Episode 163 Snippets: Ed Cahill Oversees Orlando City SC’s Extensive and Thoughtful Content Strategy

On episode 163 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Ed Cahill, Senior Director of Content for Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride.

What follows are some snippets from the episode. Click Here to listen to the full episode or check it out and subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Episode 162 Snippets: Brandon Berrio Helps Lead LSU Football’s Social Content Strategy and Operations Through a Dream Season

On episode 162 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Brandon Berrio, Associate Director – Creative and Digital Content for LSU Athletics.

What follows are some snippets from the episode. Click Here to listen to the full episode or check it out and subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

How Ten Brands were Activating Paid Social Campaigns as Super Bowl Sunday Kicked Off

1.4 billion impressions on Twitter. 560 Instagram posts by stars of ‘The Bachelor.’ These are just a couple of the entries from this year’s article by Digiday (now seemingly an annual tradition) for what the same $5.6 million it costs to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl can buy a brand on social.

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest days of the year for advertisers, as is the build-up to the day of the big game. And whether brands are forking over those millions for a spot on the screen during the game or not, activating on social is an essential part of the game plan to drive success before, during, and after the big day.

With that in mind, we checked out ten brands that were active on social media on Super Bowl Sunday, taking a unique angle (because there are plenty of places to read ad reviews) and looking specifically at what they were putting money behind, revealing a bit more behind their tactics and what they wanted to assure consumers saw in their feeds.


Auto brand Jeep allowed their ad with Bill Murray to ‘leak’ early Sunday and they made sure it got into fans’ feeds with ad spend around a single Facebook/Instagram sponsored. They supplemented the ad, which saw Bill Murray return in his role made famous in the movie Groundhog Day, with plenty of other ongoing ads promoting their other vehicles. None, however, promoting the Jeep Gladiator that the ad does.

Frank’s RedHot

Hot sauce brand Frank’s RedHot usually cooks up something clever on social and this year was no different as their in-game strategy featured several prompts on Twitter that sought replies from users. They used Twitter ads primarily in advance of the game to push fans to the platform during the game, while they also had ads running that mentioned the ‘game day party’ with recipes that included their product. Note the video, the variation in orientation (i.e. suitable for Instagram Stories with the vertical version) and the thoughtful thumbnail to drive attention.


Bud Light

Bud Light, and the many brands under AB-InBev, is always active on Super Bowl Sunday and this year they continued their push into the seltzer category. They had several ads running on Sunday, one of which was video of the ad they’d show on TV, but many more that were looking to activate mobile users by helping them get delivery on this big game day. Note also, the care taken to personalize ads targeted by state, calling out ‘Hey Oregon,’ for example in the copy.


Fans got a taste of TikTok with the Doritos ad campaign pitting the musician whose star rose on the short-form video platform, Lil Nas X, in a ‘Cool Ranch Dance’ challenge with actor Sam Elliott. They had several ad variations, leaning on video teasers, leading up to the big game, and calling out their celebrity stars in the copy. They also did a good job providing versions that were vertical in addition to square. We did not notice either of the ad’s two stars posting anything themselves leading up to the game, but Lil Nas X did post a tweet after the ad ran.

Avocados of Mexico

Every year there seems to be an Avocados of Mexico ad campaign and this year was one of its zaniest yet, introducing the #AvoNetwork, offering fans the chance to buy avocado-themed merchandise. Their ads had a call-to-action to get fans to sign up for their sweepstakes and bright, eye-catching colors to stop thumbs in the feed. They also had ad versions out there to promote their product’s prominent placement in any gameday spread.


Leading up to the game, Hyundai was not too active with ads promoting their commercial, which called out their “Smaht Pahking,” using well-known actors with their hyperbolic Boston accents. While their Twitter bio was updated, the ads they were running were the typical car ads and even after the game, there were no promoted posts or ads reinforcing their commercial. That said, they did release their commercial on YouTube a week earlier and it now has 38M views.


Auto brand Kia is often present around major sporting events and for the Super Bowl they enlisted Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and activated his story of overcoming adversity, going from homeless to star player. They ran several ad variations to promote the actual spot and reinforce the mission behind it of combating youth homelessness. The campaign was strengthened thanks to a steady stream of promoted tweets from Jacobs himself leading up to the game, though after the spot ran, he retweeted Kia’s old tweet instead of natively tweeting the video himself.


Olay enlisted multiple strong female stars to activate their campaign #MakeSpaceForWomen, championing females and STEM, including a partnership with Girls Who Code, in which tweets equaled donations. The brand spent to get ads from their talent into more feeds and the promoted tweets led more veracity to the campaign; it’s true and often stated users trust people more than brands.


Pop-Tarts teamed up with Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness to promote their Pop-Tarts Pretzel new product and they put their social media ad dollars to good use to boost up what their endorser Van Ness was doing. If a brand is going to spend millions to put together a campaign and hire a celebrity endorser, it makes sense to let him be the genuine face of it and to spend to get his face and his content out there more. Their ads also featured calls-to-action, whether it was to watch their live broadcast during the Super Bowl or check out the new product in a video or link.

Mountain Dew

It was a remake of the famous shower scene in the movie Psycho that formed the backbone of Mountain Dew’s commercial and campaign, seeking to teach users that Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, like their new version of Hitchcock’s famous movie, is ‘as good as the original, maybe even better.’ They spent budget leading up to the game teasing their commercial spot and notably included one video that had captions and one without. They also took care to provide different specs for the different placements. Those weren’t the only ads they were running, though, as they were also promoting a mobile game, which was centered around a different product than Zero Sugar, in this case Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel.

Super Bowl Sunday is like a national holiday for marketers, watching campaigns come to life, messaging resonate or fall flat, and seeing tactics play out in real-time, especially in the ubiquitous feeds so many fans are checking and scrolling throughout the day. It’s no longer just about putting out a TV ad and crossing one’s fingers, there are so many channels to augment an advertising campaign, so many more ways to reach and engage consumers, and so many opportunities to activate the celebrities that pepper these promos.

Six Lasting Lessons from Kobe Bryant

Ever since the tragic news of the passing of one of the legends of American sport, and truly an icon of global culture, Kobe Bryant, came down on the last Sunday of January, we all went through various stages of grief. It started with disbelief, then utter despair, acceptance, and finally inspiration and reflection on the enormous legacy, one that transcends far beyond the court and far beyond Los Angeles, that the Mamba leaves behind.

I grew up in the sweet spot of Kobe’s career, so it’s hard not get reflective on the man that made Mamba Mentality an idea, the figure that defined determination for a generation. So as I think back on the mark Kobe left and the inspiration his memory will continue to exude, these are the special traits that I feel he personified unlike any other and that we can all take into our lives for the rest of our days.


No one embodied the spirit of competition more than Kobe Bryant. Maybe Michael Jordan, but while wanted to beat you, to demolish his opponent wasn’t necessarily so cutthroat. He simply competed to be the best. He embraced the challenge, seemed to thrive when his opponents were worthy adversaries. Yes, he wanted badly to win, but he worked so hard and gave it his all because he expected to be the best, he worked for it, he expected nothing less from himself, his teammates, and his rivals.

It’s great to celebrate the wins, to bask in the glory of victory. But too much basking leads to complacency and complacency is the enemy of lasting greatness. We are better off to focus on less on simply destroying opponents, and more about setting the bar so high that no one else can work or compete hard enough to reach it.


When I close my eyes and picture Kobe, I see the smile, I see the shots, but I the most powerful image that sticks with me is the scowl. You know, that look of sheer drive accented by gritted teeth and clenched jaw. Pure Mamba. He didn’t know any other way to play, and he thrived because of it. Anything he did, whether in practice, in the game, and in his post-career life as an Oscar-winning creator — everything Kobe did he did all the way.

We can take that same level of intensity and effort into everything we do, from work to life in general. In the social media and sports game, we often talk about doing a few things exceptionally instead of trying to hit every platform possible and settling for mediocrity as a result. Strive for greatness in everything you do, grit your teeth when it gets hard, because greatness isn’t easy. Embrace your own Mamba Mentality.


The word may have existed in the NBA before, but Kobe solidified the word ‘three-peat’ as a permanent part of the lexicon. The man was named to the NBA All-Star team 18 times and he continued to work his ass off til that final game when he put up 60. What else is there to describe an individual that won back-to-titles and had enough rings for a Thanos-like full-fingered hand but an incredible hunger? Heck, the hunger didn’t abate when his playing career ended, he mastered his next endeavor, achieving the highest honor seemingly overnight. He attacked every project, workout, every day, every game, every season with a voracious will and spirit.

It’s amazing what one can accomplish when hungry enough for it. We can all conjure our inner Kobe and not rest when the figurative mountaintop is reached, when a momentary reward is achieved, but instead look for the next peak to strive for, the next challenge that’ll drive us.


When the clock was winding down and the Lakers needed a bucket, everyone in the whole darn world knew who was going to have the ball, knew who would be taking that last shot. Kobe was clutch. But while he made so many memorable winning shots over the years, he also missed a helluva lot of them, too. Hit or miss, Kobe’s belief never wavered, there was no one he trusted more to take and sink that clutch shot. It takes an incredible sense of belief to face those moments with no fear. It takes trust that, because of the union of talent and uncommon hard work, that he’d earned the right to that faith.

Life is full of moments of uncertainty, times when the belief in ourselves erodes. Don’t let it happen, be like Kobe. Shooting a figurative air ball just means you have to continue to work hard to the point that there is no lingering doubt that next one will be a swish. No one makes every shot, no one goes through life without being forced to confront moments that challenge us, that knock us down, and that threaten that belief. But we can overcome it; there’s something special and empowering knowing one has the innate confidence to take the ball when lesser souls would back down.


The early morning workouts, the hours of practice and shooting, the offseason months spent sweating — the tales of Kobe’s unending work are a part of his epic. He famously went overseas to seek new ways to recover. And he found it difficult to understand why everyone else didn’t prepare the way he did. Through the twilight of his playing career, too, he was even preparing for life after basketball. And it showed, as he was continuing to build his brand and his businesses and projects before his life was cut way too short. Kobe always worked so hard to prepare, but nothing could’ve prepared us to face the tragedy of losing the legend too early.

It’s great to have goals, to define what one hopes to achieve. But any goals worth achieving, any sense of greatness worth achieving requires a heck of a lot of hard work and preparation. It’s always a grind, it’s everyday effort. Kobe knew what he wanted to achieve tomorrow and worked and studied and prepared to get it.


In the statement made by Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA regarding Kobe’s passing, they mentioned his accomplishments, his spirit, and many of the traits that made him an inspiration to millions, but the most salient point the statement made about Kobe, in my reading, was praising how giving he was with his wisdom. He inspired a generation, but he also wanted to teach and mentor that next generation, too, along with his teammates and peers. It’s been cool to hear the stories of the time and advice Kobe has given over the years; he recognized the value of what he had to give, and he gave generously.

It’s a high level of humanity to pass knowledge on to another. It’s how the generations that come after us end up better, end up achieving things beyond imagination, and it’s a way we can give back in this life. It’s a great achievement to acquire skill, to reach mastery, to gain wisdom; but it’s so much powerful, so compounding when it’s passed on to others. Kobe understood he could leave the game, leave everyone he met better than he found it. He did. And while he had so much still left to give, he left an awful lot behind.

Episode 161 Snippets: Ryan Delgado on how Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Executes on Social and Leans into their Brand

On episode 161 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Ryan Delgado, Manager of Digital Marketing and Creative Services for the Tampa Bay Rays.

What follows are some snippets from the episode. Click Here to listen to the full episode or check it out and subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.