Our latest Industry Insider sees us sit down with Edie Kelly. Edie is a Senior Social Strategist for the consumer-packaged goods company, Suntory. She works within the Lucozade team whilst balancing life as Fulham FC Women’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
Hello! I’m Edie Kelly, the Senior Social Strategist at Suntory, a consumer-packaged goods company who you probably know for making the drinks Lucozade and Ribena. I predominantly work within the Lucozade team and lead the social media team within Marketing too. My career in social media stemmed from me playing for Surrey County Cricket Club Women’s team when I was 16. We didn’t have any social media coverage for the team, so I started doing it myself and that then led to a couple of internships before I went off to University.
My first full-time role was at Wilderness agency where I worked on the QuestTV account as they became the new home of the EFL Highlights show with Colin Murray, Ian Holloway and Dean Ashton. Following on from Wilderness, I moved to sports marketing agency Dark Horses, where I spent most of my time working on the Nissan account, leveraging their Champions League & Manchester City partnerships as well as leading the socials for the Nissan Formula E team. I left the company with one final idea which was the Hollywood-style Wrexham sign although I can’t take a huge amount of credit as the Dark Horses team executed the idea (very well) after my departure to Lucozade.
In my spare time, you’ll probably find me at the Fulham FC training ground as I’m the Fulham FC Women’s #1 and you might have seen me in goal on SoccerAM a handful of times.
What do you do in your current role?
In a nutshell, I spend most of my time on the Lucozade brands looking at what it is about our brands that people like the most and using that information alongside social media platform knowledge to create a social strategy. Once I have the strategy, I’ll do some social ideation before moving into content creation, whether that’s working with our partners and athletes, attending live events, or briefing designers and videographers.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
An average week for me isn’t typically as exciting as most within the sports industry. I’m usually sat at my laptop either in meetings or I’m planning for the next few months and ideating for the upcoming campaigns/events alongside briefing designers for our always-on content streams. I spend a lot of time talking to my team to see if there’s anything they need my help with and checking in with our agencies on different work-streams too. That’s the average week, but the best weeks are when we’re mid-campaign and get to head to games or events with our partners.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
When I started the socials for the Surrey Women’s team, I did it for a bit of fun, I didn’t think it would lead me into a career. I didn’t want to play anymore but I knew that it was good experience, so I did that instead. Plus, it meant I was able to stick around the team too. I think my ‘aha!’ moment came when I started to get job opportunities from the back of it and started to understand how my knowledge in that area wasn’t as common as I thought it was. I used every opportunity to understand how social could be used for different industries and organisations and to be honest, this is something I’m still learning. How I ended up in my role has mainly come from genuine passion and enjoyment in what I do which I hope comes across when I work.
How do you balance working in sport with playing for Fulham FC Women?
If you ask my team-mates, they’d probably say, “not very well!” and I’d try to argue that they’re wrong but c’est la vie… unfortunately. It’s difficult. I’d love to say it’s easily manageable but I’ll turn up to training late occasionally and after a long day at work, it’s really tricky to just switch into a football mode. You go from sending emails to having footballs kicked at you, it’s a big mental switch.
At our level, there can’t be the expectation that we’re always going to be always early and on our best form as the majority of us who aren’t students have full-time jobs. Luckily, we’re all in the same position, so everyone understands. That’s what makes it manageable really. We all get it, we’re all in a similar position but we’re all great friends who just love playing football together so when you do get to training and especially when you’ve had a hard day, you get to have a kick about with your mates. The benefit for us, is that being at a club like Fulham, we get incredible opportunities through it. It’s how I came to appear on SoccerAM, I’ve done signing nights with Leno, Pereira and Palhinha, done a numerous amount of podcasts and interviews including with Sky Sports and The Athletic and in October we got to play at Craven Cottage in front of 3k+ people which was incredible.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
A reason I love working at Lucozade is because I truly am a fan of the brand. I think having played sport from the age of 6 years old, it’s just always been a constant in my life so I have a really strong (possibly weird) connection to it. Even now, if I get some new stash or a new bottle I feel like a little kid at Christmas. It’s a nice feeling, it makes me smile and that’s my focus when I work. Show this passion and genuine love I have for the brand through the work I do.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
Working in social media, I would say you probably fail every week. I know that I definitely do. Fail might be a bit of a dramatic word but when you create content and it doesn’t hit your average or perform how you expected it to, it’s not worked/failed. I think that it’s important to highlight the posts that haven’t worked just as much as the ones that do work to get to where you want your content to be.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
I’m excited about how more and more people within Sport are realising how much of an impact sport can have on social causes. I recently attended the Football For Good Summit that Football Beyond Borders setup with Common Goal. I don’t think I’ve ever left a room so excited and full of ideas. We first listened to several “team talks” from leaders in; mental health, racial justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, climate action and education and then came back together to co-create “The GamePlan” discussing how governing bodies, grassroots organisations and individuals can use the power of football to tackle some of the biggest societal issues. If you want to read more on it you can do so here.
@ediekelly25 A standard training Tuesday with a spice of Lucozade #lucozade #fulhamfc ♬ Summer day – TimTaj
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
Every job description for a social media role always says something along the lines of, you have to be switched on all the time and ensuring you’re able to react at any time of the day, any day of the week. I personally believe it’s unfair to put that on one person and should be a collective effort. When it’s on one person, the pressure to be always-on can really take it’s toll on someone and I think mental health and wellbeing is far more important than a potential viral post (that’s if the post even goes viral).
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
It’s probably obvious but the one piece of advice would be to consume content with intent. Don’t just mindlessly scroll your feeds, dig into what exactly it is that makes content successful. Was it a certain feature or trending sound? Was it informative or was it just plain entertaining? When you start looking at the why’s, especially on your own channels, you’ll start to understand what it is that your audience wants to see.
How to follow Edie Kelly…
If you want to see what a day in the life looks like for me with work and training you can do so here. Otherwise I’m most active on my Twitter but I’ve recently began making weekly football vlogs on TikTok both handles are @EdieKelly25 if you want to see what I get up to.
Thanks for reading our chat with Edie Kelly! If you want to read more from our Industry Insider series, you can do so by clicking here.