#Storyteller: Episode 110 with Turner Sports’ Matt Wickline

Matt Wickline leads social media partnerships at Turner Sports, including representing social media handles for NBA on TNT, NBATV, ELEAGUE, and March Madness. He has decades of experience in nearly every role in production, from editing, line production, digital, to social. “I took a long journey to figure out everything it takes to create content on any platform,” said Wickline.

Today he leads an Emmy-award winning team that strives to take the social media handles that amplify the linear brands, and make them even bigger during the TV window and beyond.

In this episode of #Storyteller, Matt explains his keys to taking social media beyond the TV and the secret behind their Emmy-winning success.



On how his team won an Emmy:

What you run into typically, on most linear networks is this idea that social media is somehow competitive to the linear brands. Or, that one swims in one lane and the other swims in the other. Our creative directors got together and said how can we make each other better? How can we make Inside the NBA better? How can we make our social handles more impactful? Our team stepped up to the plate and we created content that works on air. What we want from you is more access to your talent and it’s way more than just as simple as that. But, when those two came together and started to create a vultron of sorts, it turned into a piece of hardware that we worked hard for. It’s a cool story and a great example of what happens when social media and television truly see each other as additive rather than competitive entities. 


On the fans being the ‘fifth talent’ on NBA on TNT:

The idea of the fan being the fifth talent was integrated really early on. At any moment a fan can see something Chuck is saying, or something Kenny’s saying. We have producers who are actually combing social media for that content and then displaying it on air, and our talent gets to react to it on air. We don’t let anybody get away with anything on this show. No one gets a pass, we are all going to make fun of ourselves and what better way to do that than to let fans do it too and be a part of the show. 


On what’s next in sports broadcast: 

How do we make that phone work with how you’re watching sports wherever you’re watching it? How do we create experiences that don’t just exist on the medium? How does the television broadcast make you being on your phone better? And how does your phone make that television broadcast better? Even being at a bar, or wherever you are consuming that sports content, it can’t be just the game anymore. It’s got to be how you share it. How you talk about it, and how other people talk about it. How it gets to you packaged as nicely as you want it to be and as personalized as you care for it to be. 


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