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Over the better part of the last decade, the NBA has become famous for two things in particular: social content and an entertaining free agency period. The LA Clippers are taking advantage of both with Director of Social Media Alessandro Gasparro.
Gasparro is a graduate of the University of Michigan with experience at a number of of the countries top teams and agencies. He recently joined the Los Angeles Clippers in August of 2018 after three years with Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) in New York.
Gasparro joins Shahbaz Khan and Amara Baptist on today’s episode to discuss his career in digital, strategy after an exciting offseason/free agency period, and his advice for aspiring professionals.
Edited highlights appear below:
On the differences between running social for an NBA team and an agency (12:04)
Gasparro: “When I was with the Sixers, I was 24 years old and I didn’t really have that much of a strategic lens on things. But in the NBA, especially in season, it’s just like go, go, go all the time…But you don’t really get a chance to really take a step back too often in season and kind of think about your approach really deeply and think about the different things you can be doing and things you can be learning from your approach in real time. Endeavor really gave me an opportunity to kind of develop that, my voice in that, in that sense, in my point of view, in that sense.”
On best practices for sponsored content (23:52)
Gasparro: “It is a very fine line and we want to be extremely strategic about the sponsor content that we produce and that we spend time on. We’re baked into a lot of existing deals, so there’s a lot of things that we just have to execute against. But even within those, how do we frame these in the best possible way for our audience and make sure that this stuff resonates with them? It all starts with a sponsor’s goals. Some sponsors just want exposure and And social is a great way to do that. Some sponsors don’t totally know what they want yet and they just know they want social, which is kind of funny. Then others want maybe more specific things like lead generation or other objectives that are more refined and detailed. Knowing the objective really helps us frame what our recommendation might be.”
Social on the Sidelines is Presented to You By:
On goals for the upcoming season (32:37)
Gasparro: “I think as always continuing to trend upward from an engagement standpoint is really important. We’re focusing a lot on growing our audience now that we’ve kind of re-engaged our core audience knowing that we have a much bigger stage. Last year we had three national TV games. This year we have 26, for example. We think we’ll have a lot of opportunity to significantly grow our fan base more than we have really in the past. I look at Instagram for example, we grew a few hundred thousand [followers] over the course of a season, but 25% of that came in July alone in signing Kawhi [Leonard]. We see a really big opportunity there.
Advice for aspiring young social media professionals (38:09)
Gasparro: “Knowing what you’re signing up for is really important, especially in social, right? We work very long hours and we don’t have a ton of time off. So you really got to care and be motivated. Obviously we try really hard to make sure that our team has the time off that it needs. But in season, we’re working every night, we’re working long hours, and I think sometimes people who come to it from the outside don’t quite realize that’s what they’re signing up for.”
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