Meet Paul Bae, Our Community Member of the Week

Paul Bae: Director, Social Media at Oklahoma City Thunder

Name: Paul Bae

Job: Director, Social Media

Company: @okcthunder

LinkedIn: Paul Bae

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

Director, Social Media @okcthunder. Leveraged data for actionable insights while creating campaigns for brands like Gossip Girl and MTV Asia.

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

I’m buying more connectedness between online and offline worlds. Augmented reality experiences and event-focused activations can provide new experiences, provide value and create bonds that are stronger than purely digital ones. Research has shown that for conversions with longer consideration cycles, experiential marketing can have more impact on final purchase decisions. There are limitless new and unique opportunities ahead for the live/experience space and I want to add value via digital/social.

How do you define engagement?

I see it as a journey of creating a deeper connection between a brand and an audience. It starts with a decision made by a user to allow a brand’s story (embedded in content) to interrupt their day/feed and hopefully grows into meaningful conversations beyond that initial two-way interaction.

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

In last year’s All-Star campaign, we leaned into the traits that make Steven Adams unique and really saw results on the back end with voting results. We could see a correlation between our week-to-week efforts and the weekly voting results – particularly in a comparison of deltas across all players (Steven had a higher percentage of growth between week one and week two than almost any other player). We had a blast and saw great results from leveraging his love of anime, the whole “Aquaman” thing and just his evolution as a player and personality in general.

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

We’ve got more international players on the current roster than we’ve ever had before (representing Italy, Germany, Canada and New Zealand), so we’re excited to jump into creating more localized content and having fun just thinking about how we can serve our international audiences better and bring them into what we’re doing on social. Honestly, it would be a disservice to our audience to not think about unique geography/culture in this way.

As a connected fan, what’s the best piece of sports content that you have recently consumed?

I’m not even a college football fan, but college football social is so good right now. I’ve been watching @OhiostateFB game recap videos (even though I have zero interest in their games). The music selection is great and even though there’s almost too much happening visually, it all fits together perfectly and serves the game story – all the while showcasing the brand in a really cool way.

What’s been the biggest high and low of working in sports?

The biggest high is when players (our influencers) share or interact with our content, particularly after big moments. Knowing that some of these on-court moments are huge for them individually, it’s nice to know that they are appreciating our content and wanting to share it with their teammates and fans.

The biggest low is anytime there’s a missed opportunity to engage with an individual fan or serve them by answering a question or pointing them in the right direction. For brands that have millions of followers, it’s hard to treat every single incoming interaction in the best way possible. It’s rare for us to see those get dropped, but when it happens, I feel horrible about it. However, I do not feel horrible about ignoring trolls.

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

It’s 2020 and people are still stuck on vanity metrics and not thinking about attribution to measure ROI. Content departments and business departments alike need to invest in not just new and better analytics tools, but also in staff to increase their capabilities around measuring performance and showing how content contributes to the bottom line. Only then will our industry start to see adequate compensation for content creators and fully resourced well-equipped teams.

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