Twitter helped introduce them all, while serving as a way for them to connect.
The power of social media is evident when it comes to the Bump N’ Run NASCAR Podcast. Just ask the four individuals who run it: Kayla Sturm, Adam Heasley, Tanner Brown and Kristin Osborne. Despite never having met each other in person, the four have developed a podcast, which debuted May 17th of this year, and focuses on all things NASCAR.
So if the group hasn’t met in person, how did they start a podcast?
“We all met each other over Twitter, and we all shared the same passion and thought we should turn it into a podcast so here we are,” said Heasley, who currently resides in Massachusetts but plans to relocate to North Carolina and chase his dream of being a NASCAR pit crew member.
Joining Heasley as co-host is Sturm, who has previously completed a marketing internship at a dirt track in South Texas and is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration in the same field. She credits her father with getting her interested in racing.
“My dad actually got me into the sport when I was about 8 years old. He would always talk about Kasey Kahne so I started to watch NASCAR and obviously cheered for Kasey and he’s been my driver ever since,” the 22-year old noted. “When I graduate college I’m trying to move to NC and get a job within the NASCAR industry on the marketing/social media or journalism side.”
Brown and Osborne are the final two members of the podcast. Like Heasley, Brown also desires a career on NASCAR’s pit road. He currently resides in Mooresville, NC and is attending PIT School with hopes of landing a spot as a crew member.
Osborne lives the furthest away from any of the podcast’s members, residing in Wyoming. Like Sturm, she is also a college student and is working towards a degree in psychology.
“I’d love to get into some sort of sports psychology, maybe NASCAR fits in there somewhere. My mother and stepfather have always had NASCAR on the TV for as long as I could remember,” she noted.
With the group spread as far as 2,150 miles apart (it would take Healsey approximately 31 hours to pay a visit to Osborne in Wyoming) and in three different time zones, getting the podcast recorded has its challenges.
“I’d like to think the most challenging part is trying to find a time to do the podcast,” mentioned Osborne, “but it’s great seeing all the awesome comments from followers about how they enjoyed the episode.”
Heasley quickly agreed with her noting that it isn’t always easy to get the final product recorded.
“We have busy and different schedules, so sometimes we have to compromise sleep, but it’s worth it,” he said. “It’s rewarding having all of our opinions heard and also the fans sharing those opinions with us through social media.”
Like any podcast, there were growing pains and chemistry issues at the start, but the group preserved.
“We’ve definitely learned how to work better together and get a flow going while we’re doing the podcast,” said Sturm. “You can definitely tell a difference from when we first started to now. We’ve learned what works best and got into a little routine of when we do which segments and who talks first and what not. We have great chemistry now; it’s like we’ve been best friends for years.”
Since the chemistry has improved, different segments have been added to the podcast, including “Tweet of the Week” and “Driver Pick ‘Em.”
Tweet of the Week is a unique segment for the podcast and shows just how big of a role social media plays in sports.
“We each pick a tweet we saw throughout the week or weekend that catches our eye and we want to share. It can be funny, happy or even angry,” Brown said. The only criteria is the tweet (usually) relates to NASCAR.
Out of the tight knit group, Brown has arguably the best story related to the success of the podcast. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) driver Ryan Blaney, who won his first career MENCS race in the iconic №21 Wood Brothers Ford at Pocono this past season, actually tuned in to an episode of The Bump N’ Run podcast.
“For me, one of the most rewarding parts is obviously the amount of support we have had from our listeners and especially when Blaney listened to the podcast which led to me meeting him at Bristol,” Brown noted.
Brown is also the recording and editing guru. While the members communicate on Skype, Brown uses a program called audacity to record and edit the group’s thoughts. Once everything is edited, he exports the audio to MP3 file and uploads it to a host website called Spreaker. The host website has the ability to distribute The Bump N’ Run through multiple outlets, of which Apple’s Itunes is the choice for BNR.
Although the podcast is not yet seven months old, the group knows what it takes to produce great content and has tangible advice for anyone wanting to venture into a NASCAR podcast.
“I actually had that question asked to me the other day,” said Osborne. “I just told him to just do it! If you have the passion for it, people will be able to tell and relate to what you have to say.”
Heasley and Sturm noted that it’s important to find what works and have fun.
Sturm added: “The way we do our podcast won’t work for everyone, such as routine segments and the type of segments, etc. Make sure you have a passion for the sport or else you won’t want to put the time into it. And most of all, make sure you have fun and form a good bond with the people you’re doing it with.”
In just seven short months, the four NASCAR fans, who all desire a career in the sport albeit in different capacities, have developed into lifelong friends.
While the group often stays up late finishing the podcast, when the recording stops, the talking doesn’t.
“Because of our friendship, we tend to stay and talk for hours afterwards,” Heasley noted.
And, most of all, the NASCAR community has been welcoming, making the introduction to the world of podcasts an easy one for The Bump N’ Run.
“There’s an amazing NASCAR community and NASCAR podcast community out there,” stated Brown, something he says should encourage others to not be afraid to venture into the podcast world.
To download and listen to The Bump N’ Run podcast, click here.
This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.
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