Superdigital teams up with Facebook to release a case study detailing the star’s playbook for success
Boston (Dec. 28, 2020) How did Julian Edelman, a sixth-round pick for the New England Patriots, build one of the biggest merchandise brands in the NFL? Today, Facebook published the answer in a case study about Superdigital, the creative agency behind Edelman, Julian Edelman: Moving the Markers on Social Media. Superdigital and Edelman teamed up early in his career and founded JE11, a multi-million dollar merchandise brand serving Pats nation and beyond.
In a nutshell, Edelman and Assaf Swissa, creative director and founder of Superdigital, became pioneers on social media. Using Facebook and Instagram religiously, they experimented, innovated and eventually built an eight-figure merchandising empire and made Edelman one of the most engaging athletes on social media. Facebook recognized their work in 2019, when Edelman became the first athlete ever to use Instagram Checkout. Instagram Checkout allows users to purchase directly from a brand without leaving the app, reducing sales barriers and resulting in a new sales funnel that exponentially increased the brand’s earning potential.
The team’s results are staggering:
- According to CrowdTangle, Facebook’s proprietary social metrics tool, Edelman has ranked in the NFL’s top 5 among active players in Facebook and Instagram engagement since entering the league in 2009
- Edelman has amassed over 6 million social media followers
- Over $2 million in e-commerce revenue in the past year alone, 12% came directly from Instagram Checkout
- A 6.59 return on Facebook and Instagram advertising spend
- Over 100 million social video views to date
“Julian is the athlete Facebook built,” mused Swissa. “We’ve always made things the fans wanted. Around here, social is never treated as an advertising graveyard; it’s a series of living channels and the content better be amazing.”
This is just one of the tenets Swissa recited from their working manifesto, the same rules that, when applied to the monetization tools of Facebook and Instagram, yielded many millions in revenues. Swissa shared some of his manifesto below.
- Be fast. The internet isn’t waiting for you.
- Serve the people, then your brand. In that order.
- Creativity, above all else.
- Use the tools Facebook gave you. (IG Checkout, drop tags, Reels, etc.)
- Let them eat content!
- Bake the marketing into the product. Stuffed-crust style.
- Famous in life and famous digitally are different.
- Your social media is a TV Channel – consistency and variety, please.
In 2013 Edelman met future business partner Swissa. Back then, athletes weren’t particularly active on social, but Edelman and Swissa hit the social apps and experimented. Since then, they’ve done it all; written a million dollar children’s book franchise, produced the highest-rated sports documentary ever on Showtime (100%) and combatted anti-Semitism – all thanks to the power of social media.
Swissa’s Superdigital is now building out Guy Fieri’s social and Flavortown brand, supporting NERF on significant digital activations and working to support Ocean Spray’s colossal success on Tik Tok. The company is on the lookout for new and interesting partners.
To view the Edelman/Facebook Case Study go to https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/success-stories/julian-edelman-moving-the-markers-on-social.
Superdigital is a creative agency and studio with headquarters in Boston. Founded by creative director, Assaf Swissa, Superdigital’s work ranges across sports, CPG, food, hospitality, entertainment, toys and everything else consumer-ready. Their work has earned over a billion impressions and counting. Their approach? Serve the consumer first, then back that good work into the brand. They have an arsenal of digital services to support brands, and at the core are strategy, content, creative and commerce. Clients include: Guy Fieri, Hasbro, Julian Edelman, Related, Showtime, PopCorners, and many others. For more info: superdigital.co.