The most telling part of Zach Swartz’s role at Ohio State doesn’t come from his title, Director of New and Creative Media. It’s the location of his office in the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex in Ohio State’s football facility. His interview at Ohio State included visits with Meyer and co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. This spring, Ohio State’s football program didn’t even have a dedicated football Twitter feed. When Swartz handed his binder with his plan on how to help Ohio State catch up, Meyer brushed it aside and offered two simple questions. “Are you the best in the country? Can we be the best in the country?”
1. Ohio State -- Ohio State came up big on and off the field this season. The Buckeyes got their own distinguished Twitter account and hit the ground running. It's fun, has great content, and all the winning doesn't hurt either.
Members of the Buckeyes leadership committee discussed ways to address the death of George Floyd in police custody and the nationwide protests in sparked. The Zoom meeting, convened by coach Ryan Day, provided the springboard for the Black Lives Matter video posted from the Buckeyes' social media account Monday night.
“We still have to humanize them,” Swartz said. “This is one of the biggest days of their life. So hopefully we can still make people feel a little bit. The cream of the crop of what we really try to get is that behind-the-scenes stuff, so for guys that are far away, we’re working with them to make sure they’re sending in a video of the moment they get picked as well as hopping on Instagram Live after or record a FaceTime or Zoom conversation with a current coach or a Buckeye on their new team"
To create what sounds like a sports cliche, it’s not coronavir-me. It’s coronavir-us. That’s where Zach Swartz operates. He lives off the search for us. His latest work is a video called “Places” that Ohio State football released on its YouTube account two weeks ago. It has garnered more than 65,000 views there. Ohio State fans told me they have watched it through tears.
Creating video content for an athletics department has grown in to a 24-hour, 365 day undertaking. From strategy, to leadership, to collaboration, to creativity, to reporting lines, the environment for success must be structured in a way to allow those who work in the creative area to thrive. ADU asked four highly skilled leaders in the industry to give some insight into the world of video content creators.
Today’s guest is Zach Swartz, Director, Creative Media & Post-Production for Ohio State Football. He is one of the most creative talented storytellers in the sports creatives game. The topics discussed are Zach’s philosophy of saying yes to as many things as possible, the art of making yourself invaluable, and handling last minute requests from coaches.
Three years ago, there was no official Ohio State football Twitter account. There were no videos. There were no graphics tailored to specific recruits. There was no marketing. This is the area that's undergone the most change. Now Ohio State football has an entire squad of smart, creative, ambitious and talented videographers and designers. The three names you have to know are Zach Swartz, Sammy Silverman and Kenton Stufflebeam.
SkullSparks Top Picks for 2018 NFL Draft Social Packages
In all honesty, we could devote an entire feature on Ohio State’s barrage of Draft content. The Buckeyes deployed a wide variety of highly creative static and motion content for their seven picks.
It will come as no surprise that excellence sits as a cornerstone of the Ohio State football program. Swartz describes a culture that demands elite production on the field, in recruiting, at the training table, and of course, on social media.
In the weeks leading up to the Playoff, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, Ohio State received more than 450,000 Twitter mentions between its #GoBucks hashtag and @OhioStateFB team account, according to social media publishing and analytics company SocialFlow.
Ohio State New & Creative Media Dir Zach Swartz (@zswartz0407) joined the football staff last spring, with coach Urban Meyer telling Swartz he wanted to be innovative and cutting edge in the team's presence on social media.