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Episode 230 Snippets: Savanah Alaniz of The Savannah Bananas

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Episode 230 Snippets: Savanah Alaniz of The Savannah Bananas

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On episode 230 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Savanah Alaniz, Marketing Coordinator for The Savannah Bananas baseball team.

What follows is a collection of snippets from the podcast. To hear the full interview and more, check out the podcast on all podcast platforms and at www.dsmsports.net

On episode 230 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Savanah Alaniz, Marketing Coordinator for The Savannah Bananas baseball team.

What follows is a collection of snippets from the podcast. To hear the full interview and more, check out the podcast on all podcast platforms and at www.dsmsports.net

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Episode 230 Snippets: Savanah Alaniz of The Savannah Bananas

  1. 1. On episode 230 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Savanah Alaniz, Marketing Coordinator for the Savanah Bananas. What follows is a collection of snippets from the podcast. To hear the full interview and more, check out the podcast on all podcast platforms and at www.dsmsports.net. @njh287; www.dsmsports.net Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  2. 2. Savanah’s Career Path “I got to Savannah on a whim. I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is a small coastal town in Texas. It's actually not too small. It was my sophomore year of college and I was scrolling on Instagram one day. Mind you, at the time I was already looking for an out-of-state internship, I just wanted to live somewhere else. I was watching [Instagram] Stories and one of my friends who I had a class with and played baseball on the team shared a Story and it was the Savannah Bananas. And being named Savanah, I was like, ‘What the heck is this?’ Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  3. 3. “So I click on it and I'm scrolling through and I see players dancing in kilts and a post about Bananciaga, and I thought it was so funny. So I showed my roommate and told her ‘You have to see this.’ And she said, ‘Oh, you should see if they have any internships.’ So I looked online and, sure enough, summer internships for 2020 had just opened up. I applied, went through like a month and a half long application process, got the job, moved to Savannah — in the middle of a global pandemic actually, so that was super fun. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  4. 4. “While I was there, I got told my summer project was gonna be TikTok. We had 205 followers on the day I got the password to the TikTok. It was June 3rd, 2020. Then from there, not to toot my horn, but I crushed it. I think we had 225,000 followers at the end of the summer. Me and one of the other interns, Alex Marinelli, we grinded on TikTok that summer…It was awesome, and at that point I said, ‘I don't wanna leave. I'm not going back to Texas.’ So I found a way to continue classes online, but then also work part-time here mostly just doing TikTok. “From there I worked my way into a full-time position now as the Marketing Coordinator, and to follow up with TikTok, we now have 3.3 million followers.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  5. 5. “It was in the middle of that summer and we didn't start games until July 1st. We kind of had a later start to the season just with Covid and everything and my parents came to visit me at the end of July and at that point I knew, like, ‘Okay, I've gotta go back.’ I was in a sorority and everything; I was the vice president of PR for my sorority and even sorority stuff was online that semester, so I still got to do it then. My parents came to visit and I said, ‘Hey, listen, I'm thinking about staying. I talked to my academic advisor. He said I could do classes online. And I think I could manage, even if it's just like one more semester and then I'll come home.’ My mom was super hesitant, but she said do what you gotta do. So from that point forward, I just started making plans as to how can I take my classes online, how much can I work at the Bananas, but also manage a full course load plus being in a sorority?…” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  6. 6. Savanah gives an overview of the Savannah Bananas “So the Savannah Bananas are a team that exists to make baseball fun. So yes, like the Harlem Globetrotters, but it is a little bit more competitive in the sense that the Bananas don't always win. I feel like the Globetrotters, whenever they play the Washington Generals, typically you can expect a Globetrotters win, right? Not with the Bananas. We honestly never know what's going to happen. So we can script out games to a point in the sense of in the third inning with the second hitter, we're gonna have a TikTok dance happen before the pitch is thrown. But we can't script if a pitch is gonna be a ball or strike. So there's a difference there. “But we did start as a college summer baseball team in 2016 in the Coastal Plain League. Jesse and Emily Cole, they moved down to Savannah and started the Savannah Bananas. Truthfully, the people of Savannah hated the name at first. They thought it was outrageous and told us to get outta town and we didn't. We stayed that first season in 2016, we sold out 18 of 25 games, and we actually won the championship that year. So that was super cool, we got to stick it to those people that said ‘Get the heck out’ and we said, ‘We're staying.’ Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  7. 7. “Then 2017, 2018, 2019 all happened. I wasn't here…we kind of changed the way that things happened. We sold out every single game those seasons, pretty easily actually, and we kind of built a name for ourselves in the sense of the goofy baseball team that likes to have fun. So then in 2020 we started testing Banana Ball, and that was our first real game. We had tested it previously with a college team scrimmage, and it was our first game the Bananas were playing. We split them up to do a split squad game and they played Banana Ball. It was the first game in 2020 and it was outrageous. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  8. 8. “We created Banana Ball to speed up the game of baseball. So rules are there's a two hour time limit, there are no walks — walks turned into sprints, a hitter can advance as many bases as possible while every fielder has to touch the ball. My favorite rule [is] a fan can catch a foul ball for an out. I think it's everyone's favorite rule. But it's so fun. “So Banana Ball kind of took off. We got a lot of interest in it in 2020. In 2021, we decided, ‘Okay. last year was great. Let's do a one-city world tour.’ So we went to Mobile, Alabama, played two games there, sold out those two nights. Then we were like,, ‘Okay, we did one city, let's see what we can do in 2022.’ Also this whole time we're still playing in our college summer league, but also still trying to play Banana Ball. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  9. 9. “So in 2022, we said ‘Let's do seven cities.’ So we went mostly down in the southeast and then we went up to Kansas City and we played Banana Ball and then we also got to play against the Kansas City Monarchs, which is an [independent] ball team, and it was incredible. We were like, ‘This is a real thing. We're actually kind of popular now. We've got a little bit of fame behind us. People kind of know who we are.’ So that is when we decided Banana Ball is the future of the Savannah Bananas. So we left our college summer league that played traditional nine-inning baseball to pursue Banana Ball full-time. So 2023 and beyond will just be Bananas traveling around playing Banana Ball and bringing fun baseball to the masses”. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  10. 10. On learning the Bananas brand and onboarding with the team “To start, the interview process for the Bananas is pretty intense, but like in the best way possible. We have a very high emphasis on culture here and I know probably a lot of people say, that we care a lot about our culture. You have to pass a beer and barbecue test before you are brought onto the staff. So like, would you go to a barbecue with this person and could you drink a beer with them and hold a conversation? I did a month and a half of interviews; I think I had seven of them. So I was testing not only my skills — I had just turned 20, was a sophomore in college, but it was this many interviews to make sure you're the right person for the job. Yes, there was a skills interview and smaller projects you'd have to work on, but also I was getting asked questions like, ‘How would you describe the color yellow to somebody that's blind?’ Questions that care more about your heart and your personality than your actual skills. Because you can teach Photoshop, but you can't teach culture, you know? And you can't teach being funny. I would say all my coworkers are pretty hilarious. We spend a lot of time outside the office together too; all of our time actually. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  11. 11. “So going into my internship, I kind of had a clear idea of the people I'd be working with, one, but two, what was expected out of the Bananas brand. Kara who started in 2018, did a great job of really creating a fun, not too serious social media brand, and that kind of feels like the Bananas. I want people now when they go look at the Bananas to read the comments back to other people and go, ‘Oh yeah, I would definitely, like, love to grab a beer or whatever with this person.’ So whenever we came in, we once again got culture training on we want to be fun, different, enthusiastic, growing, and hungry, and kind of all those values that make up our staff are also just the brand itself. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  12. 12. “I was scared. I think the first time I ever posted anything was an Instagram post, maybe Facebook, and I was so nervous to click post, like, what am I even doing? I felt imposter syndrome. Then I kind of just felt more comfortable as I grasped the brand voice. I think it's something I've noticed now in my interns is, like, it kind of takes them a while to understand what the brand voice is, but then once you get it you've got it and you're just rocking from there. Now I don't think twice about like posting anything, it's just regular. But in the beginning it was a little scary. “I think just like the people around me really helped to build me up and make me feel comfortable. And then I also saw when I posted something, people really liked it. So then it kind of built up my confidence to just keep doing what I'm doing. Now I would say the Bananas brand sounds really similar to me. We're almost one in the same. And not just me, but Kara, who's on social media, our intern now — like you're hearing these different voices and we all talk the same, like the Bananas. So the Bananas sound like us and we sound like the Bananas, if that makes sense.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  13. 13. About picking up TikTok in general and for the Bananas strategy “So what I didn't mention earlier is that before I came to the Bananas, I actually worked at a church in student ministry. And so because I did that I tried to like keep up with the kids that I was working with, which were high school age girls. So when they told me that they were on TikTok, I was like, ‘Alright, what the heck is this?’ So I'm scrolling and found out it was pretty addictive. I loved it. And this was when I feel like a lot of people didn't use it or like my friends in college were making fun of me for using TikTok when they knew it was like, ‘Oh yeah, my 13-year-old brother uses TikTok.’ Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  14. 14. “So I was kinda on there pretty early, but I was terrible at making videos. Like if you go look at my account, my first couple of videos in 2019, I'm telling you don't. Please save me the embarrassment. So I kind of knew about TikTok, thought it was interesting, and then in my interview process they asked me, ‘What's one thing that you would change about our marketing?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I would get you all a TikTok. Easy peasy. The Bananas were built for the app.’ So when I got there they said ‘That's your summer project’, it all made sense to me at that point. I kind of already knew I had the job before they told me because the Bananas went and made a TikTok account like two days after my interview… Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  15. 15. “So that whole spring after Covid shut everything down, before I went to Savannah, I was keeping an eye on TikTok trends and I was constantly turning with ideas of what would be good for the Bananas to do on TikTok. And you know, trends change all the time, yada, yada, yada, but it was kind of just like we spent a lot of time, me and my other intern partner, Alex Marinelli, just researching. And by research I mean like scrolling on TikTok, like what are people posting? Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  16. 16. “So we would find trends. And truthfully, the Bananas TikTok in 2020 was so different than it is now because we were just taking iPhone videos and posting those. Then we kind of realized we can up our craft and we can shoot these videos on a camera. Or now in 2022, we're shooting videos on a camera with a camera crew in a game setting in the middle of it. Whereas it used to just be, like, after practice we're getting a phone, players are wearing practice gear and we're shooting these TikToks. So we've really progressed from 2020 to now. “But it was really just trial and error at the beginning. Like, this might work, this might not, and we failed a lot before we really succeeded at all. You know, you have to take chances and see what's gonna resonate.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  17. 17. On some of the early successes on TikTok “There was one — it was the pose challenge, and it was super big in 2020. It was like athletes at home were doing it with their colleges was what I think I first saw. It was like a picture from college and then a video of them going into that pose and then you'd hear like a camera flash. So we did that one and it was before the season started and that one got like 30,000 likes, and I think MLB had liked it and I freaked out. I was like, ‘We've made it, we're famous.’ Like ‘Who are the Kardashians? We're the Savannah Bananas.’ So that one popped off, was the first big one. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  18. 18. “And then we posted one, it was a player dance and we put a Beyonce song over it and kind of mashed it up together to make the dance fit the song. It was a player dance from 2016 and that one got like a hundred thousand likes. I felt like that was kind of like when we took off, like at that point we had started posting every single day and we saw exponential growth. And that summer was just people everywhere, like my friends from home telling me ‘I see you on my For You page, this is so weird.’ “I felt like the Bananas were the most famous team in the world then. Like, who are all these other famous people? It's us.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  19. 19. On goals for the Bananas TikTok and the wide fan base it reaches “We have the sole goal to make baseball fun. So anything that we do or post, we think, how is this going to show making baseball fun? It's a little bit different now, our mindset has kind of changed in a sense because we're playing Banana Ball, we're not playing traditional baseball anymore. But it's still like, Banana Ball makes baseball fun. It takes the long, slow and boring out of baseball. So whenever people see the Bananas for the first time, we hope that they laugh their butts off. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  20. 20. “When I post something on TikTok, I hope that whenever anyone sees it that they think it's so intriguing that they have to do exactly what I did the first time I saw the Bananas — they have to go to the account and see more and all the other things they see make them laugh and then make them wanna show their roommate or their sister or brother, dad — like, ‘Oh my gosh, look what this baseball team did.’ And then it grabs your attention so much that then you have to buy merchandise. Then you have to get on the waitlist for tickets. Then you have to post it on your Instagram Story. So my hope is that we post something that just pulls you in, even if it's not all the way, but pulls you in just enough to where you have to [wonder] what the heck is this?” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  21. 21. On getting players involved in the Bananas TikTok and social content “Whenever they come in, and now it's a little bit different because they see the Bananas on social media, so they know what they’re getting themselves into at this point. But earlier on, before I even got to Savannah, they had the culture orientation, and our head coach, Tyler Gillum, did a great job of bringing in players that not only were good ballplayers and could perform on the field, but also were just good guys at heart. “I knew that they cared about their fans. So we had great relationships with college coaches, to bring in these guys that were just stand-up, awesome people to begin with, and could play a little bit of ball. So they came in kind of already knowing like, ‘Okay, I'm going to be fans first. So anything I do — yes, I'm gonna be great at baseball, but then I'm also going to give an exceptional experience for a fan one night or make these magical moments.’ Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  22. 22. “So then whenever TikTok came about; obviously not all of them knew what it was. And truth be told, I kind of got picked on by them because I think working with baseball players and you're kind of a young girl, they'll pick on you. They're like your older brother. So I got made fun of all the time, like Savanah and TikTok, blah — so it was really funny. But when we started posting more and these videos started to get views and then girls would go and follow the players on Instagram or TikTok — then I started having the same ones that would tease me about it come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I wanna be in your TikTok. I want some followers.’ So then they were all begging to be in it. Then that's how it kind of went on from there. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  23. 23. “Now the players take the liberty of creating their own brands and making all this amazing content that we haven't even thought of. Sometimes I'm like, ‘Dang, I wanna steal that from them cuz it was so good.’ But it really has transitioned from like, ‘Oh, you're gonna provide an excellent experience at a game; not only are you gonna do that, but also create cool content online.’ Some of them come up with their own ideas. They're so bought in. We are so lucky and fortunate to have the guys that we do because they are so creative and fun, and have their own ideas, which is like, you can go from doing something that we tell you to do to then coming up with stuff on your own — that's just taking the next step, and it's incredible to see.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  24. 24. On the Bananas becoming a full-time team and not a college team and how that affects player marketing “It's definitely something that we have talked about more now than we have in the past is how do we build these players' brands? So we think specifically, like, if we post this TikTok of this person and we tag them, whenever they go to their account are they gonna see that same kind of content being posted? “So Jackson Olson for example has a super popular TikTok, a super- popular Banana, people love him. And I'm gonna use him as an example because his brand — he's done a great job of building his brand before he even was a Banana and he could do amazing things without us. But people know about Jackson; he does food reviews for MLB and he was in the MLB creator class. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  25. 25. On what success on social looks like for the Bananas “We want the Bananas to be global. We want every single person to know the brand. So whenever you're walking on the street and you see an LA Dodgers cap, like you're gonna recognize the logo immediately. [We want the Bananas] to be like that…just to be super popular/ They may not be able to attend the game, yes, but they can share the video online with their friend. Then maybe that person is in a city that we're touring to and then they can go attend a game where they like the team, they can buy merchandise, they think it's funny. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  26. 26. “I think it's cool and also just showing people that baseball is fun, reaching a different audience of baseball fans. Clearly, we live in a TikTok world. I'm 22 [and] I lose attention very quickly. I love watching traditional baseball, truthfully, like I can sit through a four hour baseball game, but most people my age wouldn't and they'd go strictly for the beer. “So how can we reach a new audience of not only ticket buyers, but just people in general, baseball fans and non-baseball fans to be like, ‘Hey, baseball is cool, baseball is fun.’ And how can we bring some of that into Major League Baseball even? I know the Bananas will never be a Major League Baseball team, but how can we get these MLB players to make it a little bit more fun and entertaining? Because we love the sport, we want it to keep growing, and bringing joy to people and reaching people that baseball wasn't able to reach before. So I think that's the big goal is to continue making baseball fun and then obviously we want everybody to know about the Bananas. They should. It brings a smile to your face.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  27. 27. On executing quickly to catch the fast-moving TikTok trends and memes “We have a super awesome video team…They work quick, they know trends, they understand social media. So not only do they understand [Adobe] Premier or After Effects, they also understand social media and they're looking constantly for ways that we can make our videos better or stay on top of this trend. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  28. 28. “And so Caitlin, for example, she and I work very closely together on TikTok specifically. We have a meeting every single day at 4:00 where we talk about what are two trends that we saw last night while we were scrolling TikTok in bed and how can we Banana-fy those trends? And with that, we have pieces of content and we talk about them as like, ‘This is something that needs to go out right now because this trend is gonna die next week.’ As weird as it sounds, you can see the lifespan of a trend. You can tell if it didn't grow really fast, do you think it's gonna stay longer? Is it already going out? And those are kind of the trends [that have a] short lifespan we’ll post them right away. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  29. 29. “But there are some that are more evergreen pieces. So we did the Harlem Shake, for example, a few months ago. The Harlem Shake was popular in like 2012, 2013, and we kind of brought it back. We made a joke about, like, ‘We think the Harlem Shake should never die.’ So that is a more evergreen piece. That trend lasted months and it was everywhere. So that's something that like we could [have] in our pockets until, say, it's January and it's off season. We're close to the end of it and we don't really have new content coming in and then put that out and we know whenever we shoot that in June that we're gonna save that piece for December. “So even now, we're barely into the off season, but there are certain pieces of content that we can take and hold on to it or rework it or recycle it to be trendy now and relevant now to, say, a trend that just came up.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  30. 30. On participating in the TikTok trends vs. creating original content “I think we try to incorporate a little bit of both. I think if you scroll our content, you'll find a way that, yes, we completely gave in to a TikTok trend and we did it on the mound or something. Like, we just did the trend because we knew it needed to be done; the people wanted it so we gave it to them. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  31. 31. “But there are some things also where it's like we started doing throwdowns. So at the start of an inning, whenever a pitcher would take his practice pitches and then catcher Bill Leroy would throw it down to the second baseman or shortstop, how can we make these throwdowns super interesting? So we'd have them doing a wheelbarrow or on each other's back, or we'd have Bill spin around, throw the ball under his legs. So that is like — I don't feel like we're starting a trend that way because we'll take that basic video and add a trending sound behind it and that's how we give into that trending sound, even if it's not like, we could do the dance for it or whatever. We just put the sound behind it and that's how we're reaching more people in the TikTok algorithm. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  32. 32. “Or the — we call it a three two two — the dance on a mound that our pitchers do. That picked up with Little Leaguers, so I probably get at least one to two videos a week from parents sending videos of their kids doing a 3-2-2 in their backyard or practicing a cartwheel before they pitch. So these weird things that have never been seen before in a baseball field Little Leaguers are trying to do it. I think that's pretty cool. Will we ever start like a super crazy viral trend like Charli D’ Amelio and Addison Rae? Probably not. But the Little Leaguers seeing it and that's pretty cool. I think that's more important than the masses.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  33. 33. On engaging with fans in the comments and replies on Bananas social “One thing I learned when I came in was it's super important to respond to fans. So we used to try to respond to every single comment. Now it's just kind of like gotten ridiculous and out of hand, we can't respond to everyone. But I can guarantee if you DM the Bananas something about merchandise or like ‘What's up, Nana's? My boyfriend broke up with me.’ Or like, ‘my friend is being rude,’ or ‘today's my birthday’ [that] you'll get a response. And it'll either be from me or Kara or one of our marketing interns. We have one marketing intern a season, so there are three of us. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  34. 34. “So you're asking how we get it done — there are three of us that really get in the trenches and get in there. I will say that I spend probably like two hours of my day every single day just responding to DMs or comments. And I'll set timers for myself; it's pretty difficult because there are so many people to respond to, but I make sure every single DM gets answered. Then after that, do I have time in my 20 minute timer I set for Facebook to go respond to 20, 30 comments? So it is a lot, but it's fun. It's worth it. And it also shows people that it's not just a robot behind the screen. You have a real person and you can also like become friends with them. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  35. 35. “I literally had a girl in the DMs earlier and she said, ‘Please let me date one of you. I really love Dan Oberst and Dalton Maldin.’ And I was like, ‘Haha, we'll let them know, we'll pass along the message.’ And she said something else and I was like, ‘As a friend of Dan, like, just slide into his DMs. He'll definitely take the bait.’ And I was like, ‘But Dalton has a girlfriend.’ So I was talking to her like it was just girl talk, like we were just besties, and she thought it was so funny. She even said like, ‘Oh my gosh, me and the Savannah Bananas are best friends now’, but she has no idea it's me. “So it's fun to just kind of be yourself and engage with these people in a way that they won't forget it, like we talked about earlier. I have fun doing it because I like hiding behind a brand account. No one's gonna know it's me. They don't have to see my face, but they just see the little yellow banana and they, love me that much more because of the logo.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  36. 36. The most memorable experience involving a fan or fans in Savanah’s time so far with the Bananas “In the 2022 World Tour in Daytona Beach, I was tweeting on my laptop on the sidelines and I heard fans whispering behind me, ‘Is that the social media girl?’ And I was kind of like egging them on, like ignoring them just a little bit so they would be more intrigued, and then they got a notification that I had tweeted and they were like, ‘Oh, shit, that's her.’ So when they tweeted something at me, I tweeted something back and was like, ‘Hey, I'm super thirsty if you wanna bring me a water.’ So they brought me a water, we ended up like exchanging actual socials. We talked for the longest time. I was about to just give up on working for the night and just chat with these guys, grab a beer with them. They were so funny. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  37. 37. So now we still [keep in touch], I think they just tweeted at me like two weeks ago and said like, ‘Hey, we saw you on Bananaland. You're famous now.’ It's been like almost a year since that happened, so it was pretty cool that they got to see my face while also seeing the brand on my laptop. And they also told me that they found the Bananas on TikTok, so it was a very full-circle moment.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  38. 38. What was it like seeing for Savanah seeing herself on TV on the Welcome to Bananaland series? “Oh gosh, it was so cringe actually. I have always said I don't wanna be famous. And that's what I love about being at the Savannah Bananas is I don't have to be famous, but I get to make this logo, this little yellow banana logo, famous. And it's super cool to hide behind it, truthfully. So I was so nervous when the show came out. Like, now people are gonna know, they're gonna see my face when they see the Savannah Bananas comment to somebody. They're gonna know it's me being a little bit snarky in the comments or talking in a customer service voice online and I'm so embarrassed. But it was really funny to see everyone and whenever we would watch the episodes together in the locker room, we would be like, ‘Oh my God, there's Kara or there's Caitlin.’ Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  39. 39. “So it was super funny because we all kind of feel like little celebrities now, even though we're not. But I will say I've gotten randomly recognized. In the Austin airport, I was flying to Hawaii, had a layover in Austin and was on an elevator and this guy saw my backpack and he said, ‘Go Bananas.’ And I turned around and I said, ‘Go Bananas.’ And he goes, ‘Oh shit, you're the girl. You're Savanah.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And it was just a really cool experience. Nobody else on the elevator knew who I was and I was like, ‘Don't worry guys, I'm like a Z List celebrity,’ but they thought it was funny. “So it was definitely interesting to go from being somebody that people knew but didn't know it was me, you know? Like people knew who the Bananas were, but they didn't know who I was. And now if you've watched Bananaland, you know who I am, too.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  40. 40. Tell us about (Savanah’s alma mater) Texas A&M Corpus- Christ “Texas am Corpus Christi is actually, I think, one of the only schools on its own island. So the school itself is on its own island, there's nothing else there besides the campus. So you can go over one bridge and get to the Navy base, but you can go over another bridge and be in town. So it's super cool; we have our own little private beach and we're the Islanders, that's our name. Our colors are blue and green, and at graduation you get to wear a lay, a little purple flower lay. It's super cool. I love my school. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  41. 41. “We're also a branch of the big Texas A&M system, so I guess also ‘GigEm;’ at the same time you get an Islander ring, which is like an Aggie ring, so that's pretty cool. You also get to do a ring dunk — I think that's my favorite Islander tradition is whenever you get your ring, it's after you complete 90 hours, you stick your ring into a pitcher of beer and then you have however many seconds to chug the whole entire beer and it's probably like seven or eight beers. So I remember my pitcher celebration, my ring dunk; I had like eight Bud Lights in it because I was like, ‘I can throw Bud Lights back.’ Spoiler alert, I could not throw Bud Lights back. I was freaking throwing up in the middle of it, it was terrible. It was fun though.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  42. 42. Tell me the idea or sketch or skit or concept that’s on Savanah’s wishlist for Bananas social “Oh my goodness. There was one thing that I had wanted us to do forever and it was the ‘I don't dance’ High School Musical 2 parody and we finally did it a few weeks ago and it was everything I could've ever dreamed of. It was so perfect. “But one thing that I would love to see the [Bananas opponent] Party Animals do is I would love for them to do a beer snake at some tour stadium that we go to that has goes super high up, like multiple levels of seats. I want them to do a beer snake and somehow, like, maybe a beer funnel — a massive beer funnel from the second floor all the way to the dugout. And they get to beer bong or beer snake from up there; I think it would be incredible. That is so freaking cool. So I'll be praying it happens one day.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  43. 43. On the process for getting and executing TikTok ideas “Definitely a lot of scrolling. I call that my research. I do spend a certain amount, anywhere from like 15 to 20 minutes [or more] depending on what I have for the day. Just minutes of my day scrolling, seeing what people are saying on Twitter about certain things, or TikTok — what are the sounds that people are using? Or Facebook even, like, what are the PTA moms up to these days? Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  44. 44. “So then I kind of figure out, alright, this is what the people are talking about. So I have a long running list; I have a note in my phone and then I also have an Excel sheet, and then also I bookmark a lot of tweets. I bookmark a lot of TikToks to go back to, but I typically add links in my notes, and then I'll add like a little note under there of just what I'm thinking of. Normally when I see a trend, I think in that moment, like, ‘Oh, this is what I wanna do.’ So like I said earlier, Caitlin and I have this 4:00 meeting every single day where we talk about what are two trends that we saw yesterday. That way we constantly know that we're growing and learning new things. And half of these, more than half of these — 75% of them will never see the light of day. It's just we wanna keep that creative muscle in our brains working and thinking of ways to Banana-fy trends or think of new trends. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  45. 45. “There have been times where I've just like sat and stared at the wall and kind of hoped that an idea would come to me and, like, it doesn't really work. I would rather scroll. But yeah, there have been a couple times where I've just had to like sit and look at the sky and kind of wait for something to come to me. We also have ideas sessions. So that is where our team gets together, we're told topics beforehand and we think in these buckets and these categories of trying to think of, like, hitter walkups that are unique or run celebrations, for example. “So we're constantly around here thinking of new ideas and working that idea muscle. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  46. 46. The number one thing Savanah has learned from the owner of the Savannah Bananas Jesse Cole. “Oh, Jesse Cole. What have I learned from him? Oh my gosh, so many things actually. He is kind of the reason why I feel like I can push the limits and step over a boundary. Typically you don't have owners of teams telling you ‘Hey, break the rules, do this crazy thing. You see the line, now go a mile past it.’ You don't have team owners selling you that. But Jesse gives you the confidence that you can do that, and it's okay to fail at the Bananas because if you don't fail a couple of times how are you gonna know what works and what doesn't? “So I think that's one thing I learned from him is it's okay to like fuck up and fail miserably at something. And he's also just given me the confidence to be able to mess up in my job, to be able to succeed ten times more than I messed up before.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  47. 47. Besides Facebook and Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, what social media platform does Savanah have her eye on? “Oh, okay, this is personally my favorite social media platform right now and I did make the Bananas account, but it's really hard for me to keep up with and that is BeReal. I don't know if a lot of people are on it, but I felt like I was an early adopter of Be Real. I feel like I got it before most of my friends did, just being the social media girl, and it's my favorite app because I love when people on social media can be very genuine and organic because that's something that I feel like a lot of people just fail to do. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  48. 48. “There are so many like editing apps and filters and yada yaad yada, and everyone uses them. But [with] BeReal, you just can't do that. My pictures that I post on there are so ratched, like just laying in bed. People think on Instagram I live this cool, glorious life, but really, like my BeReal last night was me, no makeup on, hair in a messy bun, making fish tacos. It's nothing glorious at all. “So I made the Bananas [BeReal] account; it's on my iPad actually, so whenever it goes off and you got your two-minute timer when I'm at the office, I'll throw my iPad to a player, whoever's around and [ask them] like, ‘Take this really fast.’ But that's my favorite app. TikTok has a new addition to their platform, [like BeReal]. It's called Now. I'm not a fan of it, honestly. Like, I'll probably never partake in Now, but I love BeReal. So I think that's one that people should keep an eye on.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  49. 49. The best food Savanah had on the Bananas World Tour “Okay, this instantly came to mind. I do have to say that while we were on tour, we had so many Jimmy John’s sandwich platters because it was just really easy to get. So I'm kind of sick of Jimmy John's now, but I also randomly crave it. But the best meal we had, we were in Kansas City and I remember it was a little bit chilly this night and after the game, we all went and sat down, had the player meal or whatever, and there was this mac and cheese corn. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  50. 50. “But it was like kind of spicy, I don't even know how to describe it, but some restaurant in Kansas City had it. It was definitely corn, but it was cheesy and creamy. I don't know, it was just the best thing I've ever had. “Also we just had barbecue, good barbecue, and after working like, I don't know, from whatever time, nine or 10 o'clock that morning to 11 o'clock that night, it freaking hit the spot. It was so good. And we had some local beer to like wash it down with, I love craft beers. It was perfect. I wish we could play in Kansas City all the time just for that corn.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  51. 51. The Bananas player with the best personal social media “I did say Jackson Olson [already]. (@j_olson2 on IG). He's got quite the big social media presence. “One player that I like to follow, and please don't make fun of me for this if you're listening to this, if or you're one of my friends and you're listening to this, please don't make fun of me, but Dalton Mauldin (@DaltonMauldin on Twitter, @daltonmauldin5 on IG and TikTok). He, and I'm saying this because he is a great friend to begin with, but also he's the singer-songwriter. Great guy, lives in Nashville. He also wrote me and the marketing team a song when we hit 1 million followers on TikTok, so that was super cool. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  52. 52. “He's just genuinely a sweet guy and he posts photo dumps on Instagram and his content is, like, ‘I wrote this new song and I'm scared to show the boys,’ and he's in the locker room and he's just listening on his AirPods. It's really funny, but it's cool to follow his journey of trying to make it big as a singer-songwriter, but also being a Banana. I love Dalton Mauldin. Give him a follow.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  53. 53. What's the other sport that is most ripe for that Bananas treatment? “I don't know. I will say I grew up playing soccer, so, hmm, I wish you could Banana-fy soccer, but I also just love the beauty of soccer that I wanna leave it untouched. So I'm going to say NFL. I think like those guys are — I mean, you've gotta be a little bit goofy, silly and weird if you're gonna run around and tackle other 300-pound sweaty men, no offense to NFL players. But I think they could really get a kick out of it..I think NFL can use a Banana-fy rules session and I think they would love it, too.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  54. 54. Savanah’s Social Media All-Star to Follow “Other accounts that I like to follow, I love MLB Cut4 (@mlbcut4 on IG, @cut4 on Twitter)). I think it's a super funny way [to cover MLB] I think MLB should invest more into Cut4. It's a fun account, has great reach, super trending, relevant — they're just a good follow… “I love Astros Baseball [social]. I think whoever just recently took over the Houston Astros social media is hilarious. I'm definitely saving some of [their] tweets. Like, ‘Oh, I could definitely like make this more generic for the Bananas.’ @AstrosBaseball tweets have been popping off recently…And then yeah, follow Dalton Mauldin on Instagram (@daltonmauldin5); he'll be my Insta shout out along with MLB Cut4…” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  55. 55. Where to find the Bananas and Savanah on social media The Bananas are @TheSavBananas across platforms and TheSavannahBananas.com Find Savanah @savalaniz on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz
  56. 56. Thanks again to Savanah for being so generous with her time to share her knowledge, experience, and expertise with me! For more content and episodes, subscribe to the podcast, follow me on LinkedIn and on Twitter @njh287, and visit www.dsmsports.net. @njh287; www.dsmsports.net Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 230: Savanah Alaniz

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