If you were to ask a kid 20 years ago what they want to be when they grow up, most would say they wanted to be an athlete or astronaut or even a princess.
Nowadays, the answer will most likely be a YouTuber or social media influencer.
According to a 2019 research report by Business Insider Intelligence using data from Mediakix, the influencer marketing industry is set to top more than $15 billion by 2022, up from nearly $8 billion in 2019.
Entering the digital world as a content creator is a tricky career path, though. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll discover plenty of opportunities to get paid. However, if you’re less experienced, you might flounder before getting the chance to flourish.
Digital media entrepreneur Jack Settleman and manager Alex Sheinman recently announced the launch of the Snapback Agency to represent online talent and brands for sports and entertainment.
The pair’s dive into talent representation in the online influencer age reflects the need for informed voices to safeguard the next wave of creators.
Nurturing The Next Wave
Settleman and Sheinman also direct the wildly successful Snapback Sports account on Snapchat, the Knights of Degen NFT metaverse, and more digital entertainment projects.
The three-person Snapback Agency team also features Casey Settleman, Jack’s younger brother. The squad will give nods to its namesake by focusing heavily on sports betting, NFT, and cryptocurrency/collectibles.
“Those three categories, within the next year, are going to have expensive growth, and we’re excited to be a part of that and work closely in those categories," Sheinman said.
Snapback Agency sees the lean squad as an advantage in maximizing what they can offer and extract from the next wave of online collaborators.
“We’re super focused, and we spend a lot of time in each person that we sign," Sheinman said. “We’re out to sign the right clients that we know we can bring value to."
As of this publication, Snapback Agency represents six creators in sports and entertainment: Settleman, Frank Michael Smith, Payton Mendez, Strictly Bball, Nick Kralle, and Aron Cohen.
“As a content creator, I’m always looking for new ways to expand Strictlybball,” Nolan Newberg said of the popular TikTok basketball page. “Making our brand into a well-established basketball media outlet is the end goal, and I believe joining Snapback Agency is the next step in the process."
“A long term goal is establishing Strictlybball into a well established basketball media outlet. We believe our posts are an underused style of content, which helps us thrive on TikTok and YouTube shorts," Newberg said. “I’ve always wanted to turn my passion into a profession and I believe that can be done through Strictlybball."
Mendez represents the most compellingly different sector within the sports and entertainment fields from sports and entry into entertainment. Mendez creates scripted short stories on TikTok, where she’s amassed 3.5 million followers.
“I was drawn to SnapBack Agency because they have a unique understanding of the social media landscape and insight into how content is evolving," Mendez said.
Digital content creators don’t typically jump into signing with a manager or an agency; they’re doing legwork on their own.
However, as they begin to grow (usually at about 100,000 followers/subscribers), creators look to find management to capitalize on their brand and continue to grow.
Despite the temptation of finding early representation and security in a competitive space, Snapback warns burgeoning VIP creators against rushing into latching on with an agency until they solidify their priorities and goals.
“For a lot of newer creators, they see these offers, and they jump at it," Settleman said. “Understanding the actual power and value you might bring, the company/brand is probably offering you a poor deal in the grand scheme of things."
“You probably see it a lot of times with athletes that you can tell very clearly that this is an ad, this is not something they’re passionate about and they believe in, and they’re not users of this product or service," Sheinman said.
“At least for us, where we find most success is when our clients are passionate, are really authentic about what they’re working on."
The members of Snapback’s talent corps brandish a dynamic and compelling presence that Sheinman and the Settleman brothers hope will cement a bold direction and creative freedom for their team.
“We want to be selective in who we work with because we want it to make sense and that’s how both sides win," Sheinman said. “We want people that care about what they do and that are all in. We want people that really want to take the next step in their careers."
Editor’s Note: Jack Settleman frequently contributes to The Game Day content.