Meet Asia McMillan, Our Community Member of the Week

Asia McMillan: Multimedia Coordinator for the AAU

Name: Asia McMillan

Job: Multimedia Coordinator

Company: AAU

LinkedIn: Asia McMillan

In 140 characters or less, tell us who you are and how you got to where you are today.

I’m an Orlando, FL. native who is a Creative, Entrepreneur, and Lover of Sports. I transfer ideas and stories into content that is worth someone’s attention. I believe being dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about something you love is what will help you reach success and achieve your dreams.

What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?

I’m buying into and selling the trend of athletes being more than what they give us on the playing field. I believe we will see a steady rise of young athletes coming into professional sports with more than their on-field or on-court talents. This doesn’t stop at professional sports, but it also goes into how brands see influencers. A brand may look at an influencer to market and endorse a product one way, then the brand realizes that they bring a lot more to the table that can help push the company forward in many ways.

How do you define engagement?

I define engagement as a successful attempt at emotionally connecting your brand with your audience. Engagement has changed so much over the last two-to-three years. A front-line example would be the times we are living in right now. Technology has shifted the culture around marketing and media allowing for specific content that would usually be pushed to the back, to now become more mainstream.

What’s a lesson in audience (fan) engagement that every marketer should learn?

Every marketer should learn how to emotionally connect with their audience and how to convert on every touchpoint within their organization’s overall strategy and marketing strategy.

What’s the project or campaign that you’re proudest of? Why?

A project that I am proudest of would be my first campaign as an intern with the AAU. Having just graduated from Full Sail University and going right into an internship before our 2018 AAU Basketball National Championships, I was tasked with leading and executing a new social media campaign for the entire event. Through this campaign, we were able to implement an interactive approach with the fans and athletes, while also incorporating some sponsor activations.

As a result, AAU Basketball saw the following results at the end of the month-long campaign: – + 7.3% Instagram followers – + 4.2% Facebook Fans – + 48,000% Instagram engagement – + 892% Facebook Engagement – + 3,000% Instagram Impressions – + 850% Facebook Impressions.

What are you working on right now? Any exciting future plans that you’re able to share?

Right now, a lot of my spare time has been spent on a new networking event that I created for sports and entertainment professionals. The event is called Bigger Than Brunch and it’s networking on another level. We are bringing in industry professionals from all levels and placing them in a safe space to connect and talk about some of the biggest topics in the sports and entertainment industry. We are having our first event, which is a digital event, this month and I’m really excited to see how this helps so many people who are in the industry and those who are looking to get into the industry.

What are you reading, listening to, and/or watching right now?

Like many people, I’m consuming a lot more now that we are all staying safe at home. I’m re-reading a lot of books and one of my favorites would have to be Jeremy Darlow’s Brands Win Championships. I’m also listening to a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk and watching anything that has to do with Lena Waithe.

As a connected fan, who’s your favorite athlete to follow on social media?

My favorite athlete to follow on social media would have to be Dwyane Wade. Not only is he my favorite athlete on social media, but he is my favorite athlete period. Following his career from college to retirement, it’s so interesting to see how he navigates being a veteran and future Hall of Famer who grew up with the rise of technology in sports, to being someone who is embracing retirement and a new era of marketing himself as a multidimensional person, husband, and father, not just a retired NBA player.

What’s a piece of advice you received that you’re glad you ignored?

A piece of advice I received that I’m glad I ignored would have to be any advice pushing me to follow a pre-made path. As a minority woman in sports, we are given advice on how to look, speak and act when we are going for certain jobs or positions. If someone does not like who you are based off of how they think you should be, they don’t deserve what you can bring to the table.

What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?

I’d like to see more risks taken when giving younger professionals opportunities to get involved within the sports industry. The sports industry is very competitive. A lot of companies and brands lean towards hiring experience in terms of years over practical and cultural experience. How can we assure that the next generation of marketing directors, agents, and front office personnel have the right experience if we are not willing to give them a chance?

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