I was recently asked to speak at Columbia University to a class of graduate students in sports management who were looking for advice on breaking into the industry.
I have been lucky enough to work with Whistle Sports for the past three years, currently as our vice president of social media. When answering their questions, the main one I threw back at them was: What can you do with video?
More specifically, can you create video, market video or sell video? If you can do one of those three things—or, even better, more than one of those three things–there is going to be a role for you somewhere, especially within sports media.
With an increasing number of companies getting into the video content space and nearly every social media platform becoming a hub for a diversified range of native video, how can you work with video is a critical skill.
Can you create video?
The ability to edit video, particularly in a fast-paced environment, is incredibly valuable for sports media companies looking to keep pace with their competitors or the endless cycle of news spouted from all major sports. A range of talents are useful here, from animating real-time or a classic highlight into a transformational piece of content, to crafting a longer-form story for YouTube or an over-the-top platform.
Creating video is not limited to the edit bay. The ability to write scripts (being able to write is always a useful skill, no matter what profession or field you are in), lead a production and consistently brainstorm creative concepts is skill that is consistently in demand. Your overall value only increases if you have diversified skills in the video creation process. A producer who can edit his or her own videos is a tremendous asset for any organization.
Can you market video?
Not everybody is well-trained in Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, or has a desire to be involved in the creative process of a video’s formulation. Considering the time, money and energy put into an original piece of content, the ability to drive eyes, engagement and clicks to it is equally important.
This is where understanding the various distribution platforms–YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others–is useful. Do you know how to optimize content for each platform? Can you write engaging copy? Are you effective at social outreach, and can you cultivate a network of contacts who would be interested in sharing your company’s content?
A well-made piece of content that nobody sees is like the tree that falls in the forest that nobody hears. It may as well have never happened.
If you are a person who can drive millions of views, likes, comments and shares to a video, you will quickly become the production’s team best friend and regularly be able to find yourself employment.
Can you sell video?
The final step in the process–and arguably the most important one, since sports media companies are not charities–is selling video. This can come in a variety of formats, but ultimately, it comes down to crafting a story about the unique value that your content provides.
Brands are increasingly looking to partner with content providers, particularly ones that demonstrate an understanding of the current distribution ecosystem. The ability to pair a brand with a campaign that can organically create waves across the internet does not just provide value to the brand and your company–it shows your value as a revenue generator.
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Posted by Whistle Sports on Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Sports companies are no different than companies in any other field, if you can drive revenue, there is a place for you.
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