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Big Data, Marketing, and the NFL Draft. Add wine and chocolate and it’s perfect!

For those of you that know me, I am a huge football fan – to be more specific a Denver Broncos fan. I was home on Sunday, working, and wishing there were some football games on TV so I watch and work. It’s May! May! The start of summer May! Not football season, yet.

Good thing for the NFL, they have activities to keep us engaged nearly all year long. Starting today is the 2014 draft! As I am always looking for Big Data and Marketing in my everyday life, here comes the NFL Draft! My May gift.

There is no question that big data plays a large part in the analysis teams use to make their decisions. And not just the teams but also the millions of people that are creating their own mock draft or fantasy football team. Multiple computer models running analysis of everything from VBA on Excel to proprietary analysis software to Monte Carlo simulations. I even found a 35-page pager on the modeling, analysis of that modeling, and the psychology that goes into picking a player. Fascinating (seriously!).

Modeling and statistics is only part of the equation. There is a human and emotional element used to pick a player (which is also explored in the 35-page paper). This is where Marketing and Branding comes in. A player coming up with their own personal brand starts young as players try to get into the right high-school, the right college, and then a job in their chosen field of football. Marketing and branding for a person is not all that different than a product: know what you are good at, know your differentiation from your competitors, and know your audience so you can get your message to them where they will hear it.

What I haven’t talked about is Social Media. I expect to see lots of posts about the NFL draft on Facebook and Twitter. Yes, I’ll be watching! Will this event take over the Internet – somewhat. Will it crash servers – No. I don’t expect this to be more of a burden on compute servers than other large events like The Oscars, the NHL playoffs, or the SuperBowl.

Now, bring on the wine and chocolate and let’s see if the Texans take the first pick of Jadeveon Clowney, as is being predicted. Enjoy! And Go Broncos!

About the author: Kim McMahon has done sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world and how they sometimes all come together.