Katie Gillen: Atlanta United FC Manager of Social Media and Analytics

Katie Gillen, Atlanta United FC Manager of Social Media and Analytics joins host Brian Clapp on the Work In Sports podcast!

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

On our job board at WorkInSports.com, we currently feature 21,183 active sports jobs and internships in the sports industry. That’s a lot. That is literally the highest number of job openings we have ever featured in our 20 years of existence. atlanta united fc katie gillen

The opportunities are out there. But that’s not why I brought it up, I brought it up because I was doing a little research this morning. 

In 2004 USA Track and Field was the very first business or organization to post a job related to social media on our site.  

It was a ‘Website and Social Media Intern’, and man what I wouldn’t do to find out who that person was and see where they are now. But that’s not the point, so I’ll keep going.

USA Track and Field were way ahead of their time… 

  • LinkedIn was under a year old, having launched in May 2003
  • Facebook had just launched in February of 2004
  • Twitter was still two years away from existing
  • There was no Instagram or SnapChat

And yet, they were hiring a social media intern. Pretty cool. 

What is really amazing is that in 2005 there were zero jobs posted on our site with social media either in the job title or description. In 2006 there were two. 2007 there were 5, 2008 just 18.

From 2004-2008 in the early blast of the social media world phenomenon -- no one in sports was hiring people to be experts, solely focused on social media messaging and impact. Well, not no one… more like 26 people were hired into sports social media over 4 years.

Then the jump came. Sports organizations thought to themselves -- hey lookey there, this twitter thing looks popular. And that facebook, wow, maybe we can get our messages out there too?

In 2012 - 1,297 jobs related to social media were posted on WorkInSports.com.

Not bad. This world was being taken seriously. 

Back then, and I remember this well, people were speaking of social media like it had reached its apex… no need to focus on these roles, no more growth from here, it’ll die off, they were a passing fad, we’ll just lump them in with marketing and call it good.  

People coming up in the industry were asking me, should I even bother learning the business of social media? Understanding their ad platforms? How to track impressions and data? How to understand the impact and reach? Should I bother?

And I was screaming yes, yes, yes! 

And that proof has born out. Right now, at this very moment, there are 1,767 jobs active on our site related to social media.

Again to give context -- in ALL of 2012, 1,297 jobs… now we’re talking about a snapshot of the last 30 days in 2019 and we have 1,797. This growth is still happening.

In fact, think of this. I 2012 when people were trying to say “this fad is over, social media isn’t going to be a long-term viable business product” imagine if today’s guest, Katie Gillen Manager of Social Media and Analytics for Atlanta United FC, decided not to pursue this career path. She was just a junior at the time at the University of Florida, she could have transitioned to something else out of fear.

But she didn’t. 

And now, she’s one of the foremost experts in social media communication and analysis.  

Social media isn’t done. Here’s Katie Gillen. 

Listen in to this episode to hear incredible sports career advice from Katie Gillen Manager of Social Media and Analytics for Atlanta United FC

By Brian Clapp | October 09, 2019
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