>>Trevor: Hey everyone it’s Trevor Turnbull
here from Sports Networker and I’m joined by Jaime Stein. Jaime is the director of digital
marketing for the CFL is that right?>>Jaime: Manager of digital media.
>>Trevor: Manager of digital media there you go. Wears many hats though; he’s doing
all kinds of stuff. I wanted to meet up with Jaime because Jaime has been doing some really
cool stuff with the CFL over the last couple of years in this roll. Jaime maybe tell everyone
exactly what it is you do on a daily basis. What does it all entail?
>>Jaime: So a day-to-day basis for us would start with checking out the Web site; so we’re
in charge of all the content on the Web site in our little team. And then from there we’ve
got Facebook, we’ve got Twitter and we’ve got YouTube. So for us, on a Monday morning
we meet, we have a story meeting and we have a big white board up that lays out the week
and splits our content by genre. So we’ve got what goes up as written text on the Web
site and then from there it’s sort of a “play as you go” with Twitter. We respond to fans
and also tweet out our content. So there’s a two-way dialogue. You sort of don’t know
what’s gonna happen each day so that’s kind of what’s fun about that. Facebook is sort
of set in what’s gonna go up. We have a content schedule – every three to four hours [with]
new content. And then with YouTube we put up a video every three to four hours through
our content schedule.>>Trevor: Right. So you have a team of people
that work with you then? Or how many people work with you on that digital team?
>>Jaime: We have two video editors, or video producers, and we have three people including
myself that are sort of multi-purpose content people in social media.
>>Trevor: OK. Now how does one get into a roll like this? Obviously, especially on the
social media side of things, online and Web sites and stuff have been around for a while
as well as rolls that relate directly to them. But the social media element is kind of a
new thing. How did you work your way up to evolve into this roll, as it exists today?
>>Jaime: The content roll was the base of my background in journalism. I’ve always been
involved in content development; as a radio broadcaster and then eventually as my roll
at the CFL. The social media is the interesting part and that’s sort where it’s become my
area of expertise and that was a roll I created. We didn’t have social media – it wasn’t on
anybody’s title – and we developed a Twitter feed, we developed a Facebook page. From there
it was something I championed and ran with and now it’s sort of a part of our day-to-day
lives and it’s become the central point of a lot of different departments.
>>Trevor: So you started out when probably Facebook and Twitter weren’t even taken seriously
to a certain degree right. And now it’s kind of evolved into one of the main communication
points from a fan engagement perspective for sure. What are some unique ways you guys have
been using social media with the league to connect with those fans and then integrate
sponsors? I guess that’s the second part of the question but just from the fan engagement;
what’s some of the cool stuff you’re doing?>>Jaime: One of my favorite ones from Twitter
– it’s funny because for me the more simple the better I find often. At Halloween last
year we had a fan make a pumpkin with a CFL logo in it and said “Hey check out our pumpkin.
This is really cool.” And I thought “Yeah, that is cool; look at this CFL pumpkin that
takes a lot of work. So we took the pumpkin and we changed our profile picture to this
fan’s CFL pumpkin. It then prompted the fan to say “Hey, that’s my pumpkin” and then other
people started to say, “Well I made a CFL pumpkin too.” And then people started tweeting
us their pumpkins with their team logos or the CFL logo and the next thing you know there
were these pumpkins flying all over the place. So they talk about social media being two-way?
That was created by fans. We didn’t create that; that came to us. A more modern example,
or more recent I should say, is Keek. It’s little micro-video blogging. What we’re doing
with that is we’re on location with players and we’ll do is we’ll tweet to our fans and
ask them to send in questions to the players. Then what we’ll do is, we’ll take our iPhones
and we’ll simply just shoot the video of the player responding to the fan’s question. We
can upload that video back onto Twitter with a personalized response for fans. A lot of
people say a “retweet” or a “followback” is the new autograph in this era. We’re taking
that even further by saying here’s a personalized message that lives permanently on the Web
and you can now show all your friends and say “Hey look, my favorite player just responded
to my question.>>Trevor: Nice. I know I’ve seen that with
some big corporate brands too. I know Best Buy does that I think their president will
respond to support requests and customer service questions and that type of thing from the
purpose of just giving that personal connection; that personal touch. The CFL is unique in
that way that the fans really do have unprecedented access to the players; more so than any other
league I think. You guys really have an asset there in the sense that the players are so
engaging and they want to use these tools. Speaking to that, I wasn’t actually gonna
ask this question but it’s come up now, have you guys devised any kind of policy as it
relates to social media for the teams and players in how they go about using these tools?
Do you have any rules and guidelines that you guys have outlined?
>>Jaime: We’ve established a policy for the players that limits the time before and after
a game in which they can go on social media. I believe it’s 20 minutes on either side of
a game, so it’s not very restrictive. And then the only other caveat to that is any
comments made on social media are treated equal to any comments made on traditional
media. So if you were to swear or tear down the league in a tweet it would be the same
as if you were to say it on the national news. So at the end of the say it’s really common
sense prevails; you wanna watch what you say or think before you tweet but I’m proud to
say that the players in the CFL are some of the most engaging athletes you’ll meet out
there and they’re very open and they talk to fans. That’s without really any prompting
from the league or the teams; a lot of it happened organically with the players. A lot
of them use it for their own charity causes as well. Which I think is neat, especially
[what] you’re seeing right now with the CFL “pink” campaign for women’s cancer awareness
this month. A lot of players – like Taylor Robertson, Randy Chevrier – are pushing their
personal stories out to fans and really engaging and making it a connection that people can
relate to.>>Trevor: Right. The authenticity I think
is really important – especially from the athlete perspective right? It allows them
to connect with people on a real level as opposed to them being this larger than life
athlete that also happens to be just an average person. So it’s a really powerful thing. So
from a sponsorship advertising perspective – have you guys been able to integrate any
of your sponsors into these online components? Social media as well as the Web site
>>Jaime: Not probably on a mass scale, and what the audience would like to see is how
does social media make me money. But one of my favorite examples is at our Grey Cup Tweet
Up last year – TELUS is one of our partners and TELUS was involved with us in the Tweet
Up – we worked with together with them on the mobile app, the TELUS CFL mobile app.
What we do with that app, and this is a neat little activation, if you came to our Tweet
up and you came over to the TELUS table and said “Hey I’ve downloaded this app,” and you
showed it to them you were given a TELUS and some beads with some chap stik on it cause
in Edmonton it was cold. So it was neat and there was a little reward for showing that
you were engaging with this app that was a co-branded product. Did that lead directly
to monetization? No. But did it lead to an engagement with a brand that partners with
the CFL? Yes. And I think that was a good way to do it because it was relevant to our
fans – because the app helps them – but it also benefited our corporate partner.
>>Trevor: That’s a great example. I know the CFL is trying to lead in many ways with
regard to trying to integrate social media. Are there other leagues though that you look
to as best practice and kind of following and seeing what they’re doing and try to emulate
some of those best practice examples?>>Jaime: I think were really lucky in North
America in that all of the major pro sports leagues seem to be doing different things
in social media but everybody is experimenting. To me that’s the key; if you want to learn
in social media you can try and reinvent the wheel but I think it’s just run little experiments.
The Keek one I talked about; that’s just an experiment we’re running on the side. And
the Keek video may, at the end of the year, be something where we say “It didn’t work.
It was neat but it didn’t work.” Or we may go “That’s huge. Let’s invest in it further.”
If you look at what the major pro sports leagues are doing they’re running little experiments
because sometimes what you think may work may absolutely not work and sometimes what
you don’t think works, works and you can be surprised. So I would say if you’re interested
in figuring out what works look at what other people are doing, look at the experiments
they’re running and experiment on your own as well.
>>Trevor: Right. How are you guys measuring the success? Are you trying to equate all
this social activity to some kind of measurable results whether it be sales or awareness or
lead generation or anything like that? Have you guys taken any steps in that direction?
>>Jaime: We’ve taken little steps. Working through TicketMaster we can put “came from”
codes on the URLs we send out. We’ve integrated that onto our Web site this year; so we’re
now able to see how much revenue comes off the Web site. The next extension of that is
having specific codes that get tweeted out or Facebooked out and see what revenue would
then come in from either Twitter or Facebook. So for us it would be mostly in tickets and
then eventually we would like to integrate that with shop as well and our online store.
>>Trevor: Right. It’s obviously constantly evolving and it’s awesome to see you guys
doing the stuff that you’re doing and I’m excited to see what happens over the next
couple of years. The wild wild west right; so many things changing constantly. Speaking
specifically from your role as the manager of social media for the CFL – I know a lot
of people that follow Sports Networker and the Sports Executives Association are aspiring to
kind of get to where you are right now and beyond. They want to run pro sports teams
and they wanna be VP level selling tickets or doing sponsorships or whatever it might
be. If you had one bit of advice to give based on your own past experience what would that
be for those aspiring sports business professionals?>>Jaime: If you wanna be in the sports industry
you gotta be willing to do whatever it takes and I think if I look back at the people that
are successful they’re the people that are in the office before you every day and they’re
the people that are in the office after you leave. They’re also the first person to put
their hand up when someone else needs help and they’re just generally around when people
need somebody. I find that most times the people that get hired in the sports industry
– the sports industry doesn’t hire looking at growth. They usually hire once they’ve
hit a point where they desperately need somebody and hiring’s hard so they usually look for
who’s nearby. If you’re that person that’s been hard working, chances are they’re gonna
go “I don’t wanna do a job search, but hey he’s right here and he’s been doing that job
already. You’re in and here you go.” Be that person. Be that guy or girl whose always there
and people will get to know who you are and people will be ready to tap you on the shoulder
when the time comes.>>Trevor: Nice. Can’t substitute hard work.
Great message. Last thing – how do people connect with you as well as the CFL online?
>>Jaime: Our Web site is www.cfl.ca on Twitter we’re @CFL and on Facebook we’re facebook.com/cfl.
Personally you can reach me on Twitter, jaimestein.com or you can check me out on LinkedIn as well.
Flip me a note and I’m happy to connect with anyone and I love talking social
>>Trevor: Awesome. So do I, man and I really appreciate you doing this interview and I’ll
make sure to link that all up below this video so you guys can link up with Jaime and we’ll
talk to you again soon.