USWNT’s Jimena Panduro On Social Success With The World Champs

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The United States Women’s National Soccer Team returned from France this summer with another World Cup championship. That victory has created a new, but familiar sense of excitement for staffers around the team in many capacities as well as new opportunities for social content.

In this episode of Social on the Sidelines, hosts Shahbaz Khan and Amara Baptist chat with USWNT Content and Social Media Manager Jimena Panduro about her professional journey, the excitement of the latest championship, advice for aspiring professionals, and more.

Edited highlights appear below:

On what to focus on in modern digital media (11:59)

Panduro: “I think a lot of of the emphasis is trying to tell a story, and I think a big part of telling a story for a lot of us that work in industry is…you need to know who you’re telling the story about. So get building relationships with your athletes, building a relationship with your team. Knowing these people beyond just the player helps so much for anything you want to do. …I know it’s not perhaps the exact skills of creating something, but it’s more of like what you’re going to build kind of behind the scenes that’s going to allow you to create better content at the end of the day, whatever that may be.”

On self care and unplugging (24:20)

Panduro: “We have a little group on the road. It’s myself, a couple of videographers, our PR person and we just kind of hang out with each other. We go out to dinner. If we can, we’ll go out and get coffee somewhere….To me it’s just kind of like either disconnecting myself from [soccer] or kind of talking to friends back home or just talking to people that are with me on the road going through the same thing about different things…I think more than anything is just kind of meeting with people that often don’t do what I do, which is kind of fun.”

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On adapting on the road for things like photoshoots (29:08)
Panduro: “We move tables, we move chairs, we try to put lights here, a backdrop here. Sometimes we don’t have a backdrop and put them against the window. We just kind of have to improvise to try to find good lighting or good angles. A lot of times it’s not ideal and it’s not what we want, but it’s what we’re going to get. It’s not always the best and sometimes it can get me a little frustrating, because obviously you want to do better things, but it’s just not possible. It’s what we have to work with.”

Favorite part of the industry and key to achieving success (33:48)
Panduro: “Building relationships, asking questions, being curious. I think it’s always key when it comes to sports because it’s such a huge, complex industry that changes every day and it’s obviously very appealing. But I think there’s just so much to it than just being a cool job…You get a chance to do some incredible things and work with incredible people. My favorite part is you get to see these people achieve their dreams…you’re there with them when they’re going through all these moments and injuries and then they win it all, that’s the most incredible thing.”

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