Launch of a new sports-focused video production company

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In 2019, the San Francisco 49ers launched their own influencer program to partner with popular social media personalities for content creation. Since then, the team has created organic content with influencers such as Natalie Aguilar, who creates TikTok videos with her die-hard 49ers fan father, the Santa Clara-born rapper Saweetie whose grandfather Willie Harper played for the 49ers, and popular game streamer video Dr DisRespect who attended a playoff game last season against the Dallas Cowboys.

“People don’t realize that when Gen Z follows these influencers and celebrities, they trust them more than they trust the actual brands,” said Allie Dicken, director of brand and influencer marketing for the 49ers, during of the Horizon Summit on Wednesday. “Studies have found that 63% of this audience trusts what an influencer says more than a brand directly.”

Dicken kicked off day two of SportTechie’s Horizon Summit with a keynote conversation with Maddie Bregman, 23-year-old founder of consulting agency Girl Z, which helps brands connect with Gen Z audiences. Gen Z is defined as 7 to 25 years old, while millennials are 26 to 41 years old.

“Millennials have grown along with technology — so getting the first iPhone, computer, iPad, all that stuff,” Bregman said. “Gen Z hasn’t known a world where we can’t order pizza, FaceTime our mom, and text a friend at the same time.”

Dicken said authenticity is paramount in deciding which influencers to partner with, so the team prioritizes working with people who are 49ers fans or have Bay Area ties. Videos that Natalie Aguilar and her father recorded during 49ers games last season averaged more than 12 million views on TikTok. Dr. DisRespect announced a 49ers draft pick on Day 2 of this year’s NFL Draft, which ended up being the team’s highest-performing draft video on social media.

“I think brands and teams in particular, since the sport is a little behind, are going to have to prioritize budgets and influencer positions,” Dicken said of how the sports industry needs to. adapt to successfully reach Gen Z.” Right now, influencer [content creation] is something that a lot of places just throw at a marketing person who has to do this on top of everything else and a lot of places don’t see it as a position that justifies their own body.

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