Social Media Manager | Matthew Wojciow
Our next guest is with West Ham eSports Social Media Manager, Matthew Wojciow.
Hi Matthew, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Can you tell our readers about yourself, your journey and what you currently do?
Thank you so much for your interest in what I do. I am currently the Social Media Manager for West Ham United’s eSports team, I’ve been in the role coming up to six months. In addition, I work on match days for Brentford as a matchday media assistant, which I have been doing for almost three seasons now.
I began the journey into the industry by completing my football journalism degree at the University of Derby and was a part of the first graduating class for the degree. After university, my first big break came when I did a week’s work experience at The Times/Sunday Times. Following the week’s completion, the sports editor of the Sunday Times took a shine to me and offered me a weekly column in the paper and online — interviewing former sporting greats about their careers and what they would pass on to future sportsmen and women. Through this, I interviewed the likes of Gordon Strachan, Martin Johnson and Wayne Mardle. Following this, I have worked outside of the sports industry till the job at West Ham arose, and after a few rounds of interviews, they offered me the job a day before my 24th birthday, which was a nice little present!
As the Social Media Manager for West Ham eSports, what does a ‘normal’ week look like for you?
This is a hard one because no two weeks are the same. The only consistent thing is we have a Monday afternoon teams meeting to discuss how the channels did in the week prior, anything surprising that went well and areas to improve. We then look ahead to see what events are occurring this week and other club-related things we need to promote, e.g. the club’s partnership with the upcoming video game UFL. Finally, we discuss a content plan, and we spend time creating a timeline as to when we will stream on our twitch channels with our pro players, what graphics we should push, and when. Also, throughout the week, we are reactive to social trends, which can be anything.
Looking from the outside, why do you think eSports is big, and why is it important for football clubs such as West Ham to get involved?
I think the reason eSports has taken off has largely been down to the COVID pandemic. When all sport was cancelled in 2020, many clubs, players, and individuals turned to eSports to provide those fans who watch the games week in and week out a way to watch their teams play; all be it in a different way.
We saw with the Quaren-team event Leyton Orient did there is a huge gap in the market for football clubs to stamp their mark and create a new type of fan base. West Ham understand this, and they do champion their eSports team with regular updates on the main channels, and they see that there is a huge community of players that can be die-hard Hammers eSports fans!
What are your thoughts on the current state of the social media market for freelancers?
It is a great market for freelancers to get involved with! For example, I work with West Ham on a freelance basis, and they make you feel like you are a part of the club; and I don’t know if it is exclusive to West Ham, but they have made me feel like my ideas are important and are very responsive in terms of feedback, and I can say I have grown a lot in the role. It can be a tough market to get your foot in the door, and trust me, I had a ton of knockbacks, but as long as you are honest and open and show what you can do, the market will give you what you want.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
I am making sure that I produce content and engage with the community to promote the club’s ethos. We try to be a bit edgier on the eSports channels but also, we are trying to create a community of people that aren’t just football fans of West Ham but gaming fans of West Ham.
What general advice would you give to individuals looking to pursue a social media role in sport, in particular football?
Just never give up is the main one. Take every opportunity you can to display your talents. Go to your local club and ask them if they need any help with their social media and take it from there; the more in your portfolio, the better.
Can you share 3 useful tools or resources which you find helpful to fulfil your role?
Tweetdeck — It’s so helpful to schedule hygiene and hero content when its a busy week.
Canva — Great for making simple but effective graphics.
Keep notes — Sounds silly, but it’s super helpful for collaborating ideas on.
Working in sport and in particular social media, it can be hectic, what do you do to switch off?
This might sound silly, but I love watching football and following my team when I can. When I get to the stadium, I leave the stress of the outside world behind me when I go through the turnstiles and meet friends and chat with the people around me in my season ticket seat.
Outside of this, probably gaming is a big way I try and relax; I’m lucky enough to have the three major consoles, so I always dive into the new releases and replay some of the older titles when I have a free afternoon. Lastly, I like experimenting in the kitchen, learning how to make new dishes and trying new cuisines, whether at home or going out to eat.
And finally Matthew, where can people find you on social media and check out your work?
I am on Twitter at @mattdw97.
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