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The City Journals

Jazz Broadcaster, in Own Extended 'Moment,' Expresses Uncertainty

Sep 28, 2015 05:05PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

David Locke addresses the SLC|SEM audience September in South Jordan. The radio voice of the Utah Jazz offered insights about social media and even the team. Photo courtesy Rachel Peters

By Rhett Wilkinson

In an event about exchanges of information, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz was a “fish out of water.”

“I was terrified,” David Locke said. “I don’t do this.”

Locke was joined by leaders in the search engine marketing industry – TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden, Bing’s Duane Forrester and Moz’s Cyrus Shepard – as keynoters at SLC|SEM's first event, in South Jordan. Shepard was a hit; Odden himself tweeted that Shepard’s presentation was standing room-only. And Locke noted that he learned from the director of the leading search engine optimization company.

“These people know what they’re doing,” Locke told the South Jordan Journal. “I don’t know if they learned a single thing from me.” He also started his presentation by saying that he had never given a PowerPoint presentation and, let alone, wasn’t a digital marketer.

Yet, David Malmborg, a co-organizer, tweeted that SLC|SEM is a “smarter group” after listening to Locke. Other organizers included A.J. Wilcox.

In his presentation “Extending the Moment,” Locke offered a variety of off-the-court insights – and a few on – about how he has built a name and audience through social media and more.

After giving away two Jazz tickets, Locke described how until Twitter was created, a journalist did six hours of research and talked about during 10 percent of the time of a game. Now, 60 to 70 percent is used throughout the day, Locke said. He added that it’s beneficial for him because he will be thought of even if a person is watching the game on TV if they already saw the promoted content.

Locke has also gained a penchant for behind-the-scenes videos. They have been about Jazz’s practices, rookie hazings, wannabe players and more. He cited a map of listeners from countries throughout the world to his podcast; one email was sent from Kazakhstan.

One of Locke’s four pointers was “stay in your lane.” He said that social media users with a particular brand should do just that. But while doing so, he offered a non-basketball comment.

“I have thoughts on Hillary and Trump,” he said to chuckles.

Locke loves his work – it’s why he can do it 24/7/365 and not just for 82 games. He even took out an ad in the Sporting News at 23 years old to offer predictions, he said. But a major reason why he hustles so much on social media was because he is following a legend in “Hot Rod” Hundley. No one has lasted more than 10 years with an organization after following a broadcasting legend, Locke said. Locke has called Jazz games for six-plus years.

A question in the 50-minute session – Locke promised 10, an organizer said – was about the team’s loss of Dante Exum this season due to injury. Locke’s response: it’s more concerning that the Jazz last season shot 17 percent in the final minute of games; that Rodney Hood may not be able to handle full minutes following injury; and whether Rudy Gobert’s rise continues.

“When we make the playoffs this year, those three (will) make more of a difference,” Locke said. “This year, losing Dante is not as big of a deal.”

SLC|SEM is a digital marketing organization whose first event was the Locke-keynoted function. A Twitter round-up can be found here.