By: Kirk Jackson
Jay Chaudhry promises to break the barrier between fans, prize fighters and beyond.
“The system’s completely broken. The industry needs a real sports agency to change the way we not only present our athletes, but approach brands. I say this all the time, Deontay Wilder is the heavyweight champ of the world and isn’t even in a Juicy Fruit ad. Talk about disconnect.” – Jay Chaudhry
He has a point. Times are different, popular culture comparatively, from various decades, is relatively different now – especially with the advent of technology and the emergence and interaction between countless platforms across the scope of social media.
With the ever changing climate of pop culture, quite naturally, the celebrity of an athlete changes along with the times. The measure of recognition, access and overall celebrity is different from what it was in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and so forth.
Looking at world champion fighters of years past compared to today, Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard were thought of and marketed differently compared to today’s athlete.
We rarely if ever, see commercials featuring boxers in today’s era. At least across North American soil.
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s) for instance, is the long-reigning, WBC heavyweight champion of the world, with nine title defenses and counting.
His knockout-to-win ratio stands at 97.5%, with 20 knockouts in the first round. Wilder also stakes claim as the 12th longest reigning world heavyweight champion of all-time, and has the 8th longest combined and individual title streaks in modern heavyweight boxing history.
You would think this laundry list of accolades would warrant a prominent, primetime commercial or two right?
Boxers, athletes in general, need creative ways to generate greater impact and interaction with their audience of fans and followers. They need a vessel to attract, connect and inspire supporters.
The Toronto based Jay Chaudhry, is a three-time internationally acclaimed and award winning, film-maker, producer, artist and storyteller. Simply put, Chaudhry is valiant visionary and is leading the way assisting athletes, while guiding them to reach that next level.
“Majority of the times, these boxer’s managers man, it’s the fighters ‘homeboy’ you know? Wtf does this guy know about modern day digitization and monetization?” said Chaudhry speaking with Boxing Insider. “Now you want to send this fella to go crack your sponsorship deals?”
“Now you want to send this idiot to go crack your sponsorship deals? American fighters are celebrities. Treat them like one, present them as such and tell me in two years how many people say ‘Boxing’s dead?’”
People marvel at athletes for a myriad of reasons. Something special existing between the athlete and person of the observing audience, is relatability and the emotional aspect or connection with another athlete – however that bond is generated.
Emotion inspires and attracts. Fan interaction drives sports.
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Co-Founder @producer_jayc recently sat down with some of Toronto's top creative professionals to share his thoughts on digital media trends. Here's what he had to say about what it's like working with professional athletes. #sportsbiz #sportsmarketing #sportsproducer #sportfilms #sportvideos #boxingtalk #athletemarketing #muhammadali #fightgame #fightnight #nflathletes
Enter Jay Chaudhry, recent recipient of the 2019 Cynopsis Media Sports Award and the brain trust behind this innovative, athlete representation agency, the Break Media Group. This company focuses on building and guiding the athlete’s career through the art of custom-crafted, content creation and successful social media circulation.
Break Media Group has already worked with the likes of boxing stand-outs Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, Badou Jack and J’Leon Love. While not limited to just boxers specifically, Break Media Group has an upcoming project entitled “Making America,” featuring NFL Linebacker Joshua Martin, set for release this summer in conjunction with Vayner Sports. You might recognize the name, as its founders are the tyrants of social media themselves, Gary & AJ Vaynerchuk.
“We’re producing a full out travel and food series for NFL linebacker Josh Martin. Josh is what I consider to be a prime example of a top athlete who understands how important it is to invest in his career outside of the sport. Fans make you relevant, not your record or statistics.”
Establishing the athlete-to-fan connection is a task some of the prominent, long-established sports network programs struggle with. Even the newly formed subscription video streaming service DAZN, is not quite hitting the mark.
“I’ve been very vocal about that. Especially with the team over at DAZN, who I’m in touch with frequently,” said Chaudhry.
“You guys are creating the platform for the future yet I don’t see much movement in the space of series. I think fans would go absolutely bonkers if they knew Ryan Garcia has his own version of ‘A day in the life of a teenage superstar,’ vlog every Tuesday. How many sports and fitness enthusiasts would be all over a weekly cooking show starring Chris Algieri every Thursday?”
Chaudhry continued, “You want subscriptions?? Give the audience what they want. No offense, but there’s no one out there just waiting for the next episode of ‘AK and Barak.’”
“All this money to splurge. If you’re going to call yourselves the Netflix of sports my friends, catch up to speed. The subscription model is amazing, fights are amazing, the roster is amazing, but the content is nothing close to what Netflix or YouTube Premium offers.”
One of the great aspects of storytelling, is it comes in many forms. A great story connects and resonates with the audience; crafting life-long memories and emotional connections. Developing that interaction/connection between athlete and fan as Chaudhry eloquently states is his goal.
This type of versatility and innovative thinking is key to the continued growth and development of athletes, as they transcend across other ventures while still active in their respective sport, and as they successfully transition into the next phase of life after their athletic competitive days are over.
“I’ll get there, it’s a marathon not a race mentality. I just can’t continue to bump heads with old network execs and promoters, they don’t see the value in investing in their fighters. I’ll take this step myself and my intuition will unfold before their eyes. Once they start seeing the bigger picture, I believe fighters will come to agencies like mine on their own.”
For more information regarding The Break Media Group and Jay Chaudhry, check the links listed below: