Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is Elizabeth Stranges, Senior Manager for Sport on Twitter’s Global Content Partnerships team!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is Elizabeth Stranges and I am a Canadian expat, currently living in London and working as a Senior Manager for Sport on Twitter’s Global Content Partnerships team. Prior to joining our Sport Partnerships team in the UK, I was on Twitter’s client solutions team in our Toronto office. I’ve been with the company for nearly 7 years, in 2 offices on multiple teams. Before Twitter, I worked on the Canadian Olympic Committee’s marketing partnerships team in Toronto.
What do you do in your current role?
My job is to work with publishers across the sport industry, including broadcasters, leagues, teams, organizations and events, to help bring the best sport content to Twitter, for fans and brands. I help advise partners on their Twitter strategies, offer premium levels of support and also allow them to see Twitter as a revenue-driver by helping them monetise their premium content. I also work closely with sport partners on unique and innovative only-on-Twitter moments that surprise and delight fans on the platform.
What does a normal week look like for you?
My day to day often depends on what season it is and which major sporting events are coming up. Lately, like everyone else, my days are a lot less predictable! I’m constantly meeting with our valued partners to discuss their plans around upcoming sporting events or announcements, and how we might be able to help them reach their fans where they’re already engaging in conversation about sport–on Twitter. This year, that’s meant a lot of virtual meetings and phone calls, but it’s been really fun to find new ways to work with partners and help them achieve their goals.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I’ve always been a huge sports fan and growing up in Canada, this meant following a lot of American leagues. I always wanted to work in sport, but it felt so unattainable from the outside. It wasn’t until I was an intern at a marketing agency after university, and got the opportunity to work on a few projects with prominent sport organizations that I was exposed to just how many different roles there are in the sport industry. It completely opened my eyes to the possibilities! Joining a tech company was a leap from the world of sport, but it was so early in my career that it felt like the right time to grow my skill set and gain some varied experience. Joining Twitter in 2013, was one of the best decisions I could have made. Working for a company that truly wanted me to grow and succeed, encouraged me to lean into my passions, and ultimately, supported my move to a different department within Twitter, has allowed me to do great work supported by a great organization that believes in me. My career has kind of come full circle and I am working at a progressive tech company on their sport partnerships team with some of the best minds in our industry.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
I’m excited about a lot of things right now– Firstly, the way we’re seeing athletes use their platforms for social justice and change has been incredibly inspiring. I think we’re only going to see this activism grow and I’m proud to see athletes we look up to, empowering their fans to pay attention and take action on matters of global importance. Marcus Rashford’s campaign to #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY is a great example of this and has already resulted in powerful change.
Secondly, the recent shift towards sustainability in sport. This is a crucial time for not just our industry but the world as a whole, so ensuring sport is at the forefront of implementing progressive changes is really important and I’m excited to see it is being taken seriously.
I’ve been really inspired by the way women’s sport is finally starting to get the attention it deserves. The FIFA Women’s World Cup last summer was a great reminder of why more people need to be paying attention, and I think it has certainly helped to raise the profiles of not just the game, but the athletes as well. As more fans show their support, we’re seeing brands understand the value of aligning with and promoting women’s sport. It is a win-win and I hope it will only continue to grow.
Finally, I’m also excited by the creativity we’ve seen from partners in such an unpredictable situation (COVID-19). I think the sport industry pivoted really quickly from full lockdown to reinstating live sport safely and engaging fans at home in new and strategic ways. I know how difficult it is right now to have cancelled and rescheduled events and not have fans in the stadiums, but sport continues to be the great unifier so ensuring these partners continue to reach their fan bases is a huge priority. Of course, we are all hopeful that 2021 will bring a return to normalcy in the world of sport, but I’m confident the strategies that sport entities have implemented this year will only help them in the future.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Try to be flexible and open-minded. The sport industry is made up of professionals from various backgrounds with different areas of expertise, and having a range of skills will help you find your place in it. After all, every organisation needs great people from the front office to those behind the scenes! Also, try to let go of the concept of a ‘dream job’, with our industry changing so much, roles like mine didn’t even exist 15 years ago. Your passion for sport combined with an in-demand skill-set will be extremely valuable to our industry. Finally, I recommend using Twitter to connect with your peers in the sport space– it is where the sport conversation lives and you’ll be surprised at the connections you can make.
How to follow Elizabeth Stranges on social media…
You can follow me at @estranges on Twitter and I would definitely recommend following some of our company-run Twitter handles. Check out @TwitterSports handle for some great content and @TwitterMedia for the latest and greatest for publishers!
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Senior Manager for Sport on Twitter’s Global Content Partnerships team, Elizabeth Stranges!
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