Cowboys’ Taylor Stern on the Digital Strategy of America’s Team

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Taylor Stern’s career started out with a bunch of “random volunteering” opportunities. A native of New Mexico, Stern went to college at the University of New Mexico.

Outside of working for the university’s TV station, Stern worked in various intern positions including at the NCAA, Orange Bowl, and Mountain West Conference. After spending a year with the Cotton Bowl as a marketing and communications manager, she made the jump to the Cowboys where she has been for the last three years. Now the team’s content strategist, Stern finds herself helping oversee the digital footprint of arguably the biggest brand in all of sports.

With the social space young when she first started, Stern takes you through the evolution of her role, why Jerry Jones is the catalyst for a lot of the freedom they have, as well as what it is like helping build the digital brand of one of the most revered franchises in sports.

Edited highlights appear below:

On the Early Days (17:11)

“Social media coordinator was such a new job when I took it. The role was all 20-somethings who were like, ‘Yeah, I use Twitter, I use Facebook.’ When I first started, it was a lot of GIFs and a lot of clever captions and all that fun stuff. Then, we all got the hang of it and it became about how we could make ourselves stand out.”

“I remember I asked my boss, ‘How are you going to say that I deserve a promotion or how am I going to deserve a raise?’ They said, ‘You need to get wins; little things that ultimately better the department. ‘”

On Successful Content (18:54)

“In 2016, we did this thing called ‘Breakfast Club’ when Zeke was new on the scene and was doing the ‘feed me’ celebration. The concept was simple but the content went viral. We followed that up with a ‘Finish This Fight’ series that was more long-form storytelling and it did really well for us.”

“The biggest thing I took away from those two different series was that good content is good content. There’s really no formula for success. It really just comes down to knowing your audience.”

Social on the Sidelines is Presented to You By:

On Who is Driving Innovation for the Team (14:08)

It really comes from the top. Jerry Jones is just innovative as a person and he has always told us to hit home runs. If they hit, they hit, but if they don’t, they don’t. We’ve also been very fortunate because of the fact that we have that much freedom to just focus on making good content.”

“We also act as our own network and media outlet. That’s something we have the luxury of that most other teams don’t.”

On Dealing With Losses (26:27)

“We normally don’t post any sponsor-related content on a Monday after a loss. We take the approach of trying to sympathize with our fans because a lot of time you’ll find people coming to our site even more than when we win because they’re trying to find out what went wrong. We want to be the knowledge that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Of course, we understand the negativity and the frustration that fans will feel, but by addressing what went wrong and what could have been better, you kind of see a different engagement than you did before. It’s probably a lot more replies and retweets, but you’re still engaging your fans.”

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