Greenfly Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Kirschner was a recent guest on the Unofficial Partner sports business podcast, hosted by Richard Gillis and published by Sean Singleton. Kirschner talked about how Greenfly is set up to enhance the authenticity of an organization’s social media content, the importance of infrastructure to help teams operate efficiently and as a staff changes, giving athletes the raw ingredients they want and need to cultivate their own digital presence (while enhancing the club’s), monetizing social media, and more!
Check out a few excerpts from the interview below and be sure to listen to the full episode of the Unofficial Partner podcast.
How authenticity benefits the athletes and their team:
"We talk a lot about balance. You want to balance authenticity with quality...When our system provides content to athletes, it's providing them with the raw material...Most of the content that's flowing through Greenfly is that raw material that people can then use how they see fit...(The athletes) are choosing what to share, it's really their voice. You're giving them access to great stuff they want, but they're still able to share it in any way that they want. They can share it on the channel that they want, they can share it with the copy or language that they want…
"The other thing is that when you're getting content from people -- when you're sending them a brief for content -- you're able to provide a brief that provides guidelines around what you're looking for, the theme...but at the end of the day they're still creating it themselves...they're filming it themselves, they're creating it themselves, they're capturing it on their own device. So you're balancing the interests of the organization -- the stories they want to tell -- with the actual authentic production by the individuals that people want to hear from.
"The result is maintaining the authenticity while still giving the organization some ability to have some determination over the story it's trying to tell."
Overcoming the challenges of social media staff leaving the club, and taking their player relationships and workflows with them:
"It's an issue when the ability to work with athletes is all in somebody’s mobile device, in their WhatsApp and they’re texting or messaging and they’re doing it in their own private way. And it’s based on a very personal relationship between a social media manager and other parts of an organization, so when that person leaves, you lose the contacts, you lose the context, you lose the history, you lose a lot of the relationship…
“We really try to get the best of both worlds (at Greenfly). We provide an infrastructure for those relationships and communication, so that infrastructure persists…so if a social media manager leaves, the athletes are still on Greenfly, and the next social media manager that comes in can open up the Greenfly backend system and start sending messages and start sending content and they don’t need to figure out people’s cell phone numbers or how to connect with them on WhatsApp…I think what we’ve built really enables a kind of continuity and a professionalization of this segment.”
Different ways to monetize social media and activate athletes:
“When it comes to guided (social media) posts…it makes it very easy to do that and also track performance. So when it comes to monetizing posts or branded content, it’s very effective for that. In sports, you often see also using it to add value for other relationships that are monetized. One club in Europe told us that when they were negotiating a jersey rights deal, Greenfly was front and center because they were able to (say) ‘We don’t just post content on our channels, but we’re able to get content to the channels of all of our athletes’ and they’re able to support and feature that jersey sponsorship…and the athletes of course are excited to post it because they want great content of themselves but at the same time by posting that they’re also supporting (the sponsorship)…”
The tie between athlete fandom and team fandom:
“There’s a lot of fandom tied to cities, tied to organizations, but there is a lot of fandom tied to athletes and individuals, as well. So, creating as tight a connection as possible between the organization and the athletes will really feed the fandom. I think that’s one of the reasons that people really want to use a platform like Greenfly or really a team or league wants to provide incredible content to the athletes is because they know that not only will that increase engagement on the athlete channels, but they’re able to provide content that really is connected to the team…
“I think it’s really important for teams to create that tight connection between them and their athletes — league, as well — because I think that they realize that a lot of fandom is really built that way, and engagement really happens that way.”
Check out the full episode here.