Sean Callanan chats with Ben Clink from South Sydney Rabbitohs about the journey of driving commercial outcomes from digital.

On this podcast you'll learn about:

  • Ben Clink about getting into sports
  • His role as the Head of Digital at Rabbitohs
  • What were his challenges earlier in the role
  • Effective tools and methods they use to roll out the club's digital activations
  • What areas in the digital space they are working on
  • His thoughts after a Digital to Dollar pitch workshop
Learn more about digital & commercialisation with Ben Clink

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Ben Clink on content as one of their commercial drivers

Having more successful content is going to lead to more successful commercial outcomes.

Ben Clink, South Sydney Rabbitohs

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About Ben Clink

Ben Clink has been with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for almost 7 years. Straight after college, Ben started working with the content side of things managing social channels and measuring how people are receiving content. He also worked together with sales people to ensure that the content going out is for the best interest of the organisation.

Currently, Ben is the Head of Digital at Rabbitohs building and maintaining a relationship with their audiences on a daily basis and sending them commercial messages and getting a better understanding about the commercial side of things.

Resources from the podcast

Highlights from podcast with Ben Clink

3:32 Redfern Oval being renamed to Metricon High Performance Centre

3:54 How Ben Clink got into the world of sports

10:17 Ben’s starting point in working with Rabbitohs’ digital, data and insights

12:34 The role of data in the organisation’s commercialisation piece

15:23 The structural change that resulted from building good digital and commercial relationships

16:58 The tools and methods they use to successfully roll out their digital activations

19:12 Utilising Facebook and Facebook Messenger to create multiple touch points for fans

21:35 Managing their digital team amidst the twists and turns in the space

26:19 Ben’s thoughts after the Digital to Dollars pitch workshop

28:53 How they are handling their partners’ increased expectations

30:51 How they are working on delivering outcomes for Rabbitohs’ sponsors

36:57 The challenges in the commercialisation piece

38:02 Sports Geek Closing Five

41:10 How the Rabbitohs fans are engaging in their Instagram stories

46:12 Need your digital strategy and content plan sorted? Book in a Digital to Dollar workshop

47:31 Love our episodes? Leave us a podcast review on Apple Podcasts

Some tweets you may have missed:

Inspiring quote for the win!

We're looking forward to seeing Rabbitohs in the finals

Lengends!

Podcast Transcription

Transcribed by robots forgive errors

[00:00:01] Sean Callanan Welcome episode 248 of Sports Geek on this week's episode. I chat digital and commercialisation with South Sydney Rabbitohs Ben Clink.

[00:00:14] DJ Joel Welcome to Sports Geek. The podcast built for sports digital and sports business professionals. And now here's your host who has just passed a big milestone. Sean Callanan.

[00:00:30] Sean Thanks DJ Joel. Yes my name is Sean Callanan and yes we did recently pass a big milestone 400,000 downloads. You obviously are one of those people who download. So thank you very much. You can find me on most social media channels Sean Callanan on most things and if you want to contact me the old fashioned way you can send me an email [email protected] Thank you if you found the podcast via Sports Geek HQ or from your favourite podcast platforms or if you've found it by our recent Money in Esports series which was a repeat and a bit of a replay mini series all of our Money in Esport Series event that we ran in Sydney. I hope you enjoyed that. I hope it wasn't too internse getting five episodes in five days. The early response has been good and the response really event's been good. So again if you will learn a little bit more about the world of sports. Check out that Money in Esports series. Before we get into my conversation with Ben Clink where we discuss the digital commercialisation journey of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and effectively look at I guess what became the Digital to Dollars process just what talk a little bit about the consulting work we were doing that we are doing with clients like the South Sydney Rabbitohs whether it be education and training and bringing digital staff up to speed on on things like advertising content content brainstorming or optimising for particular platforms. But as we discussed in this in this podcast a lot of our work is around helping sports commercialize their assets and helping the commercial teams commercialise their assets. As we have a fire engine going down Church Street hopefully you did not hear that but that's okay. We will press on. So yes if you're interested in that kind of assistance and you need help in that space please reach out [email protected] or if you really just want to kick off and want something a little bit of a taster you can go to and book a Pick my Brain session just go to  sportsgeekhq.com/pickmybrain for a two hour consult and we dive in on your issues. It's a really good starter to figure out how how we can help you. But now let's get into my chat with Ben Clink from the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

[00:03:03] Sean Very happy to be here in a sunny Sydney or at least sunnier than Melbourne. Here at Rabbitohs headquarters. I'm here with Ben Clink the Head of Digital for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Welcome to the podcast. We're here in the the Rabbitohs boardroom surrounded by history and in the border itself and overlooking the pitch and the boys on the training track in the throws of the last few weeks of the NRL season. It has recently been renamed what's the training field now?

[00:03:32] Ben Clink It's the Metricon High Performance Centre that traditional Redfern Oval with a bit of an upgrade in the last little while but proud partners Metricon on putting their name to that and helping the boys get around the park.

[00:03:44] Sean Terrific. So first of all I saw my normally my opening question ahead. How did you find yourself here. How did you get your way into sports.

[00:03:54] Ben Cold calling basically. I just got a gig in the building while at university trying to flag memberships. Just on the phones. The way that we did back then and just ringing out people in the early days of membership trying to explain what it was early days in membership in rugby league anyway. Explain what it was and get them in the door. So that was my baptism at the Rabbitohs.

[00:04:14] Sean So effectively sales which is common especially for the US listers like that is the entry point. One of the things I always see is inside sales right inside sales which is the US friends would know that that's someone inside the stadium trying to sell a ticket or a ticket for another game or a membership to someone who's already at the game. And it's just the entry point and for   for Australia the membership is not the easiest entry but it's the place that so much revenue comes from. So for the people who don't know the Rabbitohs are one of the oldest and most prestigious NRL teams and also one of the first that sort of push really out in the membership space to sort of following the cousins from down south the AFL clubs have done membership for a little bit longer you guys really led the way.

[00:05:05] Ben And you're right. I mean it was born out of necessity really. We sort of don't have the traditional I guess rugby league backing of the leagues club and   when Russell took over the club one of the first things he did was remove the poker machines and   one of the things I guess that it did is it really made us think about our business model and built some sort of austerity into all of that. And so we had to sharpen up man and membership was Uno Riccio is not  a jammer football here now but at the same time Shane Richardson he's not worried about stealing ideas wherever he can and you pick that one up from the AFL and we really spearheaded that in rugby league at the time and it became   the foundation of what we do and still is the foundation of what we do as a commercial business.

[00:05:50] Sean So what how many gigs did you have or what did you do inside the Rabbitohs to get to the world of digital.

[00:05:57] Ben I did all of them just about like I said I started while I was at university   getting a gig where I could a couple of days a week on the phones and that transition into a full time sort of membership servicing role. And then I took off for a while and overseas travelled and spent some time again sort of cold calling for charity fundraisers and things like that which is actually very similar to selling memberships selling sort of   passion and goodwill and feelgood sort of story in that way. And then I came back made a pound of the bait did   admin and facilities and things like that. One of the things working in footy clubs. I think people probably don't realise is you wear a lot of hats anyway. Membership people are gameday people and half the time they're selling merchandise and upselling sponsors where they can. So once you're in the door it's pretty exposed to a lot of things.

[00:06:51] Sean You're ruining you ruin the glamour of sports business like it is easy fresh faced wet behind the ears graduates the thing gets all hanging out with players. But it is funny when you know a lot of listeners will be nodding their heads when you say   the amount of marquees you've set out and booths you handed out and enveloped your packs. It's all part of the business isn't it.

[00:07:15] Ben   absolutely it is. I mean that's a core part of it anyway because you do get to experience lots of different things especially. I mean I've truly come through the ranks of the professional and in sports the whole way. So   kind of in a lot of ways sort of   fulfil the need for me to be exposed to different things and sort of find my place within it. It led me and it led me to the digital space primarily through I guess ultimately the content creation and video production sort of side of things with my step into the whole commercial world the digital. So roundabout way to get today. .

[00:07:54] Sean I'm always fascinated how people get to where they get to because especially and especially in the digital space that's been some sort of angle there's the content the editorial type people who were the commercial focused but you just sort of seen all different parts of the club. So what what did sort of pique your interest in the digital space and wanting to do it. Was it you as a consumer is it you looking at other industries or…

[00:08:20] Ben I mean it was driven. I think just as a fan of the club and really from a storytelling space like I didn't really   I wasn't a big social media user or anything like that. But I was really interested in the storytelling side of things and I kind of felt like we had we had an opportunity. Again I suppose we were pretty strong in that area early on through Russell's involvement. He had   brought a little bit of Hollywood to the club.

[00:08:55] Sean For people who haven't got the reference so far, it's a Russell Crowe for those who don't know but if you've listen to the podcasts having Blake Solly, CEO previously on and Jes previously on yes told the story of Russell. But obviously brings a bit of storytelling and star power to the Rabbitohs brand.

[00:09:16] Ben He actually did. What was it called that was the South Side Story so the documentary that they ran on broadcast here which was basically like a hard knocks   in rugby league really early and   so he brought that and that just seemed to me that I could see the stories going around the club on a sort of daily basis and all of a sudden we had a medium to get that in front of people. And so I just sort of got involved in it from from that perspective. It's just   to try to   really put the stories the great stories that   we you get to see on a daily basis out there to as many people as possible.

[00:09:55] Sean So want to talk to you a little bit about the work that you've been doing around the commercialisation and your title, your full title, the one that's on LinkedIn is digital, data and insight. Where did that start. What was your starting point for that piece.

[00:10:17] Ben I think it's a common point for a lot of people in this space now it really started with as a content focussed person managing channels and measuring myself based on how   people are saving that content and then having the interaction with salespeople that is potentially what I felt damaging to that relationship. So sitting in there and creating all of that sort of stuff and then you need to drop that you've got to do 10 tweets for a partner and think this is just going to kill   my relationship that we've spent all this time building so that's really where it came about.   I sort of started agitating within the business and   there was a group of people I suppose that did at the time around the fact that they'd just mutually exclusive those two things and unless we can figure out a way to put all of that together to kind of make a group of people responsible for like maintaining and building and maintaining that relationship with the audience on a daily basis and then sort of responsibly serving them commercial methods and understanding the commercial side of the business. And again it really comes back to it. We still, even as   creative content producers, had an eye on the fact that we needed to know where the paycheck was coming from because it wasn't coming again from poker machines.   it really came to that part we had to figure out   what the next sort of membership was going to be or how we're going to do it. And I got into this space from that front really saying that we need to commercialize this space and we understand that but we need to do it in a way that is responsible and it's not going to affect   the daily relationship we have with people.

[00:11:54] Sean And again so it goes back to your first gig because I remember the first couple of things that we did was looking at the data looking at what you had and saying how can we sell more membership. How do we do the cheeks are the seats and diving in on   these different audiences and getting an understanding and getting your team's understanding and   being on that CRM journey the runs on the journey and trying to connect those sources to say well   that commercialisation piece is really important and so like how important it has been to get that  data now and the data geeks to so to dive in on what you've got.

[00:12:34] Ben It is huge. I think the biggest factor in all of this that I probably should've mentioned just before was Blake Solly took over the club. Blake came from previously working in the Super League in the UK which was obviously deep behind enemy lines over there as a very small sport with a very passionate following but really up against it and so again they had sort of lacked that they had to have that toughness about him where they needed to look for any opportunity so he'd overseen   a pretty successful fan engagement and data process from a league perspective and say it was a real priority for him to bring it back so he actually made some really key hires for us around Vicky who's head of insights here and she came   from a lot of experience   working and market research and and some pretty tough industries and that really immediately brought some some nous to the business around that whole sort of space. So there was probably driven primarily by Blake.

[00:13:36] Sean And I guess it's good for him because again coming from Super League and being small small fish in a pond and coming to the Rabbitohs which has got a large digital and in real life fan base and going oh wow what can we do with this kind of fan base with these kind of tools and and strategies.

[00:13:56] Ben  Absolutely. But again I think that that commonality of feeling like you had to do something you really had   is sort of back against that even you mentioned it earlier today we're talking about the reality of the Sydney sports market is being so competitive in the first place so   the Rabbitohs a   an exceptional brand but they're in a tough market. Similarly to the Super League I suppose so there was a lot of stuff that it could bring over that was directly compared again to set the scene.

[00:14:23] Sean  We're in Sydney there's multiple NRL teams how many are nine nine nine in our world yet Nine NRL teams you've got a couple of cricket teams you've got a but   basketball teams you got a couple of AFL teams also here. So it makes for a really competitive market for the fan for the fan entertainment dollar.   that kind of thing have become something that you've got to be savvier in in understanding that piece. So you started I guess started from that data point of view and started shoring up understanding your data. You still had your content head on looking at your content looking at the analytics looking at what strategy   your channel strategies how are we tackling these different channels and   pretty much is a little bit of. So what was some of the like early wins in that space of what you were focussing on there.

[00:15:20] Ben In there in the data space. I really feel like the the big break through for us that kind of accelerated where we're getting to now. Was there structural change that we've put in place. So so our digital team   has that remit across both those areas. So we're responsible for building the relationship and commercial commercializing the relationship digitally so that I mentioned that earlier that that didn't exist. And once we put those things under the same umbrella and they weren't mutually exclusive anymore we could start genuinely looking for solutions for both of those things because it's covered like the silos is pretty common.

[00:15:56] Sean Right. And it becomes   and I've joked about the digital divorce counsellor which is   played a part in it in here and in other places. But then once you're owning all that piece of the puzzle you can have that focus and that's   it's one of your drivers.

[00:16:15] Ben And you just start to genuinely say that it's symbiotic anyway. I mean you stop having   whatever those barriers are to that are exclusive and and focus more on the things that are in common around   how having   it seems really simple to say but [00:16:32]having more successful content   is going to lead to more successful commercial outcomes. [4.0s] And so therefore you need to protect   that whole thing in the first place.  it just removes a lot of that friction I think.

[00:16:44] Sean And from a like data and CRM journeys and like what what does your tech stack look like. What are some of the tools that are a part of I guess your repertoire and your teams really leading you look at the Web.

[00:16:58] Ben We're definitely   on a journey in that space.   it's certainly not an area that we've got right where   that the challenging thing for a club I think in in at least in the NRL is that we for so long we didn't own a lot of that relationship   in terms of supply things like ticketing obviously we don't know in those relationships and even in the past that network's been outsourced to major partners and things like that. So   the last couple of years has really been about from a league perspective consolidating all of that and trying to trying to remove some of those third parties so that we can start to drive some outcomes but   like everybody else we've taken a lot of bumps and bruises along the way to get to that point and we're still we're still   trying to get to that area.

[00:17:45] Ben But what we've what we've tried to do is   just look I guess for the opportunities within what we can deliver that have a real outcome  . So I think we've been pretty successful in in   making ensuring that our practices around data and  . Lead to an outcome for it whether it be a partner or whether it be   influencing our content strategy or so   we've been I think really proactive in using what we've got available to us or   all the while understanding that we've got a long way to go.

[00:18:17] Ben I think to to get to whatever that Nirvana is of   customer understanding.

[00:18:24] Sean And so from a from a channels point of view and from a   platforms point of view for a long time it's   it's been the the Big Three so to speak of Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.  .   where's your head at. Where the Rabbitohs at. Across. I guess those three.  what are you looking at in the other category I guess.

[00:18:50] Ben  I mean look where where one of the main things we're trying to do is diversify across that sort of area and I mean we've traditionally been pretty strong focus on Facebook and we still do. I mean but   we've   we've been we've launched a messenger bot in the last 12 months and we've really been trying to drive our focus towards  Facebook Messenger as a as a platform to get in front of people and   sort of making sure that we have multiple touch points across those areas to be wherever they need us to be I suppose with whatever the messages. So that's a little bit different because I mean again that that changes the focus from us just having a big number.   I mean that's where we were it was just we wanted to be   I think whether we got to the third or fourth highest overall following on   on Facebook in particular at the NRL clubs outside of   like the Warriors and   some of those sort of big catchment area teams  . But we that's that's not what we're focussing on at all. It's just how many times can we get in front of someone on whatever channel where they are.

[00:19:52] Sean So on that and it's to me it's important point because like I do coming in to clubs and you'll see like the membership number on the wall I see you'll see the sponsorship number on the wall and you'll see the Facebook number.    . But on the wall.  . And it's not a real true representation and it can skew the whole organisation. It can also skew the digital team.  . So if someone that's diving in on the analytics whether it's Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever. What's what do you give your team to say hey this is what we're this is what we're chasing or this is what good looks like for us.

[00:20:27] Ben  All of our measurements around engagement. So it's more about cut through than volume. It's about I think the value of sport before digital always has been the fact that people stop and pay attention. It's a pretty simple thing. People take the time out of their day to stop whatever they were doing to turn and have a look at what you're doing and our I think our value in digital is the same and   in a space where   anyone can get a message in front of anybody now just about     what we what we try to make sure is that when we put something out people stop and pay attention to it and to really maintain that.

[00:21:04] Sean So then the challenge is how do you I guess appropriately know hey Did it work.  . When the algorithm changes your bits change and your like we're chasing   we're chasing this because this is what's working and this woods. And then Zach changes a lever and it changes. So how do  . Because it's the work might be the same you're follow the same process and it's not getting the same result yet. How do you manage a team. And I guess follow those twists and turns you change.

[00:21:35] Ben Really I think that's what it's about always I sort of talk to like   what do I think makes a good sort of digital employer a digital citizen. It's just someone who is going to learn I think is the most important thing because   you come in I come into the office tomorrow and the world changes. That's how it is. So   we have to be prepared to do that and just to be constantly trying to keep up to speed with what's going on and and importantly   bring the rest of the organization along with that or bring partners along with those changes.   it's a pretty constant sort of conversation around the evolution that   all of those areas made. So   I just think we try to keep abreast of all those things as best we can but in saying that I think you can talk about whether people are engaging with what you're doing no matter what I mean because.   the platform or the channel can change but when you get in front of somebody they stopping and paying attention I think that hasn't changed yet.

[00:22:36] Sean It's just it's just hard to it's just hard.  . Hard to say. It did happen. Yes so it's not on for mine. It's not in every single post.   right. But it's like when the opportunity comes in is your team ready and willing and skilled enough to execute. Yes. To see that we got that one right.  Whether it's   capturing the perfect moment and putting it on the right channel in the right format and the right time.  . That's that's the skill piece.  .

[00:23:08] Ben Probably the main thing that we do. We've got a which I think gets lost a lot particularly in a space that changes so much because you were talking about it in esports just before saying   there's already sort of a bit of a culture to say that's how we've always done it.   in such a new industry right. And that happens very quickly. Bet that stuff gets established really quickly. So we try to always say well   associate said just ask why why are we doing that. What's that about why. And if you can't answer that   in accordance to what we know why we're here.

[00:23:38] Ben And so if you can't say well   why did I capture that or why did I put it on that channel then   then you're not doing your job I suppose.

[00:23:46] Sean And it's a good one for any content producer or publisher to go because otherwise you just do it is a tick in the box.  . It's Tuesday we've got to do that thing we do on Tuesday we're going to put that on those platforms because it's Tuesday. Right. And if it's like why we're doing this all we want someone to double tap this photo so hard.   because it really hits where we want them to comment on it without saying Leave a comment with your comment.   totally right. And so that's the skill and I think that's the piece that is a constantly developing skill being able to get the tone right and get that and get that engagement but then also   going back to having a voice of the fan and talking like the fan.  . And what are they saying. Well part of that's listening seeing how they're talking and seeing that that's a thing. And and then executing that piece.

[00:24:39] Ben  . I mean we've got a pretty we've got a relatively simple strategy that we feel like works for us when it comes to Facebook.   I think the way that   the algorithms working the way that sport cuts through that it's either   make people laugh or   laugh out loud that laughing face emoji or the love out emoji if you can hit one of those two things out particularly when it comes to like the storytelling around   that the game or the match the play but if you can if you can show a side to a player that makes people laugh see their character that way or     some fantastic post that resonates through about the working community that makes people want to hit that love hot button that's how I think to get in front of people on that.

[00:25:21] Sean  . And and   and it's like I guess not all reactions are equal.    .   if you put that on a T-shirt and wear to a social media conference. But it is exactly it. So I wanted to I guess recap a little bit. No worries were in the boardroom we've just had a session from a Digital to Dollars point of you looking at the pitch and having in the commercial guys looking at how can a how can how can they pitch digital. Where does digital fit what's a conversation look like responses how to go or how to go about it. Because it's been a backwards and forwards it's not a   it's not an overnight thing.  . And like like you said   early on it was trying to figure it out trying to fit it in. How do you feel where you're at now and where the process is now to work in the deal flow

[00:26:19] Ben  I mean like I said where we're definitely a path. I mean we're not we're not a finished product. I don't think but what what we really do have that was hard to get and took a long time to get is just a level of understanding throughout the business around what we're trying to do. And that's that was the sort of first that like the fact that we can have   the digital team and the sales team in the room today genuinely bought into a conversation the like that we had.   is is   some pretty significant progress. And I think a lot of people struggle to get to that point in the first place.   it's just because   the challenge obviously they're there.   like I guess they're out the front of the house right.   sort of like waiters or something like that they're dealing with the partners in that sort of space who themselves have varying degrees of sort of understanding about what they're here for in the first place. And   what they want to achieve and   I just feel like the fact that they're   sort of comfortable to sort of fly the flag from our perspective a little bit and carry that torch forward into those conversations even to get to that point I'm pretty proud of the fact that the business has gotten to there.

[00:27:30] Sean And what I look for in those kind of workshops are those light bulbs.   And I thought there was a   a lot of them happened today of having them understand     when and when a sponsor is more digitally active than you might think. Even having the conversation. Well they came aboard to potentially sponsor air jersey. And and so that's where the conversation goes. And completely understanding that hey when the deals they do the deal. And we don't want to boil it down. And so it's like cool we don't bog it down either. But how do we start framing to the sponsor. Well this is what the digital solution might look like as part of the deal.  . Because I think that the that the type of   I guess deal structure if we want to put it is pretty common in sport. Hey we're going to do this deal it's gonna have Jersey it's gonna have hospitality and it's gonna have digital.  . And it's a budget for digital. And I think we've evolved. Grab those included evolve from the sell off Facebook posts.  And tweets and those kind of things too. Now what does the solution look like.   I think   like we said look you guys are close because now it's okay you've got a budget. Now it's use to yourself and say go see Ben and we're going to walk through what we can do and   figure out what the solution is really.

[00:28:53] Ben I think that comes from obviously the growing demand coming out of partners. They've got a increased expectation about what they get. I mean that structure that you spoke about in terms of digital allowance at least in our experience mostly came from display and media it's we know that we can drive this traffic through the site you apply rate card it's as simple.But increasingly partners are coming to us for  much more bespoke sort of outcomes and like I said there's a varying degree I suppose of sort of digital sophistication and the businesses that we work with but obviously increasingly much more technically savvy than they were a couple of years ago. So with that comes an increased expectation and  that probably has been some of the things that have happened I suppose internally with us as well with our partnerships team is the fact that we've been able to get in and talk the same language as a few partners because we've had a sort of new breed of partner come along and sort of I guess for them to see that they're picking up what we're putting down has helped to really accelerate that sort of buying. So it's sort of supply and demand really. And the fact that people are asking for more than what they once received means that we've got to again sort of sharpen a pencil and get better at what we're delivering.

[00:30:14] Sean  One of the ones we sort of broke down and had a look at was a really common common scenario and it was   the deal got done and we want to. You want to do something and what's his longer term thing and and you have a sponsor that goes Cool here's the stuff   hey here's a great site we've built it send some traffic to it and   all hunky dory and and   in the post-mortem of it was like like how can we do this better. Like does this match with what we can do. Can we deliver it. What do we need to do beforehand like that piece is quite common.

[00:30:51] Ben  That doesn't match with what we do is the big one in that   and and making sure that again the people at the front of house are out there pounding the beat having those conversations as that sort of resource to be able to explain that   and and are comfortable in and explaining what that is and it's as simple as that sometimes   you said it earlier that   their key focus is obviously closing a deal or so that they they want to get they want to get the contracts large they want to get signed off and and then and   if there's that matter we've got to figure it out later than then that's that this is what it is.

[00:31:25] Ben But   making sure that there's enough resource to be able to put in place the expectations as early as possible. I think that's really where what we're sort of focussing on on learning at the moment and that comes down it's like the same song   you have no product right. So it's just given guys the tools to do that.

[00:31:45] Sean And   the I guess it was reticence is the wrong word but like you don't want your sales guys to have to say no.   right.   but you want your sales guys to be able to say not that way but we've got an alternative. And I think that's the bit that I think we had a really good conversation of that's like Oh we know that won't work but we actually don't know the language to go back to them to say no we've got a better way.  . And that's because you do like you've got we've got cases of doing this and this and this and and I think sort of putting more structure around that to say oh great hey this is what we're gonna do we're gonna warm warm up the crowd we're gonna do some of this stuff because our guys do some killer content in this space Ames.   and they'd also widen what success looks like.   for sure. Because again for one that we looked at it was like it was eventually   conversions. And if you're only graded on conversions it's a tough business.

[00:32:41] Ben 100 percent. I mean it's it's   trying to have that conversation about the fact that it is a process take to get to those outcomes I mean  .  . Like I feel like   again with the s audience   Rabbitohs audience said a hugely passionate group of people were like that   talk about   a mad Souths fan. That's the only kind really  . And so my experience with that is if they genuinely have a feeling that you're in the tent you're one of them you're in that group as a   as a brand that   an advocacy doesn't even really cover it.   I mean they're hugely passionate about those things as well and it's just how do we explain that to a new partner and I say that's I know that's what you want.   you don't want to be here and you want to be we're giving you a ticket to the club.

[00:33:33] Sean We're pulling back the velvet rope.  . But you've just turned up to the club. Yes that's right. All right. You're just here now. So if you're just here offence I know you yet. Yep. Let us introduce you to as many as possible.   right. And then that's about cool. So part of your success is how many people who haven't been engaged.  . Because that's what we're doing well. How many people have seen it.  . And all of those kind of things and so you're just broadening the conversation for both digital for the sponsorship guys but forever ago we all had a win.

[00:34:04] Ben  A hundred percent man it's just   you want to be on the Jersey now and we talk to you about   television exposure and all those sorts of things but there's no doubt a big part of the the fact is that   we we still sell jerseys in the shop with Smith Chris on the front of them   like. And people are so impassioned about that relationship. And that's a that's a stamp in time for them. So   there's all of that as well but it's just the storytelling around it. That's the art in all of that.

[00:34:34] Sean And that's and that's what we did discuss because there's so many partners sponsors marketers that are using digital so well.   And using Google using Facebook optimizing but   it at insane levels got to   performance marketers and if they come to a team and say cool can use to what we do. That's not it. That's not our business. No that's not our business. But you've come to us for a reason.  . It's about being in the tent being associated with the tent. So yes we can do some of that but that's not that's not our core business.

[00:35:13] Ben It's almost like  [00:35:14] the relationship that you have with a sports team as a genuine fan is in saying in the first place   what I mean it doesn't make any sense. And   it's we can   I suppose we   we can we can offer a bit of that.   what I mean we can offer a bit of that relationship and that's not something that you can do you can buy in many places. I suppose so but   it takes it takes investment and it takes some time to get to those points and people   obviously   would would rather be able to get to the finish line immediately I suppose. But   you can get there you just gotta You got to run the race. [32.7s] [00:35:47] Sean And that's part of the conversation that was on today to say   the value and the IP value effectively of being associated with the Rabbitohs.

[00:35:58] And especially knowing all of the different social channels because if you're running social for a bank or a calming effect like it's tough work. Right. And that's why   so they're not really they aren't coming for the big number.   bagger or utilize Facebook group they go wow they're still getting people like in their stuff they're still getting love hearts is still getting like   Ha's how are they doing that. And it's passion identity fandom it's all those things good and good content because you're not doing all those things. You're not getting those results. And so that's where the corporate marketer is hamstrung which is what you want to leverage on it's what you want your corporate sales team to know. That's the thing.  . They're coming to us because their Facebook strategy or their Instagram strategy or their digital store is just not it's falling flat.  . And so how can we give the get them the results they want to tick the boxes they want to tick and give them multiple wins.

[00:36:57] Ben That's I guess that's your challenge in the commercialization piece and work with the sales team that is   try to get a slice of that insanity make how we try to give them a little bit of that. But again I think you can get lost in even on the other side you can get lost in a lot of those same sort of metrics in terms of   how are we doing this as well as everybody else in terms of how we manage   social and whatever else. But at the end of the day   our why for all of that is to connect to that with people   to connect to that passion.

[00:37:27] Sean And that's and that's the bit that I find is tough. And it's   it's a bit of hate when Simon says who's doing really well. Like I'd love to favour clients. RYAN Right which I do and also the rabbi's doing well but also if you don't if you're not inside the the head coach you don't know what the objective is. You don't know why or what they're trying to do with all the different partners to know is it working or not. Because you can look at all. It's not getting many likes or not but if the objective is to get the   10 key people in the room and you get the 10 key people then then it's then it's good to go.  .

[00:38:02] Sean So Ben I want to finish off with the Sports Geek closing five.  . Do you remember the first sports event you ever attended. I do.

[00:38:13] Ben It would have been rugby league Penrith Panthers much like   in the 90s at some point. Greg Alexander and those guys running around on the big hill with my old man and saying okay.

[00:38:28] Sean And you would have been a few Sportsbiz Slack told me you have a favourite food memory or a go to food when you go to a game that might go to just always a meat pie meat pie.

[00:38:36] Ben   no matter where I am walk downstairs   get out in the lions and get a meat pie. That's me. I can pretty much tell you about meat pies around venues in Australia and where the good ones are.

[00:38:47] Sean Sounds like a Twitter account.  .  .

[00:38:50] Ben The sponsorship activation.

[00:38:50] Sean Still creating content right now. I look forward to this new pie sponsor coming on. I got a great one. Go see it he's getting sponsor reads inside my podcast. That's that's two you've got. I'd love to send you an invoice. What's the first app you open in the morning.

[00:39:08] Ben It's made it's probably Instagram Facebook or pages and check out how we're going here.

[00:39:16] Ben Who is someone you suggest the podcast listeners should follow and why. Well I was just thinking podcast when you mentioned this before and it's kind of been gone through my head Dan Carlin Hardcore History podcast Yep is an awesome podcast. But the reason I've been thinking about it in this conversation is because they sort of talk about it talks often about like the rise and fall of different empires. And he talks about   that austerity of like wooden clogs on the way up and silk slippers on the way down and that   makes me think of in some ways like the success that   you can have in sports landscapes when you back's against it and you have to be harder   the poker machine thing for us which really led us to be what we are today. I don't know if that's the strange answer but him but I get a call podcast anyway I like this one single one.

[00:40:05] Sean I mean I can't wait for the   the Hardcore History on the social media. Digital Rate Card     area   maybe I'll do MySpace one first.   they might do a vine one and there is a Facebook one.   you just you don't know where it is going to be. So that leads us in Alaska Sean what what social media platform is your MVP may answer it maybe personally and from the rebels point of view.

[00:40:29] Ben   I mean I'd probably say they're both the same I think Instagram is really the guy at the moment  .

[00:40:39] Sean And so if you're looking at Instagram from a Rabbitohs point of view is it really the the story element or are you trying to figure out new ways around the feed.

[00:40:48] Ben   I mean both. But I just think it's   it's it's just a it's a different engagement. It's obviously a highly engaging platform but it's it's got to   I think you need two definitive strategies between stories and feed on this.   right.

[00:41:05] Sean And what's so give us a bit of a rundown of what they are like.

[00:41:10] Ben I mean obviously frequency in stories a little bit different right. We can obviously tell more of a sort of snapshot in time story about what's going on and   obviously they've harpooned Snapchat a little bit with that and   so it's a similar strategy that we had over there but I guess the reason   people come to it for that and then you've also got that like my life is so great. Instagram feed sort of vibe as well. But look that selfishly as well coming from I guess a content background.   I love photography. I love videographer and I think it's a good platform to sort of highlight some of those sorts of things and just hope so well that pretty much said it's to look great.

[00:41:51] Sean  . And high ends there. And   it gets you can still take some great photos with your phone. It set that bar.  . So that's where it is. Have you. Because we've had the test of not seeing how many likes.  . Have you seen any logo again this is a question without notice.   I looked at the set. Have you see any changes in the rabbit goes out.

[00:42:14] Ben To be honest I haven't I haven't looked   yet. I dunno. Sean. I'll be honest I don't I don't I don't expect that it will be I don't think that people really engage with our content in a competitive sort of way. So I didn't really see that as much of a expected to have much of an effect on us as long as we can see it and we say if we're getting in front of people it's working for them  . The.

[00:42:37] Sean I think it was more of a play on.   the the influence the influence or the post office doing enough lots of deleting it was that interesting.

[00:42:47] Ben   even from a player perspective   especially new breed in younger sort of player. I mean there's even a bit of that there   around some pressure around what you put on those sorts of things and building your brand as an individual athlete.

[00:43:00] Ben And it's gonna be I think it's more much more interesting in that space than in the brand space definitely where and how can people connect with you on the Internet. If they've listened this podcast they want to connect and learn more.

[00:43:14] Sean Where's the best place.

[00:43:15] Ben I'm where the Internet madam all over the place I   linked in all those sorts of things.

[00:43:20] Sean So Ben Clink on LinkedIn will import your details and what should Twitter handle or needs to handle that.

[00:43:26] Ben I'm not I'm actually not a personal Twitter guy.   I'm pretty involved in the club. And similarly with Instagram that I got so I did have an Instagram series for a while which I wouldn't recommend to anyone especially someone who's supposed to do this professionally.     an Instagram where I was trying to inspire people with completely non inspiring the. So if you want to follow that Elle clinker Instagram so so.

[00:43:54] Sean So then a summit. And this is purely as someone is not. So how do you like because you're on via the team accounts.  . How do you stay in touch with different things yourself on like platform platform trends that kind of thing. I'm a big consumer. It's not a big post. Going to lose. That's it. That's just a general question cause there's a lot of lurkers and   watchers of the space and   it's always fascinating as is shouters and   I guess I'm one of them. I'm a content creator in this space. I'm also a massive local. I I watched and consume as much as I to see what people are saying whereas there are people that   tweet treat Twitter or Instagram. It's like their town hall.   chatting to everybody and     Chatty Cathy soul and that's like that. That's   that's not me. I mean it's different personas but I'm always interested in how you keep up all watching trains and stuff like that because you always dive into your own accounts and the analytics and that kind of stuff.

[00:44:54] Ben But again it comes back to that. I think what a probably the primary characteristic of someone who's strong and digital is someone who is learning all the time so I spend a lot of time looking at case studies and listening podcasts like this and things like that to to find out what   what's working and what's not what people are doing. And then not just   personally just employee really bad strategies that   fly in the face of all of that for my own accounts.

[00:45:18] Sean That's a that's called say well doesn't work let's go testing let's go testing   well Ben we're much colour podcast all the best for the Rabbitohs for the rest of the season and we'll catch up soon.

[00:45:28] Ben Thanks man.

[00:45:29] DJ Joel New workshops on audience content distribution valuation and pitch following Sports Geek Digital to Dollars process. Go to Digital to Dollars dot com.

[00:45:45] Sean Thanks again to Ben Clink for his for the conversation you can connect with him on LinkedIn and you can follow all things Rabbitohs Rabbitohs commentary you and follow Rabbitohs on all socials to see how they go in the NRL finals. You can find this episode and links to things that we did mention that podcast at Sports Geek HQ dot com slash to 248. As discussed the Digital to Dollars process that we run through with the Rabbitohs was sort of born out of the work we've done with him over the years in helping them understand their audience looking at the data side of their audience and what they're consuming from a content point of view and then having that the nuances around their distribution on what their channel strategy was and really a lot of the work we've done recently has been around knowing their value both from a content creation point of view but then also what the value is to the sponsor and also diving in on what they actually want which is getting into that no speech. So if you're interested in either the the total process or parts of that process whether it be the first three effectively work for any business whether it be sport or otherwise just get your digital strategy and content plans sorted. Happy to discuss how we can help help you whether it's a league team athlete coach or business team so get in touch to know more you get a DigitaltoDollars.com or as always you can send me an email [email protected] Thanks again for listening. If you've got this far I'd really appreciate a review on a platform that that you use. You can go to  sportsgeekhq.comslash Apple podcasts as they're now called and leaver review for 140 view already done so making it one of the highest reviewed podcasts in the sports business world. Thank you very much. And until next episode My name is Sean Callanan and you've been listening to Sports Geek.

[00:47:48] DJ Joel Join Sports Geek Nation access to exclusive Slack and Facebook Groups with regular Q and A sessions with Sean Callanan. Go to Sports Geek Nation dot com to join need help with your Digital Rate Card.

[00:48:07] DJ Joel Not sure how to price your assets. Is there a disconnect between digital and commercial. That is where Sean works best in digital divorce counsellor mode book A Time for a call with Sean to discuss the Sports Geek process. Go to  sportsgeekhq.comslash phone call. Go to  sportsgeekhq.comfor more sports. Digital marketing resources.

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