“We understand the needs of the teams”
Interview with Slate co-founder Eric Stark
From the creation to the design to the final post – with Slate the preparation and posting of social media content in the sports business has become different. In the interview, co-founder Eric Stark talks about the company, why it makes life easier for many sports franchises in big leagues and which projects the winner of the SportsInnovation Award is currently working on.
How did Slate come about and how long have you guys been around?
Eric Stark: The idea for Slate came about from the working experiences of Michael Horton, Will Brooke and myself who all spent time in different capacities as digital marketers and social media content creators for brands like the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers. We saw a need for a tool that could make our lives easier as marketers in this new era of always-on social media content, so we set out to build it. We have been around since the summer of 2019, so just over two and a half years as I write this.
How many people work at Slate?
Stark: We currently are 26 people strong, and growing.
What tools do you exactly provide for social media teams in sports?
Stark: We provide teams their own content creation app that is filled with only pre-approved, on brand creative assets. This allows teams to effortlessly produce quality video, photo, and graphic design content that is optimized for every social platform, from anywhere. Teams control all of their brand assets through their own dedicated web portal which allows brand and design teams to set guidelines, update creative, and deliver easy to use creative templates to their social and marketing teams. This ensures everyone is always staying on brand and has easy access to the creative they need to win on social media.
Time is money. From your point of view: Are the sped up posting workflows the main key for sports franchises for using Slate?
Stark: Sped up workflows are a huge value add that Slate provides. So much so, that many of our customers say having Slate is the equivalent to “adding another person on staff.” But workflow efficiency isn’t the only value the platform provides. Along with upping the quality and consistency of social media content across platforms, many of our teams are using Slate to monetize their social media content and service their corporate partners in new and exciting ways. The platform reduces the friction for incorporating brand sponsors directly into the highest performing sports social media content, and allows for new content integrations to be sold to sponsors that weren’t possible – or at least very complicated – to execute before Slate.
How cool is it, that famous franchises like the Golden State Warriors or Baltimore Ravens are using your tools?
Stark: It’s been incredible to see the adoption of the platform by the biggest brands in sports all over the world. We have customers in every major league from the NFL, to the NBA to the Premier League, and many more. Part of what sets us apart both as a tech platform and as a partners is that we understand our customer better than anyone, because we walked in their shoes. The founders know what it’s like to run social media day-to-day for the biggest sports brands in the world, and many members of our team have had hands on experience in social media for brands in their past roles. When we speak to teams they understand that we “get it” and we’re building a product that is specifically tailored to their needs.
What technical requirements do social media teams need to work with Slate?
Stark: All you need is to be active on social media, and to have a brand. It’s seamless to get set up on Slate and can be done in an hour with the creative assets and styleguide all sports teams already have.
What new things are you working on at the moment?
Stark: We have big plans for the product this year. We just released our first version of Templates which makes us the only tool on the market besides Adobe itself that lets you upload Photoshop files to the web and directly edit them on your mobile device. But, unlike Adobe, editing Photoshop templates on Slate mobile is incredibly easy with no room for error for the end user. Let the designers design, and the creators create. We plan to evolve this feature further, and continue to add more features like this that unify all parts of the content creation process into a single, streamlined platform. We also have our much anticipated web content creation platform releasing this year.
The SportsInnovation Award is a prize awarded at the Ignition Innovation Competition with the DFL, Deutsche Fussball Lga, as Launch Partner. Ignition is an event initiated by SportsPro to showcase the creative and tech-enabled solutions driving the future of sports business. The competition is the place for sportstech start-ups to demonstrate their product and its impact in sport and is judged by a global panel of experts. The winner of the 2022 edition will be presented at SportsInnovation, 11. & 12 May 2022 in Düsseldorf.