(Citrin Cooperman is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
In recent years, college and professional athletes have become empowered to tell their stories and build their personal brands on social media thanks content sharing tools. One such tool that many organizations with are having success with is INFLCR, which is now close to 100 partners.
In the latest episode of Shot Callers, FOS Editor Ian Thomas chat with INFLCR CEO Jim Cavale about storytelling in athletics and how his company has helped many athletes, teams, and leaders in sports tell their own stories.
Edited highlights appear below:
On the digital media space expanding heavily in recent years (0:22)
Cavale: “I think you’ve seen it explode in a lot of ways. Even down to the roles that exist with every team league and even media company right now that didn’t exist three or five years ago. Creative director, content creation roles just for specific teams at all levels…People don’t follow brands on social to the degree that they follow people…Athletes are people that people out in the world want to get in on the background of their life and understand who they are and what they’re about and keep up with. But athletes aren’t content creators…So to be in the middle of all that and empower athletes in real time with an automated gallery of content that they can use and share to tell their story on social is really why we exist and what we’re so passionate about.”
On how brands can authentically engage with fans via athletes (01:55)
Cavale: “It’s tricky and it hasn’t been figured out yet. At least that’s, that’s my opinion…. I saw one of our athlete users who went from the college level..and just got drafted in the NFL Draft do a really the first big advertising post I’ve seen him do with Old Spice. To see that and see all the reactions, mainly from teammates and former teammates, kind of laughing at him and see how it’s still not working like the brands would want it to on social because we’re on social for real authentic posts and when we start to feel like we’re being sold to, we change the dynamic of how our eyes and brain are viewing a feed. So I think brands are going to continue to get more organically involved with athletes.”
Tenants of good engagement on the team/property side (3:53)
Cavale: “You gotta be able to talk about your losses, not just your wins. Teams who only post and create content for their athletes around wins, 60% of their season isn’t going to be documented. People want the whole story. They want the rising action, the falling action, the conflict, fans want all of it. And so I think it starts with the team having that mentality…if you can apply literature, which seems so basic and even trivial, but apply that to sports…have that formula, people will engage your team and your athletes.”
On athletes wanting to own their platforms and tell their own stories (6:26)
Cavale: “If we took over their social and the team or some officials took over their social and actually did what many agents now do for pro athletes, the younger athlete is not as willing to give up their social. The 25-year old athlete is more likely to get a marketing agent to post for them than a 20-year old athlete. Only a five year difference. But because of the basic native aspect that them growing up with social versus more of an immigrant aspect for the 25-year old who started using social in their teens is very different.”