I’ve been on the road a lot in the last two weeks. During this stretch I’ve sat in 5 different airports and ended up in sports conversations with strangers in every single one of them. Sometimes it was easy to spot that I was a sports fan of some kind and other times the sports conversation started after a question like “What brought you to Arizona?”
I happened to be in Arizona for Spring Training because it was my job to do interviews with the Mariners. But here’s what I want to point out. If I was able to engage strangers in pleasant conversations about sports, think about how much easier it is to engage your co-workers, people that you already know, about sports. It’s a common denominator for many people and gives you an easy ‘foot in the door.’
It doesn’t matter if you’re a passionate fan or a novice simply being aware of the hot sports topics puts in you a better conversation position and as a result a better position to start building relationships that lead to business.
Here’s a rundown of a handful of hot topics this week.
NASCAR – Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 Sunday. It was the opening race in the NASCAR season. Danica Patrick was on the pole for the event and finished 8th and became the first woman to lead a lap at the Daytona 500. It was the highest finish ever for a woman at the event.
- This race seemed to solidify Danica’s current place in NASCAR, how do you think she handled the spotlight?
- What does her performance signal to everyone else in NASCAR this year?
NFL – The NFL combine wraps up Tuesday in Indianapolis. Think of it like a job fair for college football players. Every one of them is trying to impress a future employer not just with his physical skill, but also during an interview process. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o was one of them. There was some speculation that the hoax surrounding a supposed girlfriend might impact his draft status. Reports out of Indy said he’s interviews went well.
- Should the hoax impact his draft status?
- How much stock do you put in all the testing this players go through during the weekend?
NBA – The Miami Heat beat Cleveland Sunday night and extended their winning streak to 11 straight games. LeBron James scored 28 points against his former team and Dwayne Wade came up big in the final minutes.
- There’s some speculation that LeBron will opt out of his contract in 2014 to return to Cleveland to play alongside the Cavs young star Kyrie Irving. What do you make of the speculation?
- With just a month and a half left in the regular season, which teams are in the best position for a playoff run?
NHL – Speaking of streaks, the Chicago Blackhawks pushed their point streak to 18 straight games this weekend. It’s the best season opening streak in NHL history. Chicago has not lost a game this season and with 3 ties as scored at least one point in every game.
- Are they built to continue the run?
- Does this make them an automatic favorite to win the Stanley Cup in a strike- shortened year?
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work. Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join in, sound intelligent, and understand how to leverage sports conversation in business. Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com