1. Explain your site (mission, location, type of work, etc.)
This summer, I am interning with the USL Players Association (USLPA). The United Soccer League (USL) is North America’s largest professional soccer organization, which oversees the USL Championship, USL Super League, USL League One, USL W League, USL League Two, and the USL academy. The USLPA is a labor union that currently represents all the players signed to a standard player contract in the USL Championship (men’s professional second division) and USL League One (men’s professional third division). The goals of the USLPA are to advocate for and advance the interests, terms and conditions of its players, to bargain on their behalf, and to increase the popularity of the league as well as soccer as a whole in the United States. I am running the USLPA’s social media platforms (Instagram and Twitter) in an effort to build its outreach and create a content plan going forward once I depart from this internship in August.
2. Describe the projects or tasks for which you are responsible and the impact your work will have on the greater organization.
Specifically, the mission of this role is not to grow the page to as many followers as possible, but to use it to the advantage of the players association. The social media goal is the same as the organizational goal. I am focusing on two variations of objectives: How to engage players and how to grow a general audience. Engaging players is intended to build unity and collective identity as members of the league. It is also used to teach players about the labor union, what its goals are, who represents them, and to keep them updated about how negotiations are going. Growing a general audience is not about getting as many followers and as much engagement as possible. It is about a public impression of strength as well as growing the brand and interest in the USL. Both of these objectives are meant to be used for leverage in current and future negotiations. The USLPA is continuously fighting to improve conditions of the players, and strength and unity are two very important characteristics for having an authentic and persuasive approach to negotiations. Also, publicly perceiving this strength on social media can apply public pressure on policymakers and organizational leaders in the USL. My goal is to create a social media approach to growing the USL brand and portraying its strength.
3. What are your goals for learning this summer (from your WOW application)?
My learning goal this summer is to gain true, realistic experience in a field of interest to me. I have been involved in administering many social media accounts before, but I have never had control over a page as impactful as this. This will teach me a lot about the legal side of sports organizations, and I will be able to build hands-on skills running a page that can actually impact the lives of players. There is a professional pressure to post exactly the correct graphic, at the correct time, with a perfect caption, because any slip up there can have a consequential effect for the perception of the organization. Having this kind of responsibility will help me navigate this type of operation in the future. Going forward I am very interested in working with social media, branding and marketing for influential organizations, doing graphic design, and potentially working in the field of professional sports. This experience will give me the necessary tools and experience for all of the above.