137: Sports communication in a digital age with Tom Nickson

Engaging your supporters 100 years ago was simply showing up and giving it your all. These days you’ve got to create and post relevant content, produce beautiful videos, reply to questions, tell engaging stories and provide frequent updates. You could say it’s gotten kind of complex.

Tom Nickson is the Digital Media Manager of the Western Bulldogs, and it’s his job making sure the above is happening. From assisting and directing his production team daily, to leading his social media team to boost engagement, this is a job that doesn’t stop when the season ends – this a 365-day commitment.

This week we take you behind the scenes of the AFL’s Western Bulldogs communication team and how they build their library of content. Comprised of two video producers, a digital marketing coordinator, a social media and digital coordinator, an editorial manager AND a graphic design team, they have almost as many players as the Doggies themselves.

Key points:

  • Developing a strategy beyond the wins and losses
  • Creating an experience via digital channels to evoke feelings from the fans; excitement of a new recruit, devastation of a season-ending injury, tension from rivalries
  • The never-ending search for stories, with the women’s league a key source.
  • The importance of recycling content and how they do it
  • How to measure and evaluate digital content, and the importance of benchmarking
  • The need for authenticity and candour from players, coaches and staff

What is content communication? It is a strategic, measurable, and accountable business process that relies on the creation, curation, and distribution of useful, relevant, and consistent content. The purpose is to engage and inform a specific audience in order to achieve a desired citizen and/or stakeholder action. That is the practice and the process of content communication.

Related links