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Community Spotlight: Brett Rapkin, Podium Pictures

Meet Brett Rapkin, Our Community Member of the Week

Name: Brett Rapkin

Job: CEO and Founder

Company: Podium Pictures and Podium Sports Media

Contact: Email Brett Here


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

I’m a veteran premium sports media creator who has always most enjoyed helping athletes express themselves while innovating and taking risks. Spending the entire 2005 World Cup Ski Racing Season in the European Alps documenting Bode Miller and the US Ski Team launched my career and taught me a ton that has allowed me to earn the trust of the world’s top athletes and their reps. We create scripted, unscripted, and digital content.

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

I’m BUYING on athletes producing and owning their own strategic content for their own channels. It’s the only way to see all the benefits of social media as well as the traditional platforms.

How do you define engagement?

I define engagement as anything that makes the viewer stop the endless scroll of images on social media. The short videos Tom Brady has been posting on his Instagram lately have been amazing. They provide a bit of unique access combined with select highlights and inspiring music and graphics.

What’s a lesson in audience engagement that every marketer could learn?

A lesson in fan engagement that every marketer can learn is that if athletes can create consistent, premium content with a bit of unique access in their own voice…the engagement rates are off the charts.

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

At the moment, I am most proud of the work we are producing along with some of the top Olympic athletes of this era. We think it is going to change the conversation about mental health and other crucial athlete issues both within the USOC and in the general population. It started as simply a profile of Steven Holcomb, the Captain of the US Bobsled Team, twelve days before he tragically died. We hope to save at least one life.

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

We are investing in creating innovative ways for pro athletes across the world to create engaging content for themselves and their brand partners at scale.

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

As a connected fan, I was engaged by the Serena Williams HBO series because it made my wife (not a big sports fan) a lifelong Serena fan.

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

The biggest high of working in sports has been documenting our clients and partners doing great things. A few highlights: Bode becoming the first American to win the World Cup Championship in a generation and then finally winning his gold in Vancouver. NFL wide receiver Sammy Watkins being drafted by the Bills after following his entire draft journey and celebrating with his family. Directing a movie starring Josh Duhamel and Sterling K. Brown about the life of Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill “Spaceman” Lee after years of development. Lately, we have gotten to work with and witness Michael Phelps embracing his platform as a mental health advocate which is incredible.

The low is probably watching athletes who get hurt or have to retire prematurely without having had the opportunity to build their platforms to create the lifelong benefits to them and their families. But we plan to change that one athlete at a time.

Get to know more members of the Hashtag Sports community here.

Hear more from leaders and creators across the sports industry this June at Hashtag Sports, an annual conference designed for media and marketing professionals.

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