National Football Foundation Debuts Website, Mobile Applications

The National Football Foundation (NFF) and XOS Digital Inc. have jointly announced a new website and corresponding mobile and tablet applications to provide fans with multiple access points to NFF content in various formats. Among other tasks, the NFF runs the College Football Hall of Fame.

The new website,, marks the completion of the NFF Digital Network and is managed by XOS Digital, which serves more than 300 sports organizations with myriad technology solutions.

The foundation’s official website offers exclusive video content and original programming and connects to multiple digital platforms, including a dedicated NFF OnDemand store, Smart TV content, YouTube channel and mobile applications.

The NFF OnDemand store features DVD and Blu-ray content as well as classic college football documentaries, available for purchase for the first time. Fans can access this exclusive video content through a digital account where they can select videos to watch online and access them for viewing on tablet and mobile devices.

Every NFF event will be streamed live on all compatible platforms, including the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the Annual Enshrinement Show, and the annual announcement of FBS inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. Fans can download the official NFF mobile application for free, and the official NFF tablet application for $4.99.

The NFF Digital Network also features an originally produced video series, This Week in College Football History, which highlights a memorable historic football event each week throughout the football season. All NFF historic content and original productions are accessible though the XOS College Sports Smart TV channel.

For more information, visit or

James Raia is an editor and publisher in Sacramento, California. Visit his site:

NBC Sports Radio Debuts Nationwide on Terrestrial Stations, Online

NBC Sports Radio, airing on 178 radio stations nationwide as well as streaming on, debuted Sept. 4 and is featuring a diverse selection of programs.

Programming will be distributed by Dial Global and content will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as long-form shows.

The NBC Sports Radio roster includes:

The Erik Kuselias Show, Monday-Friday 7-10pm, ET;

Amani and Eytan, Monday-Friday 10pm-1am, ET: featuring former NFL pro Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander;

The Dan Schwartzman Show, Tuesday-Saturday 1am-5am, ET;

Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison, a two-hour weekend show featuring former NFL All-Pro Rodney Harrison;

24/7 anchored national updates featuring Jon Stashower, Kay Adams and

Dan Schwartzman.

The new NBC Sports Radio is a partnership between Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group.

“This is a great day in sports radio and we’re proud to have 178 affiliates share it with us,” said Chris Corcoran, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Dial Global. “Our main goal from day one has been to deliver great content for radio stations and we are excited to finally hit the field and play.”

Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures and International, said, “We couldn't be more excited to launch the newest platform in the NBC Sports Group family. With 178 affiliates on board at launch and a great starting talent line-up, the sky is the limit for NBC Sports Radio.”

A mobile applications for the network is being developed, according to a spokesperson.

James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports, travel and leisure. Visit his cycling site at


Gabby Douglas Soars in Gymnastics and in Twitter Popularity

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) might not readily come to mind as a leading source of sports news from the London Olympics. But with the 30th Summer Games now complete, the newspaper should be rewarded with its own gold medal.

Where else could a Summer Olympics enthusiast read a front page article about former figure skating gold medalist Peggy Fleming and other former Olympians who have had successful careers as artists?

Gabrielle Douglas had huge Olympic and Twitter success during the Summer Olympics in London

And where else could Olympic followers read in such detail the trials, tribulations and impact of Social Media in London?

From the Opening Ceremonies to the Closing Ceremonies, no other social media platform was more discussed and utilized than Twitter.

The WSJ followed the Twitter coverage of the Olympics in detail, including an August 11 article that charted the most popular Twitter feeds among the London Games' most celebrated athletes.

For example, gymnast Gabrielle Douglas was an unheralded athlete prior to the Olympics, and the WSJ called her a “relative nobody” on Twitter. But that didn't last long. When Douglas claim

ed two gold medals in t

he first few days of the Olympics, her social media status soared into another stratosphere — much like she did while competing.

By the final weekend of the Olympics, Douglas had 576,654 followers on Twitter, an increase of 1,522 percent and the biggest jump among the top-20 most popular athletes on Twitter who competed in London.

Here's the top-5 largest Twitter popularity increases during the Summer Olympics, with name, sport, Twitter name, Twitter followers on July 27, followers on Aug. 10 and percentage increase:

1. Gabrielle Douglas, gymnastic, (@grabrielledoug), 37,888, 614,542, +1,522%
2. Missy Franklin, swimming, (@FranklinMissy), 29,694, 346,353, +1,066%
3. Jordyn Wieber, gymnastics, (@jordyn_wieber), 65,404, 446,108, +582%
4. Ryan Lochte, swimming, (@ryanlochte), 161,045, 911,290, +388%
5. Jake Dalton, gymnastics, (@jake_dalton), 16,939, 82,635, +342%

Michael Phelps was the most poplar American competing in the Summer Olympics via Twitter. Phelps had 319,427 followers at the start of the London Games and 1,246,351 after two weeks of competition. His popularity increase of 290 percent was the eighth-largest increase.

Equally interesting, of course, will be to re-visit the athletes' Twitter totals in the near future to determine if they retain their Twitter popularity.

James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports, travel and leisure. Visit his cycling site at


Reuters’ Photographer Captures Iconic Olympic Image After Three Days’ Wait

Luke MacGregor, a photographer for Reuters, the international news service, didn’t capture an athlete in flight or a dramatic race finish. But after three days of trying, MacGregor captured among the most stunning images of the London Olympics.

Posting the details of his three-night mission near the Tower Bridge in London on his blog, the photographer perfectly captured the moon as the sixth Olympic ring.

Tower Bridge. Image © Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Using a smartphone application to properly gauge the rising of the moon, MacGregor details his quest to get the shot in a three-day diary, accompanied by three images.

In one first-day passage of his blog post, the photographer writes:

“Having planned to be in the ‘perfect’ spot on London Bridge with a good view of the Olympic Rings further up river and using the app information, I waited for the moon to rise.

“However the horizon itself was a little cloudy. When the moon eventually showed itself about 10 minutes after the app’s moonrise time it was off to the right hand side of the bridge. I hadn’t taken into account that the moon wouldn’t rise in a vertical line but would travel across the sky.”

Two days later, after calculating the changing exposure, the brightness of the moon and dealing with curious tourists in the line of his pending image, MacGregor got what he wanted. It’s an iconic image, a remembrance of the London Olympics far away from competition but as poignant as an event.

To read MacGregor’s blog in full and to view the three images, visit: Shooting The Moon
James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports, business, travel and leisure. Visit his cycling site at

New York Times Comes Full Circle With Online Olympic Track Cycling Video

Like other Olympic sports with global popularity but only in niche locales, track cycling comes to the masses every four years at the Summer Olympics.

There were few sports more prominent in the United States in the early 1900s when six-day races were all the rage for celebrities and high society theater patrons who made bets on riders competing in Madison Square Garden.

London Olympics' track cycling venue

Bobby Walthour, a track cycling champion at the time, was among the country’s highest paid athletes and made more than $100,000 a year. His exploits on and off the track were prominently displayed in the New York Times — including his image in a display advertisement for Camel cigarettes.

How ironic is it that it’s the online edition of the New York Times’ (Page 1, Aug. 3) that  featured a video, detailed charts and accompanying audio explaining the nuances of the sport’s most well-known event — the match sprint?

The video, “A Simple Bicycle Race,” begins with the description: “In the track cycling match sprint, riders go around a 250-meter track three times. Typically, they go slowly at the start, until someone makes a move.”

The narration of the video describes the event’s strategy and takes viewers around the track in animation and via the perspective of two riders’ head cameras via a split screen.

In addition to the Olympics, track cycling has a yearly World Cup circuit and a World Championship, the latter of which was last held in the United States in 2005 at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, California.

The Olympic track cycling competition continues through Aug. 6.

To view the New York Times’ video, visit: Olympic Track Cycling

James Raia is an editor and publisher in Sacramento, California. Visit his site:

Honda Debuts Aha, Vast Sports Programnning Options Including Olympic Content

Honda has introduced its new in-dash connectivity system. In addition to music and news options, the system provided by Aha will offer vast sports programming choices.

Available via a smartphone application, the system will act as a “conduit to a wealth of cloud-based media,” according to Aha.

Content is pre-selected via the smartphone app. It’s controlled via voice commands and as well as in-dash and steering wheel-based controls after your phone is connected.

Honda’s also developing an EV-centric version of the service, which will be available in upcoming versions of the Fit EV and Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The apps will be available for both iOS and Android.

According to an Aha spokesperson, sports programming in 2013 Honda (and Subaru models, soon), will include mainstays: ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, SI Olympic and podcasts from partners such as CBS, Shoutcast and NPR.

Addditional niche sports programming will include: Puck Nuts, Download The Line, Surf Talk Radio and Poker Road among other content. During the Summer Olympics, sports Twitter feeds will be curated and featured.

For additional information, visit:

James Raia is editor and publisher of