like me or T.O. will never change.
Either way, if someone from Terrell Owens camp is listening I asked the question on twitter “What are 3 things you don’t like about Terrell Owens?” and see some of the responses below. If you don’t hire me, hire someone and just play football.