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The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and Change.

As the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference winds down, an article written by The Atlantic‘s Dashiell Bennet asks an important question: why do people still not believe the best new ideas in sports? This is a not a new question. In fact, it’s an age-old question of those (few) scholars interested in the social psychology of sports. The real question that this all boils down to, however, is actually more like, “why do people place higher value in their subjective experiences in sport than they do in empirical data?”

This question has all sorts of interesting implications for sports organizations. Moneyball was just the tip of the iceberg, and player scouting and development is just one area impacted by shifting from valuing experience over analysis. For instance, how does this mentality impact the behavior of fans? We can translate the science that will allow you to understand the psychological biases and fallacies currently holding your organization back as those around you innovate. Change is coming. The sooner you position your organization to take advantage of the latest developments, the sooner you gain a step on the competition.

David Foster Wallace, Derrick Rose, and PR

Athlete interviews are an essential part of any sport organization’s public relations functions. One of the constant challenges facing PR professionals is training athletes to be engaging while staying on-message. It often seems that athletes are either too over-the-top or just downright dull in their responses. Take, for example, this snoozer from Derrick Rose:

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Can We Bring the Game into the Office?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how video games can serve as a model to inform how we can utilize game design principles to re-imagine the ways we motivate employees and solve problems. One of the main proponents of this movement has been Jane McGonigal, whose key assertions are offered in her book Reality if Broken and this now-famous TED talk:

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Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

In his latest book, author Steven Johnson explores how good ideas develop. Looking for ways to make your organization more innovative?

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Hook & Ladder takes Slate.com “Reader’s Pick” for Anti-Obesity Proposal

Slate.com just wrapped up “Time To Trim,” a month-long crowdsourcing project aimed at generating new ideas about how to reduce childhood obesity in the United States. When voting closed, Hook & Ladder’s proposal entitled “Push Play Instead of Push-Ups” finished with a comfortable lead to become the top “Reader’s Pick” among the 345 total entries. Slate’s Christy Harrison summed up our entry thusly:

By far the readers’ favorite, this proposal takes a critical look at the state of sports in America, arguing that over the years, exercise has become less about joy than about hard work. “Now, when people think about physical activity, they often find themselves immersed in imagery of treadmills, dumbbells, and push-ups,” Bowers writes. “While I cannot speak for all Americans, I can certainly speak for myself when I say that those images do little to make me want to leave the comfort of my couch.” He advocates spending public-health funds to make physical activity an intrinsically enjoyable experience for children (and adults).

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