Caution: Mobile media emerging

Today Pat Coyle, president of Coyle Media, a digital media and sports marketing consulting firm, posted an article on the company blog about mobile use statistics. The article states that out of four billion mobile phones in use, 1.08 billion are smartphones. It projects that mobile internet usage will overtake that of desktops by 2014. And 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize via social networking. Over 200 million YouTube views occur on mobile devices every day. Now that I’ve blown your mind with a bunch of statistics, lets contemplate this.

Initially these numbers surprised me. But when I gave it a bit more time to sink in, it all made a lot of sense. In a class activity today, only three out of sixteen students didn’t have a smartphone. And when I think about what I do on my BlackBerry, I check The New York Times, get more news through Twitter, check sports scores, browse my Facebook newsfeed, check email, Google things, and send thousands of texts daily. Consuming through mobile devices is the future. I no longer go through the trouble of pulling out my laptop to go on twitter, I just use my phone. One click and done.

Mobile media is a quickly emerging market, and I’m sure the way we use it will change just as fast. It’s our job as PR professionals to keep up with the curve and utilize the developing channel to more effectively reach our target audiences.

So what does this mean for the sports industry? Not always a good thing. Let us revisit Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre’s cell phone seduction story. This past fall a story broke including voice mails and inappropriate photos likely sent by Favre to the cellphone of former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

In an age where immediacy rules, nothing is safe and everything can go public at any moment. How many times have you almost posted someone’s name (who you were attempting to search) as your Facebook status? As celebrities, athletes are more vulnerable then most because they are targets.

So, in the age of mobile media, nothing is totally safe. Only text something you would say to the media. Because as we all know, a scandal breaks every day and it’s never a good thing to be at the center of it.

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