One of the questions I’ve heard tossed around most in the hours since Derrick Mason announced his retirement is “Why would he do this through a site called Jocklife.com?”
To me, this is something that represents what we will be seeing MUCH more of in the coming years. Athletes are going to continue to go outside the “traditional” media to make announcements. In reality, there is little difference between making the announcement to Quentin Jones at JOCKLife or making the announcement via Facebook.
I don’t want to get into the announcement itself-we’re going to do plenty of that tomorrow morning on “The Comcast Morning Show.” But I do want to debunk anyone who thinks Derrick wasn’t actually involved in this announcement. Derrick was very much a part of the announcement, and he simply chose to go through JOCKLife because he had a previous association with the site (obviously through his agent C. Lamont Smith); and he could make the announcement without having to deal with the immediate questioning that he would face had he made such an announcement via “traditional” outlets.
This is the future of media. Athletes recognize that they can market themselves via social networking; and they can keep the page clicks to themselves when they make a significant announcement. Don’t be surprised if the next time a Baltimore Raven retires-whether it is Todd Heap, or Ray Lewis, or anyone else…..the announcement comes via Twitter instead of via press conference.