In the latest weekly instalment of Industry Insider we head to America and the NFL as we sit down with Zachary Galia, Director of Digital Content with the Arizona Cardinals to talk all about his role and career!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name’s Zachary Galia and I’m Director of Digital Content with the Arizona Cardinals. My career began in NASCAR at Michigan International Speedway as their Digital Media Coordinator. I wasn’t (and still am not) a NASCAR fan, but it was my foot in the door in the industry and allowed me to learn so much about being the voice of a brand on social. After two years there, I was able to land the first Social Media Coordinator position with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This position taught me an immense amount about developing social strategy for a global brand, and the process of working across different departments to help achieve the organization’s goals. After four years in Pittsburgh, I accepted the role as Director of Social Media with the Arizona Cardinals and am now the Director of Digital Content.
What do you do in your current role?
I am responsible for the strategy and direction of all digital content within the Cardinals organization. That includes social media, website, mobile app and more. My job is to make sure that our talented content team has the planning and tools that they need to execute our content plan.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
An average week for me varies immensely depending on what time of year it is. During the season, we recap the prior game during the beginning of the week and then begin building the excitement for the upcoming game as players return to the field midweek. Then we continue to build that excitement as the week progresses, and then cover our team’s travel (for road games) and performance on gameday. During the offseason, we develop strategies for the tent pole events such as the NFL Combine, Draft, free agency, training camp, etc. We are also planning for the upcoming season and the type of content we would like to produce.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
When I was first hired at Michigan International Speedway, I thought my role was to script, produce, shoot and edit creative videos for the organization’s YouTube channel and website. After a month on the job, my boss called me in for a meeting and said I wasn’t living up to expectations as she thought I would’ve taken over the track’s social media accounts by then. It was at that moment I became obsessed with learning everything I could about the industry. You could almost say I got into the industry by accident, but I am so glad that I did. This industry combines all of the skills that I have developed and allows me to find ways to express my creativity in a variety of ways.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
Providing the best user experience for our followers, telling the most interesting stories possible about our team and players, and providing the most value for our partners.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
I fail all the time. It’s a huge part of our industry. You can’t be afraid to fail because that is how you improve and develop as a strategist and creative.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
The same thing I have been excited about from day one… the spontaneity and ever-changing nature of the industry. The moment you sit back and think you know it all, something new is introduced and you have to react. The people who are the quickest to react and are the most flexible are the people who tend to be most successful.
I am also excited by all of the insanely talented people we have in the industry. Everywhere you turn there is someone creating something you never thought was possible and pushing the boundaries of what content is. That makes me very excited about what the future holds for our industry.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
The understanding of how important content is to all business goals. Social and digital content is still a relatively new development to marketing, so there are always growing pains. The more understanding and buy-in there is of what we do, the sky is the limit as to what can be accomplished.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
I am blessed with an incredible family, and my wife and daughter are everything to me. Being a husband and a father are the greatest joys of my entire life. My wife and I also grew up playing hockey, so we volunteer our time coaching a local girls youth hockey team as well.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
No opportunity is too small. I had no interest in NASCAR, but without that opportunity I wouldn’t be where I am today. Any opportunity that allows you to learn the craft and fine tune your skill set is one worth pursuing. Always keep your eye on the end goal and make sure you are taking the proper steps to get there.
How to follow Zach Galia on social media…
Just my Twitter (@zjg) and LinkedIn (Zachary Galia) accounts.
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Zachary Galia! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.