Rafi Kohan is the acclaimed author of THE ARENA. One review explained The Arena “explores unexpected corners and hidden corridors of our most frequented fields, he discovers just what makes them tick―and what keeps us coming back time and time again.” Which of course includes halftime shows, mascot and game presentation. Rafi dug in and embedded with game operations insiders to learn the business in a really unique way.
So when Rafi Kohan launched his new book Trash Talk, I knew I had to have him back on the podcast.
Rafi was my guest for the September 2017 Podcast. It was a great conversation and he is back to talk about his new book Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn’t Total Garbage.
On its face it may not seem like Game Operations fare, but in addition to be in great funny and engaging read…it has some clear ties to game presentation and sports marketing.
Do you like books but hate all that dang reading? Here's a book trailer for my new book, TRASH TALK! Best of both worlds. pic.twitter.com/2TOVzuWsP7— Rafi Kohan (@rafi_kohan) November 14, 2023
Not only is the book insightful, it clearly took my trash talking game to new heights. I used just the tiniest amount of trash talk in my Amazon.com review of the book…and my my review was BANNED! Ha!
Thanks for listening and sharing the podcast.
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- Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn’t Total Garbage – Whether in basketball, football, or MMA, athletes talk trash to each other—and sometimes to fans—like it’s their job. And in some ways, it is: sports only matter if we decide to care about them. And insulting your opponent, or playing the heel, is probably the fastest route to making someone care. Talking smack is as old as the bible; it’s perhaps the original sport. But until now, there’s never been a book about it.
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The Party in the Back Podcast: If Sports Marketing was a mullet hairdo this podcast covers ‘The Party in the Back‘. We’ll let someone else do the data, analytics, spreadsheets and budgets… We’re talking about the FUN: In-game contests, theme nights, mascots, dancers, social media, atmosphere and giveaways. Join us at the Party in the Back for our monthly discussion with industry leaders on the fun side of Sports Marketing.
Time Codes (coming soon)
Jon enthusiastically welcomed Rafi to discuss his books The Arena and Trash Talk. Rafi’s books provide unique insights into sports operations and the nuanced psychology of trash talk through his extensive research and interviews.
Rafi explained how trash talk can increase competition stakes and invest audiences by creating storylines and rivalries. When leveraged strategically with an understanding of human psychology, trash talk is a powerful marketing tool to engage fans and motivate athletes.
Rafi delved into the cognitive science behind how trash talk works on both an individual and group level. Effective trash talk primes the mind and raises anxiety, which can enhance or hinder performance depending on each person’s optimal functioning zone.
Trash Talking Sports Promotions @ 19:30
How in-game promotions can use trash talk to stoke the passions of fans, and how that can effect players (both in good and bad ways).
Jon and Rafi discussed how teams and players strategically use trash talk to focus their crowd’s attention.
How Players May NEED Trash Talk @ 40:00
Coordinating marketing and coaching optimizes trash talk’s competitive advantages, plus how some players NEED trash talk to gain their competitive edge. Plus a look at how Trash Talking and the NBA’s In-Season Tournament are similar.