What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?
I’m buying and selling Cause Marketing. With millennial buying power outpacing other generations, brands who are effectively leveraging cause marketing are winning, and will continue to do so! Why? Because it’s the type of messaging that resonates with the largest, most influential, generation of consumers ever. However, brands must first be authentically aligned with social/environmental impact and not just provide lip-service about its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) principles. Millennial consumers place a priority on giving back and 81% expect brands to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship.
I believe we live in a world where you can have both profit and purpose! As the founder and CEO of Win-Win, I’m proud to be building a company that combines giving with sports gaming to make donating to charity a lot more fun and engaging. Our marketing has ‘cause’ naturally intertwined and our early traction has proven its effectiveness. By disrupting the $410B charitable giving industry and improving charitable fundraising, we are the epitome of being a “profit and purpose” company.
How do you define engagement?
There are many levels to “engagement” – from a simple like of an Instagram post to a successful transaction and public referral. At Win-Win, we assign a value for each level of engagement and have developed an ‘engagement ladder’. Each step throughout the Win-Win user flow is a ‘rung’ that is extending their engagement and bringing them closer to the desired call to action.
What’s the project or campaign that you’re proudest of? Why?
At Win-Win we have just completed our Beta testing phase and I’m really proud of all the campaigns we completed, the learnings and iterations that came from them, and our most recent traction! We are now seeing 5% full funnel conversion, from click to transaction, on organic social media traffic. This is huge when considering the industry average for converting traffic from the top 3 social media sites is 1.5% or much less. For context, when running paid, targeted social media ads the average full funnel conversion is between 3-5%. We’re at the top end of that average and we haven’t run any paid marketing, yet!
What are you working on right now? Any exciting future plans that you’re able to share?
Ahead of Win-Win’s full-scale NFL launch, I’m excited to now be offering an opportunity for anybody to become an investor in Win-Win and get equity in the company! We’ve already raised over $1.4M from some top investors, including veterans in Silicon Valley and pro athletes like Malcolm Jenkins (Eagles) and Jaylen Watkins (Chargers). Now, thanks to Barack Obama and the JOBS Act anybody can invest in Win-Win through our equity crowdfunding campaign on Republic. There’s a limited window of opportunity, but you can learn more and invest by visiting www.republic.co/win-win.
As a connected fan, what’s the best piece of sports content that you have recently consumed?
I’m a big fan of The Shop because I believe it gives back the “power” to the athletes featured on each episode. The power to control the narrative—giving the public a glimpse of who they are as people, and not allowing fans to develop or buy into false narratives that are oftentimes put out by the media and its pundits.
As a former player, I absolutely love and support that transfer of power! Part of why I built Win-Win is because I don’t like that fantasy sports companies are making billions of dollars a year, while the athletes plastered across their platforms receive nothing. So we’re leveraging the same gaming industry, but in a way that delivers more value to the athletes and the causes they care deeply about.
What’s been the biggest high and low of working in sports?
Whew, there are a lot of highs for me! As a former player, it’s an honor to still be so connected to the game, the players, and the entire ecosystem—and connected in a way that adds real value! Beyond that, a big high is being at this increasingly popular interaction of “SportsTech”. There’s so much innovation happening within sports, from data to hardware to fan engagement and everything in between. As a company at the forefront of this SportsTech boom, I’m excited to not only witness the continued evolution of sports and its impact but to also help create that future through Win-Win!
One of the few lows of working in sports has been the constant reminders that there are still people out there who view athletes as nothing more than objects of entertainment. We see reminders of this from very visible clashes within the world of politics down to fairweather fans spewing hate within IG and Youtube comment sections. However, entities like The Player’s Tribune, Uninterrupted, and our own Win-Win are providing viable avenues for pro athletes to continue proving them wrong!
What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?
I’d like to see more employers (sports and non-sports alike) recognize the value of the thousands of student-athletes graduating from college and going into the workforce every year. I’ve only seen one company really focus on hiring former student-athletes and that’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the largest rental car company in the world.
Further, I’d like to see more minorities within leadership and ownership roles! There’s simply no excuse and companies/teams that aren’t creating these opportunities should be held accountable for being a part of the problem rather than the solution.
What’s an example of one way in which MiS has positively impacted your career?
Minorities in Sports (MiS) has had a great impact on my career, particularly with the development of Win-Win. I was invited right around the time I was starting Win-Win and it has proven to be a very valuable network. It just feels empowering to have direct access to a group of high minded movers and shakers who come from where I come from, and have had many of the same experiences I have had, for better or for worse. I’m honored to be a member of MiS and look to add value to the network however I can. Thanks, Shaina for what you’ve built in MiS — its total impact has yet to be seen! Keep Winning