Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Head in the Clouds (again)

Just thought I would re-share one of my most popular blog posts. As time has past, I feel the this entry is only becoming more relevant to student lives.

Head in the Clouds

Being a university student at present gives one a number of amazing technological opportunities.

The problem is, it seems that they are being totally ignored by at least 95% of students. There are many who moan and groan about how difficult organisation and efficiency is, with so many distractions that are thrown at them.

The technology is out there to make our lives as students much easier! When describing the benefits of such programs, the response is often that of caution. Will it make any difference? Will it be easy to set up? Will I still be using it after a week? The answer to all these questions will more than likely be YES!

It is amazing to think it has been two years since my university career began, and how technology has changed the way I operate as a student. All of my work is now online, in the "cloud", and there for me anywhere I go. No more "I forgot my USB stick" or "i'll have to email it to you". Let me share some information about two of the best bits of tech for a student to have.

The first, and the most important, is an online file sharing service. I use Dropbox myself, but there are many options available depending on personal preference. As a student, I can instantly back up any work I have done, and have it instantly transported across all of my devices. It is at its best when doing group-work. My number 1 tip for any student undertaking a group project is to get dropbox! Get everyone to get a free account, make a file that everyone can share with each other, and watch as group members can simultaneously update and view work from any member. Its that simple! Imagine a power point that everyone can add there own ideas to without having to email it around like playing pass the parcel.

The other tool that has been crucial for me is a tablet computer. I use an ipad, but there are now hundreds of options available at a variety of price points. The reason for this device is simple, when you go to lectures, it is your best friend! As well as being easy to transport, the tablet will let you write up simple notes, or even record the lecture if you are feeling lazy. After the lecture, upload everything wirelessly to Dropbox and there you have it. After time, you will automatically build an online portfolio of notes and work that is organised into simplistic folders, no paper or untidiness!

It really is a simple decision, it is time to get your head in the clouds!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sports Marketing Charity Golf Day

Sports Marketing students at the University of Northampton gave a further example of the growing stature of the course by successfully planning and implementing a charity golf tournament.

The event, hosted at Collingtree Park Golf Club, brought together students and industry professionals to enjoy a round of golf on the championship course. This was then followed by an excellent buffet and presentation ceremony. The entire event was voluntarily organised by a team of first and second year students, in order to gain experience of the events management field.

Despite a wide variety of golfing ability, and some poor weather, the tournament was well received by everyone. Second year student and participant Kurt Spence said: “The event itself was put on very well; it will easily become an annual event with the success of such a great golf course, great food and great organisation.

“We all had a good experience, met some new faces and helped a charity. I was glad to be a part of it and will definitely be going next year.”

A 'handicap' system ensured a closely contested competition, with all profits made from the day going to the National Children’s Tumour Leukaemia Cancer Trust. After the positive responses, there are already plans in place to make this an annual event.

From a student perspective, the opportunity to embark in projects outside of the classroom will only help build confidence for the future, and second year student George Bailey said: “It was a challenging but rewarding experience being involved in the planning of the charity golf day.

“During my time at University I have helped organise other events, however, I have never worked in such a small team with such responsibility. From an organiser's perspective, I believe it was a great event and has promising scope to be improved next year.”

Monday, 13 May 2013

How should professional athletes use social media?

It is fairly common knowledge that the USA are far more advanced in the area of sport engaging with its fans. I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between sports fans and organisations, and the differences between the UK and the USA. My findings were quite interesting, and will be published on this blog in the coming weeks.

Another aspect of fan engagement is how athletes themselves engage with their fan base. Many stars take to social media, and have enormous followings, but fail to do anything with it.

Los Angeles Laker's Kobe Bryant is an example of an athlete going beyond the expected norm to build a stronger relationship with his fans. He uses Twitter to post personal information, and gives his fans something extra to what they might expect.

The full article about can be found here -

It's probably not a coincidence that he is based in the USA, where values of fan engagement are more prominent. The positive public relations and reputation this will give the Kobe Bryant brand will no doubt be sizable. One of the main criticism of current athletes is their perceived distance from normal society, and its actions like this that will help solve this.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Worst ever advert?

The is quite possibly the worst advert I have ever seen! From a branding perspective, how Lionel Messi has any synergy with the game of cricket is beyond me. Add this to a very poorly put together video, you have got yourself one bad advert! 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Facebook: Oppurtunity or Threat?

Its getting towards that time when students start looking for jobs, and with that the debate on what students should do with their Facebook profile whilst going through the application process. Todays blog post offers my thoughts into this dilemma.

Without doubt, Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world. CheckFacebook (2012) offers an analytics tool into the social network, and as of today (17th Jan 2013), Facebook has just fewer than 1 billion users. Facebook can essentially be classed as an online profile of the average person’s social life, with most choosing to use it to connect with friends and share information, photos and videos. The result of this is that it has to be considered the first place in which an employer will look to find out more information about a potential employee.

There are many that call this an invasion of privacy, and call for employers to stick to looking at sites intended for professional use – such as LinkedIn. There is now an argument into the divide between personal and professional lives, and whether it is possible to keep them separated. In my opinion, there really is no argument here. It is based on the concept of power. An employer has the power to find information about my personal life, and if I am asking for them to give me thousands of pounds and invest time and effort into my development, surely he is justified in trying to learn about my personal life? Hill (2012) claimed that Facebook can be considered a digital proxy of ourselves, and reflect our personalities and interests, and employers are trying to find out more information than they would in an interview.

Many people believe that Facebook is not about creating online presence, but about hiding potential online mishaps. But not many people go beyond deleting inappropriate photos and removing explicit content from their profiles. Yes, this will prevent employers turning you away immediately and essentially giving you an online criminal record. But employers are looking for what you would be like to work with, and whether your personality would fit into their business, so this should be classed as an opportunity! Employers clearly try to uncover negatives, so why not use Facebook to turn the tides and give yourself an advantage over everybody else.

This doesn’t necessarily mean changing how you use the social network, and there are many privacy options so that employers can’t access parts of your account. But again, most people will feel threatened by this and make everything private, leaving an employer none the wiser after visiting. My point is that by just opening up just a little bit, you can leave that positive impression. It may be just a few holiday pictures, or where you went to university, or maybe even a few graduation photos. In fact, if you make your profile completely private, it may give off the impression that you are hiding something, and in a such a competitive job environment, even these little things may be the difference between getting a job or not.