Top 10 Unheralded Athletes On Twitter

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We all know that professional athletes draw big crowds. Even those of you who don’t care much for puns will be able to find truth in that statement. But as individuals can they draw their own followings?

“Cream of the crop” athletes like Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal (to name a few) have had no trouble whatsoever gaining millions of followers on the popular social media platform, allowing athletes to individually market themselves, connect directly with fans and extend their careers.

As individual brands, they’re the Coca-Cola’s, CNN’s and McDonald’s of the world because people already know them for how they differentiate themselves from everybody else when they play. The social media formula for this class of athletes is simple, as it really doesn’t matter what they say, because people will listen regardless.

For some lesser-known players, Twitter has actually helped them gain fame off the court, ice or field. But what makes for a good personal social media marketing strategy when you’re a rising sports star? Here’s a list of the top 10 athletes whose Twitter popularity (significantly) transcends their athletic production. It’s fair to say that without Twitter, these guys might actually dwindle off into the oblivion.

Dirk Hayhurst

10. Dirk Hayhurst (@TheGarfoose) Pitcher, Durham Bulls

When I first saw Dirk Hayhurst’s Twitter handle, I couldn’t help laughing despite not knowing what a “Garfoose” was. After finding out that it’s a “musical” half-giraffe/half-moose created by Hayhurst himself to support kids with special needs, I couldn’t help but feel touched. Despite the fictional character, Hayhurst is witty and snarky. He’s an author and he currently blogs for a popular sports website called the Bleacher Report. Hayhurst may only be a minor league pitcher, but has quite the following of 11,450 – not bad for a 32-year-old guy who’s never played a full season in the Majors.

9. Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
Hailing all the way from down under, Moylan brings an Aussie feel to his tweets, an atypical feature of a professional baseball player and one that sets him apart. His popularity skyrocketed after he tweeted a picture of himself wearing a tight black mini-dress. His typical daily Twitter feed isn’t nearly as disturbing. He sits at 33, 296 followers.

Dallas Braden

8. Dallas Braden (@DallasBraden209) Pitcher, Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden hasn’t done much in pro baseball. But people like him because he tweets like he’s the head of a fraternity out of Arizona State. He’s funny, he’s crude, he’s immature… But what else do you want from your Twitter feed?



george Parros


6. George Parros (@Stache16) Forward, Anaheim Ducks
His Twitter handle couldn’t be more self-explanatory. George Parros wears number 16 and is very proud of his moustache. So much so, that he’s developed a reputation for making #stache jokes. But Parros is hilarious even when he’s not talking about his moustache… just ask his 28,000 followers. Not bad for a guy with just 30 points in 378 NHL games.



5. Ben Crane (@BenCraneGolf) Golfer, PGA Tour
Crane is the mastermind behind the famous “Golf Boys” video that took the golf world by storm a few months ago. Who knew that satirized videos made people laugh? Besides everyone. Either way, the video got 3 million hits and Ben Crane’s name is attached to it. The humour he displays in the video definitely comes through on twitter, making for an entertaining feed.

4. Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) Punter, Minnesota Vikings
By far the coolest punter in the NFL, Kluwe isn’t afraid to speak his mind. In addition to being known for being an avid World of Warcraft fan and not being afraid to speak his mind, Kluwe is genuinely one of the funniest and brightest athletes on Twitter. According to his Twitter bio, his location is “with Carmen Sandiego”. His 30,000 followers is almost an absurd number for a guy who simply punts a ball 5 times per game.

3. Stuart Holden (@StuHolden) Midfielder, Bolton Wanderers
An American soccer player playing in Scotland, Holden gives American soccer fans (and international fans alike) a taste of what it’s like to play abroad. He’s one of soccer’s most prolific tweeters (especially for English-speaking fans) and spends a lot of his time responding to fans and holding contests. His contests have proven to be extremely popular and he does them consistently, which is just a bonus for anybody following him. He has more followers than anyone on this list with a whopping reach of 223,100 followers. Who says people don’t watch soccer?

Logan Morrisson

TIE-2. Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) Outfielder, Florida Marlins
LoMo is a self-professed Twitteraholic who uses his account to do things like provide his male followers with valuable dating advice and banter with fans from across the league. He once invited a Phillies fan to a Marlins game after developing a friendship with the fan on Twitter. Such acts can only benefit one’s personal popularity, and most pro athletes just don’t do things like that. It’s guys like Morrison who are breaking down the barriers between fans and professional athletes. At just 24, he’s reaping the benefits with his 73,000 twitter followers.



TIE-2. Ndamukong Suh  (@Ndamukong_Suh) Defensive Tackle, Detroit Lions
Suh probably doesn’t belong on this list as his popularity is definitely justified by his play on the field, but then again he does hold the world record for the largest tweet-up. Sorry but I had to bend the rules to include him in this list. If not solely for the opportunity to try and spell his name, then to give him props on getting 2,000 fans to come meet him prior to a Nebraska Cornhusker’s game back in April. That’s what I call social media swagger.

1. Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2Point0) Forward, Phoenix Coyotes
The truth is, this list wouldn’t have been made if not for Paul Bissonette and his legendary Twitter account. We’re talking about a guy with 7 career points in 110 NHL games. A guy who is often a “healthy scratch” on the Phoenix Coyotes depth chart. He may be a fourth-line grinder, but Bissonnette is by far the most entertaining hockey player on Twitter. Actually, it would be fair to say that if it wasn’t for Twitter, most hockey fans would have a hard time knowing who Paul Bissonnette was.  Like Parros, Bissonnette rocks a mighty fine moustache and tweets mainly to make his followers laugh. But I think I know his secret. He has the second most followers among NHL players with 164,353 (only Ovechkin has more), and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Bissonette’s Twitter popularity has sparked the creation of his own apparel company: Biznasty.

Paul Bissonnette
With that said, it’s hard not to credit these guys for stepping outside the box and providing their fans with an experience never before available in professional sports. It’s also pretty amazing that it provides these players with the opportunity to promote themselves and perhaps benefit in more ways than one. So where do the brands fit in?

Ladies and gentlemen, Twitter has changed the game.

Which athletes are you following? Who did we miss on our list? Tell us in the comments.

– Justin Koifman

NKPR asks: Do You Still Use Google+?

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Pulpit rock

For this week’s IT List we’re giving you the chance to talk. After coming across an article warning “Ignore Google+ at Your Own Peril,” we asked Twitter what they thought of the social network.

The online behemoth’s answer to Facebook and Twitter seemed so promising at first – it came right at a time of social media fatigue, when we were sick of Facebook’s constantly changing timelines. It promised to be the be-all-and-end-all of social networks. After bragging about Google+ invites and testing the waters, we all sat back and waited for it to catch on.

So what happened? Well, nothing really. It’s the first thing you notice when you log into your Google+ account. All there is is a blog post from early October and the proverbial tumbleweed tumbling by.

Still, Rebecca Davis, who penned the above article says that even in its early stages, Google+ can be a valuable resource for PR and marketing pros. The main argument here is that we shouldn’t sell Google+ short simply because it didn’t immediately become the new Facebook.

Another interesting point is that the +1 button could change the way we take information in online. According to Davis, “+1’s effect on search results may change user behaviors we’ve been seeing for nearly a decade.  Transparently, users see that a friend has found a link valuable and are more likely to click on it; behind the scenes, Google may add this layer to the relevance of search results and shift the very content of search results. Seismic shifts are possible.”

These “seismic shifts” haven’t happened yet and it’s doubtful they’ll happen any time soon. For the time being, Google+ isn’t the Facebook replacement we all thought it would be and remains a social media ghost town.

Here’s what you had to say: What happened to Google+? Do you still use it?

@natashankpr Perhaps b/c Google+ was “invite-only” at first it never caught enough steam? Being too exclusive is never good!

@natashankpr I couldn’t bring myself to bother when G+ first came out, could your blog post include whether it’s worth bothering now?

@natashankpr I’m curious too! People were going crazy about it at the beginning. It just kinda fizzled out

No… But people are still joining my circles. RT @natashankpr: I’m curious, whatever happened to Google+? Does anyone still use it?

@natashankpr I love using it for for video hangouts! Other than that…It’s pointless to me. The hype and excitement of it died away!

@natashankpr I signed up… and have never used it since. I don’t think it can compete with FB & Twitter!

@natashankpr I’ve got an account myself but it’s pretty stagnant. Definitely not the Facebook killer we thought it would be.

@natashankpr not really.. but it is good for google ranking. When they introduce the option for company pages, more people will use it

@natashankpr I don’t use it as much but enjoy using Google Hangouts for collaboration.

@natashankpr No. I keep forgetting about it.

@ellistuhler Don’t really care, which probably says it all.

@ellistuhler  I couldn’t remember the name of it the other day. I kept asking people what the Google Facebook was called.


-Elli Stuhler (@ellistuhler)


Tech Talk: Google Image Search

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POSTED BY: Andre Morgan

It used to be that entering text in Google was the only way to search the web, but Google’s search has evolved.

Now you can drag and drop any image in the image search box. You can also search by uploading an image, copying and pasting an image URL, or using the Google Chrome extension to begin searching an image.

The image search result will yield a preview image of where it may exist on the web, as well as similar or related images. Find images on the web you’re curious about: identify faces, find products, destinations, art, and landmarks. Additional features include filtering by size, type, colour and date.

How does it work? A text-based Google search uses an algorithm to find the web pages that are relevant to your search query. Now the image search uses vision techniques to match your image as accurately as possible. A text description follows as a result of image match.

Who should use it? The best thing about the tool is that it adds an additional dimension to search. Artists, photographers and designers can now protect their work by identifying where it’s used on the web. Brands, marketers and PR professionals can search where on the web product images are being distributed and reused around the world – a great way to find product reviews, blog posts and media coverage that may not be captured by traditional PR monitoring tools.

What should brands learn from this? Auditing and strategizing your web content is not an uncommon practice. Content must be kept organized and relevant to your brand. For instance, an incorrect product image can be misleading for customers and reflects poorly on the brand’s customer management. While web graphics are enticing, a crowded image won’t be properly indexed by Google images.

Brand webpages should also implement clear and accurate product images on their website to improve their search engine optimization. Google analyzes several factors about webpages such as descriptions, captions, Alt text and other contextual information.

Get started by visiting, and look for this implemented seamlessly within Google’s default landing page.

– André Morgan

5 Minutes With: Laurel Thomson, essie Canada

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There’s never a dull day at the NKPR office, especially when the place is transformed for the many media events we host. On Wednesday October 26, the boardroom was turned into a splashy nail polish party, celebrating 30 years of essie nail polish and the launch of three new collections. We chatted with Laurel Thomson of essie Canada about the new Luxe Effects collection.

essie Canada expert, Laurel Thomson (centre) at the Luxe Effects launch
Laurel Thomson (centre) at the Luxe Effects launch event, with essie enthusiasts Karen Kwan (@healthswellness), Afiya Francisco (@thestylehouse) and Katherine Holland (@kittyholland).

What are the new lines we’re celebrating and what’s the inspiration behind them?
“We’re here to introduce Luxe Effects glitter topcoats, a fun and easy way to punch up manicures, as well as the Resort and Spring collections. Resort is a line inspired by the jet set for travelling women. The Spring line is inspired by the economic downturn – Spring to invest in! Feel good in hard times!”

What do they remind you of?
“It reminds me of candy! Bright poppy colours for the go-getter woman.”

What’s your favourite new shade?
“Navigate Her!”

essie's spring shade Navigate Her
essie’s spring shade Navigate Her

Best way to avoid chipped nails?
“We’ve got topcoats for that! Good To Go and No Chips Ahead.”

Are there rules to nail polish?
“No!  I think now more than ever women are being creative with their nails. Different colours, textures. Nail art is exploding – it’s no frills colour experimentation and an easy and disposable way to express yourself.”

We want to know what shade is on your tips this season! Do you think the season should dictate the colour on your nails? To glitter or not to glitter? Tell us in the comments!

–Elli Stuhler

The IT List: October 27

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Close up


You know the grungy rock shops that sell Bob Marley lighters, flags and T-shirts ad nauseum? So do we, and evidently, so does the Marley family. House of Marley, their line of beverages and now headphones, tackles that and spreads the music legend’s message with a charitable slant.  [MacLean’s]

Bad habit: packing too many shoes. Worse habit: “Well, it’s a trip to Paris so yeah, I’ll be walking a lot, but I also want to look chic. I can totally walk all day in my strappy wedges. Really, I totally can.” No you can’t. Solution is on slide two. [The Globe and Mail]

We’ve promised and we’ve promised that we’d stop talking about IT Lounge and we subsequently broke this promise. So the promise is off. This week we re-lived IT with this cool video.  [T Dot TV]

An interview with Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila Cosmetics. Also, this is sure to become your new favourite blog.  [Into The Gloss]

If you’ve been putting off the split-end trim, the massage for your desk job-broken back or you just happen to really like facials – what are you waiting for? Beautylicious begins today! Check out for more info.

The IT List: October 20

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Sports! Athletes! History! Fila Flashback! [Fila Canada]

Not be as fun as sporty flashbacks, but still an issue: how to prevent back pain caused by sitting in an office chair all day. ObusForme has, well, got your back. Here’s how. [OHS Online]

Check out the La Société booth at the Food Network’s Delicious Food Show. The name is pretty much self-explanatory. [Delicious Food Show]

And from Food Shows to Sex Shows, visit We-Vibe at the Everything To Do With Sex Show! [Everything To Do With Sex Show]

The IT List: October 13

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Polly Shannon in the fila suite

Check out this super chic Fila Moto jacket, as modelled by the lovely Polly Shannon! Chatelaine is giving one away (along with a plethora of other covetables) with their best of Fall Giveaway. [Chatelaine] recently caught up with the once reigning King of New York mega clubs and granddaddy of the rave scene, Peter Gatien. []

essie’s fall nail polish collection was inspired by fine leather handbags and – guess what?! – they’re giving the whole collection to a lucky contest winner! For details: [essie Facebook]

Looking to fit yoga into your life? Yoga instructor Erin Moraghan gives the lowdown on how you can get off your laurels and into the yoga studio. [FIJI Water]

Speaking of yoga gurus, Trish Stratus is doing three radio shows tomorrow morning (what can we say, she’s flexible! Get it?!): 7 a.m. on Brady and Lang, 7:15 a.m. with 680 News and 8:30 a.m. on TSN with Mike Richards! Check out the radio stations’ respective websites for the clips if you miss(ed) it!

This, by the way, is a leopard-print diamond cuff by Classic Creations, which had just about every girl in the office swooning her face off. [NKPR Tumblr]

The IT List: October 6

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Last week we may have made a little promise that we’d henceforth stop talking about TIFF. We were doing a great job of sticking to this, until Crucial Pictures sent us this video. Consider it the grand encore!

NKPR “IT Lounge” from Crucial Pictures on Vimeo.

Treat your tresses! Jill Dunn of 29 Secrets demonstrates Goody’s Simple Styles trendy twist and bun spiral. Educational TV at its finest! [Marilyn Denis]

Beautylicious is like Christmas and birthdays combined for beauty buffs. [Lipstick Powder & Paint] Also, find out how you can win Beautylicious prizes!

Flare Magazine and essie nail polish join forces to create a limited edition nail polish to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness. Might we add, it’s the prettiest shade of pink we ever did see. [Modern Mix Vancouver]

Sun Media assembles must-have fall ensembles, featuring RW&CO‘s perfect black power suit in slide number five. [Toronto Sun]

Beautylicious is Back!

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Beautylicious is back!

With more than 60 salons and spas, the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood really is Toronto’s epicentre for all things that involve cucumber-covered eyes, scented massage oils and hair stylists with a waitlist.

That’s why the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area (BYBIA) is returning for its third annual Beautylicious, a prix-fixe assortment of beauty procedures at reduced cost. The promotion taps into the success of Toronto’s Summer and Winterlicious dining festivals – only instead of lunching options it’s a selection of hair, spa, skin, health and wellness procedures coming in $30, $50, $75 and $125 price increments.

Whether you’re a serious beauty junkie or you’ve just been putting off getting those split ends trimmed (for shame!), this is the perfect opportunity to snag a sweet deal and look pretty (and pretty good) afterward.

Beautylicious gets underway October 27 – but start booking your appointments now! Like Summer and Winterlicious, the slots are going to fill up fast!

The IT List: Sept. 29

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Stick your fingers in your ears and scream out loud or come to terms with it: it’s almost coat weather. Accepting this is the first stage to recovery. The second is a romantic cape like this one from RW&CO. [FASHION Magazine]

Notably approved: custom suits that cost the fraction of their designer counterparts are starting to give labels like Hugo Boss and Armani a run for their pocket squares. [Notable]

The post-TIFF Toronto-wide hangover has long since dissolved, but this hasn’t stopped a few from reveling TIFF’s end at La Société. [Compendium Daily] (Also, we hereby promise to stop talking about TIFF. It’s almost October, we know.)

Goody spin pins have gone from simply revolutionizing the way we do our hair to “can’t live without them” status. Also, essie’s fall collection is super cute. [Broken Heel Diaries]

The Toronto Sun takes on cluttered vanities with cosmetic inspirations that offer multiple beauty solutions in one. [Toronto Sun]

Again with the spin pins! A collar-clutching breakthrough in messy-bun technology that’s like 20 bobby pins in one. [Style Blog]