Sports Marketing MVP
For Douglas Ammon, KLN ’15, who oversees the real-time social media strategy for the National Basketball Association (NBA), every day requires the intensity of a full-court press. But that’s exactly the kind of fast-paced environment in which he thrives.
There are 9-to-5 workdays. And then there are Doug Ammon workdays.
As the manager of digital and social content publishing at the NBA, Ammon clocks in at around 5 or 6 p.m. just as most people are leaving the office, and he doesn’t clock out until NBA games on the West Coast have fully wrapped up, usually around 2 or 3 a.m. In between, Ammon says, it’s “organized chaos.” And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Game day strategy
During nonpandemic times, he and his team of eight content creators work at a place called the Content Command Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The team watches each game’s broadcast unfold, often simultaneously, identifying any potential highlights, from massive dunks to in-arena fan moments, crafting social copy and then funneling them to Ammon, who makes an instant decision on how they should be deployed to the NBA’s 100 million followers around the world via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and, more recently, TikTok.
“I’m the last real line of defense before anything gets published,” he said. “You will know quickly when a mistake is made. Fans on social media are ruthless, but there’s also the instant gratification of doing something that’s well-received on social—producing a piece of content, seeing it go up and immediately seeing 100,000–200,000 likes and 5 million views.”
With the NBA draft, NBA training camps, the Women’s National Basketball Association and more, there’s no offseason for Ammon and his team. “When you get into the sports media business,” Ammon said, “you go into it with the understanding that you’re not going to live the normal life.”
Doug at a Glance
Fueled by Philly
The path to Ammon’s not-so-normal life began at Klein College of Media and Communication, where he pursued a master of journalism degree. Having no previous journalism experience, he cut his teeth on the program’s introductory courses and found his voice as a sports writer.
Ammon was attracted to Temple above all other programs because of the prospect of getting hands-on experience in Philadelphia, the nation’s fourth-largest media market. He took full advantage, earning internships at the Philadelphia Union, the region’s Major League Soccer franchise, and the Philadelphia 76ers, which was Ammon’s introduction to working in the NBA.
“Temple set me up with my first-ever sports journalism internship, doing digital media for the Philadelphia Union, which was a fantastic experience,” Ammon said. “Taking what I learned at Temple and putting it into practice on a real-world level—that solidified for me that this is what I wanted to do.
“Without going to Temple and getting my master of journalism, I would have a totally different career path,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”
—By Hillel Hoffmann and Kierstyn Smith