1Tell us about your role as Digital Marketing Specialist for the Connecticut Sun & New England Black Wolves. What does a typical day look like for you?
My day typically consists of scheduling social media, editing graphics, monitoring analytics, creating forms and emails for Members if necessary and creating an overall calendar for digital marketing.
In addition, I coordinate with public relations, community relations, sales and our VP to incorporate their ideas and requests.
2In your role, you balance two teams: the Connecticut Sun and the New England Black Wolves. Are there any differences between the two markets? How does your approach to digital marketing vary between the two?
In general, the markets are the same but lacrosse and women’s basketball content is very different. A lot of my inspiration for the Black Wolves comes from other lacrosse teams and hockey teams.
As for the Sun, I look to the NBA and NCAA for inspiration. So, taking those markets into consideration, as well as Connecticut and overall New England markets, I try to meet the interests of all of those sub-groups to create an overall identity for each team that is independent to themselves.
3In creating brand identity, establishing a consistent voice is key. What is your approach to developing a consistent voice across all platforms and through different team members?
I am typically the only one creating the copy so that makes it easy to streamline the voice, but luckily I work with a great team across the different departments.
Since I am the newest to the team, they look out for my scheduled copy to double-check that it is maintaining the voice previously established.
I personally try to incorporate the voice of the players on their social media so that our accounts reflect them as accurately as possible.
4Analytics are certainly on the rise in sports and can be a huge asset to determining success within digital marketing campaigns. What does ‘success’ look like in digital marketing? How do you set-up, track and analyze if a campaign was a success?
I track analytics both weekly and monthly and then do an annual report compiling it.
When I look at analytics, I am looking for overall impact. Important metrics to me are reach, impressions and then what those numbers look like per post.
The ultimate goal is to spread the two brands to as many people as possible, and then from there, create reasons for retention and engagement.
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5Outside of your role, where do you find inspiration for digital marketing ideas, campaigns and strategy?
I definitely look to other teams across a variety of leagues. The NBA, NFL, NCAA, MLS and so many other leagues are filled with extremely talented creatives that any time I see a campaign, concept or graphic I like, I save it.
I also look to teen and hobby creatives because they don’t have any restrictions and come up with amazing work. I think a huge part of looking for inspirations relies on not limiting to any one person or team but being prepared to find inspiration anywhere!
6For someone interested in angling into digital marketing, would you suggest they go the jack of all trades route, and try to learn many areas or specialize in a singular function and become a master at it?
I think trying to be as good as you can at everything is important and maybe have one skill you do especially well.
But, only having one skill without any understanding of digital marketing as a whole will make it nearly impossible to break into sports digital marketing.
Even if it’s just a matter of focusing on graphics and reading up on marketing trends and video editing in your free time. The more of a utility player you are, the more valuable you are.
7Digital media has changed marketing indefinitely. Looking ahead, where do you think things will go in terms of digital marketing? What is coming down the line that may have a chance to last in the world of sports media?
A huge aspect of digital marketing is influencers. Fans and audiences don’t just want to be told what to buy or who to cheer for.
They want to see their favorite celebrities and players showing them so they can be like them. It’s a very organic form of marketing without being organic at all.
I think down the line, players will be posting more and more of their own content in coordination with content creators to market themselves, outside of their teams.
Cam Newton and Matisse Thybule do this already and others do it on a one-time basis, but typically it is just players sharing content.
When they take control of their own narrative and have content creators to help them, the market will change and blossom.
Hayley's Final Thoughts
When it comes to digital marketing, there are plenty of aspects that need to be taken care of. For example, this can range anywhere from content creation, tracking analytics, managing public relations, coming up with ideas for the marketing of partners, and more! As Digital Marketing Specialist for the Connecticut Sun and New England Black Wolves, Jessica Slate ultimately focuses on creating reasons for retention and engagement. Through her creative content and social media strategy, Jessica is able to reach people and create awareness for both brands. In the world of sports media, digital marketing is constantly changing. As we look ahead, Jessica is already planning for the future of the Sun and Black Wolves. If that means incorporating influencers into her content strategy or helping players share their own content, Jessica is ready to do whatever it takes to get ahead in the world of digital marketing!