I had an incredible year with ESPN Social in 2019 — from traveling to Toronto for the NBA Finals to helping us become one of the top sports media accounts on TikTok. It’s been a wild ride!
Here are some of the highlights (all the following social posts are videos that I shot or things I worked on):
📈📈📈 ESPN TikTok
This was the BIGGEST SURPRISE of 2019. I started to dig into this app in the spring when our team started experimenting on it, and by the summer, once I got through leading our NBA free agency coverage, I was given the green light to take lead of the ESPN TikTok account. I saw there was so much opportunity and upside for us, and it turned into a huge success.
In less than 6 months, I helped us grow to more than 2 million followers, and, as noted in ESPN’s end-of-year review, “ESPN is among the top five sports publishers on the platform with more than 62 million total likes to date and 380 million total views in just seven months.”
This one I posted may be the most engaged ESPN social post of all time (46.7M views, 3.2M likes, 46.6K shares): Guys throwing eggs in the air (yes, you read that right).
Some other viral TikToks I’ve produced:
2019 NBA Free Agency
This was one of the biggest NBA free agencies ever with six stars leading the way (Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker).
The following is an overview of how I prepared our entire team to be ready for more than 24 different scenarios:
- Held a team brainstorm
- From there, wrote up multiple ideas for every scenario for the biggest stars, plus other high-level free agents
- Worked with designers to create templates for breaking news and contract announcements
- Assigned projects to teammates
- Stayed organized to make sure all templates and projects were completed
- Wrote up a detailed plan so that everyone would be prepared to roll out all the prepared content no matter when news broke
It was so rewarding to manage this enormous project from start to finish.
2019 NBA Finals
Traveling for the NBA Finals is a privilege on our team, and I’m grateful I got the opportunity to travel to Toronto for Games 1 and 2 along with another teammate.
While we were there, the two of us wrote content plans for each day, including practices and games. I shot exclusive content for ESPN platforms that were posted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and IG Stories.
NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte
This was my second time at an NBA All-Star Weekend, but my first time really being involved in covering the events.
When I went to ASW in Los Angeles in 2018, I was there mostly to do one-on-one interviews at nearby events, and to blog about what was happening for For The Win. This time, I was actually on the court at various points throughout the weekend to film content for ESPN, SportsCenter and NBA on ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as for multiple sponsored Instagram Stories.
Christmas Day at Staples Center
This was the most fun I’ve ever had working during a holiday. I covered my first NBA Christmas Day game, and as a native Angeleno, it was pretty much a dream to have it be Lakers vs. Clippers. I shot an Instagram Story, content for the feeds and had a blast.
Working with designers
Part of my job involves working with ESPN social’s talented designers to come up with engaging ways to present any ideas that I think of during my shifts. It’s been a new way for me to stretch my creativity in that I could imagine something, and that someone else could bring it to life.
These designs in particular were all made by Anna Lupean, who’s now making a lot of the cool graphics you see across the Lakers’ social platforms. Shoutout to her for being so awesome to work with throughout the year. Here are just a few collabs we did:
2019 Spelling Bee
During the madness of the NBA playoffs/Finals, I was given the task of being the Spelling Bee lead, and it was a lot of fun! I brought back some older clips to help promote the competition ahead of time, and there was a stunning finish: eight co-champions.
From 2018 to 2019, I helped raise our Spelling Bee social engagement by more than +60%.