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Volume 25 No. 214
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Social Studies: Bucks CMO On International Reach, Seizing Moment

The Bucks have become darlings of the NBA with three straight playoff appearances, including this season’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they are two wins away from their first NBA Finals appearance in 45 years. That success has been punctuated with thousands of fans filling up the plaza area outside the new Fiserv Forum in addition to those in the arena itself on game nights. The team has capitalized on the moment to showcase the fervor to the team’s global audience. Bucks CMO Dustin Godsey (@Bucks) said, “As we’ve gotten into this playoff run, and it’s kind of two-fold a little bit, we are trying to showcase Milwaukee and the support we have been getting. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy a little bit. We built this plaza and live block area with the vision of one day having a deep playoff run and being able to engage fans and have this type of captive audience. Little did we now it happened in the first season.”

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follows: My feed is all sports and politics. I like to follow the Trail Blazers.
Favorite app: Kayak. I love the features of it and I love the wanderlust moments of sitting in your office and thinking about what could happen when the season ends.

Average time per day on social media: Too much. Not that I am sitting actively on Twitter. Any time I am at my desk, there’s a window open that has Twitter.

Team’s success impacting social media:
We reach more people through social media than there are people in the Milwaukee DMA. For us it’s such a huge part of getting our story out. It’s important for us knowing that we have one of the top three most popular players in the world (in Giannis Antetokounmpo) and that our reach has become more global as we’ve gone through. There is a lot more interest, especially this year, in making sure that audience is served as well as our local audience and people who are regularly here.

Engaging beyond Milwaukee:
We do a lot of highlight-based things and image-based content. That easily breaks down the language barriers of our different audiences. That’s the kind of content people have been engaging with and going toward. We’ve tailored specific things -- we will do in-language things around All-Star Game campaigns and callbacks where it is a call to action for international audiences. We did in-language messaging specifically in Greece, timing it for what would be peak hours there.

Content fans like most:
It’s anything we give them, certainly highlights and Giannis plays. We were the first team in the NBA to start clipping highlights in real time and posting those three or four years ago. That’s become such a natural thing that we do. This year we started live streaming pregame warmups that aligned with outside the broadcast windows, so fans can feel like they are getting that extra look behind the curtain.

Unique, authentic content:
That’s huge and what keeps the audience engaged in what we do. We’ve had the same person (Nick Monroe) running our social media accounts on a daily basis on different levels. He’s the head of digital content now. One of the things that has helped us build this engaged content is that we've had the same person doing it for 10 years. He has been able to build that voice. He understands what our audience will respond to. We are not the largest team in terms of followers, but in terms of engaged followers, we are always right at the top of the chart. We are always at the top of the chart in video views every month on social. Nick travels with the team on every road trip so he is able to capture the locker room celebrations and those sort of things that you can‘t plan for.

Important lesson learned amid team’s resurgence:
Really take advantage of the moment and really focus on our story and what we want to tell. It’s a funny industry where you can’t control the outcomes, you can’t control what happened on the court. We had a vision four, five years ago about who we wanted to be as an organization, what our goals were to be championship-level both on the court and off. We went through some rough times as a team in terms of wins and losses, but just focusing on that narrative and the story we want to tell and pushing away that noise from the outside when you can, it pays off if you make those strides and you get to where you said you wanted to go.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.