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@njh287; www.dsmsports.net
On episode 264 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil
chatted with Kyle Payne, Senior Manager, Social Media and Content
for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Kyle’s Career Path
“I am originally from California, born and raised in San Jose, and wanted to
work in sports, or I wanted to play sports, as I'm sure most kids, that's what
you dream of. And as someone that's only five foot six, that path got cut
short, literally and figuratively, pretty early in life. I knew I wanted to still be
in sports in some way, shape or form. So I came out to ASU (Arizona State)
excited to join the journalism program there and potentially write about my
favorite sport, baseball. That was the goal. I started out actually doing PR
internships at the encouragement of my parents. My dad has a career in
marketing and my mom also spent some time doing some marketing and PR
stuff, so they were trying to keep my mind open. And I actually found that I
really liked the PR/communications side of the industry.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So I did some writing internships with the Arizona Republic, with Arizona
Sports, which is the website for the Arizona Sports 98.7 radio station, which
had all the major sports teams. And I liked the writing, but it wasn't
necessarily, I think, where I was finding my passion or my strong suits. It all
kind of changed for me when I took a class my junior year at Arizona State
called Strategic Sports Communication, and it was taught by
[Diamondbacks] former Senior Vice President of Content and
Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Josh Rawitch. And Josh is
now the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he was my teacher and I
really wanted to work for the Diamondbacks, so I bugged him literally after
class every single week about how to get an internship. And sure enough, I
ended up having interviews for a handful of them for the 2014 season and I
got hired to be the social media intern.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Honestly, at that point, I didn’t even really know what that was going to consist
of. It was a new internship for them. It was moving departments; the social media
person before, whose name is John Prewitt, I know some people are very familiar
with, he was the OG for us — he had moved from marketing communications the
offseason before I started, so it was a real new space for us, which ended up being
the perfect landing spot for me. I really didn't know what to expect, but I got
exposed to so much and really fell in love with working on the sports side of
things and found myself actually, like, kind of in love with social media as well. It
was, I think, a little bit unrequited at first, where I was trying to, like, maybe still
find my way into PR, find my way into baseball operations, because, you know,
who doesn't want to be their own GM and make the calls for a team. But they
hired me back on full time in social media in 2015 and I've been in this role pretty
much ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to ascend to my current role through
various different stages as my roles and in social media in general has evolved.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So yeah, now I'm here still, I'll be entering my 11th season with the
Arizona Diamondbacks. It's been pretty crazy. We've got a few people on
the team now, we still are in the content communications group. But,
yeah, it's been really exciting and, honestly, it can all just attribute back to
that initial love of baseball and wanting to to be involved in some way,
shape or form and then that fateful class at ASU and some persistence. And
here I am.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On connecting with Josh Rawitch (VP of Comms at the Diamondbacks at
the time) via the class at ASU
“I think that was a large part — when I've asked him in the past, you know,
like, hey, why did you kind of help me out or push me forward? Because he
ended up being my direct boss for a while as well. He was like ‘I
appreciated that you you kept after it.’ I paid attention in class. I worked
hard, I got good, I did get a good grade in his class because I cared and I
wanted to make a good impression. And our coordinator, Steven, he had
Josh's class a couple years after I did, and it was something similar where
he did well in the class. Josh vouched for him for our internship and now
he's working for us later as a full time employee.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On coming up writing but expanding his skillset as he got into social media
“Writing was for sure my calling card early on. I think that was my strength.
I was a strong communicator and writing is still, I think, such an important
part [of social media], even if it's not the length. And I was just talking to
someone, I think, yesterday about how, you know, most successful writers
will say that the hardest thing to do is actually write succinctly and not write
long eloquent prose. So I think that is social media to a T is like; it's almost, I
think, way harder to write a captivating one sentence caption than it was for
me to write a 500 word game recap about a high school football game, to try
to tell all these stories and the emotion of your team going to the World
Series for the first time in 20 years. Like, you want to say so much but you
have to keep it so simple, so short on social media.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So I do think I had a skill and training in writing, but even then it was very
different. And I remember my old boss, John, was really key on helping me
kind of hone in on the very short, succinct, catchy, eye-popping captions and
things like that that play well on social media. Then beyond that, I mean,
there's so much, I think, that social media kind of entails, I think curiosity is
just always big. That's the number one thing that I think will make people
successful is being curious and trying to learn and trying to grow their skill set.
You know, I didn't really have Photoshop experience, but I would spend some
of my free time if I had any in the office trying to watch Photoshop tutorials or
ask our designers for help. So I think that was a huge part of trying to come up
and learn in social media was okay, like, how do you utilize your iPhone? What
are you learning about? What are the new features there bringing to the next
one, and how do you utilize your camera better and all those things?
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Then I think for me, the other one, and this is especially as I've gotten maybe
more away from the day-to-day and a little bit more into the strategy and as more
and more resources from organizations are being poured into social media, I'm a
firm believer that I don't really necessarily need to be as active of a content
creator, and my job should be more about how to help people collaborate together.
Like, I want to be able to bring in our video producers with our graphic designers
with a photographer with someone who can write copy that's on our social team
and really help put all of those pieces together to create really successful social
media campaigns, but that could also work for TV, that could also work for in-
ballpark. I think that is where, as I f continue to grow, hopefully, in social media or
in sports or in creative work in general, I think good social media people are like
glue people. They bring other areas together and kind of hopefully accentuate all
the skill sets of a trained photographer, of a trained graphic designer, of a trained
videographer, and kind of help elevate all the work that they do.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On connecting with and being aware of everything happening in the organization
“That was one of the things I remember [from] my internship that I was so grateful
for. I had my friends that were doing other internships and [at other] organizations,
not to downplay the quality of those internships, but I remember walking away
feeling like I knew everyone in the building, whereas they were saying they really
only knew people in their department, tthat was really who they worked with.
Whereas I was, even as an intern, working with community, working with ticket
sales, working with marketing and that, I think, just gave me a way better platform
for success later on that I had all this exposure. And, you know, as someone who
does have aspirations to continue to grow and be a leader in an organization to be
able to have the access to learn about what all these other areas do and figure out
what makes them successful and how we can play a role in it, I think that's one of
the coolest parts about social media that I try not to take for granted.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On knowing what does / what doesn’t belong on social, packaging and repurposing
across platforms (social and otherwise)
“That's, I think, one of the things that we're really trying to figure out right now is how
do you repurpose something and get the most out of it without it not necessarily being
suited to the platform or suited to the environment it's in? And the kind of metaphor
that just came to mind is, I've heard in the NFL that a special teams coordinator is a
good kind of gateway or path to becoming a head coach or something like that,
because you learn certain things that then actually help make you successful down the
road. And I feel like, and this is probably a little bit of my own ego to some degree, but
I do think social media people have that unique viewpoint that will hopefully, down
the road, we talk about this five, ten, 15 years from now, I think you'll actually see a lot
of social media people higher up in marketing, branding, creative roles, because I do
think they'll have a really good pulse on what works on different things.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I think every social media manager’s struggle is trying to make other departments and
areas of the organization happy and successful, while also, yeah, protecting the
account. And I think it was something that, until I got to the higher role of being the
kind of the most senior person on the social team for me to understand that feeling of
being protective over an account. Because it's hard; it's not my account, right? It really
isn't. It's the team's account. And I'm big on it's really not my voice, it's not Steven's
voice, it's not anyone's. It's the Diamondbacks’ voice and it's the Diamondbacks
account. But as kind of the person that's ultimately responsible for the success of it,
there is a certain amount of protection and arm's length thing of it that you can have
sometimes, and I think it's a feeling you almost have to fight against yourself of, okay,
why am I pushing it back against this? What are the actual pros and cons and benefits
and drawbacks of putting out a job posting for another department on social media
versus, you know, is it really that big of a deal to maybe highlight a community
initiative? So I think that's probably, uh, an ongoing question that we're constantly
trying to answer. I don't know if there is a right or a wrong.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I think for us, our main focus is just trying to highlight the opportunities in front of us.
We just had a meeting about, you know, we actually have a great product, an awesome
team that just went to the World Series with likable players and cool new uniforms, we
have something that people want; like, let's just showcase that, [don’t] overcomplicate
it. And we have really talented, creative people, they're going to do really creative good
things, let's just get it out there so as many people as possible can enjoy it. So that
whether it's on social media, whether that's in the ballpark, whether that's on TV,
whether that's in an email blast — let's just highlight the really cool things that we do
and let people see it. And I think that'll bring people to continue their brand affinity for
us, hopefully draw some new people in that go, wow, like, the D-backs are doing some
really sick stuff, I want to pay more attention to them.
“And yeah, beyond that, I think it's just a guessing game. You kind of just have to keep
waiting and seeing how things respond and how they do, and just keep learning and
adjusting from there.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On getting asks from other departments to post stuff on social channels
“The first question I usually try to ask when someone comes to that is like, what's the
objective of this? What are we trying to get from it? You know, hey, we want to launch
an Instagram account for this, okay? Like, it's not that it's a yes or a no, but like,
what's the objective here and what's the goal? And if we talk through it and we agree,
yeah, social media is the right the place for this or another Instagram account is right
or, you know, a series of posts is right for this and we're all on board to do it. I think
it's having the conversations and understanding how it's going to be measured as
success for that person, for that department, because I also want to make sure that at
the end of the day, if we do it, they're not like, well, that wasn't what I wanted, or we
didn't end up having any leads from that or something like that, because we just said
yes and just kind of executed what they maybe just thought would be the easiest way
to get it across. So that's kind of the approach I try to take.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“And it's tough sometimes because, yeah, everyone's got different
organizational priorities and they've got their own things that they're trying
to achieve for their success in their role. So it can be a little bit on the
trickier side. But as long as there's that collaboration and the kind of open
mindedness which I think is something that I constantly have to work on
still is just, okay, like, could I be missing something, and maybe it is worth
giving it another shot, even if we've tried it a few years ago because there
might really be a great opportunity here that I might not see. It's just trying
to identify for that person from that department, whatever it is, alright,
what would be a success for you and how can we make that happen?”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On executing along with the opportunities in the season
“I think because I've only really ever had this career in baseball social media, if
anything, I probably still need to like work on the non-flow side of social media and
that really like content calendar planning where things are firm. I think a lot of my
counterparts in other industries might be able to really plan things out. I feel like
I've only really learned the kind of style of you have to feel how things are going. And
especially with the baseball season, which is 162 games, you're going to have win
streaks, you're going to have losing streaks, and you're going to have good home
stands, bad home stands, road trips — all these things that I feel like you have to
really kind of learn when and how to capitalize when things are good and learning
how to either make the best out of a bad situation — I mean, we've had some really
rough seasons while I've been here, and so I think that teaches you just as much
about when and how to message certain things to fans as a winning season does.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I mean, absolutely, right now, I feel like we have a lot more cachet with
Arizona to kind of tell them what's going to happen and, when we have
promotional items, I think it's like, yeah, people want to see that stuff. It's
not trying to beat a dead horse where, if you have a product that people
aren't interested in, it can feel like you're you're talking to no one, you're
talking to a wall, whereas right now people want to really hear about what
we have to offer. So it's constantly that kind of just like finger to the wind,
seeing which way it's blowing and then trying to pivot a little bit.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Then it's also identifying platforms, right? Like which one might be more receptive to
this sort of thing. But I think where I would like to continue to try to develop and get us
is really on that kind of more rigid side of like, okay, we know that this is going to be a
big game no matter what, so regardless of how things are going, how do we make sure
that this doesn't miss for us? Like, it's important to the organization — Opening Day,
just as an example, is huge, so what if spring training, we have a big injury, knock on
wood, and the pulse is a little bit low at the moment and fans are maybe a little bit
distracted by March Madness or something, we can't just go Oh sorry, the fans aren't as
excited right now, we can't message Opening Day. You still have to come up with those
creative and engaging ways to keep people in the loop on those things.
“So I don't really have, I guess, a great answer for it, other than you do try to make the
most out of it when things are going good and when things aren't going as good, you
just have to get more creative and maybe a little bit more out there with how you reach
them.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On the brand of the Diamondbacks
“I think the number one most important thing for us is the Arizona Diamondbacks is a family
friendly organization and the ballpark is as such. And that's who we are. Like, we care about
the community, we care about our fans, we care about treating people the right way and that
has to come through on social media. So we have to be, you know, responding to people,
answering questions, liking their photo, commenting. I mean, that starts from the very roots
of it all. That is who we are at the ballpark, where people can ask questions and be greeted
with a friendly face, that has to extend through everything that we do. So we're never probably
going to be that, you know, super snarky, edgy account because it doesn't represent who the
Arizona Diamondbacks are as a whole in the marketplace. Nor does it probably represent who
we are as people that are behind the account, because I think it'd be really hard for myself, for
example, to have the voice, that maybe, like, I know some of the extreme examples like
Wendy's or the Vegas Golden Knights or the LA Kings — that's just not who I am either. I
don't think I could do that if I tried to emulate some of these trendy types of things or certain
types of voices it wouldn't feel authentic and I think people would be able to tell.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Now, it doesn't mean that the Arizona Diamondbacks are also just my voice,
because it absolutely is not that. When I got hired on as an intern my predecessor,
John Prewitt, had a very specific voice that I had to learn. And it wasn't his voice
either, it was the Arizona Diamondbacks voice that he had kind of tweaked and
it's continually being tweaked. And when we hire new people, we have a
coordinator come in or an intern even, there is a gradual learning process of trial
and error of, yep, that does sound like us or, you know, we might have to peel that
back a little bit, or maybe we sound a little more excited for this play or this sort
of moment. I would say it's really critical for us to just still, I think, sound
professional. I think that we're we're not someone that's going to have a bunch of
typos and grammatical mistakes and so casual that, you know, we might be
alienating certain fans. I understand that that might also appeal to certain
demographics, but I think we've just decided that, like, we're going to use proper
grammar. We're still going to try to use complete sentences when possible.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“But where it's changed to kind of answer that part of the question is, I
think, it's constantly trying to evolve to meet both the platform's audience
as well as kind of our fan base. Like certain types of references; myself and
our old coordinator who's now at Jomboy Media, she's awesome are big
Drake fans, so that was authentic to us. But then we also recognize that on
Twitter and Instagram, a Drake lyric might have hit a few years ago and it
wasn't going to work on Facebook, so we didn't just put Drake lyrics up on
Facebook because we wanted to, we had to kind of tailor it to the platform
as well.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So I think for us, it's trying to split up and identify what works on individual platforms
and what is something that, for all of us, can we kind of consistently represent — and
then still have some fun. I mean, we definitely take what I would call calculated risks
from time to time, and there have been a lot over the years that I'll either reach out to
approval or bounce off of my counterparts or my trusted group of people that I really
value their opinions around the organization and things like that or my bosses,
whoever it is and kind of go, Hey, what do you think? Does this sound like us? Does this
make sense? And sometimes we get the sign off and it goes great. I mean, we definitely
had a little bit of fun in the postseason with some of our videos being on the edge of
your side with we kind of — I don't want to call it like a clap back, but had a little bit of
a back and forth with the Dodgers that is now our best tweet ever. But those were
definitely risks that for us we weren't sure if it quite fit. And we've definitely had some
over the years that didn't hit and didn't get received as well and didn't quite fit who we
are. Because, yeah, we're never going to be the the super over the top, kind of out there
account.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On whether there are expectations from higher-ups to ‘go viral’ through risk-taking
on social
“To be honest with you, I don't really feel like, and I think I'm fortunate for this, that
there are those expectations that we have to do anything quite like that. I think if
you try to, it's not going to work, in my humble opinion. The most viral or successful
posts were ones that we had zero expectation that they would be, and then the ones
that we we would that we were like, oh, wow, this is it like we cooked on this one, if
you want to borrow a social media expression, like it doesn't really resonate the way
that we thought it did. So I've never really tried to take the approach of trying to
make things go viral or trying to come across or take a risk just for the sake of it.
Which maybe that's been, speaking fortunately from our position or maybe it may
not not be the right strategy, but I think for us it's always worked when we've just
tried to do things for the right reasons and had some fun and just had fun.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I think at the end of the day, people, too, take their jobs, probably in general but
I think especially in social media, people can take it maybe a little too seriously
from my perspective. At the end of the day this job should be really fun and that
you can do some kind of silly and goofy things and I think if it was something that
just felt right for us at the moment without the goal of like, Oh, wow, yeah. Like,
we did a Taylor Swift post a few years ago and it actually did work well, but it
worked because we were authentic Taylor Swift fans that were excited about a
moment, and it was in the middle of a post-Covid offseason where we were
talking about nothing else; like we had zero other things to talk about. So why not
just do something fun because we enjoy it? And sure enough, that ended up doing
really, really well for us. But you just you can't ever predict those sorts of things,
and I think the more that you can just be authentic to the brand and to who you
are, you know, the people behind the keyboards, the team behind the content, I
think that'll shine.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I think that was what [drove] our success in the postseason with some of
our videos that were definitely more out there in terms of what we had put
out in the past. They were a lot more aggressive, but it was authentic to us
and the team. It was how the players were feeling, it was how the coaches
were feeling; like they felt like, Hey, we're kind of being slighted here.
People are underestimating us. So the videos weren't us creating some
imaginary storyline that didn't exist that we just thought would be funny, it
was stuff that was actually being said, and it was hopefully portraying how
our fan base felt, how our players felt, how our coaches felt, how our whole
front office felt and I think that was why they ended up working.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On connecting personality and voice and tone from social media execution to video
production
“With a purpose is exactly how I would say it. And we're really fortunate, our video
production team sits within the same department that we do and we've got three amazing
full-time video producers plus now we have a fourth who contributes with a lot of motion
graphics and stuff as well. So I want to make sure that they get a lot of shine for all this
because a lot of it stemmed from them. You know, we have Steve Rodak, Brandon Stilwell,
Brandon Thomas, Jeff Parsons, who are all creating this incredible content on a day-to-day
basis and because we sit so close together we're really fortunate to have developed a strong
working relationship where it's give and take and they're contributing ideas for us, we're
contributing ideas for them. So that's how those videos for us, I think, all kind of started; like
it wasn't necessarily we sat down one day and went like, we need to like create a video with
this kind of thing. It was just, as we're talking about projects over the course of a season, as
the personalities for each of them shine through on different things trying to kind of just
highlight that and play into it and not kind of run away from it or not try to sterilize the
content that we're doing.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“And I think it's the same approach that we have with the graphic
designers. They've got some great ideas and some great creativity that
sometimes, because they have to just create other things that are a little bit
more templated or branded; it's like, okay, you have a platform here that
we're going to give you for social media, for Instagram. Like, they're on
Instagram, all of our designers are. You know what works well, you know
what you like to see, go create something like. For example, we're resigning
Lourdes Gurriel, he's got a very strong personality that any D-backs fan
knows. His purple hair, the Pina power, he's got an identifiable personality
that fans identify with and they relate to.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
So it was like, well, we could create the same graphic, you know, the
‘Welcome to Arizona’ or ‘Welcome Back,’ you add the little arrow…That's
great and it's fun and we do that stuff too, it's not like it's not a time and a
place for it. But it was like with this guy, there was a little bit more of an
opportunity to have some fun, so we kind of pushed a little bit back and
forth to going, okay, well, what is true to him and how do we come through
with something that, when we post about it, it feels like you immediately
know, yep, that's Gurriel and that's our designers taking a chance and
putting something out there that is different and hopefully speaks to our
fan base and gets them excited.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So it's the same thing with video where it's like, alright, we're getting
ready for game one against the Dodgers. Like, there's like a rivalry there.
It's a little bit, you know, there's that big brother-little brother syndrome
that people like to talk about or whatever you call it. Whether or not that's
true, I don't personally agree with it, but let's talk about it, let's have those
conversations and then I think naturally your content kind of shines
through with that. And our voice in terms of copy will be impacted by those
conversations that we're having. The videos will come through with maybe
a little bit more of that edge or that kind of back and forth, the suspense —
we acknowledge that there had been disappointments in the past in LA
leading into that series.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
We didn't run from the history, but then we had that history kind of
helping us guide how we were going to continue creating stuff throughout
that series. And then it paid off, and you have a chance to sweep your
division rival, like, yeah, lean into as much as possible. Our fan base would
have eaten that stuff up and they should. So it's like, why do anything but
give the fans exactly what they want and have some fun with it? It's not to
be classless. It's not to be rubbing in anyone's face. But while we're
celebrating, we should be part of that. And our video should come through,
our graphics should come through, and I think they did a good job
throughout the whole post season, throughout the whole season, really, of
trying to get that personality to shine through our content.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On learnings and vibes from social making its way to other fan engagement
touchpoints and vice-versa
“It's both. It has to be, right? I think any good social person is constantly keeping
their eye out for opportunities that they see around the ballpark, on emails on,
the website, like, you constantly have to be open to going Oh, wow, that's actually
really cool. How could we utilize that? Tthere's countless times where it's already
been created or it's already being utilized in some fashion and we're just like yeah,
we want that, give that to us. And that was a big part of the transition when video
first came under social media is they were creating a bunch of stuff already, we
just weren't seeing it. They weren't thinking about it for social media, and we kind
of had to take some time to beat into that kind of routine of, Oh yeah, when you
create something, let's send it to social and let's see if they want it…
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“It's our job to figure out what works on social media, it's not theirs. Like,
they shouldn't be able to read our minds and go, Oh of course that
absolutely would work on social media if I just edit it this way, then that I
would absolutely do well. That's our job to be able to take that and see it
and go, okay, like, hey, with some some tweaks here, this could work really
well. Or we love the design that's on the player cases around Chase Field,
how can we utilize those on social media, and maybe we take some of the
stuff off of it because you don't need it to look like X, but you've already
[made] this incredible thing, let's showcase it.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I'm a big believer in almost like micro analytics, if you will…I'm sure you realize on
social media, if something's doing well, you just see it doing well, like you can feel it in
real time. You don't necessarily need to look at a report two weeks later and go, Oh,
wow, that did really well. Like, you can tell when it's happening. Like, Wow, it just got
100 retweets in a minute, our stuff doesn't usually do that. Like, this is doing really
well, maybe we should take note of that. I feel like you have to have your your ear to the
ground constantly, and, I mean, especially when I was first starting, I would watch all
of our posts in real time, how they performed, how did they track; like I was refreshing
it, probably to an unhealthy degree, because I really wanted to learn and see how things
were being received. What were the comments like, and if something immediately
wasn't received well, maybe I hadn't posted something similar or the same piece of
content on another platform and I would want to change it before I got to that point
because of already the quick five-to-ten minute feedback we had gotten on something. I
think I've tried to to peel that back a little bit as I've gotten further into my career and
not be so reactive and kind of almost temperamental, if you will.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“But yeah, I think it has to be a good combination of both pushing and
telling and then just kind of trying to be open minded. You don't know who
you can get ideas from. My dad's giving me ideas for social media posts,
you know, my girlfriend; anyone can have ideas here and there, you just
have to be open to hearing them.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On communicating learnings from social media content performance to marketing and paid
social
“It's really funny you mentioned this. My meeting that I came from just now was essentially
to kind of do all those things and to collaborate and identify. We have a mostly new group of
marketing people. There's definitely a couple people that have been there even longer than I
have, but we also have a group of new people, so it's been really fun over the last year or
two, since this kind of new group has come together, to be able to share those ideas and to
see them pick out things that they see us do on social media and go, Oh, we actually really
want that for a TV ad. That's new for me, really, and I think it's really exciting and fun, and I
feel like that's an area I still want to really learn and grow in. Because I have sat in
communications, it's definitely come from more of just a branding and team side of things.
You know, we definitely work with and support marketing and they provide us a lot of
information. But because I've sat in one area, not the other, there's definitely this area still
that I want to continue to learn and grow and explore and figure out how can we help.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Paid social sits in marketing, but they've been great about trying to pick our
brains about like, Hey, what's working right now? And should we put money
behind this as a boost or can we repurpose this content for a separate social post?
Or I'll ask, like, what are your plans for paid social and do we want to switch up
what we post organically? Like, do we want it to go together, or do you guys want
to hit different things? Because especially over the course of a baseball season,
you might have one weekend that has five different things going on because it's a
huge weekend that everyone wants to celebrate at the ballpark, so you might have
a giveaway, you might have a group being recognized, you might have a
community activation. So I think continuing to work with them closely on how do
we almost share the responsibility of promoting all those things really working
hand in hand. It's something that's, I think, still newer for us, but it's been really
exciting and fun just over the last year, even of kind of what it looks like when
these areas are really working in lockstep with each other.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
On trying to keep things as fresh as possible on social amidst the long 162-game season
“It's definitely not possible…I tried to count recently and I'm sure I've at least watched,
if not covered, at least a thousand games at this point. Probably more than that.
Probably a lot more than that. There's no way that, yeah, you can make every game feel
special. And the thing about baseball is even the best teams are going to lose a third of
the time or something along those lines. So, yeah, there's certain nights where you just
don't force it. And I think that's a key part of it. That's something I think I've learned
from my time here with the Diamondbacks was I used to try to force it, and feel like I
had to post something every single day, you know, or especially on certain platforms
that you post more frequently, like Twitter or X now. You feel like I have to post from
BP today, I have to post a pre-game stat, I have to post X, Y, and Z, and I've tried to to
get away from that. It can feel like for social media people justifying your job by
posting; like if you don't post something, then it's like, what are you doing? But that's
obviously not the case. But it can feel like that self pressure of that.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“So I don't think that we necessarily try to make every game feel special. I
know it used to be a lot more popular on social media to try to do themed
nights on; like, Oh, we're going to do Meme Night and we're going to do
Star Wars Night. And we used to do that to try to keep things fun,
interesting, and, occasionally there can be my big wild idea, though, that I
still haven't gotten approved. I'll share this with you is I want to do like,
Brunch Baseball that's sponsored by like an alcohol partner, like a vodka or
something and the social media team gets progressively more drunk off,
like mimosas or Bloody Marys. That's my big themed idea. And I think
there's like a huge opportunity there. It might not be the best; I don't know
if HR would approve that.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“But anyway, to get back to your question and the conversation about the long season, I think
it is nice; for me at least. I'm someone that likes a routine, but I like having the freedom
within that routine. Like, we know there's going to be a game, we know that there's kind of a
certain rhythm that comes through a baseball season with a homestand, and then a road trip,
and then a homestand, and then a road trip and a day game into a night game, whatever it is. I
like that there's that rhythm and that flow of it all. Whereas, you know, other sports, I don't
know if I would feel like I'd be able to get into that as much. But I like that, within that, there's
a lot of freedom and flexibility. You know, you have different people at the ballpark every
single night, and there's different things that happen. And on any given day, players do crazy
[things]. I mean, baseball is such a cool sport for that, you never know what you're going to
see at the ballpark. I mean, we got to cover Tyler Gilbert, a guy making his first MLB start who
had been like a minor league rule five pick throw a no hitter — like, you don't ever know what
you're going to expect and I love that. That's part of what makes I think baseball so special is,
yes, there's this grind and this monotony in a sense, but within all of those little moments,
there's just so many fun, exciting little things that you can capture and share.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“And I think for us, we just try to get back to like, don't force it, don't
necessarily post just for the sake of posting. But I'm big on just when
something presents itself, you got to capitalize, you got t hit it hard. I
mean, that's I think where most of our success has come from over the
years is just kind of taking something that is maybe a small opportunity
and just trying to make the most of it.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
How that strategy changes in the postseason when every game is of elevated importance
“Essentially what I felt like in the postseason was we took what we would do over the course
of like a month and would try to do that every day. Like, we might do a certain type of video
once a month, essentially to try to keep things fresh, and it was like every single day we're
trying to do that type of video. We would try to share those kinds of photos, we would try to
share those — every single game, because for us, we had no idea. I mean, we got in on the
last weekend. I think we were technically the last team to even clinch a playoff spot. So we
didn't even know if we were going to get there and then when we got there, we didn't know
how long it was going to last. So when we went to Milwaukee, game one in Milwaukee, we
couldn't hold anything back. We couldn't be like, well, if we get to the next round, then we
can really break, or like then if we get to the NLCS — we didn't know, you know, would we
win a game? Would we win a series? We couldn't assume any of that. So we kind of just
were like every single day let's just try to do the absolute best that we can highlighting today
and if we run out of ideas down the road, then we'll worry about that at that point.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“And to be perfectly honest with you, by the time we got to the World
Series, it was like, how do we cover BP now? We've done like seven, ten, 12
— we had done 12 games already with the same kind of routine plus
workout days, so I think by the time the World Series got around, we then
just were like, we're in the freaking World Series, we don't need to get that
[crazy]. Like, Hey, here's a World Series logo and fans. There's like a
Family Guy meme about like, people freaking out about the simplest thing
and so I think for us, we got we got kind of back to our basics a little bit by
that time. But in the postseason it was just like, go all in all the time and
we'll rest when the season's over.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
What was it like when the DBacks deal with their RSN ended and their local game coverage
was taken over by MLB
“Huge difference for us. It was a crazy learning experience. There's only one team that had
gone before us, the [San Diego] Padres, so they were kind enough to to help us out and kind
of get used to that transition. I mean, the first thing really is you can't talk about it without
acknowledging all the great people that we worked with over at Bally Sports Arizona that
were a huge part of what we did. I mean, they were such a big partner for us, and we had
some really great people that we worked with there. So I just couldn't talk about this without
acknowledging that group, I would say the biggest difference for us, honestly, is we we didn't
always realize, especially, I think external social media team, like how much their social
accounts did for telling the story of the game. You know, we wanted to be a little bit more
selective, maybe, with some of the highlights that we'd share. So a sacrifice fly might not
make our cut of highlights to post, but because of how their approach was, we could always
rely on them to support and supplement our coverage. So that was a major change for us.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
We had to talk about, like, do we have to increase our posts? Like, are there
other types of things that we have to post because they're no longer doing
it, that we used to be able to rely on them in either us sharing it or just
hoping that our fans that care enough about those moments are going to be
following our TV partner as well. So that was the biggest difference.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“And then I would say the other one and we're still having these
conversations of course, is, you know, cable TV or RSNs or however you
call it is where a lot of long form content lives. You know, we would do
shows every year with them where we would, you know, have a player talk
with our broadcaster and do a show like that. Tthat's no longer a thing, so
we got to figure out for ourselves, like, do we produce those? If so, where
do they live? Is it purely social now? It's a lot of interesting questions that
we're still trying to navigate through, and it'll be really interesting to see
how it shakes out over the next couple years.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
The most viral social post from Kyle’s time with the D-Backs
“The most viral, because it just went viral again, is what we call ‘Date Night.’ And
it was when a guy was asking for updates on his roommate's date. It was, I think,
a second date…and it was a lot longer of a story, but I'll keep this version short. It
was something that we were truly just bored. It was in the midst of a of a tough
season for us, and we even tried to pass it off initially to someone else. But we
were so intrigued ourselves that we just kind of started interacting with him, and
it got crazier and reached more people than we ever would have expected. And it
just actually was making the rounds again on Instagram and TikTok, so I have
people sending it, like, did you do this? Because they don't know how long I've
been with the Diamondbacks...
“That one I think still takes the cake.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Kyle’s number one epiphany or insight or key or key learning in his career
so far about social media and sports in general
“It's really freaking cool. Like, don't take it for granted. I think people can
get get too serious about it or anything along those lines. It's just so
freaking cool, however long it lasts, however long you get to do it for. It's
such a truly once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm really grateful for every
day that I've gotten to do it, because I know a lot of people would dream of
getting to be in this kind of role. There's a lot of, I'm sure, little work
things, but that's the one that just comes to mind for me right now.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
What does Kyle do to get content ideas?
“I'm big on diversifying as much as possible. So, like, I love food, I love
music, I love European soccer. I just try to consume stuff that's not
necessarily in the same area. And I feel like you can just get so many ideas
from other areas and figure out ways to implement it with what you're
doing. So like Chef's Table used to be a huge source of inspiration for me, a
series on Netflix about fine dining chefs. I've developed some really cool
relationships with some people in the music industry, and they're doing
dope stuff. I love listening to music, going to concerts, all those sorts of
things. I feel like just any source of creativity will kind of inspire you.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Kyle’s favorite athlete growing up. And a bonus question — does he have any
memory of the 2001 World Series? [won in dramatic fashion by the
Diamondbacks over the Yankees]
“So my favorite athlete growing up was Ryan Christenson, who was a ‘4A’
outfielder who played for the Oakland A's, which was my favorite team growing
up. And quick funny story was I actually got to meet him thanks to our former
manager. Ryan Christenson was a bench coach under Bob Melvin, but before
that, he was a coach in the A's system and our former manager, Chip Hale, went
to work for the A's. I went over and said Hi to him before one of our spring
training games, saw that Ryan Christenson was there, and I told him that he was
my favorite player and he's like, Are you serious? Who is this guy? Like, how do
you even know who he is? He calls him over and I got to meet him and I told my
parents that story and they both cried. So that was my favorite player growing up.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“I loosely remember the ‘01 World Series. I was like, eight years old. But I do
remember being very happy because my family was not the biggest fans of
the Yankees, so we were big Diamondbacks fans that week…
“I think it would be better to have that passion and history of the team. I just
think that that gives you such a unique perspective and can relate with most
of the audience. However, I think anyone, if they try hard enough, can really
delve into the history of a team and learn it and embrace it. But I would
imagine it would have been a lot easier if — like, we've had some people
come through the organization that are born and raised D-backs fans, and
you can just tell how they'll know, like, what a certain player meant to the
fan base that you maybe wouldn't have just based on stats. So I think it
would’ve been easier to be a lifelong D-backs fan, for sure.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Kyle’s most memorable game from his time at Arizona State
“I think it was when we played Missouri my freshman year. It was a
football game and there was a monsoon. It went to overtime. That one my
friends and I still reminisce about. Also, when we played Notre Dame,
because I fractured my foot that day. So those are the two that come to
mind.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
The best meal to get in Phoenix and where to get it. And
a bonus question, the concessions item, all-time or
current that everybody needs to try at a DBacks game
“Best meal in Phoenix is so hard because I could give
you so many answers depending on the time of day and
cuisine. But I'm going to give you my girlfriend and I's
favorite restaurant that's right down the street from
where we live. It's called The Macintosh. She just texted
me trying to see if I could go after work to meet up with
her and her friend there. So that's the Macintosh, their
roti and rib combo is pretty amazing. And my girlfriend
loves their Caesar, so shout out to her and them. They
do a great job over there, and we can walk there from
our place so that that's probably the one that comes to
mind.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
“Then if you come to Chase field,
you gotta try the Churro Dog.
There's no other answer. That's
what we're known for, and it's
worth trying bring a friend. But
it lives up to the hype and it has
to be the Churro Dog.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Who is on the Arizona Diamondbacks Mount Rushmore?
“You're gonna you have to start with Luis Gonzalez. He is Mr. Diamondback,
legend of Arizona, one of the best guys you'll ever meet. He's truly a legend
here in the best way possible. So it has to start with Gonzo. It has to start
with Randy Johnson. I mean, Hall of Famer, no doubt. I think you have to
put Paul Goldschmidt on there, another great guy. Just absolutely a gem of a
person. And then I'm going to put Torey Lovullo on the Mount Rushmore,
our current manager. Absolute amazing person. We are so lucky that we
have him and he's the winningest manager in our history. There's a lot of
tough calls for that fourth one, but I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout
out because he truly does so much for us on and off the field, he's a great
representative of the Arizona Diamondbacks.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Kyle’s Social Media All-Star to Follow
“I want to give a shout out to my former employee who's kicking ass at
Jomboy Media, Taylor Jackson on Twitter, Instagram or whatever, she's all
over it. (@tjackkkson on IG/Twitter) And honestly, the whole team at
Jomboy, they're great people to work with, we've developed an awesome
relationship with them. But Taylor started out as an intern for us. We hired
her back to do social media, something she really hadn't done, she had been
a photographer, and she's just so talented, so creative. We couldn't be more
proud of the work that she's doing over at Jomboy. She's going to be
everyone's boss one day, like that type of person. USo if you don't follow
Taylor Jackson already, I believe she also has a podcast now with some of
the people over at Jomboy called Girls & Co.”
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
Where to find Kyle and the Diamondbacks on digital/osical media
Follow Kyle @KylePayne_28 on Twitter and Instagram
Check out the DBacks across all platforms @DBacks as well as their
community handle @DbacksGiveBack and @ChaseField
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne
@njh287; www.dsmsports.net
Thanks again to Kyle for being so generous with his time to share his
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.
Best Of The Digital and
Social Media Sports Podcast
Episode 264: Kyle Payne

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Episode 264 Snippets: Kyle Payne of the Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 1. @njh287; www.dsmsports.net On episode 264 of the Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast, Neil chatted with Kyle Payne, Senior Manager, Social Media and Content for the Arizona Diamondbacks. 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. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 2. Kyle’s Career Path “I am originally from California, born and raised in San Jose, and wanted to work in sports, or I wanted to play sports, as I'm sure most kids, that's what you dream of. And as someone that's only five foot six, that path got cut short, literally and figuratively, pretty early in life. I knew I wanted to still be in sports in some way, shape or form. So I came out to ASU (Arizona State) excited to join the journalism program there and potentially write about my favorite sport, baseball. That was the goal. I started out actually doing PR internships at the encouragement of my parents. My dad has a career in marketing and my mom also spent some time doing some marketing and PR stuff, so they were trying to keep my mind open. And I actually found that I really liked the PR/communications side of the industry. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 3. “So I did some writing internships with the Arizona Republic, with Arizona Sports, which is the website for the Arizona Sports 98.7 radio station, which had all the major sports teams. And I liked the writing, but it wasn't necessarily, I think, where I was finding my passion or my strong suits. It all kind of changed for me when I took a class my junior year at Arizona State called Strategic Sports Communication, and it was taught by [Diamondbacks] former Senior Vice President of Content and Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Josh Rawitch. And Josh is now the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he was my teacher and I really wanted to work for the Diamondbacks, so I bugged him literally after class every single week about how to get an internship. And sure enough, I ended up having interviews for a handful of them for the 2014 season and I got hired to be the social media intern. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 4. “Honestly, at that point, I didn’t even really know what that was going to consist of. It was a new internship for them. It was moving departments; the social media person before, whose name is John Prewitt, I know some people are very familiar with, he was the OG for us — he had moved from marketing communications the offseason before I started, so it was a real new space for us, which ended up being the perfect landing spot for me. I really didn't know what to expect, but I got exposed to so much and really fell in love with working on the sports side of things and found myself actually, like, kind of in love with social media as well. It was, I think, a little bit unrequited at first, where I was trying to, like, maybe still find my way into PR, find my way into baseball operations, because, you know, who doesn't want to be their own GM and make the calls for a team. But they hired me back on full time in social media in 2015 and I've been in this role pretty much ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to ascend to my current role through various different stages as my roles and in social media in general has evolved. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 5. “So yeah, now I'm here still, I'll be entering my 11th season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's been pretty crazy. We've got a few people on the team now, we still are in the content communications group. But, yeah, it's been really exciting and, honestly, it can all just attribute back to that initial love of baseball and wanting to to be involved in some way, shape or form and then that fateful class at ASU and some persistence. And here I am.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 6. On connecting with Josh Rawitch (VP of Comms at the Diamondbacks at the time) via the class at ASU “I think that was a large part — when I've asked him in the past, you know, like, hey, why did you kind of help me out or push me forward? Because he ended up being my direct boss for a while as well. He was like ‘I appreciated that you you kept after it.’ I paid attention in class. I worked hard, I got good, I did get a good grade in his class because I cared and I wanted to make a good impression. And our coordinator, Steven, he had Josh's class a couple years after I did, and it was something similar where he did well in the class. Josh vouched for him for our internship and now he's working for us later as a full time employee. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 7. On coming up writing but expanding his skillset as he got into social media “Writing was for sure my calling card early on. I think that was my strength. I was a strong communicator and writing is still, I think, such an important part [of social media], even if it's not the length. And I was just talking to someone, I think, yesterday about how, you know, most successful writers will say that the hardest thing to do is actually write succinctly and not write long eloquent prose. So I think that is social media to a T is like; it's almost, I think, way harder to write a captivating one sentence caption than it was for me to write a 500 word game recap about a high school football game, to try to tell all these stories and the emotion of your team going to the World Series for the first time in 20 years. Like, you want to say so much but you have to keep it so simple, so short on social media. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 8. “So I do think I had a skill and training in writing, but even then it was very different. And I remember my old boss, John, was really key on helping me kind of hone in on the very short, succinct, catchy, eye-popping captions and things like that that play well on social media. Then beyond that, I mean, there's so much, I think, that social media kind of entails, I think curiosity is just always big. That's the number one thing that I think will make people successful is being curious and trying to learn and trying to grow their skill set. You know, I didn't really have Photoshop experience, but I would spend some of my free time if I had any in the office trying to watch Photoshop tutorials or ask our designers for help. So I think that was a huge part of trying to come up and learn in social media was okay, like, how do you utilize your iPhone? What are you learning about? What are the new features there bringing to the next one, and how do you utilize your camera better and all those things? Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 9. “Then I think for me, the other one, and this is especially as I've gotten maybe more away from the day-to-day and a little bit more into the strategy and as more and more resources from organizations are being poured into social media, I'm a firm believer that I don't really necessarily need to be as active of a content creator, and my job should be more about how to help people collaborate together. Like, I want to be able to bring in our video producers with our graphic designers with a photographer with someone who can write copy that's on our social team and really help put all of those pieces together to create really successful social media campaigns, but that could also work for TV, that could also work for in- ballpark. I think that is where, as I f continue to grow, hopefully, in social media or in sports or in creative work in general, I think good social media people are like glue people. They bring other areas together and kind of hopefully accentuate all the skill sets of a trained photographer, of a trained graphic designer, of a trained videographer, and kind of help elevate all the work that they do.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 10. On connecting with and being aware of everything happening in the organization “That was one of the things I remember [from] my internship that I was so grateful for. I had my friends that were doing other internships and [at other] organizations, not to downplay the quality of those internships, but I remember walking away feeling like I knew everyone in the building, whereas they were saying they really only knew people in their department, tthat was really who they worked with. Whereas I was, even as an intern, working with community, working with ticket sales, working with marketing and that, I think, just gave me a way better platform for success later on that I had all this exposure. And, you know, as someone who does have aspirations to continue to grow and be a leader in an organization to be able to have the access to learn about what all these other areas do and figure out what makes them successful and how we can play a role in it, I think that's one of the coolest parts about social media that I try not to take for granted.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 11. On knowing what does / what doesn’t belong on social, packaging and repurposing across platforms (social and otherwise) “That's, I think, one of the things that we're really trying to figure out right now is how do you repurpose something and get the most out of it without it not necessarily being suited to the platform or suited to the environment it's in? And the kind of metaphor that just came to mind is, I've heard in the NFL that a special teams coordinator is a good kind of gateway or path to becoming a head coach or something like that, because you learn certain things that then actually help make you successful down the road. And I feel like, and this is probably a little bit of my own ego to some degree, but I do think social media people have that unique viewpoint that will hopefully, down the road, we talk about this five, ten, 15 years from now, I think you'll actually see a lot of social media people higher up in marketing, branding, creative roles, because I do think they'll have a really good pulse on what works on different things. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 12. “I think every social media manager’s struggle is trying to make other departments and areas of the organization happy and successful, while also, yeah, protecting the account. And I think it was something that, until I got to the higher role of being the kind of the most senior person on the social team for me to understand that feeling of being protective over an account. Because it's hard; it's not my account, right? It really isn't. It's the team's account. And I'm big on it's really not my voice, it's not Steven's voice, it's not anyone's. It's the Diamondbacks’ voice and it's the Diamondbacks account. But as kind of the person that's ultimately responsible for the success of it, there is a certain amount of protection and arm's length thing of it that you can have sometimes, and I think it's a feeling you almost have to fight against yourself of, okay, why am I pushing it back against this? What are the actual pros and cons and benefits and drawbacks of putting out a job posting for another department on social media versus, you know, is it really that big of a deal to maybe highlight a community initiative? So I think that's probably, uh, an ongoing question that we're constantly trying to answer. I don't know if there is a right or a wrong. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 13. “I think for us, our main focus is just trying to highlight the opportunities in front of us. We just had a meeting about, you know, we actually have a great product, an awesome team that just went to the World Series with likable players and cool new uniforms, we have something that people want; like, let's just showcase that, [don’t] overcomplicate it. And we have really talented, creative people, they're going to do really creative good things, let's just get it out there so as many people as possible can enjoy it. So that whether it's on social media, whether that's in the ballpark, whether that's on TV, whether that's in an email blast — let's just highlight the really cool things that we do and let people see it. And I think that'll bring people to continue their brand affinity for us, hopefully draw some new people in that go, wow, like, the D-backs are doing some really sick stuff, I want to pay more attention to them. “And yeah, beyond that, I think it's just a guessing game. You kind of just have to keep waiting and seeing how things respond and how they do, and just keep learning and adjusting from there.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 14. On getting asks from other departments to post stuff on social channels “The first question I usually try to ask when someone comes to that is like, what's the objective of this? What are we trying to get from it? You know, hey, we want to launch an Instagram account for this, okay? Like, it's not that it's a yes or a no, but like, what's the objective here and what's the goal? And if we talk through it and we agree, yeah, social media is the right the place for this or another Instagram account is right or, you know, a series of posts is right for this and we're all on board to do it. I think it's having the conversations and understanding how it's going to be measured as success for that person, for that department, because I also want to make sure that at the end of the day, if we do it, they're not like, well, that wasn't what I wanted, or we didn't end up having any leads from that or something like that, because we just said yes and just kind of executed what they maybe just thought would be the easiest way to get it across. So that's kind of the approach I try to take. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 15. “And it's tough sometimes because, yeah, everyone's got different organizational priorities and they've got their own things that they're trying to achieve for their success in their role. So it can be a little bit on the trickier side. But as long as there's that collaboration and the kind of open mindedness which I think is something that I constantly have to work on still is just, okay, like, could I be missing something, and maybe it is worth giving it another shot, even if we've tried it a few years ago because there might really be a great opportunity here that I might not see. It's just trying to identify for that person from that department, whatever it is, alright, what would be a success for you and how can we make that happen?” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 16. On executing along with the opportunities in the season “I think because I've only really ever had this career in baseball social media, if anything, I probably still need to like work on the non-flow side of social media and that really like content calendar planning where things are firm. I think a lot of my counterparts in other industries might be able to really plan things out. I feel like I've only really learned the kind of style of you have to feel how things are going. And especially with the baseball season, which is 162 games, you're going to have win streaks, you're going to have losing streaks, and you're going to have good home stands, bad home stands, road trips — all these things that I feel like you have to really kind of learn when and how to capitalize when things are good and learning how to either make the best out of a bad situation — I mean, we've had some really rough seasons while I've been here, and so I think that teaches you just as much about when and how to message certain things to fans as a winning season does. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 17. “I mean, absolutely, right now, I feel like we have a lot more cachet with Arizona to kind of tell them what's going to happen and, when we have promotional items, I think it's like, yeah, people want to see that stuff. It's not trying to beat a dead horse where, if you have a product that people aren't interested in, it can feel like you're you're talking to no one, you're talking to a wall, whereas right now people want to really hear about what we have to offer. So it's constantly that kind of just like finger to the wind, seeing which way it's blowing and then trying to pivot a little bit. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 18. “Then it's also identifying platforms, right? Like which one might be more receptive to this sort of thing. But I think where I would like to continue to try to develop and get us is really on that kind of more rigid side of like, okay, we know that this is going to be a big game no matter what, so regardless of how things are going, how do we make sure that this doesn't miss for us? Like, it's important to the organization — Opening Day, just as an example, is huge, so what if spring training, we have a big injury, knock on wood, and the pulse is a little bit low at the moment and fans are maybe a little bit distracted by March Madness or something, we can't just go Oh sorry, the fans aren't as excited right now, we can't message Opening Day. You still have to come up with those creative and engaging ways to keep people in the loop on those things. “So I don't really have, I guess, a great answer for it, other than you do try to make the most out of it when things are going good and when things aren't going as good, you just have to get more creative and maybe a little bit more out there with how you reach them.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 19. On the brand of the Diamondbacks “I think the number one most important thing for us is the Arizona Diamondbacks is a family friendly organization and the ballpark is as such. And that's who we are. Like, we care about the community, we care about our fans, we care about treating people the right way and that has to come through on social media. So we have to be, you know, responding to people, answering questions, liking their photo, commenting. I mean, that starts from the very roots of it all. That is who we are at the ballpark, where people can ask questions and be greeted with a friendly face, that has to extend through everything that we do. So we're never probably going to be that, you know, super snarky, edgy account because it doesn't represent who the Arizona Diamondbacks are as a whole in the marketplace. Nor does it probably represent who we are as people that are behind the account, because I think it'd be really hard for myself, for example, to have the voice, that maybe, like, I know some of the extreme examples like Wendy's or the Vegas Golden Knights or the LA Kings — that's just not who I am either. I don't think I could do that if I tried to emulate some of these trendy types of things or certain types of voices it wouldn't feel authentic and I think people would be able to tell. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 20. “Now, it doesn't mean that the Arizona Diamondbacks are also just my voice, because it absolutely is not that. When I got hired on as an intern my predecessor, John Prewitt, had a very specific voice that I had to learn. And it wasn't his voice either, it was the Arizona Diamondbacks voice that he had kind of tweaked and it's continually being tweaked. And when we hire new people, we have a coordinator come in or an intern even, there is a gradual learning process of trial and error of, yep, that does sound like us or, you know, we might have to peel that back a little bit, or maybe we sound a little more excited for this play or this sort of moment. I would say it's really critical for us to just still, I think, sound professional. I think that we're we're not someone that's going to have a bunch of typos and grammatical mistakes and so casual that, you know, we might be alienating certain fans. I understand that that might also appeal to certain demographics, but I think we've just decided that, like, we're going to use proper grammar. We're still going to try to use complete sentences when possible. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 21. “But where it's changed to kind of answer that part of the question is, I think, it's constantly trying to evolve to meet both the platform's audience as well as kind of our fan base. Like certain types of references; myself and our old coordinator who's now at Jomboy Media, she's awesome are big Drake fans, so that was authentic to us. But then we also recognize that on Twitter and Instagram, a Drake lyric might have hit a few years ago and it wasn't going to work on Facebook, so we didn't just put Drake lyrics up on Facebook because we wanted to, we had to kind of tailor it to the platform as well. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 22. “So I think for us, it's trying to split up and identify what works on individual platforms and what is something that, for all of us, can we kind of consistently represent — and then still have some fun. I mean, we definitely take what I would call calculated risks from time to time, and there have been a lot over the years that I'll either reach out to approval or bounce off of my counterparts or my trusted group of people that I really value their opinions around the organization and things like that or my bosses, whoever it is and kind of go, Hey, what do you think? Does this sound like us? Does this make sense? And sometimes we get the sign off and it goes great. I mean, we definitely had a little bit of fun in the postseason with some of our videos being on the edge of your side with we kind of — I don't want to call it like a clap back, but had a little bit of a back and forth with the Dodgers that is now our best tweet ever. But those were definitely risks that for us we weren't sure if it quite fit. And we've definitely had some over the years that didn't hit and didn't get received as well and didn't quite fit who we are. Because, yeah, we're never going to be the the super over the top, kind of out there account.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 23. On whether there are expectations from higher-ups to ‘go viral’ through risk-taking on social “To be honest with you, I don't really feel like, and I think I'm fortunate for this, that there are those expectations that we have to do anything quite like that. I think if you try to, it's not going to work, in my humble opinion. The most viral or successful posts were ones that we had zero expectation that they would be, and then the ones that we we would that we were like, oh, wow, this is it like we cooked on this one, if you want to borrow a social media expression, like it doesn't really resonate the way that we thought it did. So I've never really tried to take the approach of trying to make things go viral or trying to come across or take a risk just for the sake of it. Which maybe that's been, speaking fortunately from our position or maybe it may not not be the right strategy, but I think for us it's always worked when we've just tried to do things for the right reasons and had some fun and just had fun. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 24. “I think at the end of the day, people, too, take their jobs, probably in general but I think especially in social media, people can take it maybe a little too seriously from my perspective. At the end of the day this job should be really fun and that you can do some kind of silly and goofy things and I think if it was something that just felt right for us at the moment without the goal of like, Oh, wow, yeah. Like, we did a Taylor Swift post a few years ago and it actually did work well, but it worked because we were authentic Taylor Swift fans that were excited about a moment, and it was in the middle of a post-Covid offseason where we were talking about nothing else; like we had zero other things to talk about. So why not just do something fun because we enjoy it? And sure enough, that ended up doing really, really well for us. But you just you can't ever predict those sorts of things, and I think the more that you can just be authentic to the brand and to who you are, you know, the people behind the keyboards, the team behind the content, I think that'll shine. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 25. “I think that was what [drove] our success in the postseason with some of our videos that were definitely more out there in terms of what we had put out in the past. They were a lot more aggressive, but it was authentic to us and the team. It was how the players were feeling, it was how the coaches were feeling; like they felt like, Hey, we're kind of being slighted here. People are underestimating us. So the videos weren't us creating some imaginary storyline that didn't exist that we just thought would be funny, it was stuff that was actually being said, and it was hopefully portraying how our fan base felt, how our players felt, how our coaches felt, how our whole front office felt and I think that was why they ended up working.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 26. On connecting personality and voice and tone from social media execution to video production “With a purpose is exactly how I would say it. And we're really fortunate, our video production team sits within the same department that we do and we've got three amazing full-time video producers plus now we have a fourth who contributes with a lot of motion graphics and stuff as well. So I want to make sure that they get a lot of shine for all this because a lot of it stemmed from them. You know, we have Steve Rodak, Brandon Stilwell, Brandon Thomas, Jeff Parsons, who are all creating this incredible content on a day-to-day basis and because we sit so close together we're really fortunate to have developed a strong working relationship where it's give and take and they're contributing ideas for us, we're contributing ideas for them. So that's how those videos for us, I think, all kind of started; like it wasn't necessarily we sat down one day and went like, we need to like create a video with this kind of thing. It was just, as we're talking about projects over the course of a season, as the personalities for each of them shine through on different things trying to kind of just highlight that and play into it and not kind of run away from it or not try to sterilize the content that we're doing. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 27. “And I think it's the same approach that we have with the graphic designers. They've got some great ideas and some great creativity that sometimes, because they have to just create other things that are a little bit more templated or branded; it's like, okay, you have a platform here that we're going to give you for social media, for Instagram. Like, they're on Instagram, all of our designers are. You know what works well, you know what you like to see, go create something like. For example, we're resigning Lourdes Gurriel, he's got a very strong personality that any D-backs fan knows. His purple hair, the Pina power, he's got an identifiable personality that fans identify with and they relate to. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 28. So it was like, well, we could create the same graphic, you know, the ‘Welcome to Arizona’ or ‘Welcome Back,’ you add the little arrow…That's great and it's fun and we do that stuff too, it's not like it's not a time and a place for it. But it was like with this guy, there was a little bit more of an opportunity to have some fun, so we kind of pushed a little bit back and forth to going, okay, well, what is true to him and how do we come through with something that, when we post about it, it feels like you immediately know, yep, that's Gurriel and that's our designers taking a chance and putting something out there that is different and hopefully speaks to our fan base and gets them excited. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 29. “So it's the same thing with video where it's like, alright, we're getting ready for game one against the Dodgers. Like, there's like a rivalry there. It's a little bit, you know, there's that big brother-little brother syndrome that people like to talk about or whatever you call it. Whether or not that's true, I don't personally agree with it, but let's talk about it, let's have those conversations and then I think naturally your content kind of shines through with that. And our voice in terms of copy will be impacted by those conversations that we're having. The videos will come through with maybe a little bit more of that edge or that kind of back and forth, the suspense — we acknowledge that there had been disappointments in the past in LA leading into that series. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 30. We didn't run from the history, but then we had that history kind of helping us guide how we were going to continue creating stuff throughout that series. And then it paid off, and you have a chance to sweep your division rival, like, yeah, lean into as much as possible. Our fan base would have eaten that stuff up and they should. So it's like, why do anything but give the fans exactly what they want and have some fun with it? It's not to be classless. It's not to be rubbing in anyone's face. But while we're celebrating, we should be part of that. And our video should come through, our graphics should come through, and I think they did a good job throughout the whole post season, throughout the whole season, really, of trying to get that personality to shine through our content.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 31. On learnings and vibes from social making its way to other fan engagement touchpoints and vice-versa “It's both. It has to be, right? I think any good social person is constantly keeping their eye out for opportunities that they see around the ballpark, on emails on, the website, like, you constantly have to be open to going Oh, wow, that's actually really cool. How could we utilize that? Tthere's countless times where it's already been created or it's already being utilized in some fashion and we're just like yeah, we want that, give that to us. And that was a big part of the transition when video first came under social media is they were creating a bunch of stuff already, we just weren't seeing it. They weren't thinking about it for social media, and we kind of had to take some time to beat into that kind of routine of, Oh yeah, when you create something, let's send it to social and let's see if they want it… Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 32. “It's our job to figure out what works on social media, it's not theirs. Like, they shouldn't be able to read our minds and go, Oh of course that absolutely would work on social media if I just edit it this way, then that I would absolutely do well. That's our job to be able to take that and see it and go, okay, like, hey, with some some tweaks here, this could work really well. Or we love the design that's on the player cases around Chase Field, how can we utilize those on social media, and maybe we take some of the stuff off of it because you don't need it to look like X, but you've already [made] this incredible thing, let's showcase it. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 33. “I'm a big believer in almost like micro analytics, if you will…I'm sure you realize on social media, if something's doing well, you just see it doing well, like you can feel it in real time. You don't necessarily need to look at a report two weeks later and go, Oh, wow, that did really well. Like, you can tell when it's happening. Like, Wow, it just got 100 retweets in a minute, our stuff doesn't usually do that. Like, this is doing really well, maybe we should take note of that. I feel like you have to have your your ear to the ground constantly, and, I mean, especially when I was first starting, I would watch all of our posts in real time, how they performed, how did they track; like I was refreshing it, probably to an unhealthy degree, because I really wanted to learn and see how things were being received. What were the comments like, and if something immediately wasn't received well, maybe I hadn't posted something similar or the same piece of content on another platform and I would want to change it before I got to that point because of already the quick five-to-ten minute feedback we had gotten on something. I think I've tried to to peel that back a little bit as I've gotten further into my career and not be so reactive and kind of almost temperamental, if you will. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 34. “But yeah, I think it has to be a good combination of both pushing and telling and then just kind of trying to be open minded. You don't know who you can get ideas from. My dad's giving me ideas for social media posts, you know, my girlfriend; anyone can have ideas here and there, you just have to be open to hearing them.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 35. On communicating learnings from social media content performance to marketing and paid social “It's really funny you mentioned this. My meeting that I came from just now was essentially to kind of do all those things and to collaborate and identify. We have a mostly new group of marketing people. There's definitely a couple people that have been there even longer than I have, but we also have a group of new people, so it's been really fun over the last year or two, since this kind of new group has come together, to be able to share those ideas and to see them pick out things that they see us do on social media and go, Oh, we actually really want that for a TV ad. That's new for me, really, and I think it's really exciting and fun, and I feel like that's an area I still want to really learn and grow in. Because I have sat in communications, it's definitely come from more of just a branding and team side of things. You know, we definitely work with and support marketing and they provide us a lot of information. But because I've sat in one area, not the other, there's definitely this area still that I want to continue to learn and grow and explore and figure out how can we help. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 36. “Paid social sits in marketing, but they've been great about trying to pick our brains about like, Hey, what's working right now? And should we put money behind this as a boost or can we repurpose this content for a separate social post? Or I'll ask, like, what are your plans for paid social and do we want to switch up what we post organically? Like, do we want it to go together, or do you guys want to hit different things? Because especially over the course of a baseball season, you might have one weekend that has five different things going on because it's a huge weekend that everyone wants to celebrate at the ballpark, so you might have a giveaway, you might have a group being recognized, you might have a community activation. So I think continuing to work with them closely on how do we almost share the responsibility of promoting all those things really working hand in hand. It's something that's, I think, still newer for us, but it's been really exciting and fun just over the last year, even of kind of what it looks like when these areas are really working in lockstep with each other.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 37. On trying to keep things as fresh as possible on social amidst the long 162-game season “It's definitely not possible…I tried to count recently and I'm sure I've at least watched, if not covered, at least a thousand games at this point. Probably more than that. Probably a lot more than that. There's no way that, yeah, you can make every game feel special. And the thing about baseball is even the best teams are going to lose a third of the time or something along those lines. So, yeah, there's certain nights where you just don't force it. And I think that's a key part of it. That's something I think I've learned from my time here with the Diamondbacks was I used to try to force it, and feel like I had to post something every single day, you know, or especially on certain platforms that you post more frequently, like Twitter or X now. You feel like I have to post from BP today, I have to post a pre-game stat, I have to post X, Y, and Z, and I've tried to to get away from that. It can feel like for social media people justifying your job by posting; like if you don't post something, then it's like, what are you doing? But that's obviously not the case. But it can feel like that self pressure of that. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 38. “So I don't think that we necessarily try to make every game feel special. I know it used to be a lot more popular on social media to try to do themed nights on; like, Oh, we're going to do Meme Night and we're going to do Star Wars Night. And we used to do that to try to keep things fun, interesting, and, occasionally there can be my big wild idea, though, that I still haven't gotten approved. I'll share this with you is I want to do like, Brunch Baseball that's sponsored by like an alcohol partner, like a vodka or something and the social media team gets progressively more drunk off, like mimosas or Bloody Marys. That's my big themed idea. And I think there's like a huge opportunity there. It might not be the best; I don't know if HR would approve that. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 39. “But anyway, to get back to your question and the conversation about the long season, I think it is nice; for me at least. I'm someone that likes a routine, but I like having the freedom within that routine. Like, we know there's going to be a game, we know that there's kind of a certain rhythm that comes through a baseball season with a homestand, and then a road trip, and then a homestand, and then a road trip and a day game into a night game, whatever it is. I like that there's that rhythm and that flow of it all. Whereas, you know, other sports, I don't know if I would feel like I'd be able to get into that as much. But I like that, within that, there's a lot of freedom and flexibility. You know, you have different people at the ballpark every single night, and there's different things that happen. And on any given day, players do crazy [things]. I mean, baseball is such a cool sport for that, you never know what you're going to see at the ballpark. I mean, we got to cover Tyler Gilbert, a guy making his first MLB start who had been like a minor league rule five pick throw a no hitter — like, you don't ever know what you're going to expect and I love that. That's part of what makes I think baseball so special is, yes, there's this grind and this monotony in a sense, but within all of those little moments, there's just so many fun, exciting little things that you can capture and share. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 40. “And I think for us, we just try to get back to like, don't force it, don't necessarily post just for the sake of posting. But I'm big on just when something presents itself, you got to capitalize, you got t hit it hard. I mean, that's I think where most of our success has come from over the years is just kind of taking something that is maybe a small opportunity and just trying to make the most of it.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 41. How that strategy changes in the postseason when every game is of elevated importance “Essentially what I felt like in the postseason was we took what we would do over the course of like a month and would try to do that every day. Like, we might do a certain type of video once a month, essentially to try to keep things fresh, and it was like every single day we're trying to do that type of video. We would try to share those kinds of photos, we would try to share those — every single game, because for us, we had no idea. I mean, we got in on the last weekend. I think we were technically the last team to even clinch a playoff spot. So we didn't even know if we were going to get there and then when we got there, we didn't know how long it was going to last. So when we went to Milwaukee, game one in Milwaukee, we couldn't hold anything back. We couldn't be like, well, if we get to the next round, then we can really break, or like then if we get to the NLCS — we didn't know, you know, would we win a game? Would we win a series? We couldn't assume any of that. So we kind of just were like every single day let's just try to do the absolute best that we can highlighting today and if we run out of ideas down the road, then we'll worry about that at that point. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 42. “And to be perfectly honest with you, by the time we got to the World Series, it was like, how do we cover BP now? We've done like seven, ten, 12 — we had done 12 games already with the same kind of routine plus workout days, so I think by the time the World Series got around, we then just were like, we're in the freaking World Series, we don't need to get that [crazy]. Like, Hey, here's a World Series logo and fans. There's like a Family Guy meme about like, people freaking out about the simplest thing and so I think for us, we got we got kind of back to our basics a little bit by that time. But in the postseason it was just like, go all in all the time and we'll rest when the season's over.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 43. What was it like when the DBacks deal with their RSN ended and their local game coverage was taken over by MLB “Huge difference for us. It was a crazy learning experience. There's only one team that had gone before us, the [San Diego] Padres, so they were kind enough to to help us out and kind of get used to that transition. I mean, the first thing really is you can't talk about it without acknowledging all the great people that we worked with over at Bally Sports Arizona that were a huge part of what we did. I mean, they were such a big partner for us, and we had some really great people that we worked with there. So I just couldn't talk about this without acknowledging that group, I would say the biggest difference for us, honestly, is we we didn't always realize, especially, I think external social media team, like how much their social accounts did for telling the story of the game. You know, we wanted to be a little bit more selective, maybe, with some of the highlights that we'd share. So a sacrifice fly might not make our cut of highlights to post, but because of how their approach was, we could always rely on them to support and supplement our coverage. So that was a major change for us. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 44. We had to talk about, like, do we have to increase our posts? Like, are there other types of things that we have to post because they're no longer doing it, that we used to be able to rely on them in either us sharing it or just hoping that our fans that care enough about those moments are going to be following our TV partner as well. So that was the biggest difference. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 45. “And then I would say the other one and we're still having these conversations of course, is, you know, cable TV or RSNs or however you call it is where a lot of long form content lives. You know, we would do shows every year with them where we would, you know, have a player talk with our broadcaster and do a show like that. Tthat's no longer a thing, so we got to figure out for ourselves, like, do we produce those? If so, where do they live? Is it purely social now? It's a lot of interesting questions that we're still trying to navigate through, and it'll be really interesting to see how it shakes out over the next couple years.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 46. The most viral social post from Kyle’s time with the D-Backs “The most viral, because it just went viral again, is what we call ‘Date Night.’ And it was when a guy was asking for updates on his roommate's date. It was, I think, a second date…and it was a lot longer of a story, but I'll keep this version short. It was something that we were truly just bored. It was in the midst of a of a tough season for us, and we even tried to pass it off initially to someone else. But we were so intrigued ourselves that we just kind of started interacting with him, and it got crazier and reached more people than we ever would have expected. And it just actually was making the rounds again on Instagram and TikTok, so I have people sending it, like, did you do this? Because they don't know how long I've been with the Diamondbacks... “That one I think still takes the cake.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 47. Kyle’s number one epiphany or insight or key or key learning in his career so far about social media and sports in general “It's really freaking cool. Like, don't take it for granted. I think people can get get too serious about it or anything along those lines. It's just so freaking cool, however long it lasts, however long you get to do it for. It's such a truly once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm really grateful for every day that I've gotten to do it, because I know a lot of people would dream of getting to be in this kind of role. There's a lot of, I'm sure, little work things, but that's the one that just comes to mind for me right now.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 48. What does Kyle do to get content ideas? “I'm big on diversifying as much as possible. So, like, I love food, I love music, I love European soccer. I just try to consume stuff that's not necessarily in the same area. And I feel like you can just get so many ideas from other areas and figure out ways to implement it with what you're doing. So like Chef's Table used to be a huge source of inspiration for me, a series on Netflix about fine dining chefs. I've developed some really cool relationships with some people in the music industry, and they're doing dope stuff. I love listening to music, going to concerts, all those sorts of things. I feel like just any source of creativity will kind of inspire you.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 49. Kyle’s favorite athlete growing up. And a bonus question — does he have any memory of the 2001 World Series? [won in dramatic fashion by the Diamondbacks over the Yankees] “So my favorite athlete growing up was Ryan Christenson, who was a ‘4A’ outfielder who played for the Oakland A's, which was my favorite team growing up. And quick funny story was I actually got to meet him thanks to our former manager. Ryan Christenson was a bench coach under Bob Melvin, but before that, he was a coach in the A's system and our former manager, Chip Hale, went to work for the A's. I went over and said Hi to him before one of our spring training games, saw that Ryan Christenson was there, and I told him that he was my favorite player and he's like, Are you serious? Who is this guy? Like, how do you even know who he is? He calls him over and I got to meet him and I told my parents that story and they both cried. So that was my favorite player growing up. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 50. “I loosely remember the ‘01 World Series. I was like, eight years old. But I do remember being very happy because my family was not the biggest fans of the Yankees, so we were big Diamondbacks fans that week… “I think it would be better to have that passion and history of the team. I just think that that gives you such a unique perspective and can relate with most of the audience. However, I think anyone, if they try hard enough, can really delve into the history of a team and learn it and embrace it. But I would imagine it would have been a lot easier if — like, we've had some people come through the organization that are born and raised D-backs fans, and you can just tell how they'll know, like, what a certain player meant to the fan base that you maybe wouldn't have just based on stats. So I think it would’ve been easier to be a lifelong D-backs fan, for sure.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 51. Kyle’s most memorable game from his time at Arizona State “I think it was when we played Missouri my freshman year. It was a football game and there was a monsoon. It went to overtime. That one my friends and I still reminisce about. Also, when we played Notre Dame, because I fractured my foot that day. So those are the two that come to mind.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 52. The best meal to get in Phoenix and where to get it. And a bonus question, the concessions item, all-time or current that everybody needs to try at a DBacks game “Best meal in Phoenix is so hard because I could give you so many answers depending on the time of day and cuisine. But I'm going to give you my girlfriend and I's favorite restaurant that's right down the street from where we live. It's called The Macintosh. She just texted me trying to see if I could go after work to meet up with her and her friend there. So that's the Macintosh, their roti and rib combo is pretty amazing. And my girlfriend loves their Caesar, so shout out to her and them. They do a great job over there, and we can walk there from our place so that that's probably the one that comes to mind. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 53. “Then if you come to Chase field, you gotta try the Churro Dog. There's no other answer. That's what we're known for, and it's worth trying bring a friend. But it lives up to the hype and it has to be the Churro Dog.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 54. Who is on the Arizona Diamondbacks Mount Rushmore? “You're gonna you have to start with Luis Gonzalez. He is Mr. Diamondback, legend of Arizona, one of the best guys you'll ever meet. He's truly a legend here in the best way possible. So it has to start with Gonzo. It has to start with Randy Johnson. I mean, Hall of Famer, no doubt. I think you have to put Paul Goldschmidt on there, another great guy. Just absolutely a gem of a person. And then I'm going to put Torey Lovullo on the Mount Rushmore, our current manager. Absolute amazing person. We are so lucky that we have him and he's the winningest manager in our history. There's a lot of tough calls for that fourth one, but I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out because he truly does so much for us on and off the field, he's a great representative of the Arizona Diamondbacks.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 55. Kyle’s Social Media All-Star to Follow “I want to give a shout out to my former employee who's kicking ass at Jomboy Media, Taylor Jackson on Twitter, Instagram or whatever, she's all over it. (@tjackkkson on IG/Twitter) And honestly, the whole team at Jomboy, they're great people to work with, we've developed an awesome relationship with them. But Taylor started out as an intern for us. We hired her back to do social media, something she really hadn't done, she had been a photographer, and she's just so talented, so creative. We couldn't be more proud of the work that she's doing over at Jomboy. She's going to be everyone's boss one day, like that type of person. USo if you don't follow Taylor Jackson already, I believe she also has a podcast now with some of the people over at Jomboy called Girls & Co.” Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 56. Where to find Kyle and the Diamondbacks on digital/osical media Follow Kyle @KylePayne_28 on Twitter and Instagram Check out the DBacks across all platforms @DBacks as well as their community handle @DbacksGiveBack and @ChaseField Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne
  • 57. @njh287; www.dsmsports.net Thanks again to Kyle for being so generous with his time to share his 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. Best Of The Digital and Social Media Sports Podcast Episode 264: Kyle Payne