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yb+ys season 1: episode 14

Sports Marketing Sponsorships

with Amir Zonozi

Founder - Zoomph

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Sports marketing saw many changes during COVID -- with attendance at sporting events wiped out, and the rise of virtual fans in its place. Megan and Amir discuss sports partnership measurement; how influencer marketing has shifted brand strategy and measurement in sports; and women in sports.

About Our Guest

Amir Zonozi is the President and Co-founder of Zoomph: an organization that provides partnership data, consumer insights and media measurement in sports and eSports. He also serves on the Women in Sports Tech board, helping #changetheratio in the front office.

Season 1: Episode 14

podcast transcripts

0:53 Megan Ingram (MI): With live sports attendance down due to COVID and the rise of virtual sports fans. Amir Zonozi, the co-founder of Zoomph, social media sponsorship and ROI, platform joins us this week. We’ll discuss sports partnership measurement, how influencer marketing has shifted brand strategy, and measurement in sports, and women in sports. How's it going here? 

1:13 Amir Zonozi (AZ): It's going awesome. It's great to connect with you. We're in the same city, but so socially distant. So it's always great to see you and love the content coming out of Ingram Digital Consulting. 

1:26 MI: Very glad to have you on today. I'm super excited to talk about this topic. To start, I wanted to kick it off with a little bit about your journey so people could kind of hear a little bit about your background. You came from social media strategist to now Zoomph co-founder. What did you learn and what inspired you from that experience to create Zoomph? 

1:47 AZ: That's a great question. Back when I started, social media wasn't really a career. It wasn't something that people did for a living. I was doing it on the side, just getting some gigs and people moving from sharing their lunch and stuff like that to building their businesses on it. And I did everything from working with senators, to pest control, to catering and whatever. And there was an opportunity at an agency that was working with the state department at the time. And they were looking at the impact on Twitter after speeches were happening. So the Freedom of Internet Act, where we would start interacting with social and so I was obsessed. I just kept following just whatever it was, and I would geek out on this stuff always. During that project, when I was working with the agency, we couldn't answer some of the questions that they would ask us. Or they would ask us really tough questions. Like the Internet Freedom Act. There was a report where at the time, Justin Bieber had a Tweet out that said internet and freedom in some way, but it wasn't the exact phrase that we were looking for. And he showed up on a report because we were using the Klout as a platform for finding influencers. And we were like, we gotta get rid of him, not in real life, but in that report. It could one - he's Canadian and two - he's a teenage pop star. And one of our developers helped us find a way to remove him and other people that weren't relevant in the conversation. And I was like, we need to do more of this. This is so cool. You're doing all these things that I wish could be done that are not possible on these platforms. And so we started hacking things together outside of hours, spending whatever time we could on it within this agency. The CEO found what we were doing and he said this is never going to work in government, but you guys can work your nights and weekends. And we strived to do our day job, but we spent years working on it, but I just was obsessed with that ability to have more control of the strategy and be able to build the tools of what I needed to do to accomplish the mission. But at the end of the day, it was always that quest of the client asking more, demanding more, what's that next problem that comes in? It was just fun, decoding attention and building a platform around it. 

4:17 MI: That's awesome. I'm a huge fan of the platform. Obviously 2020, it was pretty crazy for all of us, but definitely in the sports industry just not having fans and all the changes that it went through. How do you think it changed the way we measure and track sports partnerships right now? 

4:37 AZ: That's a fantastic question. So all partnerships, there's a number of ways that partners can activate with rights holders or sports teams or properties and leagues. And essentially it's all been eliminated except for social, right? Social and broadcast. And so that put a heavyweight on a social one - to brunt the make-goods. So how are, if we're taking the experiential and all the different activations that brands were previously doing with these sports teams, now it's being reinvested into this digital experience. And so that's been exciting for us because we've been building for this world not knowing of course the pandemic was going to happen how quickly this would happen, but we were sort of looking at social media and as an unlimited, untapped potential for inventory, for partnership items, and we looked at content as a digital asset economy. It started with people creating content for one another, people trading stuff, influencers not really having a set system, to now, there's an agency of influencers, right? People work with them, it's an accepted marketing strategy. And now you're seeing sports teams,their digital teams are basically agencies specialized on activating their fan base. And so they work with these brands and they activate when they create content around it. And there's some really compelling content that these organizations are creating. Locally to us, the Washington Football Team. Look at their strategy. They have different YouTube videos that go out every day of the week with a different theme, different audience, different topic. It's off their club property, but they're creating this content specifically to target them. There's different fan base audience members, and then also bring in a product of one of their partners as an integrated marketing piece or a logo displayed on the activation itself. That's what we find really fascinating because of the relationships some of these people have with their teams. We were just talking earlier about you’re an Eagles fan and you were talking about the off season activation. Some people have a stronger relationship with their team than they do with their own religion. Right? They get tattoos of it. So when the team puts their arm around a brand, that's a big deal. That's not something that's insignificant. There's a lot of relationship trust. The fastest way to trust validation is to do a partnership like that. Look at the partnership between SunTrust and BB&T. Now with the NFL. The first thing they did is go get a partnership. It's a way to expose themselves. Partnerships are evolving around social. We're looking at the impressions. We're looking at the engagement. We're looking at the video views, basically the performance of the content. CPM, CPE, and CPV. And we use the performance based on industry standard rates, right? What people would be paying for ads. And we say, this is what this content is worth. And so we can aggregate that across the entire season's content in real time at any time. And then tell them, this is what that content was worth to you across your different cross channel strategies, where there's Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube. We work in Esports as well. That value is important. That's their social value and the value for the brand. Because if I'm Nike, and I'm only shown for like four exposures in a 20 minute video for a total of two minutes, and I'm not the presenting branded partner, there's a value to it, but it's not the full value. So we use AI to understand the logo size, clarity, exposure, and all that. And we have factors of recall and we call that discounting. We said what the value was for the brand. So there's a lot invested within sports on social media, in creating content. And that value is all based on the performance of how well it’s perceived. And at the end of the day, in layman's terms - what would the value have been, had they run ads on this to achieve that same level of performance? That's basically what we're answering. So you could have just run ads on this, right? And this is what you would have spent, but that's the value that they received. So that's part of their partnership. It's a big deal right now. As fans are not in, and it's been slowly returned back and I think it will be continuingly as well. 

9:03 MI: Yeah. How are you finding brands using that information once you give it to them - is it justifying the money that they're spending on ads? Is it in future campaigns? What are the use cases that you're seeing for that information? 

9:18 AZ: Yeah. One, it's to retain your customers, right? It's to show them all the value that they generate on behalf of the partnership. There's a number of different assets that they're activating upon, whether it's a logo patch, LED display on the court, basketball now going digital, right? All of that. So they're activating across multiple assets. And so it's important for them to know the value of each one. And it's important that the value that they're creating also has a conversion at the end of the day, which meets the bottom line of what this organization is doing. So retention is huge. Expansion is also huge by showing how much value and conversion they're providing throughout the content campaigns that they're doing. If they're performing well, right? The right holder of the property could go to them and say, hey, we want to do more with you. We want to expand this. And here are some opportunities and what we can do and achieve together. So it's an expansion opportunity. And then the other thing is you can win deals from this, as well. So we also do audience analytics. They're also looking at who's activating and engaging with this content. If I do a Venn diagram and we have one circle, that's the team and property, and we have another circle that's the brand, right? Within those two circles, the space that overlaps, that percentage, there is a lot of information about those people that fall under both of those. So if I'm a basketball team? And we have BMW as a partner, what are the BMW drivers and fans and people that follow them, who's their favorite athlete? What other things are they interested in? That's all content or insights that they could use to help perform better content and execute upon. But it also gives them an idea of understanding what brands they like. Why reinvent the wheel? Your fans already have pre-existing relationships. Leverage those existing relationships by showing the data to those partners. And then let's pour a jet fuel line. Let's do some activations. 

11:19 MI: That's awesome. I find all that data to be extremely cool. As we're recording this, the Super Bowl just aired. I want to talk specifically about one activation that you've recently talked about, which is the Nickelodeon and NFL partnership. What did we learn from the activation success and how was Zoomph ahead of this?

11:45 AZ: It's a wonderful thing that they did with Viacom and the property of Nickelodeon by airing a game on Nickelodeon. They used personalities that appeal to a Gen-Z audience, and then they used infographics and information. And the entire focus and pitch was really - how do we bring more younger fans? And as you're seeing the landscape, there's a Gen-Z problem with traditional sports. We're seeing this heavily favored Esports and gaming, honestly. So you're seeing less people activating and engaging in the NFL at a Gen-Z demographic. So this was an experiment that they did to see - how can we get more people at an early level engaged? There's tons of research that if you're at a sporting event by the time you're five years old versus seven years old, does that make you a fan for life? And how does that impact you? So they're very aggressively trying to get in front of younger audiences to show and display their sport. And then also on the Viacom/Nickelodeon side, the analysts were also presenting it and describing things and educating the listeners. So sometimes when you're watching traditional sports, there'll be talking about topics in depth, but a new customer, new user, a new fan, - are they really understanding everything that you're saying? So it takes a while for them to understand it. So when they were saying things like - Oh, so-and-so got benched, they say - that's like being sent to your room. And so they were breaking it down in an easy way for the audience to pick up on it. And here's the thing: we have mega-casts already. We have Univision. We have the entire game being announced and described in Spanish and different languages. And so this is a different variant of that, but just focused on a different demographic. We saw really great social media results for the partners. We saw a ton of viewership growth. We saw tons of people commenting on how great of an experience it was. Even the professionals that you would think would watch your traditional broadcast were watching the Nickelodeon one because they were watching with their family and friends. So I think the pandemic helped in that it allowed us to be a little bit more experimental. And it brought people together at home, as opposed to hanging out with your friends at the bar and watching a game. You're watching with your kids. You're watching with your wife, she's watching with her husband. All these different nuances. This just made it a little bit easier. So I see more of this and I see mega-casting being a thing. With all of these communication organizations like Viacom, having these different entities, they can recast that game with different analysts on different networks to hit different segments, to ensure that there's a better personalization across all of them.

14:42 MI: Yeah and I totally agree that you're going to see more and more of this. The NFL has not only with this kind of partnership, but you can look at some of their other partners that they've invested in, especially over the last year that are moving in this direction. We're gonna shift gears a little bit talking a little bit about Esports and betting and what we're even seeing just within the Gen-Z demographic. But what really fascinates me is some of the shifts and turns that this industry has taken, especially in the pandemic. We actually devoted a whole podcast this season just to talking about influencers in gaming, and there's a ton of interesting trends in the gaming space right now. What's true for you as you look at 2021 for gaming and Esports betting?

15:28 AZ: Yeah, gaming is fascinating. We've got tons of clients in that world within gaming and e-sports. And the premiere is games in their product League of Legends as the developer, and League of Legends is a ten-year-old game. It is the pinnacle of Esports. I think 45 million to have a team in League of Legends. It's insane. And attention is currency and the amount of attention that they generate is absolutely out of this world. I had the pleasure of going to their HQ and they have all these different pictures and paintings on the wall that it looked like children drew. And these are grown people that have drawn these. They had like a campaign that if you can't afford our digital bucks or dollars or whatever tokens that they have, send in a picture of your favorite character. And it was like a lot of grown men were sending in these crayon things. It is massive. It is global. I implore your entire audience - go Google World Championship 2019 or 2020. Just the opening ceremony. It is a different level of technologic display, no offense to The Weeknd and the Super Bowl halftime show, but this s**** on it. You're like, Whoa, where did these people come from? The future? It is so cool. You see Louis Vuitton activating on this. There's a trophy case, and that was phenomenal, too, because it was exposed before that it's a non-endemic partner. So one thing that's big in Esports and gaming is to determine endemic and non-endemic, and endemic is partners that are associated with completing the sport or whatever it might be. So headsets, gaming, controllers, gaming chairs - all of those are endemic. Non-endemic is like Louis Vuitton, or Honda, or State Farm, or MasterCard that invest tons of money into this. So we were seeing this surge of non-endemic partners getting into Esports gaming because there's the elusive 18-34 year old demographic that is impossible to get to outside of Twitch and gaming. So they're there and QSRs, the quick serve restaurants are all over that and you can see the difference in the type of ads. When you go onto Twitch versus YouTube and the different platforms you can tell, they're just targeting somebody else. And these corporate sponsorships are very similar to the creator industry and influencer agency. When they get it, it's a moment of celebration, as opposed to when the NBA announced that Michelob Ultra was the presenting beer partner with NBA, or Microsoft for some other thing, people are like, Oh, that piss water. It's a totally different world, but it is growing tremendously. There's virtual sports like Madden, right? There's your first person shooter, like Call of Duty, Overwatch League, stuff like that. We're still in our infancy when it comes to their franchising on the competitive game play. But gaming, no surprise that you had an episode just dedicated to that because it is so influential. 

18:40 MI: And especially like the tournament scene, the competitive tournaments. And as you've mentioned, brands are all over this and influencers just trying to use that as a place to really get to, especially that Gen-Z audience, because like you're saying, they're not necessarily going to be tuning into the live events or be that invested in the actual sports, but they are definitely interested in the betting, the fantasy, the e-gaming aspect of it.

19:06 AZ: Yeah, a hundred percent and they're so influential too. I mean, G Fuel, I had a conversation with some of the folks there and they had to tone down some of their marketing because they just didn't have enough product to ship with the pandemic and what was happening. That's how quickly things are kind of selling out. It's insane how influential they are, but it's very exciting and you're seeing that grow as the younger audience engages with them. And like you said, there's multiple trends that are happening. So you mentioned sports betting. And that is another massive trend that's hitting. Sports spending, you might argue, saved a lot of jobs right now with the partnership deals that they're doing in sports. You don't realize that sponsorships are not just about giving cash to an organization, it's cash to the front office. To save the digital team, to save the roles there. The legalization of that and the sports spending has been fascinating. We did an audience analysis of the NFL and looked at some of the organizations and ranked the different states by affinity of sports betting. And we basically took the different companies involved with the entire ecosystem and looked at how people interacted with it. People talking on Twitter about bookies, and bets and so forth. And so we were able to sort of segment that audience and look at them differently in how to engage. They follow multiple teams, they follow multiple athletes. It's a fluid fan model, right? They're moving along with it because they're looking for information on how to hedge their bets as best as possible. And we did an analysis that was fascinating that it was the top state. So it was in Nevada and New Jersey. And then third was Tennessee, which kind of took us by surprise. Didn't you hear the term “NashVegas”? And now, I think I know why. So they were number three, so we and the Tennessee Titans, we helped them get a deal with Bet MGM due to our data, because the number one affinity for sports betting, and sports betters in Tennessee was to the Tennessee Titans. Right? And so now they're renewing for the second year with them and good on them. But this data, there's so much social data and social listening can provide insights on where to go, and how to strategically align yourself to the best audience to put your brand in front of. And sports betting is not going anywhere. It's only going to increase. And I think it's bringing a fun element to the game where you're seeing the lack of Gen-Z. Millennials are performing the highest when it comes to sports betting, with their engagement of it. So it's a different way of keeping fans glued to the television of what they're watching through linear broadcast or YouTube TV or whatever it might be because now they get to interact with what's in front of them.

21:55 MI: Then you hinted at it a little bit. How would you say you've seen sports fantasy or gambling change the way they're monetized and measured? What use cases are you seeing within those types of applications? 

22:08 AZ: There's a number of players in the space and they're making these heavy investments into each one of these different sports teams and properties. They're focusing on one. If you go on Twitter on any of these, I get hit with so many of these ads. William Hill has an ad budget of - it's crazy. Every day. I see a William Hill video, but they're doing these ESPN analyst breakdowns. And then a lot of these media companies are creating shows just solely based around sports betting. I mean, Darren Ravell left ESPN to join Action Sports. So they're taking top talent away from these media companies, and now they're creating content. All formed around sports betting. And I think the one theme across all of this is the digital asset economy, right? Content, whether it's Disney Plus, or Netflix, or DraftKings, or our content or this episode, and this content that you're creating now, this is tremendously valuable and people are tuning in for different reasons. For this case, they're learning, they're educating, they're sharpening their ax, but in other cases it might be entertainment. But again, attention is currency. And if you're creating attention and sustaining it, that's why you have 15 minutes of fame. It's very hard to retain attention like this, and that's why there's agencies. That's why there’s audience research, people to help you and work with you to retain that and continuously stay in front of it. But what sports spending is doing is they're creating constant contact through their content that they're creating and they're just staying front of mind. And that investment that they're doing, is bringing a lot of excitement and saving jobs at the same time. So it's massive in what and how they're bringing attention back into the traditional sports. And they're also imploring the ecosystem to get more dynamic and more creative with the activations as well.

24:09 MI: All really good points. I want to talk a little bit about and pivot into influencer marketing, which you kind of touched on briefly before. Talk a little bit about Zoomph's approach to valuation for sports, sponsorships, and influencers overall. 

24:26 AZ: So we originally started that strike given the beginning with the Klout. We created our own influencer ranking system at the time. It was called Z-Points. What we focused on was the value of the crowd, right? The wisdom of the crowd. And so we focused on - if people are sharing content, and if they're responding to it. So we weighed the follower count really low. We weighed the number of times people posted really low and we just focused on the pure notion of, if the crowd finds it valuable through engagement, we should surface it higher for you, and we can contextualize it by your search. Immediately, we took out all the people that were irrelevant and we just focused on whatever topic that was relevant for you. So there are influencers for every conversation. And there's different levels of influence that are out there as well. Again, it goes back to that currency of attention and people that are masterful with it. And how do they sustain it? David Dobrik is one of my favorite attention providers or seekers or attainers. I don't know how to describe him, but the way he masterfully brings in partners like SeatGeek. And why would SeatGeek partner with David Dobrik? It sounds insane, but he gives away cars and SeatGeek’s the promo ads that are able to see that conversion. So David Dobrik, for your audience that doesn't know him, he's in his twenties. He has 4-20 videos, and they're like vlogs with his group of friends that started on Vine and ended up on YouTube. He averages, I think it's like 16 million views, a YouTube video now, which is insane. And then he masters it by every time he does the same jingle when it's a product announcement or partnership. And he only does product or partnership deals whenever he's giving away something positive to fans and the audience wins. There's psychological aspects of that as well. And so fans know, whenever a partner's involved, they get happy. But he moves an incredible amount of product. Probably shipped over a hundred cars through that YouTube series alone. But then the other thing that he did that was so brilliant, he took a hiatus for awhile and now he's coming back with his own show. Our technology has decentralized the ability to communicate with fans so quickly. Same for the athletes. Christian Rinaldo has over 500 million fans across all of his platforms. These influencers - brands cannot ever obtain the amount of trust and support and passion that these guys or women and people and accounts have. Their ability to promote a product if it's authentic, is unrivaled. You have to be careful that you're working with the right people, they have the right audience, and you're doing the analytics ahead of time, because we tried doing this when Zoomph was trying to make a name for ourselves.We got retweeted by Casey Neistat, Gary Vaynerchuk, The Rock three times, no leads, maybe one or two leads, but we figured out the formula. If we create content that compliments what they're doing and we release it at the right time and mention them, we have a verified handle. So we'd Retweet it by a verified handle to get on their radar and no matter what they would retweet us. And so we got that art down and we knew how to position the data to make them look really good. So for The Rock we said, okay, we're going to analyze all these different athletes with their brand partners. So LeBron and Nike, The Rock and Under Armour. And we showed that The Rock generates more value for Under Armour than anyone else. So he Retweets it, but no leads. So then we realized, okay, we have to go after the people that hold our audience that are our customers to do that. And so once we started doing that, Oh my gosh, leads started pouring through and we started to stop Google ads, stop Facebook ads. We stopped Instagram ads and all we do is we sponsor email blasts. We sponsor a podcast or two, as well, around sports. And it's amazing what influencers can do and achieve for you more than you ever can do yourself. 

29:06 MI: I totally agree. And there's a huge power in it for brands, no matter what you do. It obviously started in pretty traditional spaces like the fashion and the consumer, but it's a very powerful strategy for any brand. 

29:26 AZ: Absolutely. 

29:29 MI: You are also the board member for Women in Sports Tech. So I did want to talk a little bit about this. Talk about the growth you've seen specifically in Women in Sports. 

29:39 AZ: Yeah. Um, so there's Women in Sports and then there's Women's Sports Tech. And so both are thriving. The Women in Sports is more focused on the front office. Hiring more women and having more diversity. Both are incredibly important. And I'll go into each but Women in Sports. Oh my Goodness. National Women's Soccer League? Wow. We were talking about Esports and their sponsors being fans. Go look whenever they announce a new partner in the National Women's Soccer League. When the Chicago Red Stars were in the championship a couple of years ago, you couldn't get a Bud Light or Budweiser at a Chicago bar because people and fans were going and showing their support through their dollar. Will you support our teams? You support women, we will support you. We just had Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams play last night, and Nike won more than anyone, right? The viewership numbers are not out yet, but that was the match of the century. So it's amazing to see. And the WNBA, as well. We did an analysis and actually looked at the league handles across NWSL, WMBA, NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, right? All the big players, the NWSL had the highest engagement rate on both Twitter and on Instagram, out of all these leagues. Now they have a smaller audience, right? But their engagement, they had the highest, and so it's amazing to see what they're doing and what they're achieving. I'm really excited about Angel City FC. They're doing 10% of all sponsorship deals to go to a good cause. So there's shift, there's change and that's women that are running that business. And they're thinking in different ways and it's science. This is not in my opinion. The more diverse your team is, you have more people that think in different ways and it makes you more successful as an organization. So, I was promoted to president in Q3 or Q4 2019. And one of my problems was I was looking at our ratio and I was like, there are too many men on our team. We need more diversity. And so I got tired of the excuse that we don't get enough applicants. And I reached out to a couple of organizations. Women's Sports Tech responded to me. I was like, Hey, we’re a start-up, we don't have a lot of money. Can I help you with amplifying your voice in a way you're doing? Can you help me by making our company more applicable and more resonating for women in sports tech? And so they've been tremendously impactful. I feel like I'm never providing enough of an impact when I'm working with Mary Lou McFarland who is the founder there, and there's an amazing team and I'm always in the shadow of just so many great people. They brought me in as an advisor and then they brought me in as a board member last year. And I've just been hooked because I didn't realize how bad the problem was. And I didn't realize the experiences that women have to go through in some of these industries. And so it really opened my eyes and I really wanted to change it, and selfishly, I want the smartest people to work at Zoomph. So this gave me an ability to work with tremendously smart people. We've hired six women since we've been on board, six out of eight, and we've already seen their impact and they've been tremendous for our organization. And it's a passion of mine. It's important. And selfishly, it moves the needle for our business as well. So, shame on anyone that's not going out of their way to go hire women in any of these industries. But it's been great to be a part of it. 

33: 35 MI: That's so awesome. And that's very cool that you do that. Do you have any advice for aspiring women looking to get into the sports industry in particular? 

33:44 AZ: Yeah. One - is patience. It takes time with everything. It's just that daily level of grind that goes into what you're doing, but two - find a mentor, find other people that are doing what you do. There's tons of organizations like WiST, right? There's tons of mentors in it. They do webinars, there's WiSE women in sports and entertainment. So if you're not on the tech side of it and you want to find other mentors and people to learn from as well, then it comes to being good at what you do. Know what you're good at. Find out what you love to do, and sing about it. Be out there on social. There's so many people that are consuming content. There's so few people creating content. I mean, just even this podcast alone, this is huge. We need more people out there showing and the easiest thing, retweet a team of their content and show why what they're doing is impactful and then show your expertise in it. People will notice over time. And that's the biggest thing I could say, but put yourself out there. 

34:47 MI: Yeah. I also think too, in this kind of virtual, social media space, people are very willing to help you out and have a conversation with you, and I've seen a lot of that going on, especially in the industry. So, anybody who's kind of like out there, trying to meet or find or connect with the right people. I think people are more than willing to help each other out, especially in this kind of virtual pandemic environment that we're in right now.

35:11 AZ: A hundred percent. I know you're supposed to ask all the questions, but I'm a rule breaker. What about you? You're successful in what you do, you have some massive clients and logos behind you. What are some of the things that have helped you as a woman in your career that helped you progress? And then you'd give advice back as well. 

35:29 MI: I would say just along those lines, it's connecting and not being afraid. Some of the most impactful people I've met are through Twitter and just connecting virtually. Whatever it may be, finding the right places and the right people and having those conversations. And then you'd be surprised what happens from that, right? I use something like Lunch Club, which is this virtual networking platform that can connect you. And like I've met a ton of different people, and it's not always a sales opportunity, but just different ways to connect and meet, even talented people, or other freelancers in the industry. Those types of things have been super impactful for me and helped me meet in a time when we can't do traditional networking type things. To meet and really learn from other people's experiences so that you can be better. And also just creating knowledge, a lot of it's learning and thought, creating those barriers so that people can help educate and understand, I think is critically important.

36:29 AZ: Yeah, you nailed it. It's creating knowledge and creating value. It's all accessible. And like we said, technology is decentralized. Everyone has a voice now. And if you're creating something valuable, people amplify it. I mean, you're creating this, I'm on here with you, right? You made this happen, you reached out and we've known each other for a while. So it’s moments like this, and kudos to you for what you've built. And thanks for having me on this as well. I'll stop with my questions and I'll go back to the normal format. Sorry about that. 

37:02 MI: I only have one more question. My last question was, if you could pick one, what's one big prediction for sports marketing to share?

37:11 AZ: Yeah. I think that's a really good question. I'm a little biased here, but I have seen an increase in two business units. You can argue this as well, but there's two things. I'm seeing more creative teams, right? More people are being hired to create teams and more people are getting hired to work for BI, analytics, and research. So I see only more digital campaigns and digital partnerships happening and activating on social. Not because it's a make-good because it's something that brands want to be. Invisalign? First year with their NFL, right? They walked into this. Wanting to go social. They actually saw an increase in males in Millennial and Gen-X in the Northeast region, right from the campaigns that they were doing with some of their partners in the NFL. So if they sold directly and it was not a make-good, they went after that and the pandemic happened and didn't change anything that they were doing. But I'm going to say my one prediction is brands are going to be investing more into digital content. Warranted this integrated marketing strategy, and there's going to have to be more people on the creative side to get it done. There's going to have to be more people on the analytics side to ensure that it's a sure hit. So you know why my two recommendations for whatever business that you're in is to create more content and do it with intelligence. Don't go in there blindly. Work with an agency, work with someone that can help you with that. You'll look at your data and guide you on those next steps. 

38:45 MI: And creating content is hard work, it's quality content I should say. And you know, the organizations that can do it and can do it well, it's about educating and knowledge and that makes selling easy, right? I always say it's not really about selling. It's about creating a conversation, right? Conversational marketing. And if you can open up those doors, then you'd be surprised what happens. 

39:08 AZ: Nailed it. I have nothing to say. You dropped the mic there. 

39:15 MI: Well, so glad to have you on the show today. I really enjoy talking about all things sports marketing. Where can listeners find you?

39:23 AZ: Yeah. I'm @Zonozi on all things social in Zoomph.

39:31 MI: Great. Well, definitely check it out. Check out Zoomph. Again, really glad to have you on today and excited also to hear more about Zoomph and what's ahead for them in the next year. 

39:40 AZ: Thank you, Megan, great being here. Thanks for having me. 

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