Why Content Creators Have Become Some of the Most Vital Employees in Sports

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Being a content creator is not a bad gig in today’s sports economy. (Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels)

*Lancealot is a proud partner of Front Office Sports

“Content is king.”

If you have heard, seen, or read that saying in the last couple years chances are you were at a conference, on an industry publication, or scrolling through your TL past “experts” bloviating on the topic.

There is no doubt that content plays a major role in today’s overall media and marketing mix, but without investing in the right creators of said content, it can get lost in the never-ending cycle of pop culture memes.

While Adidas is doubling down on their “Here to Create” slogan, “creators” are popping up all over the country showcasing their talents on IG, Twitter, and other platforms and scoring jobs because of it. It’s this ability to connect one-on-one with fans and brands that is giving creators, especially ones that deliver high-quality work, the opportunity to score gigs they may have never had before. 

“With so many online social sites, creators have more access than ever before to share their work and capabilities,” said Julia McInnis, Lancealot’s CEO. “It’s also easier than ever before to directly connect and work with incredible brands and players. Today, you can Instagram message or Tweet to anyone. A lot of creators have become amazing at building those relationships in addition to  developing great creative work.”

It’s this access, as well as the rise of the Gig economy,  that projects that 40% of American workers will be independent contractors by 2020. These statistics have allowed a service like Lancealot to come in and be the catalyst between creators and employers.

“We work with high-quality people on both sides, and I think both creators and our clients go into these projects looking to build relationships with each other — not just doing one-off projects,” said Cindy Li, Lancealot’s COO. “The other value is that we help ensure there’s clear communication between both creators and clients. It’s so easy for information to get lost when the creators are moving between projects and our clients are just as busy. We’ve developed a way to streamline the communication so that everything is clear: deadlines, formats, tech specs etc.”

The desire for teams to be in every place at all times has placed stress on digital staffs across the country, a problem that McInnis and Li hope to solve by offering up a way for teams to find a freelancer in the fastest most efficient way possible.

“Teams and leagues need to be in so many different markets in terms of platform and fan demographics, so they need to create volume and variety of content that will help them resonate with as many audiences as they can. They need to do this quickly,” added McInnis. “In sports, each game brings a whole new set of stories, and teams need to move quickly if there’s a particular narrative that they want to share in different ways.”

Being able to capitalize on the biggest moments is not easy without the right investment from a team level. In a recent Fast Company article, Nuria Tarre, the chief marketing officer of City Football Group, said that, “aside from the game itself, the team’s (Manchester City’s) digital and content strategy is probably its most important product.”

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Soccer or football teams, whichever you like to call it, especially at the international level, have long been proponents of investing in content with some major teams carrying anywhere between 15-20 employees specifically for content creation. Comparatively, many US-based teams will see only 5-10 employees allocated to focus on content creation. It’s the gap between current staff and expectations of said staff that, through their service, Lancealot believes they can help close.

“There are very few brands that can succeed globally (or at all) without investing in digital content,” said Li. “To us, investing in digital doesn’t just mean investing in digital stories. It also means creating a great digital experience for consumers and fans that is consistent and engaging across devices and platforms.”

Outside of working with publishers like The Players’ Tribune and Copa90, McInnis and Li are already eyeing international expansion. The first stop? China.

“China represents an enormous growth opportunity and the market continues to evolve,” said Li. “We are happy to see the increase in content production and quality of video needed. We know a lot of content produced in the United States can be used to promote the games and athletes in China, by leveraging technology and social media platforms such as Weibo and Wechat.”

As professionals who grew up in the content creation world and who are now out to solve some of its biggest problems, McInnis and Li are bullish on the future of high-quality content and the role it plays as brands look to increase their reach beyond the borders of their home country.

“We’re going to see more stories about the culture and lifestyle surrounding sports,” said McInnis. “Of course everything is going to be more global. More fans are going to develop relationships with players, teams, and brands in all corners of the world, and those relationships will develop through great content experiences.”

*Lancealot is a proud partner of Front Office Sports