Leadership Huddle With Christi Bedan, Tampa Bay Bucs

It’s time for the fifth installment of Leadership Huddle, a series on the blog where leaders in sport and beyond offer perspective on digital today. Some of the guests work directly in digital while others are leaders outside of the space (but get the work and advocate for it).

This installment of the Leadership Huddle features Christi Bedan, VP of Digital & Media at the Tampa Bay Bucs. Christi joined the organization a year ago.  In her role, she is responsible for all digital & content departments (digital, social, radio, TV, gameday video).  Prior to joining the Bucs, she spent 12 years in Chicago at Stadium (a multi-platform sports network) and NBC Sports’ action sports venture in various leadership roles managing media partnerships, digital product and distribution.  She started her career in sponsorship consulting at an Atlanta agency. 

If you follow the Tampa Bay Bucs on social, you’ve probably noticed they stepped up their game this season. From strong brand storytelling to unique game day illustrations, their digital presence is fun, engaging and ownable. It’s most certainly a testament to the work of Christi and the team she has built. Below is the Q&A. I hope you enjoy the perspective and insights.


When you joined the Bucs, I imagine you spent quite a bit of time laying a foundation and getting buy-in. For others trying to get digial buy-in across their own organizations, what are three pieces of advice you can share from your own experience? 

The entire offseason was spent understanding our market, our fans, and what we want the brand to stand for.  This project was led from the marketing team, but once that foundation is laid out, it becomes quite apparent that one of the, if not the primary opportunities to bring that to life is on digital platforms.  For example, part of our mission is that we want to be a brand that provides a year-round fan experience.  Digital is critical to achieving that, for obvious reasons. So to specifically answer your question, three pieces of advice:

Collect consumer data.  We did a number of focus groups and interviews in the market to understand the current perceptions and sentiment of the brand.  There were some clear ways to combat some of that feedback in the marketplace that we were able to use to support buy-in for digital.

Know the value. Measure the value delivered to corporate partners, at the very least as an internal benchmark.  Most sponsorships do not carve out dedicated media plans, but if you’re able to show the value you are delivering as a team (both production and exposure) you can start to justify additional resources as you grow that number. 

Look at budgets. Understand where dollars are being spent within budgets; yours and cross-functionally.  Often times, the justification of a resource is as simple as moving dollars from outsourced work to in-house.  

Generally speaking, what do you see as digital’s role within the team landscape today? And, how do you think its role will change in the future (5+ years from now)? 

The importance of the digital role has just scratched the surface.  Today, it is a central component for branding and becoming more critical for sponsors.  But, we are just beginning to see the impact on the marketing and gameday/stadium side.  Five years from now,  the customer experience is going to be transformed.  From mobile ticketing/ordering to supplemental AR content that provides real-time stats to bots.   Further, the data teams will have access to as a result will continue to evolve where as a team, you can have a very direct 1:1 conversation with someone after they leave the venue.    

Digital/social has matured a great deal in the last few years as it relates to paid and sponsorship, but there still seems to be a disconnect between organic and its ROI. How can we in the industry demonstrate the value of social and content, especially the plays that don’t have a hard tie to revenue? 

I think there are a few things here that can be primarily addressed by what are you trying to achieve as a brand.  At your core, what do you want your fans to take away from the experience with your team or organization?  For those plays that aren’t directly tied to revenue, it is important to build that case for the indirect ties.

Digital/social is essentially an additional marketing platform that didn’t exist years ago.  If you build your audience, you don’t have to outsource all marketing, and dollars can be reallocated.  And you are investing in future fans.  Further, you are collecting the data and building consumer profiles that can ultimately be leveraged for more direct ROI.  Test and provide data. 

What are the biggest keys for setting digital/content teams up for success?

The key is to setup an infrastructure that allows for cross-functional collaboration.  Silos have to be broken down because digital is only successful when working hand in hand with partnerships, marketing, ticketing, community relations, football, stadium ops, etc. 

Additionally, team members need to understand the importance of taking ownership of every project and thinking beyond just clicks and views but how all stakeholders can be affected, and ultimately, working towards a common end goal.  The more people you have looking at the whole picture, the more impactful a digital team can be. 

Lastly, set an environment that allows for trial and error, and in the end, more creativity. 

And finally, switching gears to professional growth. For anyone who aspires to one day be in a position similar to yours, what advice do you have on gaining the right experience and skills?

Stay curious and self-aware.  Challenge yourself to understand not just the task at hand but three steps prior and three steps ahead.  If you put in the work, with every task or project, to fully think through and anticipate what you may be asked by managers, colleagues, sponsors or other stakeholders, you will be forced to grow beyond your individual role.  Make sure you know the ‘why’.

A big thank you to Christi Bedan for her time and perspective. Connect with her here: LinkedIn and Twitter. And, be sure to follow the Bucs across digital for some great inspiration: Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

If you enjoyed this conversation, be sure to read the others from this series: Harry ArnettEric SanInocencioGraham Neff and Brendan Hannan.

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Standards, Consistency & Focus Matter: A Lessons From The Lakers

The Lakers have one of the strongest social media presences in the NBA. Sure, they have a large audience that comes with their powerhouse brand, but their digital team does not rest on their laurels. The Lakers consistently produce best-in-class content from their beautiful crispy GIFS to their Instagram Stories on game day. And while there is a lot to take away from their approach, there is one big lesson: consistency and brand standards matter.

The Lakers are committed to putting their best foot forward all the time in digital. It’s apparent they have defined their brand standards and don’t cut corners. And as a result, they have one of the strongest visual identities and social presences in sports.

Scroll through their accounts and you’ll see. The Lakers take the way their brand comes to life very seriously (as they should). Photos are carefully curated. Watermarks are always applied. They are a team that dots their “Is” and cross their “Ts”. Below is a small sample of some of their content:

View this post on Instagram

Family Talks

A post shared by Los Angeles Lakers (@lakers) on


Yes, it takes the Lakers a second more time to add the watermark. Yes, sometimes they hold a highlight to package it for a carousel recap later on Instagram. And yes, their work is always strong and consistent.

But, why does their approach matter?

First, their work is instantly recognizable.
Today, so much of a team’s brand comes to life through their visual identity. Consumption happens in a split second. Consumers scroll, tap and move through their social feeds without giving things a second glance. As they scroll, content needs to stand out.

It should be clear which team, brand or league the content is from with or without a logo. And that’s where a strong graphics package that reflects the brand comes into play. When teams put in the work to define their brand standards and their visual identity – and actually see it through in execution like the Lakers – the result is work that instantly connects with fans.

Second, they package with purpose.
We’ve fallen into a content trap in sports. There’s this idea that more is better and that we have to cover “everything”. This mindset has resulted in more stuff and less quality. And, that’s not a win for a team, league of the fans.

The teams that win in social media today have purpose and focus. They understand that they can’t be everything to everyone and instead focus on what matters most (as they have defined). Focus allows teams to put their best foot forward. It’s impossible to do it all. Once you understand that, you can produce work that matters, engages fans and is right for the brand.

The Lakers are a good example of a team that does not post just to post. While yes, the Lakers still push out a good amount of volume, they don’t overproduce (especially by sports standards) and they certainly don’t let any sort of volume take away from the quality of work. Their approach to Instagram is a great example of this.

In the past 30 days, the Lakers have averaged 3.39 post on Instagram in-feed a day (the league average is 6). Yet, the Lakers boast a 3.2% engagement rate with an audience of more than 6M … the highest engagement rate in the league.  

The Lakers understand that Instagram is all about quality over quantity. They don’t fight the algorithm, and instead, let it work to their advantage. They use Stories to cover the more real-time moments and save their in-feed posts for big moments, packaged recaps and evergreen pieces. The approach is paying off.

On the flip side, the Lakers’ approach to Twitter is completely different to fit the platform. Their volume is high (25 posts in the past 30 days) and their content is packaged completely differently, with a lot more variety. It’s clear they have a distinct platform approach for each channel. 

More than ever, how we curate content and package is as key as the content itself. There’s no such thing as a strong social presence without a strong creative arm today. But, we can no longer just post and pray. We have to be thoughtful, deliberate and strategic about our work. We have to define our purpose then plan, program and package like the Lakers do.

And finally, they always put their best foot forward.
Social is the front door to brands today. Everything that goes up on a channel should be the best reflection of the brand, period. While it’s easy to post and get things up, it doesn’t mean we should cut corners and dilute the quality of the work. When looking at the Lakers feed it’s clear they take pride in their brand and work. All teams and leagues should strive for the same quality of work. 



In social it’s easy to get caught up in doing it now versus doing it right. There’s often a mentality that fast is best. And a result, corners are cut and the totality of everything is not thought through. In the end, this only hurts and dilutes the quality of our work. The Lakers’ digital presence is a great reminder that consistency and brand standards matter. And, their social numbers speak for themselves.

Instead of being fast, the focus should be on doing it the best and with speed. Of course timeliness matter in social, but not at the sake of quality. Work that is timely, engages fans and reflects the brand is the ultimate win. It’s okay to take the extra time to get the work right. It’s okay to pause, stop and think about your publishing approach even in the middle of chaos. It’s okay to forgo the right now for a little later if it means putting something stronger forward.

Take the little bit of extra time to do it right. Take pride in everything you push out. It all reflects the brand. And, it matters.

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Purpose, Planning, Programming, Packaging

There’s a monster in this industry. One that makes us feel exhausted, frantic and like we can’t keep up. It’s a serious threat to our sanity and work. This monster is content. And not only did we create this monster, but we continue to feed it.

Content has become a buzzword. A buzzword so vague someone will say “we need content!” and you can interpret it a million different ways. We measure total engagements over meaningful interactions. We push, publish, spray and pray for a glimmer of hope that someone will see this “content” we created.

The idea that content is king has to go away (gasp).

It’s easy to understand why the industry invented the phrase “content is king”. Early on, social media needed little resources except for someone who could write good copy. Almost overnight though, the platforms turned visual. Suddenly, brands, teams and leagues needed dedicated creators to digital. “Content is king” was a cry for leadership to understand how important an investment in creative is.

Fast forward to now and organizations, for the most part, understand that digital is an investment in creative too. Yes, we still have work to do when it comes to structuring teams and getting proper resources, but very few would argue that content isn’t important. We have come a long way. 

And in this quest to build up content to others outside of digital, it seems that we also built up content in our own heads. It’s become the “everything”. We overproduce, over-publish, oversaturate the feeds. And, we’ve prioritized content at the expense of other things. 

We’ve forgotten to breathe, pause and think. 

It’s time to stop the content madness. We have to shake off the internal pressure to be everywhere, all the time. We have to rid the pressure of publishing and publishing often. We have to ignore the voices that say volume matters. It’s time to stop doing just for the sake of doing.

Why does this matter so much? First of all, social media has evolved. Long gone are the days where you can spray and pray. Thanks to algorithms, every decision made can impact impressions and reach. Additionally, consumers are smart, in control and inundated with a ton of “content”. They’ve become immune to anything that doesn’t entertain and engage them.

Everything is nuanced now.  And because of that, when we “do for the sake of doing” we hurt our own reach. We dilute the quality of work. And, we make fans tune out.

With all the nuances today, the solution to success is a lot more than just “content is king”. Along with great creative and ideas, it takes purpose, planning, programming and packaging.

Purpose.

Social media has become cluttered thanks to the content revolution. And in sports, it’s often the sea of sameness. Very few teams actually own their brand narrative beyond the scores and pop culture memes.

It’s so important for teams to take the time to define their purpose. What is your brand strategy and how does that translate to social? If you can define this purpose, it will set your team apart from the rest.

A brand strategy becomes your North Star for how your brand should come to life through voice, tone, aesthetics and the stories you tell. When you have defined what your brand is and isn’t, long gone will be the days of posting just to post. You’ll have a clear vision for what needs to be produced.

Planning.

Too often in social, we throw things at the wall. We test and we try, without understanding the why. But this fly-by approach makes it hard to map the work back to meaningful goals.

The best work comes with planning. Yes, we work in sports and have to react and be nimble, but there’s actually a lot we can plan and anticipate.

Once teams have a solid understanding of their brand strategy, it’s important to dive deeper into the content strategy. This is all about leveraging content for a purpose. Map back to the goals of the brand and find a way to bring to life the brand in a way that matters. It’s about setting parameters for what is worth the team’s time and what is not.

With purpose and planning, comes focus. And with focus, come quality work that matters. Take the time to pause and plan.

Programming.

It seems like teams sometimes suffer from the fear of missing out. There’s a sense that we have to cover everything, all the time.

Batting practice and pregame warmups are a good example of this. Before every game, across every league, you are guaranteed to see the same exact pregame pictures and video over and over and over again. It becomes a tired story very quickly.

When we get in the mindset of covering, we start doing and dumping without understanding why. Think about Instagram on game days. So many times I see teams post upwards of 20 times and garner less than a 2% engagement rate. To me, that’s a serious flag that we need to give thought to content volume and distribution. A less than 2 percent engagement rate should show a serious need to pivot (and no, don’t blame it on the algorithm).

Instead of “covering” everything, think about how to “program” everything. Look at the totality of the season and curate a plan that shows every moment, every angle, every storyline over time. The *over time* is key here.

We don’t have to dump everything on fans all at once. We should consider what has already been covered, and offer up something different. If we plan, and curate smartly, we can unfold the story in a natural and organic fashion over time– without being intrusive to fans’ feeds.

Packaging.

How teams package their content has become as critical as the content itself. And, the approach to how content is packaged can play into the volume you produce and publish.

For example, let’s talk highlights on IG. So many times I see teams sharing more than five highlights from one single game. At some point, all the highlights look the same as I scroll through my feed. And forget the fact they’re often showing up days later thanks to the algorithm.

Instead of publishing five individual highlight posts, what if it could be packaged differently? What if after every game a team leveraged the Instagram carousel? By creative a “five plays of the game” carousel, teams can include design elements to make it unique to the brand. Sure, packaging content means that publishing might have to wait until after the game, but the product would be stronger, unique to your brand and less intrusive to your fans.

These are the things we have to think about.

If you want some inspiration, here are a few examples of how teams have packaged content:

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Finishing strong. 💪 #TrueToTheBlue

A post shared by Seattle Mariners (@mariners) on

View this post on Instagram

Game 4 Recap presented by @honda

A post shared by Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) on


I am by no means saying content doesn’t matter. It matters. And it matters a lot. There’s no such thing as a strong social presence without a strong creative arm today. But, we can no longer just post and pray. We have to be thoughtful, deliberate and strategic about our work. We have to define our purpose then plan, program and package.

Yes, content is still king in a lot of ways. The problem is your content won’t be seen if you don’t focus on the big picture and all the ins and outs. It’s about the totality of all the work — the strategy, the planning, the ideas, the execution. 


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Insight Into Evil Geniuses’ Social Media Philosophy

This a guest post from Matt Demers, the Social Media Director for Evil Geniuses (esports team).  A few weeks ago, I saw tweets from Matt outlining their approach to social. His insight was thoughtful, interesting and something I think we could all learn from. Thankfully, he agreed to share a glimpse into their at Evil Geniuses. Enjoy!

Imagine that it’s game day, and you’re ready to make your usual hype posts and recaps of what your fans need to know. Now imagine that a good part of your fanbase has no idea about the game; they’re following you for something else, and that something else isn’t scheduled for another week.

In the world of esports — or professional video games — a team is not limited to one sport. For many organizations, they are active in many titles across a wide spectrum of genres, tones, and moods; think as if your baseball team also had an American Football, hockey, and rugby roster, all with different stars, lineups, and information.

For Evil Geniuses — the team I work for — this has led to an interesting conundrum that I didn’t have to deal with until we got to the point where we needed to expand.

As someone who’s played video games in the genres we cover, there’s a lot of crossover knowledge. Having the time to be able to learn or play the games we ventured into meant being able to do my job well. In training our new social media associate, it became clear that our strategy would have to rely less on my instinct. The challenge was continuing a genuine feeling of community and understanding that is essential to our jobs.

In a couple tweets the other week, I laid out what was what stuck out in my mind as our social media philosophy, and Jess was kind enough to invite me to expand on them here.

Show that we’re paying attention.

Having worked in a sports newsroom, I knew that some aspects were the same whether they were talking about the turf or the keyboard. As the esports industry grows, both myself and our designer started look away from the established “gamer” aesthetic to be able to see what traditional sports was doing.

We had to be careful, though, as the culture of video games is different that the culture of sports. I quickly realized when I started that a lot of our audience didn’t have the experience of growing up around a traditional sporting relationship; we could not guarantee that a simple one-to-one copying of what’s worked for the NBA or NFL would work here.

For instance, not all our fans have the context of a long-term build of talent or growth. Every loss is a reason to dump any number of our players because any loss must mean a problem. While this type of reactionary behavior is present in traditional sports, there may not be those who are familiar with the patience needed to see a rebuild come to fruition.

In covering our games, we make every effort to actually play and take part within them to understand what it means to live in that world. This sounds pretty simple and a no-brainer for all sports social, but I’m sure many of you will know how much adding layers of knowledge or analysis can help your coverage.

Fans can tell when this kind of analysis is being faked; their noses are trained to sniff out that lack of authenticity, and they are wary of being marketed to.

They appreciate extra details, like knowing the overarching metagame of a title or how the game has changed recently. Game developers constantly iterate new versions of their titles for public and professional consumption, and this means new environments for fans and pros alike. Simple things like tone and language matter when going from one game to another; I would not use the same vocabulary when reporting Street Fighter as I would Dota 2.

It’s like the differences in basketball and football culture: each community has their own set of expectations and rules of engagement.

While there are arguments for the negativities of elitism and gatekeeping, these communities want to know their support is being sent to the right places. They want to know that we get what makes them special, and we’re not there to make money off something hot.

To be able to build up the goodwill that allow them to trust us, we have to provide them with information and content that they are either unable to find on their own, or that they would not have thought to look for. This means leveraging statistics, trends, or behind-the-scenes answers that are out of their reach.

We also need to be careful of what the “cost” for this information is. Fans will notice if they can only access information after paying admission by watching advertisements or sponsor roll; by giving this extra value without catches, we look to build a relationship based on shared enthusiasm.

Our choices on what to include come from a frame of mind that looks to prove ourselves as competent to our audience; we know that any error will be called out by those looking for the opportunity to one-up an authority.

Participating in a community allows us to see the strengths, weaknesses and pain points that others may miss. Especially when esports may be divorced from a player base that plays the game casually (who don’t watch competitive), it humbles us to what are a very picky customer base.

As a rule, authenticity is king. Above all else, we want to avoid being Steve Buscemi in 30 Rock. We do not want to come off as saying “How do you do, fellow kids?”


Establish stakes.

Going back to the issue of having many games to cover, we often run into the problem of our fanbase “signing up” for coverage with one title, and having to clash with others they may not care about.

One of the ways we deal with that is to write copy in a way that introduces players to a new title softly. While we can’t hope to onboard someone to a new title (which may take many hours to get comfortable with), we can try to give them a hook to hold onto while they test the waters of something unfamiliar.

For example, over the past year we’ve seen a major rise in our fanbase after acquiring a roster for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. The game is a slower, tactical shooting game that is simple to watch with many details; while it can be easy to say “the team with more people alive has an advantage”, it’s harder to explain how they got that advantage.

In picking up the game myself, I found a steep learning curve. Not only are you learning capabilities of “positions” played by the user, but the playing field itself has nuance in how it’s attacked or defended.

The challenge then becomes giving someone who has not played (or may never play) the game a reason to care. For people who do play the game, the shared context of playing a game at a casual level and then seeing it played professionally fills in the gaps. If you’ve ever thrown a baseball, you know why an MLB pitcher is special; it is our goal to bridge that gap and show why it’s special.

This relates to the “paying attention” paragraph because our copy, choice of highlights, and efforts need to center around elevating our players’ stature to the level of a true professional.

Part of esports’ appeal is that accessibility; you can play a pick-up game with your favorite player if you both were at the same skill level. You can enter a tournament with 2000 other entrants and meet one of our players in pool play. But if you don’t have that shared context of playing the same game, establishing an emotional connection is a lot harder.

Reminding our fans of where we are in the grand scope of the tournament, what we stand to achieve, and how we can do it is key to our mission of building fans of Evil Geniuses, not just EG Rainbow Six fans. Each of our tweets can be the on-boarding of someone into a title they may not have touched otherwise, and any details we can provide (without alienating the hardcore who have already arrived) allows us to cross-pollinate attention and develop a more healthy audience.

Don’t start anything we can’t keep consistent.

In esports, there is a tendency to split your accounts on a per-game basis, but I personally don’t agree with it; I find that it shunts less-popular titles into a corner where they are not given the opportunities to blossom. In general, if they are not given the resources to grow, they won’t.

It also runs into the problem of content gaps, as not all video games have active schedules. It became clear that starting separate accounts would lead to a splitting of bandwidth that would also leave them unattended when competition was not in session.

This attitude also guides me when it comes to considering new platforms to expand to; we need to be able to maintain these platforms with new content so that do not stagnate. While again, this may seem like a no-brainer, the realities of esports makes generating this content different and introduces new challenges.

Often, our players are not playing full-time, nor are they unified in one central facility. Some of our players maintain part-time jobs, or compete in competition via the Internet from different cities. This makes simple things like photos, video or behind-the-scenes social difficult, and the stakes of live events where we are all in one place higher.

It means the condensing of our social to a few key platforms (currently Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) helps keep us focused and avoiding the fear of missing out. If we cannot ensure a consistent experience, we refuse to chase the shiniest thing.

My reasoning is that while our fans may question “why are you not on [platform]?”, they will always remember an experience on a new platform done badly. This will be doubly as loud when resources are expended to onboard people to that new platform, only to have it die. As we expand our social team from one person to several, and have constant contact with a flow of new content through in-person traveling with the team, we can take more chances.

This not only involves platforms, but content itself. If we cannot ensure that we will nail a video or blog or podcast every single week, we must be able to put a launch on hold until we can ensure it’s done right. In my experience, a few things done really well is better than a lot of things done with varying amounts of success.

Wrapping it up.

Video games represent a new and challenging environment, mostly because of the clash of two separate cultures. As someone who never was a lifelong fan of a sports team growing up, it took a few tournaments before I “got it.” In delving deeper into esports over the past five years, I’ve met so many people who come from different walks of life that still “get it” in the same way.

That shared joy and pain is what makes it fun to do our jobs, and share in collective successes and disappointments as fans. But, as professionals, the chase to be ahead of our competition means possibly losing or forgetting why we’ve tried to make sports a greater part of our lives and careers in the first place.

I urge all of you to consider demographics that you have never thought of, and chase that authentic, genuine connection over something that brings a lot of enrichment to our lives.

Even if you’ve never picked up a controller before, the spirit of competition is something that drives both traditional sports and esports; if we’re looking for a common ground, I feel happy meeting halfway there.


A big thanks to Matt for the valuable insight. For anyone interested in esports and/or digital, give him a follow @MattDemers and check out his work with Evil Geniuses: Twitter, Instagram, Twitch & Facebook


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Making Highlights Your Own

In the early days of social media, you would never see highlights on Twitter. The internet was the wild, wild west and so many clung to control. Thankfully, we have come a long way. Leagues and broadcast partners have loosened the reigns on rights at various different levels. If you scroll through Twitter during a live game you’re guaranteed to highlight after highlight and big plays. 

But sometimes with highlights, it feels like a sea of sameness. Leagues share them. Teams share them. Broadcast partners share them. Even fans share them. So many people have access to highlights that they aren’t original anymore.

The more access to highlights is a good thing for everyone, but it brings up an interesting point for teams. How can highlights and big-play moments become more their own? Here’s why this thinking is important:

Adds to the second screen.

Making highlights and game coverage more original adds to the second screen experience. It takes what was seen in broadcast and puts a fresh spin on it. And even if the fan isn’t watching on TV, the original spin probably has just as much value – if not more – than a straight-up broadcast highlight because it’s different, unique, entertaining and/or adds a POV.

Separates from the crowd.

As mentioned above, there are already a host of others who are going to share straight up highlights no matter what. Being able to push out something original from a big moment helps separate your content from the rest. And, content that is engaging and ownable is what all teams should strive for.

Pushes creativity.

Sports are unpredictable, but they are also very cyclical. It can be easy to get in the same routine from a coverage standpoint. If you make it a priority as a team to start creating more original content, it will push your creativity. You’ll search for new angles. You’ll catch candid/interesting moments. You’ll come up with new and amazing creative executions. Essentially, this type of thinking will help your team raise the bar.


Gives moments more legs.

I understand there are moments where it makes sense to share a clip of a straight highlight. It’s the fastest and easiest way to share in the moment. Additionally, certain leagues have restrictions where teams can’t share original footage in-game (or the amount is limited). Understanding that not every team can share original content during games, there’s still value in making them original as an opportunity to give the moment more legs. 

Depending on the situation and the rules, teams can share the broadcast footage in the moment and then layer on original content later. For example, share the straight highlight in-game, then follow up the next morning with your more original content play. This way you extend the moment in a fresh and original way. 

And if rules are no issue, then the hardest part with original content in game is determining the need for immediacy and figuring out the workflow. Turning around content quickly is no easy feat, so it’s a balancing act of understanding what needs to be pushed out now, what can be pushed out later and where we can share a straight highlight but then put a spin on it later.

So, how we can take highlights and make them more original or extend the moment of the big play? Below are a few creative executions + styles for that have caught my eye.

Note: The first bucket is something for in-game, while the others are probably ideas for extending the moment/play and giving it more legs given the product time.


FYOF: Film your own footage.

Filming your own footage is a great way to get game highlights that are different from the broadcast. Teams that hire videographers not only get great angles on big moments, but they are also able to get all the moments in between. From the celebrations to the fans often captures the essence of the atmosphere and a moment in a special way.  Below are some examples:

View this post on Instagram

Big-time mood 👨‍🍳

A post shared by Oakland Raiders (@raiders) on

If you’re looking for more examples, here’s a great thread on Twitter that has a ton of them. I wish I could include them all on the blog because there’s a ton of inspiration here. 

Add some flair.

It’s amazing how far the industry has come in terms of creativity and talent. With every new scroll through Twitter, I find a new and eye-catching creative execution that I haven’t see or thought of before. If you’re looking to extend a moment, graphics and strong editing can play a huge role in making highlights original. Don’t be afraid to try new things and add some flair.

Below are a few examples of unique creative executions that add some flair to highlights. Some of these were shared during the offseason and/or more as game previews, but I think the executions would also work really well as an extension of a big moment. Whether it’s a recap or a fun execution, there are so many creative ways you can give big plays and wins legs:

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See you soon. 👑 // #MixtapeMondays

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BFFs.

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Good to have 🏀 back in Chicago!

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Anyone trying to step up?

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Give perspective.

If you’re looking to do something different with highlights, consider finding ways to bring in a first-hand perspective on that moment. This could be players talking about the moment, fan reactions, etc. It adds a different level of emotion and the context can be really interesting. Below are a few examples.

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Belli has spoken. Do you agree? #glovework

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The Bottom Line

There are many more examples of teams making highlights their own, but the key is to think about all the ways you can repurpose them. How can you leverage the creativity of your team to do something different, add narrative, offer perspective? Whether the plan is to use the original content in-game or following, thinking about how to make big plays and moments original will no doubt push the creativity of your team and add value to fans. That’s a win, win.


What teams have you seen make highlights their own? I would love to see your favorite examples below.

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