Welcome back to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is Social Media Executive at Cricket West Indies, John Phillips!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is John Phillips. I’m 28 years old from Barbados and I am the Social Media Executive at Cricket West Indies (WINDIES/West Indies) & an Internationally Published Photographer.
What do you do in your current role?
I manage all the social channels and edit/publish on the website of Cricket West Indies. I create content for the day to day on tournaments, special events & future tours.
I also direct the art for campaigns and curate content with broadcasters ,sponsors and graphic designers for tours and tournaments whilst also creating new ideas to stimulate and grow engagement on all platforms.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Do we still have normal weeks these days? Most of my work I do from at home. I wake up, say a prayer, pick up my phone and the days begins from there and ends after the sun sets most days. The beginning of the week is usually the busiest. I have weekly content calls and where we update each other on upcoming events/schedules or just bounce ideas off each other.
Usually, I would be in the training camps that would be in Antigua ahead of international tours but with the restrictions it’s been difficult for us to get the usual team of media personal so we spend a lot of time constantly adapting our content and finding ways to communicate & engage with fans.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
After I did my MBA I wanted to an internship but I couldn’t figure where. At the time I was a part time photographer working for at an awards ceremony for CWI (Cricket West Indies) in Jamaica. In the middle of the event I walked up to the marketing manager at the time, and told her I was interested In working with her for my internship. I don’t know what made me decide to go to her and ask but I felt like I had nothing to lose. She gave me her number and the rest was history.
I’ve always known that I wanted to work in sports. When I was a student athlete in college I always watched highlights and saw the PR surrounding my favourite athletes and I was always inspired by how they were portrayed. Clips and videos of their triumphs & their most gutsy moments were always shown to represent what they stood for. I couldn’t help but want to be like them and I decided I wanted to pursue a career where I could create/be a part of those moments that inspired me.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
How do I get your attention? Creativity, it’s part of who I am as a person and also as a photographer. I use those strengths to help me create digital campaigns for tournaments and day to day content. Using strong images that portray the story or even copy that captures the audiences attention long enough for them to take in the information. It’s about giving them something that makes them stop while scrolling through thousands of images and decide that what I had to say was worth their time. (it’s their world, I just live in it)
What’s been your favourite moment whilst working in sports?
The fans, the passion they have for cricket and seeing them support the players, teams and franchises till the very end is truly inspiring. Cricket is a beautiful game but the fans make it better.
What do you think is next for your industry?
I believe that more technological means of getting fans in the game is constantly evolving. Fans want to be closer to the action, they want to feel the same rush the players feel and they want it in real time. They more adrenaline rush they can get, the more addictive they become and the more valuable to content becomes which is great for sponsors and brands alike.
In your area of work, what is something you feel most people don’t talk about enough or focus on enough?
Meaningful content, I always want people feel something when they see view our content. I want them to be inspired for the rest of their life when they see it. I want them to feel that the greatness or moment they are witnessing can mean something for them beyond just a laugh or a ‘wow’ but to be more of a ‘I felt that’.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Be passionate about what you do and never give up on your ideas. Not everyone will say yes, but never disregard the research and time you’ve put into your content, respect it and give it a chance. Also be open to the fact that your idea may need to adapt, it’s not a hard and fast but sometime evolution and adaptation to content ideas is necessary so stay on your feet.
How to follow John Phillips on social media…
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with John Phillips! To read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.