Inside The Huddle: Vertical Content With SLAM’s Adam Figman

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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 Adam Figman, head of content and editor-in-chief at SLAM Magazine. He will be one of the leaders of the huddle, “It’s All in the Packaging: Why Verticalized Content Is Working.”

Figman has been with SLAM for the better part of the last eight years. After working his way up from an intern position, Figman now manages all content operations for the media outlet that covers high school, college, and professional basketball as well as the grander culture surrounding the game. SLAM publishes nine magazines yearly on top of and all of the brand’s social outlets.

“We have a 360-degree content operation, and my job, along with managing all content strategy, is essentially making sure that everyone is working within the grander operation and that everything remains fluid,” Figman says. “I make sure that I have an understanding of every element of our operation because I constantly have to make decisions about our next move.”

While he spends much of his work hours covering the game’s biggest events and managing cover shoots with some of the most famous athletes in the world, Figman describes the highlight of his career as helping many people grow their own careers over the years.

Coming out of college, Figman never thought that he would one day organize a photo shoot with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Drake. Looking back on his journey to this point, however, Figman expresses pride and gratitude to be where he is.

“I didn’t grow up even thinking about this as a potential career,” Figman states. “I graduated and then I got an internship at SLAM and I absolutely loved it. I told myself I was going to do whatever it took to turn that internship into a job, and I succeeded. Making that happen is still the thing that I’m most proud of.”

Over his years with SLAM, Figman has learned many lessons about the nature of digital media. The most important of these lessons is that it changes quickly and constantly.

“The platforms are changing the way people interact, and if you don’t pay attention to the way things are changing, they’ll just pass you by. When that happens, it’s tough to understand the best way to use a certain platform or promote a specific type of content. If you’re not paying attention and you’re fine with doing the same thing over and over and you get too comfortable, you’ll end up losing, for sure.”

When it comes to vertical content, Figman has found that SLAM has seen the best engagement rates on verticals that are very specific in terms of subject matter. SLAM has 11 different social media accounts including SLAM Kicks and League Fits, an NBA fashion vertical that mostly features a look at what NBA players wear upon entering the arena on game day.

“I don’t think a strategy can be too vertical with how people consume content in 2019. I think that if you’re willing to be patient, the value of building up a brand-new channel that only offers a very specific kind of content is incredibly valuable.”

Meet Adam and hear more of his 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.