Shot Callers: TJ Adeshola, Head of U.S Sports, Twitter

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Twitter continues to be the platform where live sports discussion lives. As a result, the platform remains a very important place for the company’s partners to reach sports fans as well as listen in on what the important subjects of discussion are amongst sports fans.

FOS Editor Ian Thomas chats with Twitter’s TJ Adeshola about the brand’s sports partnerships strategy and the platform’s continual importance in the sports space.

Edited highlights appear below:

On Twitter embracing the conversation surrounding women’s sports (1:32)

Adeshola: “We realize that women’s sports have a hyper-engaged audience, particularly on Twitter, but oftentimes the content is underserved and under distributed. So we really leaned into our partners at the WNBA, at the National Women’s Hockey League, at Fox Sports with the Women’s World Cup too, to really amplify this platform and make sure that if you’re a women’s sports fan, which is not a monolith, that you have access to that content, particularly on Twitter. That brings in some social issues on top of the sports issues when it comes to women’s sports on a platform like Twitter where conversation can go all over the place…That’s the beauty of Twitter, right? You get to see every side of the conversation.”

On working alongside Fox Sports this summer to amplify the world cup (2:34)

Adeshola: “We realize everybody can’t make it there. So for us the objective is to work with Fox Sports or the rights holder in that particular instance to create that experience on Twitter. As a result, every single goal that ‘s scored in the women’s World Cup will be published on Twitter in real time. So if you are a fan of the property, you don’t have to miss any goal. Additionally, we have a live show that Fox is producing, it is kickass, and it is occurring right in front of the Eiffel Tower. So it really makes you feel like you’re in Paris for the games. That’s really our objective. You can’t make it and can’t get that flight out to France? We will give you a taste of the women’s World Cup in your timelines each and every single day.”

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On the keys to building strong partnerships (3:38)

Adeshola: “They do look to develop deeper engagement with fans of whatever they are through Twitter and through services that you guys have… I think if you’re to build a true partnership in every meeting of the word, you have to, you have to understand what their objectives are. You have to understand what their needs are and you have to have an aligned goal or aligned goals. So our first thing is we sit down and we say, what are you looking to achieve?”

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On what partnerships are in store for Twitter later this year (7:41)
Adeshola: “We’re really leaned into this idea of being the global virtual sports bar. From the comfort of your own couch or home that you can sit and consume a live game with hundreds of thousands of friends across the globe…So we’re going to continue to fuel that bar. We’re going to continue to make sure there’s top-shelf inventory in that bar. So the back half of the year where we’re having some really cool conversations with the NFL around what our live content will look like this year. I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but I’m really excited about what we’ve got in store for our NFL and The Checkdown property of those guys this fall. We’re already talking about Olympics 2020. With Adidas, we’ve got a really cool women’s sports high school initiative that we’re going to continue to roll up our sleeves on and dig deep in.”