NIL Masterclass: 3 Things We Learned From Elliot Gerard and Keith Stoeckeler – Heartlent Group

Our latest Opendorse Ready™ NIL Masterclass session included Heartlent Group, a creative agency prioritizing athlete-driven content. The session was lead by Founder and Head of Creative, Elliot Gerard who has been working in the creative industry for over 15 years and has had work published by top media outlets and athletes including ESPN and Lebron James. Founder and veteran creative strategist Keith Stoeckeler shared his insights on strategy and distribution during the session. 

Gerard and Stoeckeler shared experiences from their backgrounds in professional sports and creating creative content for 15+ years. 

Here are three top takeaways from the NIL Masterclass with Heartlent Group:

1. Creative content needs to stick

Stoeckeler stated, “Great creative sticks because it speaks to you.” Athletes can create authentic content that sticks to their audience by being collaborative in the creative process. Ask brands, your program, or creatives if you can get involved with the content creation process. Speak up for what you want on your feed and ask for content or copy tweaks to ensure it matches your personal brand better. 

2. Focus on the long-term

Ask yourself, what brands would you post about without being paid? What hobbies or activities do you enjoy? Are you posting about them? Start posting about them. Brands will look through your social media feed to see what you’re passionate about before partnering with you. Brands want an authentic representation of their brand, not just a transaction. Focusing on what you enjoy will result in your best content. With that being said, also focus on specific platforms you enjoy. Don’t force content on a platform you don’t enjoy using.

3. Continue to learn and try new things

Mix it up. Athletes are continuously learning and trying new skills on the field, do that same on social media. Think about ways you can stand out and own your narrative. Try new things on platforms you enjoy and expand your content beyond sports. With owning your channels and narrative, it also means owning your name. Buy your name domain and secure your name on you social handles. Be prepared for big moments and make sure you own your assets so someone else doesn’t take them.

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