Career Interview Marketing Sports Marketing Twitter

Erin Sharoni: Leveraging Twitter To Grow Your Brand

It wasn’t long ago that Erin Sharoni dismissed Twitter.

A year-and-a-half later, @ErinSharoni attributes much of her success to the microblogging platform and the contacts she’s made by connecting to people via Twitter.

Erin Sharoni

She’s currently the sideline reporter on Darren Rovell’s new show, “CNBC SportsBiz: Game On” which airs Fridays at 7pm EST on Versus, and Sharoni’s star–not to mention her following–is on the rise. Rovell (@darrenrovell) is the preeminent sports business personality on Twitter, and the new TV show is quickly carving out its own niche covering the high-stakes financial side of the industry. Sharoni’s background in both finance and sports made her the perfect fit in a supporting role to Rovell.

Sharoni’s career and interests are all over the place. A trained dancer, artist, actor and musician from Queens, NY, she worked in finance for the majority of her career – and never loved it. But her apathy for the financial world aside, she certainly learned to diversify her portfolio, so to speak. The 2003 Wesleyan grad with a degree in Digital Media and Architecture is a tech geek who can build you a desktop computer one day and get in front of the camera for a fitness-modeling shoot the next. She appears in the upcoming feature film Peace After Marriage, which is set for a 2011 release. A former swim coach and personal trainer, Sharoni’s naturally a sports junky and diehard New York Knicks fan.

Given her varied interests and jack-of-all-trades background, her LinkedIn profile seems a bit incongruous, but when you talk to her at length, Sharoni’s recent career path makes a lot more sense. She’s not afraid of opportunity when it knocks, and she knows how to open her own doors as well. Twitter’s been prominently involved in much of her recent success and is helping her extend her reach.

I connected with Sharoni on Twitter after offering feedback about “CNBC Sports Biz: Game On”, and found her story fascinating. So I reached out to her to chat more about how Twitter has helped grow her career and personal brand over the last year. Once a non-believer, Sharoni has embraced the power of Twitter and is now a self-described “huge advocate” of the service.

“Largely I attribute where I am today to social media. I mean, I also attribute it to my own ability to hustle and be industrious, and to my own talent as well, but social media has helped in a huge, huge way,” Sharoni said. “Twitter has helped with half of my success and half of my connections–it’s connected me to people who’ve helped with my success.”

Sharoni admitted that she was originally underwhelmed by Twitter and the hype surrounding it. “I was anti-Twitter because I am anti-conventional, or just skeptical. I was not informed about Twitter. We in the Twitter world think everyone is on it, but many people are not on it and have no idea how to use it. When people don’t know something they tend to be scared of it.”

Her first offline break came about a year ago, when a friend suggested she attend an open casting call for a FILA modeling shoot. After getting the part, Sharoni was featured in a national campaign for the struggling athletic apparel company. But when the company was covered during Rovell’s regular sports business segment on CNBC, Sharoni met Rovell, who learned of her interests in sports, finance and Twitter.

Rovell later mentioned Sharoni on Twitter after she’d appeared on the show, sending out a picture of her ad campaign. Sharoni instantly picked up 600 followers.

“Wait a second. This is really powerful,” Sharoni thought. That tweet led to Sharoni’s next big break when St. John’s University was looking for a host for their Red Storm Report show, and DIME Magazine also found her on Twitter as well.

“I had no idea how to do sideline reporting, but I can write and I can act, so I thought it can’t be that difficult, right? Of course, it’s a completely different beast, but I loved it,” Sharoni said.

That experience set the table for her gig on “CNBC Sports Biz: Game On”, where 4,000 followers later, Sharoni is featured in a weekly segment with Rovell chatting about the news of the day in the sports industry. And when she’s not on the air, she’s online keeping the conversation going on the #SBGameOn hashtag, gathering feedback from viewers and further discussing stories from the program.

“Now, my literal job is the show, so my main focus is helping to promote the show and that doesn’t mean just, ‘hey we’re on at 7pm on Fridays,’ but it means interacting with viewers, getting their feedback, and also, staying relevant in that niche or that circle so you’re on people’s minds. So that’s not about me, that’s about the show and trying to drive traffic to it and seeing what makes people tick.

“The show premiered a few weeks ago, so my follower base increased, I get more mentions, and it gives me more incentive to be on there more often because I can interact with people and they’ll generally reply,” Sharoni said.

Whether she’s tweeting about the Ortiz-Mayweather boxing controversy, or reading up on quantum physics, Sharoni enjoys interacting with people from all over the world through the service. She checks up on her Klout score–she’s listed at 68 and considered a “pundit” by the service–and is fascinated by the idea that she can influence people on the service even when they don’t specifically follow her.

Sharoni says she’s trying to create a persona and give people a reason to follow her, and ultimately offer up information that people can’t find anywhere else.

“My end goal is to tweet interesting stuff that people want to retweet and comment on,” Sharoni said. “You’re broadcasting yourself to the world. I think that’s the theme of the generation, and the different modalities we’re using to do that are going to grow and change over time organically.”

Career Sports Marketing Uncategorized YouTube

Perks of the Job: Legends Interviews

No matter how cool your job may be, it’s still a job and sometimes you need a reminder of how lucky you are. Well, I got one of those this week when I had the chance to catch up with a trio of Celtics legends, guys who paved the way for the NBA stars of today.

Dave Cowens, JoJo White and Satch Sanders were among the Celtics legends in town for the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation’s Summer Soiree event last week, and the guys were gracious enough to give us a few minutes for the Celtics digital media outlets. They’re classy guys who enjoy talking about the old days and the legacy they helped to create.

Not every team has this type of history, so we’re fortunate to have so many true icons of the game at our disposal. It’s an honor and pleasure to chat with them and help share their stories with our fans online.

Dave Cowens

JoJo White

Satch Sanders


Upgrades and Happiness

My brother moved into a new apartment over the weekend and as we were gathering his stuff together, I realized he didn’t have a large HDTV for football season. As a student of ancient history and a starving academic, he’s grown accustomed to austerity. But seeing as we’ve both been NFL junkies since childhood, as his older brother, I couldn’t let that stand.

Besides, after seven years with my perfectly good 42” projection LCD HDTV, I was feeling the itch for an upgrade. You know, a Samsung flat panel, hang it on the wall, drool-worthy HDTV. I figured if I gave him my old, perfectly good HDTV for his new apartment, I’d have a great reason for an upgrade and he’d save some money. It was a clear win-win to me. So, as I write this post, my apartment is sans TV — maybe that’s why my blogging juices are flowing –- and I’m sans a sizeable chunk of cash.

My shiny new Samsung gets delivered this week. I spent a shade more than I wanted to, and I’m waiting for buyer’s remorse. It might have started already; hopefully that fades when it’s finally hooked up and I’m giggling at my DVR archive of Tosh.0 episodes of pixelated YouTube footage in stunning 1080p plasma glory.

But this purchase, along with today’s blog post by Elisabeth Michaud, got me thinking: Why are we so hung up on upgrading all the time, in all facets of life? Is nothing ever good enough? Her post is about peers treating their romantic relationships like their careers, and she advises them to stop doing it. It’s a concise missive, and when I read it today, it actually left me wanting more, one hallmark of any great piece of writing. Even better than that, she got me to think, and in this case, she got me to think about this idea of the ever-looming upgrade. It’s a concept that’s bothered me for a while, and I continue to feel its intrusion in multiple aspects of life.

Our economy is largely predicated on selling us disposable things we don’t really need. We’re constantly reminded that there’s always something bigger and better out there. Be them houses, cars, TVs, jobs, social status, mates, friends, bodies, or anything you can think of, there’s always another upgrade to be had. And we’ve foolishly convinced ourselves we truly deserve it and desperately need it.

Maybe we do deserve some of it. But the trend disturbs me, and left unchecked, habitual upgrading breeds dissatisfaction with everyday life. If you’re always looking for something better, can you ever truly be content? Does the cycle ever end?

These aren’t new questions, and if my TV story didn’t make it clear, I’m your typical red-blooded American male, susceptible to the wiles of shiny new electronics, Apple products and other material possessions. But when it comes to relationships, career and life in general, I’ve always been one to appreciate my surroundings. I’d like to think that won’t change. But the older I get, the less contentment I recognize in others.

Before this post turns into Jerry Maguire’s mission statement, allow me to reiterate: it’s OK to drool over that new iPad or a bigger apartment. But the next time you start thinking your girlfriend isn’t successful enough, or the weather is more agreeable in another city, take a step back. Rethink it before you, um, upgrade. Are you really missing out? What need remains unfulfilled? Are you unhappy, or just bored? It’s worth consideration.

As for my new HDTV? If it turns out to be a mistake, I’ve got 30 days to bring it back to Best Buy, no questions asked.

Life, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a return policy.