Episode 017 – Whitney Holtzman, President/CEO Social Victories

Whitney Holtzman

Bobbi-Sue could not stop laughing during this interview. Whitney Holtzman is the President/CEO of Social Victories, a marketing and social media consulting company for those in the sports world.  While the conversation is light and funny early on, the women get into a deep discussion regarding race towards the end. Whitney has always taken the road less traveled when it comes to career choices. She started by interning with her local MLB team, moved on as a production assistant for Turner Sports and ESPN, parlayed the ESPN position into a position with the new ESPNW, and answered a craigslist ad for the job that would set her on the path to her current life. A social media expert, Whitney has not only worked for major brands like MLB but also for professional athletes and their businesses. She is now a go-to person for any athlete, sports organization, or business related to sports when it comes to social media and digital marketing strategy. If you’ve noticed an uptick in instastories from the LTPF Instagram, you can thank Whitney! Some of the names Whitney drops are big ones and the influence they’ve had on her career and personal life have been immense. Get ready to learn more about Brandon Marshall, Gary Vaynerchuk, and the RISE organization. The moral of Whitney’s story thus far is “If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s OK, because my job didn’t exist when I was in high school.”

Rating and reviewing the podcast not only helps us get heard by more people but also makes Bobbi-Sue feel good. She reads two of those reviews after the interview. Let us hear from you!

Don’t forget that applications for The Winning Edge Leadership Academy are due February 1st! Don’t miss out on your chance to spend a few days with amazing mentors like ESPN College Gameday’s Maria Taylor (with a guest appearance by Bobbi-Sue)!

Finally, this episode is sponsored by LifeSum. LifeSum is an app that helps people achieve healthier and happier lives. It’s your body, it’s your health. Your health is worth investing in. The LifeSum app helps you keep track of your health by logging meals, exercise, water intake, etc. It also gives you access to healthy eating plans based on your current lifestyle and what your goals are. Examples of some of the plans include Cleaning eating and the Ketogenic diet. They provide you with a broad range of recipes so that you never lose inspiration. LifeSum’s 3-week weight loss program can help you kickstart your weight loss journey the easy way. You can even add friends on there. Want to do a challenge with me? Check it out here!

Make sure you subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, and RadioInfluence.com.

Additional Show Notes:
  • Fell in love with sports through her dad by watching Monday Night Football. She tells a story about making a scrapbook about the Bucs’ entire journey to the Super Bowl.
  • She played sports a bit but was average at best. She truly just loved watching sports. Whitney used to hide in the bathroom when games got too intense.
  • Another great story Whitney tells is of her ballet career and how she got kicked out.
  • Whitney’s timeout chair was a favorite place of hers to show people who came to visit.
  • She originally wanted to be the sideline reporter for MNF.
  • When looking at colleges, she was dismayed at the size of the football team/crowd at a smaller school. She decided that she should go to a big football school. The minute she stepped onto UF’s campus, she knew it’s where she should be.
  • Cecil Fielder will always have a place in Whitney’s heart.
  • Whitney’s first internship was with the Tampa Bay Rays – her hometown team – in stadium operations. Her tremendous athletic ability was put on display during one game… dressed as the Aquafina bottle.
  • Turner Sports hired Whitney as a production intern where she learned what really goes into putting games on.
  • She interviewed at ESPN for the next summer and they opened up another intern sport to hire her. She did highlights for SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight.
  • During her time at UF, she was the anchor for the sports show on the UF television station.
  • Whitney’s amazing timing continued when she got her first job at ESPNW just as it was launching.
  • Never did she imagine that she’d be paid to tweet about baseball and that she’d find that job listing on Craigslist.
  • Whitney sometimes gives Bobbi-Sue advice on the podcast’s social media. She shares with the class some of her tips.
  • In true Whitney fashion, she somehow managed to get her next job with VaynerMedia through unconventional methods. Gary really changed her world by showing how her strengths with people should be celebrated.
  • Bobbi-Sue realizes that she and Gary Vaynerchuk have something (odd) in common!
  • Whitney tells about some of the things that she learned from Gary.
  • Bobbi-Sue and Whitney banter about InstaStories for a few moments.
  • RISE was Whitney’s next stop and it was a great opportunity for her to not only challenge herself professionally but also personally.  It probably changed her the most – opened her eyes to how alive racism is.
  • One of the biggest Gary lessons was on empathy and how learning about people’s “why” can change your view of them.
  • An event that RISE held was a town hall with Detroit police and players from each professional sports team. This leads to a longer discussion about the need to communicate better and see things from multiple points of view.
  • Bobbi-Sue shares a story about her using a word that she didn’t know was racist and how she responded when a friend pointed it out. At the end of the day, we all need to be continuously learning about these issues.
  • Gary called Whitney with another opportunity and that’s how Whitney ended up working with Brandon Marshall. She did the social media strategy and digital marketing for Brandon, his charitable organization Project 375, and his gyms.
  • Working with Brandon opened her eyes to issues regarding mental health, again helping her grow personally.
  • Whitney took a giant leap and started her own company this year! Social Victories is a marketing and social media consulting company for those in the sports world (athletes, companies, anyone who has a tie to the sports world).
  • Marketing doesn’t have to be “taboo” or “kitschy” – it can build relationships authentically.
  • We end with another banter session between Whitney and Bobbi-Sue regarding Bobbi-Sue’s new lessons on social media use for the pod. Do you think Bobbi-Sue sounds old when she talks about this stuff?
  • Whitney’s newest client is really cool: Brandon Copeland of the Detroit Lions. His story is pretty incredible.
  • We close out the episode with some of Whitney’s biggest tips on social media and her call to action for everyone to be brave.

Quotable moments:

  • “Life is too short to not do something that you absolutely love. So, I’m just going to work in sports. That’s the only thing I want to do. There was no plan b.”
  • “Thank god my school had a no-cut policy otherwise I don’t know if I would have played sports. It was good exercise and I had a lot of good post-game snacks.”
  • “I know that my whole life I have been training for the post-race meal.”
  • “It’s really that I was entrepreneurial growing up. They just misnamed it and thought it was acting out.”
  • “Finally something for me!” – Whitney’s response to seeing journalism as a major
  • “It’s so important to be the person who opens the door for other people.”
  • “If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s OK, because my job didn’t exist when I was in high school.”
  • “I may not know everything they’re asking but at least I’ll show them what I do know.”
  • “I think that everyone gets so tied up in doing what they think they’re supposed to be doing or what they’re asked and they don’t take a step back to see if there’s another path.”
  • “Sitting at the gate… I can order a pizza to the gate. I don’t think life gets better than this. And it happened! It was a real thing.”
  • “I’ve always loved people. They’re my favorite thing.”
  • “I found an island of my people.”
  • “I think of him as the male Oprah.”
  • “I know when Gary calls my life is about to change and to just say yes.”
  • “Hurt people hurt people.”
  • “Now that I have a role that intersects sports and doing good and making the world a better place, I never want to go back and do anything just for money.”
  • “Social media is a live microphone.”

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