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Friday, June 14, 2024

The Browns’ Allie Raymond: ‘You have to engage your fan base even when there’s a lot of losing.’

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Before Allie Raymond was blessing the TL of Cleveland Browns fans with Vince McMahon GIFs, she spent time in college athletics with the University of Arkansas as an athletic communications assistant and then with the Denver Broncos as one of the organization’s digital media interns.

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Raymond thought she was going to be a SID after spending time working in the Jayhawks athletic department while in school. After following what she thought was her passion at the time, Raymond realized that the college athletics grind wasn’t for her and decided to shift gears. Since landing with the Broncos in 2015, Raymond hasn’t left the NFL and is now closing in our her third year with the Browns.

Her story is one of relatability, passion, success, and finally a Browns victory.

Edited highlights appear below:

On How It All Began (10:07)

“I worked in athletic communications to start out. I originally wanted to work in an agency when I was in college and then figured I should work in the athletic communications department at the University of Kansas. I got on there and fell in love with it. As graduation neared, I figured out that I really wanted to work as a SID and I wanted to take the next step. My boss hooked me up with the University of Arkansas and they had a great program where they were one of the very few Division One schools that offered an internship that you got to actually work with football.”

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“I was there for about 10 months and realized that the college grind wasn’t for me and that I just didn’t love what I was doing. I tried to apply to jobs outside of sports and ended up landing an internship with the Broncos, so I took on another full-time internship doing digital media with the Denver Broncos, which was amazing. Once this social media coordinator job opened up at Cleveland, I jumped right away knowing that that was what I wanted.”

On Dealing with Losing Early On (14:09)

“I was so naive to it. Even when I was at Arkansas, we won a bowl game and there wasn’t really a whole lot of negativity. Of course with winning the Super Bowl (in Denver), anything you put out people were Retweeting and liking. I could have posted a picture of a leaf outside of the 49ers stadium before the Super Bowl and it would have gone crazy.”

“Coming to the Browns, they did a really good job of setting the tone and saying, ‘We’ve had a lot of losing, so you can’t as hard as you would when you were in Denver. It’s a little bit different.'”

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On Finding a Unique Voice Among Futility (15:52)

“Last year, during our 0-16 season, we definitely established a better voice. In my first year, I was very much cowering and not wanting to rock the boat, not wanting fans to be upset. That’s not good. You have to figure out a way to engage your fan base somehow, even when there’s a lot of losing. So last season, we focused on a not being afraid of our own shadow and being a little bit more playful when possible.”

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On the Browns First Win (16:49)

“We were prepared. We had the Vince McMahon GIFs ready because we had thought about it in a brainstorm in the weeks previous but hadn’t been able to use it. I was kind of surprised with my emotions. When we were tied with the Steelers in overtime, I was shaking way more because I didn’t know how it was going to end. This one they closed up with some time left, so I was very focused on getting out the things we needed to get out.

“It was hectic but it felt really good afterward. There was a Bud Light Victory Fridge in the press box so we all got one and it calmed down more for that. Halfway through the celebration, I was thinking, ‘Do I put this out there?’ I told myself, ‘Everyone loves you (the Browns). Just do it.’ I was just throwing things out there and hoping that people reacted well. Everyone was just so excited.”

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