Overtime set out to capture the hearts and minds of the under-35 audience on TikTok. At the time that we started programming TikTok, Overtime was only a little over three years old. This meant that while we were growing insanely fast on social media, we were far behind older brands who had an established presence on the other platforms for five or ten years already (Facebook is 17 years old and Bleacher Report is 16 years old, for reference). TikTok was our opportunity to start on a level playing field -- something that we knew would lead to our success since we cater to this audience every single day. The goal was simple: to be a must-follow account on the platform and grow to be the #1 sports account.
To become the #1 sports account on TikTok, we started with prioritizing the platform from the co-founders down. The team started curating and creating for the platform to generate our own list of TikTok best practices. The platform is extremely different from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. so it was important for us to understand HOW the platform works and WHY certain content resonates in order to build an account with staying power as opposed to having a few posts go viral.
Key features in this success include: dialing up the positivity (unlike certain accounts where #cancel culture runs rampant, inspiring and emotional videos outperform on TikTok), tapping into audio to help tell a story or capture a moment (the platform is a natively sound-on experience), featuring Overtime talent (unlike overly styled Instagram influencers, we featured REAL and relatable people pop on TikTok), and viewing the caption as part of our canvas (hashtags are important but it’s also a place to add color commentary and layer in a unique way to view a video).
Our content is a mixture of created and curated content. We create content specifically for TikTok, whether as part of a series that lives on other platforms but customized for TikTok utilizing the above best practices and features, or new content built for the platform utilizing our talent. We also curate content and put our own spin on videos, be it the caption, music selection, etc.
We also leaned into our best practices to create spinoff accounts. Our main account has 15 million followers but we have also grown additional accounts to accumulate millions of followers, such as Overtime WBB for women’s basketball, Overtime SZN for football, Overtime Kicks for sneakers and lifestyle, and more.
The team at TikTok has been extremely supportive which has also helped with our success. From data and analytics to content to ad products, having dedicated resources have been helpful in our TikTok strategy and growth. This relationship has allowed us access to beta products and ask any questions we may have along the way.
We are the #1 sports account on the platform with over 15MM followers. We didn’t get there by by doing what we thought would work, we got there because we listened to what our audience wanted. Our TikTok has resonated with our audience so well, that out of 800 million accounts on TikTok, Overtime is one of only 47 accounts to hit one billion likes. Additionally, our videos are viewed an average 3.5 million times while the engagement rate is 6.2%
Including our main account, Overtime sub-brands make up 4 of the top 20 US Sports Media accounts including the largest women’s basketball account in Overtime WBB, the largest football media account in Overtime SZN and largest domestic soccer account in Overtime FC. We also have additional accounts including those dedicated to gaming and lifestyle.
The hashtag #shoutoutot has over two billion views. Considering the explosive growth of TikTok and that it’s algorithm favors content in general (not content favored by your friends), this is a monumental achievement.
These results demonstrate our keen awareness of what works on the platform. Understanding the platform allowed us to grow our audience which allowed us to further innovate when it came to brand partnerships. For example, we have collaborated with brand partners including Converse, Bodyarmor, Milk, and more to create custom content for TikTok.