Inside The Huddle: Digital Content Distribution With Tina Jain

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In the buildup to Front Office Sports’ Digital Media Huddle presented by opendorse on February 22, we’re introducing you to the huddle leaders who will be lending their expertise to the conversation.

Today, meet Tina Jain, manager of social and digital marketing with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. She will be one of the leaders of the huddle, “Content in the Right Hands: How Distribution Makes All the Difference.”

Jain began her career on the digital side of sports in 2011 at the NHL’s league office in New York as the league’s first dedicated social media hire. After four and a half years of playing a large role in the league’s overall social strategy, Jain spent just over a year with MLB Advanced Media before joining the Devils in 2017.

“When I was in college, digital — let alone social — was not a major. It wasn’t even a class. Twitter was just starting up and people used Facebook just to talk with their friends. So people who started working at brands around that time got to be early adopters and really shape social marketing for what it has become today. It’s been really cool to be one of those people who has seen it from the ground up.”

Working with a team, as opposed to a league, has been a different experience for Jain because she spends more time collaborating with players and helping them shape their personal brands. Until fairly recently, Devils’ players were not permitted to use social media due to rules imposed by management. When this policy changed, Jain set to work building the team’s following through the players’ own personalities.

“We took the Devils from this old mindset into a new age. We’re getting cell phones in players’ hands, we’re at media day, we’re onboarding them into opendorse, and just showing them that it is OK to show fans their personality. That was one of my biggest priorities when I first joined the team.”

Jain has made a point to let the players know that she and the rest of the marketing team can be a valuable resource for social media education or improving their overall digital presence.

“Being in the league for a number of years has helped me establish relationships, which is a big part of working in this industry. Opendorse has been very helpful with our athlete-driven content as well. We were the first NHL team to use that last year and now several other teams are using opendorse.”

Utilizing players’ social channels continues to be a large part of the Devils’ content distribution strategy. This enables Jain to customize graphics and captions to best relate to the audience of a particular channel. Treating each channel and each piece of content uniquely maximizes views and engagement.

“It’s not always one size fits all. You have to think about the purpose of the content that you’re putting out. Are you selling tickets? Are you promoting a theme night? Are you generally just celebrating a win, teammate, or team moment? You really have to be mindful of who the audience is, what the message is, and where you’re distributing it.”

Up to this point in her career in sports, Jain offers the following advice for aspiring professionals.

“Have a plan. Your career is a marathon. Seek out leaders that can help you achieve your goals and talk to them. With each new year or new role, find a few specific areas you want to hone in on and focus on those. It’s better to give your full focus to a few things than give a little bit of focus to a lot of things.”

Meet Tina and hear more of her thoughts on the current digital landscape at the Front Office Sports Digital Media Huddle presented by opendorse in New York on February 22. For tickets and additional info, click here.