Category Archives: Toronto

SMS episode 2

Social Media & Sports


Karim Kanji – Twitter


Joel Reilly – Twitter

I have worked as a producer & director in Toronto’s entertainment industry for 9 years on over 100 productions. Working with some of the industries top commercial production companies. I have produced and directed two films that were purchased by Bravo. “Silent as a mouse”, a 1940’s film noir, had its world premiere at the 2008 LA Shorts Film Festival. The film “Thomson’s Wake” is the 1st dramatic film on the mysterious death of Tom Thomson. Most recently, I created and ran a social media initiative called Boshtown ( which had on average over 5000 unique visitors per post and also trended on Twitter. Currently working biz dev for Red Juice Media.

Anthony Zanfini – Twitter

I’m a creative and social media strategist with GWP, a Toronto based branding consultancy. Also a former sports writer for both the University of Toronto and McGill University newspapers.

Sean Boulton – Twitter

Sean Boulton is a long-suffering Toronto sports fan, old enough to have legally hoisted a drink to the 92/93 World Series victories, but young enough to have never hoisted even a sippy-cup for a Stanley Cup win. Born and raised a Leafs fan in Canadiens country, he’s been in Toronto for more than 20 years, where he can properly fulfill his Leafs and Blue Jays love in its natural environment. His following list on Twitter is chock-full of sports writers and broadcasters, local athletes, and like-minded fans. Wage-slave to the investment industry by day, amateur singer/actor and karaoke enthusiast by night, Sean can be found on Twitter at @sboulton, and inconsistently maintains a blog about the trials of trying to go from unfit to fit at


Stephen Thomas

Episode Description

This Week on SMS: Discussing the line between Social Media and Sports, with Joel Rielly, Anthony Zanfini and Sean Boulton.


Inspirational Person – The Good Doctor

I suggested a few blog posts ago that I would highlight a couple of inspirational people a month in this space. I’m gonna cut that down to one. At least. That way I can still host a few guest blogs and write about other things. However, don’t be surprised if I highlight more than one person a month. Thanks for understanding. And now, on with today’s show…

Roy “Doc” Halladay.

I know. He’s been in the news a lot lately regarding a potential trade away from the only professional baseball team he’s ever played for. He’s a multi-million dollar pitcher. Many consider him the best at his craft. Even George W. Bush likes him (Dubya was a part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball club before he was President of the U.S.).

So why is he this month’s Inspirational Person?

Is it because he plays for my favourite team? Is it because he’s so good? Is it because Doc is topical? Not at all.


It’s something I strive for. And I know many of you strive for it.

Focus is that thing you do with a single-minded purpose. Whatever your purpose and vision is (heck, whatever it is that you do think about and do on a daily basis) demands that you be focused. We all need to be focused to complete our “task” with excellence.

It’s what Doc does. Everyday. Not just every fifth day when he is on the mound. But everyday, he prepares himself – mentally and physically – so that when he is called upon he displays excellence. These past few days, we have seen him answer question after question about the why and where and when of the trade rumours (especially during last week’s All-Star game). And what what his answer? It was calm and professional. How did he pitch? Well, yesterday, he pitched a complete game six-hitter for another complete game victory over the American League leaders, Boston Red Sox.

How does he do it?


And that’s why he’s this month’s (and this blog’s) inaugural Inspirational Person.

If you have a suggestion for an Inspirational Person you’d like to see featured here, please email me at karim_kanji at hotmail dot com.

Photo Credit –

Hockey – The new battleground for social media.

Hockey is top of mind for many people these days. Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are providing hockey and NHL fans with a great display of technique, passion and skill.

Then there is the “battle” taking place in Arizona. Balsillie versus Bettman.

Whether you or I believe or agree with what Mr. Blackberry is doing with his campaign is not the point of this post.

What Jim and his team do understand is that the power of social media tools are helping them to make a concerted effort to bring a hockey team to the Hamilton, ON residents. And it’s not just the makeitseven Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Here is a list (without links because you can find most if not all if you enter in your web browser of choice 🙂 ) of the “tools” he is employing:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Email updates to supporters (just sign up and become one!) on each and every legal and non-legal moves and initiatives
  • the shop where fans can buy merchandise
  • the HaveAVoice blog and community where fans can interact and share with each other
  • Photo and video galleries
  • Corporate partners (which are listed on the site) have also put out radio and tv commercials (at least in the Toronto area) which ask their customers to support the makeitseven campaign

This may sound like much ado about nothing. Here’s the thing though: Mr. Balsillie is a billionaire who does not have to garner public support in his bid to buy a hockey team. He just has to pay his lawyers enough and buy the team. He has the financial resources.

Why is this campaign a study in social media then? Because of what Mr. Balsillie has learned from running Research in Motion: In short, it is the public – the Audience – who is responsible for either the success or failure of any business, team or campaign.

This story and fight are far from over. I believe this is just the beginning of both this campaign and how future corporate sports battles will be fought.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of the makeitseven initiative?

PodCamp Toronto 2009

I’m attending my first PodCamp this Saturday. What is PodCamp? I haven’t a clue. What I do know, is that it is a (un)conference that strives to bring together people in the spirit of community help. Think of a conference that you, as an attendee, can design. Couple that with the power of social media and people who love to help people.

I’m going as a volunteer representative for Toronto Green Community. We’re hoping to learn some stuff to help TGC go mainstream. Here are some answers to questions posted on Toronto PodCamp website:

What are your personal goals for Podcamp?

I want to learn as much as possible. Be a sponge. Meet new people. All with the focus of taking what I can to help TGC grow.

What do you want to learn?

How can TGC use social media and other socmed events to raise needed funds for project work and create raving fans!

What are you offering to share/teach others at Podcamp?

All I can share I will. I’m a little new at these type of events. What I do know is that if an event like TwestivalTO can be a success then so can a Toronto Green Community inspired “tweet” event!

Which podcamp registrants would you like to meet?

I would love to meet Chris Brogan, John Sheridan. I’d also like to re-meet Erin Bury and Sarah Prevette who headed up TwestivalTO. Oh! And Helen Overland as well!

Why? Who is your “dream interview” for your podcast? Why?

I don’t have one. How the heck do you podcast?????

What is your, “Can’t miss it” session at podcamp?

Social Media for Special Causes and Social Media for Non-Profits.

Monetize or Communitize?


Who would win in a cage match: Chris Brogan, Bob Goyetche, My Marilyn, or Scarborough Dude?


In time honored meme tradition– guilt a few more people into carrying on this meme.

Everyone who reads this post and is coming!!!


Last night I experienced the potential and real power of social media. Throughout the world people gathered in their communities to socialize with a conscience. The charity of choice was charity : water.


How did these people mobilize? Twitter. Yeah, that cool, nerdy, yet powerful tool your brother uses and your PR manager spends hours on.

I’m not going to spend time here explaining the how and why this event worked all over the world because many people who know better than me already have. So I’ll point you to them:

M.E.C. gets it

I was at Mountain Equipment Co-op yesterday (12/23/2008) afternoon to help my beautiful wife’s organization with their Eco-Gift Wrapping Fundraising efforts. MEC, for those of you who don’t know, sells everything that has to do with enjoying the Canadian outdoors: sleeping bags, lanterns, mountain bikes, canoes, gloves, and everything else you can imagine and even more of the stuff you can’t imagine.

They also “get it”. Getting it is that thing that you do to make yourself (or your brand) a friend of your potential clients. No. It’s not the free stale coffee you offer your potential clients as they walk in the store.

Here’s how MEC “gives back” to their community:

  1. Free bike racks use with 24 hour CCTV surveillance. Amazing! In the middle of downtown Toronto.
  2. Rock climbing for kids. Where? Inside their store. Do your Christmas shopping and have the MEC staff teach your kids a thing or two about the cool sport of rock climbing.
  3. 10,000 square foot green roof. MEC has been in Toronto since 1988. The green roof is not a passing fad for them. It’s part of their commitement.
  4. Community Bulletin. Got something to sell? Interested in yoga? Post your junk or take a look to see what people are up to.
  5. They support Toronto Green Community!

So, if you’re looking for a gift (or something for yourself) at anytime of the year, check out MEC at King Street West just east of Spadina.

Forget the NFL. Toronto has Monopoly!

And so it continues. Or maybe it has ended.

Toronto has always had this big city – small city syndrome. Are we world class or not? Do they love us or hate us?

Well, it seems that Toronto doesn’t need the NFL. The CFL and the NLL (lacrosse) will do just fine for the folks at Hasbro. Toronto, as well as Montreal and Vancouver will be featured on the new Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition.

Just don’t tell Torontonians that Montreal has the prestigious “Boardwalk” location…