Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Sports - Work in Sports Podcast e058

By Brian Clapp | March 07, 2018

Samantha Wood, Digital Platforms Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles joins the show to discuss careers in sports social media and why the Eagles are a great organization to work for

Hi everybody I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Sports

I have a decision to make every time after I complete a really strong interview, turn it into two parts, or just let it ride.

Last week I interviewed Samantha Wood Digital Platforms Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles and we spoke for about an hour.

My initial thought was…make this two pieces, debut them over successive weeks, whet the appetite of the audience.

But you know what, that was the media side of me speaking. The idea of leaving the audience wanting more…felt cliché.

So I decided to leave this as all one piece. One great big information dump on the world of sports social media. Samantha and I cover a lot of ground, from women in the sports industry, to the support of the eagles, to an education that primed her for success.

I can’t wait for everyone to listen to this, so even if you personally need to listen to it in two parts, it’s all here for you today.

I’m going to shut up now so you can hear from Samantha Wood – my new social media pal.listen to the work in sports podcast on apple podcasts

Questions about Sports Social Media Careers for Samantha Wood, Philadelphia Eagles

1: You graduated from Northeastern in 2011 and as I looked through your background, it’s impressive that while in college you did what, about 5 internships – with New England Sports Network, with ESPN, with the Boston Bruins – how important was it for you to gain high level experience while still in college?

2: That’s the thing about internships, you get experience, but you also learn what you like and what you don’t like – once you graduated you had a pretty robust resume, do you think it made it easier to get a full-time job having those experiences?

3: After slumming it in Boston for a while, I’m from there so I can say that, you landed a job with the Philadelphia Flyers as their Digital Media Manager – what were the big things you learned from that job and overall experience?

4:  Now, you are the Digital Platform Manager for the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles – talk us through your day-to-day role and responsibilities, what is it like during the season and on game day?

5: You tweeted something right before the Super Bowl – “The Patriots and Eagles social teams are both led by ladies and I think that’s cool as hell. Best of luck (off the field) to my girl @CecilyFaenza!”

This stood out to me and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to contact you for the podcast – we’ve highlighted many female executives in sports on this podcast and I think it is very important to empower and enlighten the many female sports fans out there who can make this a career --  for you, how is it working as a woman in the sports industry? Is it something you even think about, or are there moments it’s hard because guys tend to think they own sports?

Follow up: I’ve noticed there are many women working in social communication roles in sports… why do you think this role in particular is occupied, very well mind you, by women?

6:   We have a private facebook group and I ask that group before every interview if they have any questions they want me to ask – well, for you I was flooded with about 15 – but I’ll narrow down to a few – this one comes from Kadeem Pilgrim: Kadeem wants to know “what you do in terms of marketing/social media strategy that sets the Eagles apart from other teams.”

7: Kadeem had about 8 more questions, but we’ll let someone else play, Ty Oney asks: “Creativity is a desired trait that is frequently found amongst the job descriptions for many sports jobs in marketing, social media, and content. What types of things do you look for in a potential candidate and how do ideal candidates convey creativity to you during the hiring process?

8: So many people see social as an in the moment spontaneous eruption, but there is much more strategy and planning that goes into it at the pro level – how much time do you spend planning, vs. in the moment reaction? And how do you measure the success of an effort to know if you are hitting the target?

9: The night after the Super Bowl the Eagles social team took the night off to celebrate. I loved this. As a person who has worked in the sports media for 20 years, I saw that and thought, good for you guys and gals.sports social media jobs

But a question nonetheless – was that planned before the game, or was that something that happened organically in the moment? Was their fan backlash or was it appreciated and understood?

10: There are so many social option out there – how do you harness all the available outlets to attract new fans and communicate with existing fans?

11: What does success look like for you – how are you measured and what are the goals you set out to hit?

Lightning Round 

1: We all have moments where the right joke or the perfect response hit us at the perfect moment – looking back do you have a particular post or tweet that makes it into your personal hall of fame?

2: What do you think the future holds for social communication – more of the same or is there something on the horizon we should all be ready to lean into?

3: Forget sports – who do you think are the best follows on Twitter?

4: I have a 10-year old daughter, she’s in 5th grade, all her friends have phones – I’m probably a jerk, but I say no, not yet. When did you get your first phone – and can she get an internship with you in a few years?

5: How does a Super Bowl champion Digital Platform Manager spend their off-season?

So much good info on jobs in sports social media. So much. Can’t thank Sam enough, and usually I’d do a little wrap up, but that was so much content to absorb I’m just going to let it lie right there.

Thanks to Samantha Wood – and yes I’ll say it Fly Eagles Fly.

Talk to you all later.

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