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Volume 26 No. 204
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Social Studies: Get Draft-Ready With The NFL's Dave Feldman

Football is a team game, and NFL Senior Dir of Social Content Dave Feldman will tell you that the massive task of covering and promoting the NFL Draft on social media is as well. He oversees the official league accounts, which have 55 million followers across its platforms. But the league’s biggest offseason event also involves 32 teams -- which combined have more than 135 million followers -- and a slew of players, as current NFLers have about 350 million followers. Not to mention the colleges that produced the latest Draft class, and the media partners covering the weekend (Feldman has had “countless meetings with our ESPN partners”). But he embraces the challenge: “We want to take advantage of as big of an ecosystem as possible to deliver the message and story of the Draft. … We think of it as our time to shine and use our megaphone to make as big a splash as possible.”

Must-follows: J.J. Watt, Odell Beckham Jr., Bleacher Report/House of Highlights
Favorite apps: Twitter, Peloton, Delta

Average time per day on social media: Up to 15 hours

Feed Me: There are four primary brands that I oversee. The official NFL account is kind of a catch-all where we have avid and non-avid fans following. We focus on the biggest, most topical storylines. The NFL Network account is the second biggest football account in the world, behind the NFL. We use that a lot to showcase our network talent, getting people better acclimated to their personalities. The Checkdown is kind of our helmets-off, football culture account that we launched about a year and a half ago. That’s where you’ll find out if Le’Veon Bell dropped a new rap album. NFL Throwback is our archival feed, showcasing legends and players of yesteryear.

A Platform For Every Season: Twitter is our most live platform. If a player makes a great catch, we’re putting that on Twitter first, then it gets on Instagram quickly as well. Whereas on Facebook, we may be waiting for that game to end and create longer-form content. We also have partnerships with Facebook, Snap and Twitter, which gives my team a clear sense of the volume we should be posting on gameday experiences. In a given month of the regular season, we’re doing thousands of posts across platforms. You want the algorithms to do their job and trust them to ensure our most powerful content reaches as big an audience as possible.

Feeling A Draft: We view the Draft as an introduction to our fans of who these players are. It’s obviously important that we post which team drafted which player, but we also purposely set up activations backstage to showcase player personalities. We are working with an important person in that player’s life who has either written a letter or recorded a very powerful message, which that player reads or watches for the first time right after he is drafted. It’s a great way to show the magnitude of this moment.

Keeping It 100: Throughout the year, including at the Draft, we’re allowing fans to be a part of the NFL’s 100th season. Over the last month or so, we’ve been asking fans to show their fandom in order to be eligible for season tickets for 100 years. And we’re revealing the winner of that at the Draft. 

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