This week on "Beers, Business, and Balls", Dave Woodley of Playmakers, joins the podcast (17:17). The Chief Content and Revenue Officer of the popular media brand. Playmaker is a sports media, events, and merchandise company with a 12+ million-follower social footprint.
On the pod, David discusses why Playmaker has been able to garner a titanic following on social media, why their content resonates so well with their followers, and what’s next for the brand. David also breaks down Playmaker’s endeavors in athlete representation: from Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson to college athletes getting a piece of the pie, there’s much to be excited about from Playmaker.
What is "Playmaker" and how is it different from other media brands?
"In a nutshell, we are a sports company for Gen Z and younger audiences. We aren't trying to recreate the wheel, we are going to where the sports fans are. We're huge on Instagram. We're huge on Snap, huge on TikTok, and pretty big on Facebook and Youtube. Playmakers are creating content and doing content series that younger audiences like. We are focusing on a lot of basketball, lotta hoops, some extreme sports, some football. Baseball absolutely tanks, same with NASCAR, so we want to focus on what is being followed.
How we are different from other companies, in my opinion, is we have the media side and we have the event side too. We're kicking off with a couple of big events in Q3/Q4, ones a boxing event and the other is a 1-on-1 basketball tournament, that we're very excited about. Merch, which is how the company started, we sell a ton of Playmaker gear. The brand itself is strong enough that these young kids and young adults are buying this gear and wearing it, with our names and sayings on it. It's tough to get people to buy your gear and wear it proudly, and it's cool to see it happen. We work with a ton of athletes to do merch collaborations. We also have the talent side, where we directly represent 30+ current and former professional athletes. We are their official marketing reps. We aren't traditional agents, but we are creating content series around them, especially on Snapchat and IGTV. We make strong content, and tell a story about them."
"What does the future look like for Playmaker"
On the new NIL Policy - "Obviously a gamechanger in a lot of ways. Name-image-likeness. It is a very wild west feeling, it's good and bad, but for a company like us, a good thing is that it's not too established and not having to go out interrupt things...
We knew some plays personally, and we started reaching out to players via DM... and we started bringing on athletes... We are about 25 athletes, and another 15-20 confidence will come on board... We knew it would be a focus of ours. We knew our end game isn't the same as a lot of other ones, which is you see kids signing on to formal agencies to go sell
... Our end goal is to work with athletes directly... We know how to build players' brands on platforms that matter. Beyond finding them endorsements and sponsors, we want to create series around them to tell their journey. Not just their highlights... There is a ton of value in your own personal brands. You will get endorsements on your on-the-field play, but if you have an engaging social following and make yourself marketable."
On future plans - "We are going to continue to follow that younger audience. We have three major focuses in the near term. The first is in the sports betting vertical. It is a massive market and we are starting to pump out content from that channel. We have begun to grow that organically. We will have all the original programs for it. It's not about selling picks or take these bets, we are trying to build a community that values the content. The main pillar for the gambling side is Infotainment (informative entertainment with personalities), Education (teaching people how to bet), and Storytelling (telling fun stories from bad beats and epic wins)."