This week, I’ve spoken with Rina , Senior Social Media Manager at ONE Championship. Rina and I discussed various topics, including how his sports career began, what makes ONE different, how powerful meme marketing is and more!
Question 1: Rina, it’s great to have you on Ash’s Sports Talk. How did your sports career begin?
I’m originally from Madagascar, but I was born in the South of France , where I studied. I had a passion for basketball and created my own opportunities. I began writing for websites, and I had a radio show where I spoke every week about the NBA . This helped me create a network which got me a job as a Development Manager at Basketball Network in Paris.
After 11 months, I worked for a production company called LF Prod as a Production Manager. They focused on lots of sports, including football, MMA and basketball. It was another chance to sharpen my skills and network.
After a year and seven months, I spotted a great opportunity at FIBA in Switzerland to work as a Digital Content Manager who took a lot of chasing for the chance. When I joined, we had approximately 700,000 followers on all platforms. When I left after six years, we had around 20 million followers across all channels.
I also have a passion for MMA. While in France working for LF Prod, I had to do a series of documentaries for different sports but didn’t know where to start. So I started watching more events and reading books. I became very passionate about MMA from that point, particularly with understanding the mindset of a fighter.
I then started to learn about ONE Championship. In 2019, an opportunity arose to become ONE’s Senior Social Media Manager. To this day, I enjoy being in an environment that challenges me and allows me to try new things.
Question 2: Let’s hear more about your role at ONE Championship. What do you do, and how does it contribute to the bigger picture?
I’m a Senior Social Media Manager as a part of the wider marketing team. The social team creates engaging content day-to-day across Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and TikTok. My key focus is to get this content across channels that aren’t owned by ONE so that we earn increased reach outside of our normal ecosystem.
Typically, a fan follows approximately 12 accounts relating to sport. For example, one account would be an organization, two would be teams, two would be media, and the rest will be athletes. Therefore, we want ONE’s content to be distributed on as many digital touchpoints as possible.
Question 3: I understand Nielsen ranks ONE Championship as one of the globe’s top sports media properties. Social media has been a big part of that; what do you feel ONE does differently to other properties when on digital?
Reach, frequency, and engagement. If you look at the volume of content we put out and the level of engagement we receive on social media, we are amongst the best in the sports industry thanks to a world-class team who is grinding relentlessly every day with super creative ideas.
Question 4: Meme marketing has significantly grown in recent years. I notice ONE Championship tap into this to some degree. How beneficial have you found this with interacting with your followers?
It’s very important as you can’t expect your content strategy to stay to your sport strictly. Memes are a great way to tap into the casual audience while being reactive to trends; accounts like House Of Highlights do a great job of practising a new sports content approach.
It’s like being in a classroom, and someone tells a funny joke; people will likely remember that more than what they were taught.
Meme marketing has helped ONE tap into new audiences from a lifestyle-themed approach.
Question 5: What have been some of the challenges you’ve experienced while building your sports career?
Time and resource are big ones. It’s easy to produce many ideas, but we often fall short of time and resources to execute them. However, it’s taught me to optimise my time and work smarter. You must make sure you identify your strengths and focus on your priorities to maximise impact.
Question 6: What advice can you pass on for someone wanting to pursue a career in sport?
Don’t wait for opportunities; instead, create your own. If you’re passionate enough, your work will work for itself. We can learn new skills; however, in sport, you’ve got to do things differently. Whether that’s creating your own blog, podcast, radio show etc., do something proactive. Networking is key as well; get to know people, and doors will open for you.
Wow, what a great interview with Rina! I truly sensed his passion throughout writing this piece, and he’s always taken advantage of opportunity that finds him in a prestigious position at ONE Championship doing some fantastic things.
What was your key insight from this weeks interview?