We head to East Africa to speak to our latest Industry Insider!
Ronny Lusigi, Digital Media Manager at the Football Kenya Federation spoke to us about his career so far, his number one focus and much more…
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I am Ronny Lusigi and I’m currently serving as a Digital Media Manager at the Football Kenya Federation. I have previously worked at Kenyan Premier League side, Kariobangi Sharks FC, doing the same role.
What do you do in your current role?
I am part of the team that runs the social media accounts and the website belonging to the Football Kenya Federation. These include 6 Twitter accounts, 5 Facebook pages, 4 Instagram accounts, a LinkedIn page and 1 YouTube channel.
My main area of operation is coordinating the content we put out as a federation in an attempt to inform, engage, and entertain football fans and stakeholders in our country and beyond.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
In our line of duty, we are always in the “live” environment, so it’s quite difficult to stick to a schedule. There are weeks of lots of activities and there are weeks with little activity, so it’s hard to have a specific schedule.
I would say we have a cycle of match build up, match reporting, match recap. In between those three pillars we may throw in some content that either informs, reminds or just simply entertains our followers.
By and large, we just try to remain nimble as a team and use our schedule as a guide but not as a chain we are tied to.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Football has been my sport throughout my childhood though I also did some middle-distance track athletics. I had dreams of becoming a pro-player but I didn’t make it, so after high school I decided to take up a Physical Education and Sport course at the University of Nairobi.
I just started running a Facebook page for my brother, back in 2017 ( he is a footballer), for fun. When it started doing so well, his club, Kariobangi Sharks FC were impressed and they asked me to join their team and offer the same services.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
My number one focus is to always uphold my personal values and the values of the organisation that I work for to the best of my abilities. All of the ideas and creativity we hold as people in digital amount to nothing if they are not embedded to some core values.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
Back in 2018, I convinced the club I used to work for to do a documentary. It was to be the first time a Kenyan club was going to do such a thing. They backed me, but since I was somehow green in that space, I didn’t deliver what we intended. It was so underwhelming that we didn’t even publish it. However, a year later we bounced back and used the lessons from the failed project to produce a very good 25 minute film narrating the origins of the club, its present state and future ambitions. You can find it on YouTube, titled Against All Odds on the Kariobangi Sharks FC channel.
I learned that our area of operation requires a lot of courage. We must dare to try new things and that when we fall short of our targets, we should not be afraid to give it another try.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Esports. I have grown up as a gamer and I can see the huge opportunities that esports is presenting to football and traditional sports in general. I am looking forward to investing more of my time and efforts to that space. It is a digitally native space, constantly evolving and very immersive, and that is what the world is today.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
Allow me to give an answer that applies to my country and continent only here. I would say, what I want to see is sports institutions taking digital media seriously. That starts with treating their staff in this department with dignity and respect since at the moment most people working in this industry are being underpaid or even not being paid at all. They work from their own pockets and receive little to no support from their respective administrations.
At the moment, only approximately 4 out of every 15 clubs, or federations have a budget for digital media in Africa.
In Kenya we have started an association of social/digital media managers in sports just to help advocate for what I have mentioned that we want to change.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
Sharing responsibilities is the first step. Most people that I have seen suffer from burn out in this industry are victims of not trusting their mates. If you don’t trust your mates, you will keep on checking your screen even when you should be resting.
As a team, we have off hours and off days, well alternated. We may agree that post match or build up content will done by some of us at a particular time then change it next time. Those two/three hour breaks are key for refreshing, then we have the full off days.
During such days, I just try to do read some books and play some sports as much as I can just to unwind and stay away from a screen.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Start moving! If you want to work in digital media, you have no excuse, the internet is free. There is always an athlete, or a sports club out there which is lacking some proper digital presence. Go in there and offer your skills, that’s your elevator pitch for your next job.
How to connect with Ronny Lusigi…
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