Running Social for the College Football Playoff with Katie Cavender
Assistant Director of Communications at the College Football Playoff, Katie Cavender, joined the Business of Social to speak about running all things social for the CFP and what goes into the social strategy for a major sporting event.
She discusses all of the excitement that comes with managing a "Super Bowl" type event, the shift from prepping for an entire season to a one month window and how great it is to see so many women running social in the sports industry.
Katie gives her advice of all of the apps and platforms she relies on day-to-day, the importance of having a fluid relationship with partners and overall insight into the industry.
Here are the highlights:
[15:20]: Do Brands Understand Who Their Consumer Is?
Katie: "I have always been a firm believer that it's important for me as a 30-something that is focused in this area to make sure that I also have around me and on my team folks that speak the language so that I'm not making references from the 80s and 90s”
David: “You need those Cardi B references”
Katie: “Right! Cardi B references, absolutely. So it's important to have that involvement and we've been really fortunate to become such a brand that is reckoned with, that we’re able to hand the keys to the Ferrari to some up and comers, and provide experience for kids to put on their resume”
All right. She is the assistant director of communications and oversees all the digital and social media at the College Football playoff. Katie Cavender joins us on the business social. Katie, how are we doing?
Doing Great. Thanks for having me on with you today, David.
Of course. I always kicked things off with a random question. So it looks like you've lived in Nevada, California, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Texas. What, uh, what is the best state and why?
Oh Gosh, that is hard. That is so hard. So, um, you know, of course I was born and raised in, um, a small town that was actually deemed there was an author in the 90s that wrote a book about my small team, about, um, the best small towns in America. And he named my hometown, uh, Elko, Nevada. Shout out to everyone in Elko. Um, the best small town in America. It was number one. And then there was actually a segment on Oprah back in the nineties about it. So, um, I guess I'm gonna have to say my hometown of course. But, um, I've been really fortunate to live in a lot of really great places, um, all across the west and made the move the furthest East and the furthest south I've ever lived. When I moved here to Texas first
you've experienced opposite climates too from like Nevada, which I'm sure it gets to 119 to Colorado. That gets to negative 19. Yeah,
I don't say my hometown is kind of like Colorado. It's in that high desert. So right now, uh, I actually got a text from my, my grandma earlier this week and they've got, you know, Snow storms and ice and all sorts of craziness. And, uh, it was, it was 15 degrees there, um, earlier this weekend it was 82 here in Dallas. So, uh, getting, getting used to the February weather is totally different than the last 11 years I lived in Colorado. And then all the other places I've lived too. It's been crazy
adjust it too. And I'm born and raised in California, so anything, there's 60, I have a winter Patagonia jacket on, it seems like. Um, all right, well cool stuff. So Katie, if you could kind of break down maybe your role and what you oversee day to day at College Football playoff, that would be, that'd be awesome.
Yeah. So I started here in August of last year. Sure. Um, and kind of hit the ground running with, you know, baptism by fire, drinking out of that fire hose. We have an external relations and branding team that I'm a member of. There's um, two of us full time. Gina La. He is my boss and oversees the department. And then I, um, work for her and we kind of handled the, um, communications, media operations, public relations, um, role. And then we also were lucky enough we've got an intern, um, and, and Megan board, Dale was our intern this year and she, similar to me is her background is in digital and social and, um, so that between the two of us, we, um, develop the strategy and the implementation for all things digital, social on CFPs website, MOLAP. Um, and then our social media presence of course as well, um, throughout the year. And that, that spans from, um, you know, the beginning of the football season through the selection committee rankings process on through, um, the national championship games. So, uh, it's always changing in different but, but really exciting stuff that,
so essentially you guys work out of the Alabama and Clemson office. It sounds like,
you know, we, we, we worked there, there have been some mainstays that, that have made lots of appearances, but we've been really fortunate. I think this was the first year, um, given the background that I've got and that Megan has, um, that we worked closely with all four semi-finals teams throughout there, um, making it to the top four on selection day all through the process. So what was a real thrill to, of course work with, um, the great rate digital and social teams that Clemson, Bam, I have the Oklahoma and Notre Dame also will similarly have fantastic staff too that we're really privileged to work with. So,
um, I'll, I don't know if you followed it or not, but I want to get your take as you're a journalism Grad, like myself. Uh, this whole Kevin Durant's, it's a waste in not sure if you followed, but essentially he says that he blacked out the media for nine days. He doesn't want to answer any questions. They're not being fair to him. So he just wants to play basketball. Um, which as a journalism major, just to go on a random rant, I think a lot of these athletes don't understand at least the professional level how important that media is. And if you're, uh, if you're a company or a brand that you're begging media to come to your event. So when you're like the NBA or NFL, like I said, I'm not sure if you came across the Kevin Duran, the of war there, but would love to hear your thoughts on how the, how the journalism and media, what makes it go round.
Yeah. You know, it's a really interesting time. I feel like particularly for sports and media, um, and I think, I think the digital and [inaudible] social spaces kind of blurred those lines as well. Um, particularly on the MBA where so many guys are really becoming their own media outlet and con and controlling their story, that it's, it's difficult to maintain, um, a sense of perceived value of what the media bring to the table, but, um, protect it, particularly in the college football space. Um, you know, a lot of our demographic is still those traditional media consumers and so that's a huge void that we continue to need to fill. Um, that's not to say that, um, you know, prioritizing your own voice and your own channels, um, and kind of owning your own is important too. But I think that there's a balance that needs to be struck there. Um, and so I think it's a really interesting time for the industry at large and instances like this. Um, I think only only further push us to, to some sort of breaking point and I'm not, I'm not totally certain what that brand to do. Yeah.
Then I think the NBA is interesting because you look at the entire summer, the Lebron drama just dominated sports in general. And then, you know, the NBA dominated Superbowl week. I mean, it was Anthony Davis rumors and it was Chris Stop Porzingis. And I think Adam silver has to love that if you're dominated Superbowl week, however, um, the whole narrative becomes, you know, where's the Guy gonna move next and are people gonna switch teams and is that great watercolor talk or is it kind of getting away from the bread and butter of the sports? So yeah, I totally, totally agree with.
Yeah, and I think it's interesting too, just just like the rights deals that are tied up with all of the leagues and, and, and how the value of that plays and then compare that to viewership numbers. I mean, you, you spoke about the super bowl, um, and, and it appeared at least from reports that, that some of those, those viewership numbers were down compared to your past. Um, you know, how does, how does that play a role in all of this too?
Yup. 100% 2020 will be Anderson a year for a lot of these sports rights. Um, I want to get into any college football playoff as a whole. I think this is something that all sports fans were dying for a handful of years ago. And as we all know, it used to be the AP champion sip our champion to come, uh, maybe different than the coaches pole champion. And there was a lot of kind of drama in it was at the really best team in the country. Um, how have you felt that this new era of the College Football playoff has gone? And do you think it's really answered all those questions that were there a decade ago?
Yeah. You know, I feel like we've come a long way in college football this year, this last jack left last month, I guess we're gonna figure out what month it is and what year it is. Um, the 2019 national championship was the fifth edition of it. It feels like it's kind of been part of the fabric for longer than that. Yeah. Um, but I feel like it's common awful long way in the five years. Um, and, and we're really fortunate that the college will play off in particular, um, has come a really strong brand in, um, those five years as well. So it, it feels like a mainstay fixture, um, within the space. Um, and, and really speaks to, um, the trajectory of where the sport was headed. Um, I, I'm really excited for for the year moving forward. This, this season, um, is the a hundred 50th anniversary of college football. Um, and so I think that that, that having the playoff woven into that story is something that's, um, pretty special to us. Um, and, and the future looks super bright where I'm super, super privileged, uh, to be a part of, of the administration,
you know, cause of all a history better than I do. Uh, before five years ago for the last 146 years or 44 years, was it always just a ranking at the end of the season that crown the champion?
Um, I believe so. I, Gosh, I, I, I don't know if I'm a pro at college football history. Gosh, I wish I was. Um, but yeah, I, I believe that, that, that had traditionally been the case. So, um, I think folks are really excited about how things are going and you know, having a 13 member selection committee that, that really, um, focuses throughout the entire season. I, in my first couple of months year, I was really privileged to be a part of, um, the mock ranks, Nate rankings process that this college football playoff does. So similar to the MCA basketball committee, um, we host mock rankings, exercises for new committee members for national media, for ESPN talent. Student journalists are on down the list a couple of weeks worth of those mock exercises and into the sit in the actual seats that those selection committee members meet in, um, on a weekly basis. And to understand the level of detail that is examined in order to put those rankings together. Um, something that, that I think is, should, should be pulled everywhere, shouted from the rooftops. I think. I think that there's real, um, there's a real focus and a real, a, again, attention to detail on those specifics that, um, that speak to how important that selection committee as in the rankings processes in order to determine the top fourteens for the college football playoffs
close. Do you think we're getting, cause I think there was a lot of debate before the calls we'll all play off of who really deserve that number one spot. And maybe a mid-major like Boise state that was undefeated for a scene like five years there for awhile. Um, should have they have won or been number one over maybe a, an SEC team. Yeah. Are we 90% there? 95% there. Do you think the cost of a plant is kind of fixed most of those potential issues?
You know, I know that they, they continue to have dialogue and continued to examine what processes work on the management committee, which is comprised of all of the commissioners across, um, the FBS as well as the president at Notre Dame. Um, they're, they've got ongoing dialogue all the time and make sure that, that what's happening here. Yeah, the ratings process, no bias, there's no bias. There's, um, a real focus and I think that they are really committed to making sure that, um, the people in the seats on the selection committee also have a wide array of experience. So from former student athletes and coaches to current athletic directors, um, former media, things like that, um, really helps give a comprehensive vision and, and perspectives that help them weigh those decisions as they put those forth day in and day out.
And I know this isn't an official statement from the cost of all play out, but I just think as a fan, um, do you think four is good? Is Eight in the future? Like how, how much does that kind of continued to grow?
Yeah. You know, I, I don't know the answers to that. I, that's definitely above my pay grade on, on what, what the magic number is. Um, but I, I think, I think the system is working, um, and, and, and just interested to see on, on what the future is. Like. I, I love college football so much. As I mentioned before, it's, it's personal to me. And My, my younger brothers played college football. So it's something that, um, I've been born and raised on and us what I like to spend my time doing. So, um, any way that the sport can continue to be fostered and, and, and grow, I think there's a great, yeah.
Yeah. I mean I think, you know, I think everybody would love to see even like 16 teams, but then you get into the extra games and the, you know, football's a lot different than basketball where you have to take rest and you don't really want attack an attack on additional six games there to an already full schedule. So it's definitely a, a debate. I want to get into social, specifically a at the CFP. How do you, how do you personally approach social? What's kind of your core belief on how to attack tech strategy there?
Yeah, so we um, it comes from a different couple of different angles, um, and it kind of shifts as the year goes on. So we spend a lot of time, um, using our channels to, to educate folks on process and, um, on events and, and, and information based staffed. And then when we get to a selection day, once those final set of rankings come out, it turns from an education process, um, more to a promotions and, and dialogue and Kinda camaraderie process. Um, which is really exciting for us. Um, like I said before, um, Megan Bordeaux, our intern this year, um, she came from up to us from Oklahoma state and she had spent a lot of time there, um, handling various social channels for that athletic department. So between her experience of mine, you were really able to find a voice and, and focus this year on, um, elevating the content we were putting out.
Um, so she and I put together a roster of about 15, um, either recent grads or, or rising graduates, um, across the country that are, that are really all star content creators from video and, um, graphics, motion design, things of that nature, um, to really elevate the digital and social presence of the CFP. Um, since it hadn't been given that level of dedication that in the past it was something that we were challenged with when we both joined the team. And I think that we really did a great job there. And then the other component, um, that I'm super grateful for and I cannot speak highly enough about our other partners that we have, um, not only at ESPN but also directly with Twitter and with Facebook and Instagram. I was really fortunate in my time at the mountain west to develop some relationships with the David Carmen's the will, x lines, my boys and you know, Yoda and all of those great guys.
Um, and, and to be able to take those relationships and then apply them now at the CFP and, and expand upon those and really make an impact there. Um, when it comes to national championship week, those guys all become an extension of the college football playoff. Um, and there there's no way that we could make the splash that we could make without those guys. I, I really appreciate all that they do on our behalf. And, um, there was a report that tag work put out, um, a couple of weeks ago as it related to, um, the, the recap how national championship week went for us. And, um, it sounded like from all of our fan facing events and then through the national championship game, we had over 9.3 billion impressions, which billion with a B, um, coming from a place of the mountain west where, you know, we, we looked at digital and social as a great equalizer. For us it seemed like a cost effective way to control that narrative and dialogue. Um, but to be able to apply that experience and those skills that I gained from that into something that at the scale and scope that, um, really grabs the attention of the country. The, you know, the first Monday of, of January is something that I'm pretty proud of and, and really grateful for those great partners that we have to, to be able to get that off the ground.
So how big is the t like the full time team currently when it comes to the marketing? Social at CF?
Yeah. So we, um, our external relations branding team, there's two of us full time and then our intern is, it's a year long internship. Um, so three total there. And then we work closely. Um, we have a marketing and strategic partnerships team that are three full time and another intern that that focus on. Um, sponsorship sales and activation, um, the film and things of that nature. Um, and then special guests as well. Um, we work closely with them as it relates to, to sponsor close and Blob. Would love to.
Yeah. I'd love to get granular with you cause it sounds like you touched on a couple of nuggets. There were, um, you know, you guys have somewhat limited resources. You don't have it as team of 27 on social. Yeah. It looks like you've been at a tap in, I mean Clemson's done a great job for years now. They're not paying videographers $90,000 to do amazing work. They're tapping into students and people that kind of come up through the program. Have you found any, um, I guess pieces of advice for people out there that maybe have a smaller team and how you kind of build that foundation maybe with other freelancers or Grad assistants and how you've kind of been able to attack that?
Yeah, so, um, like I said, we are really fortunate that we've got a really great internship program here at the College Football playoff. We've got six full time interns, um, that started in August and I believe their internships wrap up at the end of April. Um, and so those are, those are kids coming straight out of Undergrad or are straight out of graduate school that are, that are really committed to their various areas of focus. Um, I have always been a firm believer that it's important for, um, for me as a 30 something that, that is focused in this area to make sure that I also have around me and on my team folks that speak the language so that I'm not, you know, making references from the eighties and nineties that those Cardi B references. Right. Hardy B references. Absolutely. I wish I knew the old Kurt noise, get that, that one CFP, it's very brand centric.
I like. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, so, so it's important I think to have had that involvement. Um, and we've been really fortunate here at least in the first six months that I've been here on staff that we've become such a brand that that is reckoned with that um, being to, um, provide opportunities and the keys to the Ferrari really, um, to some s tourism up and comers to help expand our team in a way, um, that has maybe not a full time role but, but at least my experience that, that folks can put their hat on and, and they can put on their resume, um, has been really beneficial for us. Like I said, we, our next world champion, we've, we had a team of about 15 folks that either they were, um, graduating this year or had just graduated, um, from all across the country. There were, we had folks from Florida and Nebraska and Missouri and all over the place that, that really helped us capture, um, content throughout the week and gave them our opportunity. And some credentials to something that was pretty cool and that they can, they can use as a mechanism for them as well to market themselves as they become, you know, content creators that are full time in the space. I am a huge firm believer based on the experience I've had in paying it forward and providing opportunity for folks. And if you can grow your portfolio on your resume, um, this, this business is way too people centric not to do that, to continue to provide opportunities to folks.
While I get your thoughts, because do you consider your, you yourself almost like an event? I mean it's similar to like the Emmy's I think, you know, we at STM work a lot on award shows and about two months out it starts to get pretty crazy the week of the show you don't sleep. Yep. And then of course the day of the show, it's 28 people like you've mentioned and people aren't working 24 hours in a row. Is that Kinda how the costs of all playoff works or is there a lot more in a 12 month calendar that goes into it?
So I would say, um, well when Glen, can you take a vacation as a question? Oh, that's a good point. So we, um, I would say this, the late winter spring ish and lightens up a little, but I will say there are things always going on here at CFP. So, um, you're totally right. It's very similar, like your Emmy's experience in almost like wedding planning or something where you're working or working on working on one big event and then, um, you know, there's a three hour
makes it pretty stressful cause you have like that one opportunity to yeah, exactly. One side.
Yeah. I wore that. And that's different from when I worked at the conference office where we had, you know, all 13 games every given Saturday. Um, so we had multiple opportunities to work on stuff.
Baseball, you have 162 opportunities to try it. Yeah. Learn, learn things and ab test and yeah.
Yeah. So, so, so there's that component of it, but we're always also, um, working on the next. So we're already now still, um, you know, next week we've got a site visit to next year's national championship site and in New Orleans and, and working, working national championships out. But then the other component of it and a whole other arm of our operation is that selection competing committee piece. Um, so I'm making sure that all of those processes are, are fine tune and it almost feels like that's an off the pull rankings process is another event in itself. Um, so, so there's always something that, yeah, it's interesting. Um, you know, I thought it before I joined and I've had people ask me since I joined the staff here, um, you know what, okay, Jan, what do you do all year [inaudible] of here? It seems like it, it seems like football's always front of mind, but it's super fun that to be able to focus all of my attention on football as well.
Is the, uh, is the site going to be LSU or were they playing?
Uh, it's actually at the Superdome in New Orleans this year. Yeah.
Nice. I'll have to hit you up for credential. Wow. I should be fine. Yeah. Um, what's, uh, so I guess the student athletes staying is always an interesting, um, topic when it comes to college football and sponsorships and branded content. Um, how do you guys navigate that and have you guys been able to attach sponsorship to like the overall brands rather than maybe relying on the players in the game or the sure. The different teams.
Yeah. So we, um, we, that that's part of that goes back a little bit. So when you asked about strategy and how we focus on things, we typically, um, take the approach not to focus on much anything at all student athlete or coach specific, particularly during the rankings process. Um, for some words if you could, you can't play favorites. Yeah. Yeah. That, and then also, um, to, to further emphasize the point that the selection committee makes decisions on their own. And none of, none of what we're putting on social is to inflict anything on, on what they're weighing. Um, so, so, so it comes from a couple of different angles that way. Um, we still though, when it comes time to when selection day happens and we're able to, to promote the teams that are at the playing in the playoff semi-finals, um, we typically have that all be organic content and then work with, um, our strategic partnerships folks on anything that's sponsored to be more, more events specific stuff.
So, um, for instance, we have a concert series that's basically like a three day music festival each year, the national championship that's a team t playoff playlist, live with that als talent that comes, um, and performs, um, free concerts in the area, which is really, really super awesome, um, as a free event of spoke. So it's, it's working through those sorts of sponsorship things and maybe it's not football specific, but, um, something related to one of the talents that that is performing at one of those events, things of that nature. Um, so it's a lot more event specific there as opposed to sponsorships for us.
So, um, you know, I know on Twitter a lot use, you speak about being a woman and working in sports and you know, we've talked about that topic a lot. Like Samantha would at the Eagles and Janet, the bears, I think at the NFL now, over 50% of the directors of digital or social are women now, which is awesome, but would love to just get your take on how you've seen the industry maybe back from your time at Boise and mountain west and kind of how I, um, how it's kind of evolved from,
yeah, it's, um, it's been really a blessing for me, particularly Joining College Football playoff. Um, we have a huge contingent of females here on staff. Um, that has been, it's been the, the highest, I guess, proportion of female to male coworkers, um, that I've had in my career so far. Um, so, uh, our chief operating officer's female, she started the same day I did. And then we've got several, um, senior and middle managers here, um, that are also female as well. And I think, I think that it's been, um, really fortunate in my career, um, that the, I haven't ever seen seen much gender bias as it relates to, um, being an administrator in athletics, which, which I'm proud to say, I'm kind of shocked that I can say it, but I'm really grateful for that too. If anything, I think, um, from my experiences there's been a little more, um, ageism, particularly when it relates to digital on social, like making sure to um, to that, that, that sometimes age and experience are, are totally correlated. Um, and, and when you're trying to, um, demonstrate value for, for digital and social in an athletic space. Um, I've, I've seen a lot more of that than I have, um, gender issue stuff. But like, again, I'm really, really fortunate to work with a lot of great women and great men here too, who support, um, women in this space as well.
And I think, I mean, just, you know, being a decent human, it's like hire the person that's best for the job regardless of anything when it comes to all that. But I think, you know, we're starting to make a lot of strides also. It seems like we have a long way to go, but like Doris Burke as a play by play announcer and Becky Hammon as the first coach and we have a female referee now. So hopefully as we sit here 25, 20 years, hopefully sooner. But you know, we start to see maybe there's 13 women coaches in the NBA and, and stuff like that starts to become just normal rather than [inaudible].
Right. Absolutely. And, and, and that's something that even at the mountain west we cherished as well. You know, we, um, in terms of of, uh, females that were alum of the mountain west, um, you know, we hung our hat a lot on Becky Hammon doing what she's doing with the Spurs. Um, Jenny Kamara, who, who used to do the sidelines for the Padres. Now I know Jenny. Yes, she's, she does talent, uh, for 18 t sports network and the Rockies. And she was one of the first to do, um, play by play on a live broadcast of a baseball game on television. So, um, it's been really fortunate, um, in my career to work with a lot of great women. Um, or whether professional or, yeah, all edge.
I worked at Zinnia as a, as a intern at Fox sports radio in 2007 and eight soon as the only female in the locker room. What the chargers at now. That saints quite a bit in the NFL, which is awesome. Um, I want to get a little bit of rapid fire as we kind of close out of here. Um, what is the one social or marketing tool that you couldn't live without?
Oh my goodness. Um, I am a big, big, big proponent of tweetdeck. I love it. I believe this is a big feature is a big thing and there's actually a tool that I don't know how known it is. Um, I also a big fan of later, um, so where you can schedule videos on Instagram, but then it's got a lot of desktop publishing and scheduling on Instagram as well. That I find is, um, really cost effective and helpful for us. Um, but yeah, tweet deck is something that does it automatically post to Instagram. We're doing it here, but it does, I'm stealing that. Yeah. later.com.
[inaudible] DOT com. Okay. Yeah. Tell my staff to today on that. Um, from a business perspective for college with all play off, I think I know the answer to this by asking every show anyway. Uh, what's the social platforms that seem to be working the best for you guys right now?
Right now Instagram is blowing it out of the water and Twitter is right behind it. Um, we, I just did an analysis last week and since my, since my first day on August six, our Instagram audience has grown by 41% and our Twitter audience has grown by about 23%. And that's because they hired Katie. Wow. Of course. I hope I would like to, I appreciate you saying that David, I might have the snappy TV that clip out. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it's your boss get the raise is all good. Yeah. But I that that's Instagram has been trending super, super fast for us. And, and Twitter is right behind. Are you got, what'd you guys do with snapchat?
Sad if anything during the
we just behind the scenes stuff. Um, just to give folks, you know, access that they wouldn't necessarily have. Um, but it was, it was pretty similar to our Instagram story. Yeah. Um,
I mean, almost all my guests say it's just difficult to invest in a platform that doesn't share their data or really how does that, yep. Um, so in our industry, you know, Fomo is a major thing. I always say. So what are the different ways that you stay up to date? You, you mentioned that the industry boosts so fast and the terminology, um, are there things you're reading on a daily or daily basis? Are there accounts you're following? Anything like that?
I, um, I like, I that's part of the reason why I love the deck so much. Um, so I can follow, you know, all of the Hashtags, the, we all love the some smarts, sm sports community, um, as some, as a group of folks that I really lean on and insures their advice. Um, I love listening to podcasts. Um, so that, that is absolutely the, the business and social podcast is one that I definitely subscribe to. Um, Alberto snappy that, and I'll use it for my [inaudible]. Perfect. Well we're scratch each other's back. Um, yeah. So, so that, that provides value to me. And then the other thing that I try to do at least to try to stay, you know, plugged in so to speak, is as maybe maybe I have bad tastes, maybe not, but I'm a big pop culture, not so I love to watch, you know, trash TV on Bravo and, and listen to top 40 hits on the radio. It's like that to try to stay involved. But, but like I said before, it's really important to also just have, have youth around us to, to help learn and grow that way too.
I think the tough thing with social embarking in general is it just feels like you're never done it ever feels like you leave your desk and you know what? We did all we could, I'm sorry you walked away from the College Football playoff, like, darn, I wish we would have tried this or we would've had a, an added a little bit faster. Um, how do you kinda navigate that? Cause I think when it comes to social, there's always an Ige TV series. There's always a original franchise that you could be launching with your, with your coaches or what have you. Like how do you like put your pen down and say, you know what, we did all we can do.
Yeah, no, it's, I think that's part of being a creative too, right? So like, even if, if you were able to do something, it's hard to, to put the project down and not continue to keep tinkering with it. I mean ultimately, um, we're, we're confined in the college athletic space to our game's gonna kick off and then the buzzer's gonna sound and the game is going to be old. Yeah. Then you're kind of a finality to it, which is kind of Nice sometimes. Yeah. So, and those are kind of natural deadlines in that regard. Um, but I'm always one, I've got a huge folder of stuff in my inbox that is just inspiration things. Um, I've got a note on my phone where if I see something or if I have an idea or, Gosh, I wish we had done that, um, that I keep rolling. And then there's a tool that I've learned about that I haven't used quite yet, but, um, a mentor of mine, Greg Reign from the Seattle Mariners, he's one of their marketing folks. Their um, their team uses Trello as kind of an inspiration board type thing. Um, similar to a print Pinterest style where they, where they share across their staff all of their inspiration and that, that's something in this off season that I'm hoping to get integrated here as well. Cause I think that's super smart. So helpful for us.
All right, so this is a fun question. Um, the director comes into your offices. Katie, you have some great news. I'm going to give you $1 million this year for your budget. Uh, what are the, what are the hires you make? What are the technology that you get? Um, how do you can, I think everybody in our industry is always like, I wish I had more resources. I wish we could be doing more. I wish we could be doing more innovative stuff. Like what's the first thing that comes to mind if you, if budget wasn't an issue?
Yeah. So I, it would be really, um, I think it's important because we wear so many hats here and there's, there's so few of us on staff, even at large here at the College Football playoff. Um, I would love to be able to grow, um, our staff that is dedicated to the digital and social space. Um, I [inaudible]
silo, analytics, silo, Twitter and Instagram. I just, different people.
Yeah. Yeah. Just bodies. And so that it's not like, you know, the digital and social, it's a huge hat that I wear, but it's not the, it's clearly not the only hat that I wear and there's only so much one person can possibly do. Yeah. Yeah. So, and there's, there's so much. Um, I think we're just scratching the surface there, so, so that is something that, that I'm kind of driven by. Um, I think that we, um, we have a lot of room for growth as it relates to, um, of course content generation. So, um, if we were lucky enough to have hired, um, you know, in house social designers and video producers and things of that nature, at $1 million, you can do whatever you want. And that's true. All of that stuff. Um, but then also I'm working, one thing that I'm challenging myself with and I think that we as, as team are as well, is really having the college football playoff on our social channels and be part of the conversation throughout the entire year.
So now that it's February, you know, signing day was a couple of days ago. There's, there's always college football stuff going on. How College Football playoff be a part of that. Um, and it Kinda was emphasized for me. We did some research this past couple of weeks as it relates to the soup at Superbowl Twitter account and just seeing what they do compared to what the NFL does. Um, and, and we want to continue to be part of the dialog. People Love College football so much and they love the rivalry and I love the comradery and they love the smack and all of that stuff I'm doing. So in a way that makes sense to our voice, um, as something that I would really like to make sure that we're emphasizing as well. So, so it's a bodies and then it's just be making sure that we're just going what it is that we're doing. Um, you mentioned a Hashtag sm sports, so any advice for your fellow folks in the industry and anyone out there trying to get into social?
Yeah, I think it's really important, um, to make sure that your personal brand is reflected in your personal channels. Like, I, I recommend to folks to use kind of the, the mom or the grandma rule when it comes to your channels. Like if you, if you want to roll in this area a be committed to, to working in this area and having like the add Katy cabinet door handle, like the personal handles. Yeah. Fully. So some be a part of that dialogue, you know, engage with others in the community and make sure that, that you're building your own brand there. But in addition, um, don't, it's silly to me that it's 2019 and I'm even gonna still say this out loud, but um, don't post things that you wouldn't want your mom or your grandma or something to haunt you. Like it still blows my mind that we have these stories that come out of, um, you know, someone posted a tweet when they were in high school and now that they're now a draft prospect or whatever, and these things coming back to haunt people.
Um, there's ways to, to address that and to clean it up or to not just do it in the first place. Um, that, that I think not only speak to, um, you as a person but then also your marketability as a professional in the field. And, and, and w I spent a lot of time when we make, you know, doing research on folks and what they're doing on their, their digital channels. And I think it's really important for folks to keep that in mind. That's an extension of, of your brand and that personal brands are,
I did a, I did a talk at San Diego state to some students and one of, uh, one of those students came up to me and said, can I email you for some additional advice? I said, of course. And her, she was reaching out to jobs and her a icon on Jima was her like in a bathing suit. I'm like, Hey, just so you know, maybe want to change that to more professional headshot, just trying to help you out a little stuff like that. Like you said, could mean the world of difference in your career.
Yeah. And it's not to say not to have personality and not to be yourself. Like, I tweeted something earlier today because I noticed the new Ariana Grande's song had some insync lyrics in it and they'd stay out of here on a grind day. Yeah, right. Yeah. That's me trying to be hip, but I'm still talking about the nineties cause I'm old. But like you can still have a personality and a voice and I think that that's what sets you apart. But um, there's a way to do so that that is probably right, that what you want to be
take. It's like you need to almost approach your personal brand from a PR mindset because you never know who's going to be looking at it and that, that means a lot.
Yeah. The other thing that I would say to David and I would be interested to hear your take on this is I have never been a believer of, um, these twists do not reflect the thoughts of my employer. Like if, if you work like it all does, it's all intertwined and, and that, that speaks right back to you. Again, your personal brand is really important, but then I think that that's something that you grow. I totally agree
in our industry, people, um, I don't know, they, they have a lot of ego, uh, on some of these different channels. So they want everybody to know, don't get it twisted. It's not the La Dodgers, it's me behind the tweets and kind of build up their own persona. And you know, that's as part of the game. I agree the whole like I'm going to talk bad about, you know, our rivals or our team, but it doesn't reflect my job either. It doesn't, it doesn't work anymore in 2019.
No. And then the other part of it too, and I learned this from Sam Wood from the eagles, is that just because something's happening in your life or around you or something you're watching does not necessarily mean that you immediately have to post something to social balance. No one, no one needs your hot takes all the time. And if you're building your personal brand, that's one thing. But if you're doing so just for your own personal engagement and it's not providing value, then you might want to think about like sometimes like there's that fine line between having fomo and being part of the blog and then also like exercising the right to maybe remove something from it. You don't have to weigh in on everything. I think that's just as valuable.
Yeah, I have a hot take on that too. I think, um, well first of all, like the, the world record egg just because that happened, which is funny and it's great, doesn't mean that every brand has to now come up with their, what their spin on that. Um, so I, yeah, absolutely agree with that. So, um, my last question for you would be if you, and I asked this to everybody, but if you can recommend anybody in your network that you think would provide value or just be a good list for, for our valued listeners, uh, anybody come to mind?
Oh Gosh. Well, I, like I told you before, businesses social is a podcast I really enjoy. So I would definitely recommend folks subscribe to this. And I'm not just saying that because I'm appearing, but I definitely am a firm believer of that. Um, you know, I go, I'm all over the place. I'm really fortunate that, that the network of folks I have around me that I have met even just through social channels, um, are really valuable to me and our friends that I really care about, you know, um, Jess Smith with the Yankees is one that comes right to mind. Kevin [inaudible] is one that comes to mind. Um, Justin carp is someone who, um, when he was at PAC 12 networks that we, we had a lot of comradery. He's, our client had been doing stuff at NBC now. So, um, those are just three that come to mind. But there's a whole slew of folks like that, um, who just getting started in this business. I think we all came up together, um, and our folks that I still lean on to this day, so definitely would give them a follow.
I love it. I will, uh, I might hit you up for an intro here in the next couple of days. Then I have to get him on. Well, uh, Katie has been amazing. I think a very, very cool for you to drop the knowledge on me and the listeners and appreciate your time so much.
Well, thanks for asking me to be a part of it. It's been a pleasure. Thanks Katie. Appreciate it. Thank you.
Alright, so 28 in the books. A lot of good stuff from Katie. I love how she touched on the personal brand. Don't get it twisted. You need to also, if you're going to PR your brand that you work for, make sure that you ingest a little PR on your personal feeds as well. The whole end bio, my tweets do not reflect my employer, uh, just doesn't work anymore. You all, it all kind of blends together in this social worlds. I love that. And then again, you know, this is somewhat of a selfish endeavor. I think I do learn something each and every show, even if it's just a small nugget later.com. I'll be completely self-aware and admit to the u, uh, listeners that I'd never heard of that. But now I'm gonna tell my staff to look into it. So I think the, the great thing about this show is being able to learn from others and get little tidbits like that that can make you make you more efficient and make you a better at what we're doing on a day to day basis. That is a wrap. Um, I wanna thank everybody for listening to the business social podcast, powered by stn digital.