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INTERVIEW: Wagner Leitzke, Social Media Manager, shares some of his proudest achievements at Samba Digital


With Samba’s recent success and notable achievements, it was a perfect opportunity to learn more about the people behind the business and its diverse consumer base. This is the third post in a series in which we interview a member of the Samba Digital team and highlight their unique perspectives. This series of articles will address some of the most frequently asked questions about working with large customers, as well as some of their most compelling case stories.

In this edition of the series, we’ll meet Wagner Leitzke, Samba Digital’s Social Media Manager.

What is your role at Samba? 

As a Community Manager for AS Monaco and VfL Wolfsburg’s Portuguese accounts, I began my profession. After a few successful seasons in charge of those accounts, I was promoted to my current role as Samba’s Social Media Manager for the entire Brazilian market. With around 10 club/league clients and another ten betting-related clients, this market is known as the company’s largest. I’m now one of the “oldest” members here; in a few months, I’ll be celebrating 7 incredible years as a member of the Samba family.

What is your vision?

My main vision is to be as bold as possible, to be as near to the follower as possible, and to pay double-triple-extra attention to prevent making mistakes. When it comes to social media and sports passion, it’s all too easy to make a mistake, so we have to think twice before giving something the green light. In the meantime, we can’t just go about our business as usual 24/7; our market allows us to joke, be provocative, be bold, and try new things on a daily basis. The competition is fierce; another brand is always fighting for the attention of a follower. With this in mind, we must make an impression on them and connect as closely as possible, using our local knowledge to understand them.

To discover more about Samba Digital’s team, click here to read an interview with Bernardo Besouchet, the company’s PR Manager.

What are your best case studies?

After almost seven years here, I can honestly say that naming the best one is difficult, as each season presents a new challenge. The communication that we had during the Covid period, which was all new and demanding for everyone, is something of which I’m quite proud. We had to assist all of our clients in scenarios that we hadn’t anticipated, such as a long period without games or training content. During this time, each client had a unique way of communicating; some created video content to encourage followers to watch it at home, while others created effective campaigns… We were able to adjust to each client and keep things running at that time.

One of our most engaging pieces of content that we even improved during the covid period, is our attempt to develop material during the Big Brother Brasil season. If this reality show isn’t strong in other places, it’s absolutely huge in Brazil, with TV audience and social media engagements compared with World Cup numbers.

We were able to connect a lot of content from the reality show to the sports community, as shown in the following examples:

PSG’s impressive numbers

In terms of numbers, one of our largest and really record-breaking encounters was #NeyDay (#NeyDeMoicanoNaChampions) in Brazil. To show their support for Neymar during the Champions League game, the entire Brazilian community changed their social media avatars to the same Neymar photo. Typically, montages show him wearing numerous jerseys, such as a Flamengo fan wearing the Flamengo jersey.

Main picture (47k retweets + 205k likes)

Quote with Neymar recent motto (29k retweets + 153k likes) 

This post also received 1.6 million likes and 444 thousand engagements on Facebook. In just two days, it attracted over 23k new fans, 19 million impressions, and a whopping 1 million engagements.

Finally, there’s the Goat Graphic, which can be found here and was developed to welcome Messi to Ligue 1 channels.

How do you see the evolution of the market?

It is impossible not to be informed about the market at all times. Every day, a new platform or technology develops, and you must stay on top of it as rapidly as possible. This is even more important when it comes to local communities. It’s a constant cycle of testing, learning, and adapting. Something to which we must pay close attention as the market evolves is that, although attention competition between teams used to be entirely local, today, a club from Europe challenges the attention of a Brazilian fan on a daily basis. You may be skeptical that European clubs can have loyal local fans from Brazil for example, but they do exist. But beyond that, they fight for the attention of those sympathetic fans.

A franchise or club recognizes that they may not be your favourite team. They will, however, work hard to earn your respect and attention as your second, third, or fourth choice. Furthermore, competition is so fierce that a soccer team or an NBA franchise today competes with streaming services, e-Sports, and any other form of entertainment. The market is currently attempting to understand how they may incorporate themselves in those scenarios and compete for consumer attention.

How do you bring added value to your clients? 

I even joke with my coworkers that half of my job entails explaining Brazilian trends and virals to international clients. Every day, the Brazilian internet community comes up with a new viral meme. We can’t jump into all the situations, but we really need to be smart to see where we can connect those trends between the clients that we manage.

It’s not only about having local knowledge; it’s also about having a clear vision of the possibilities that can be created, the conversations that can be begun, and the ways in which they may be combined. This is my most important contribution to the company and its clients. The idea is to become really close to the fans, connect with the local scene, use their language, and use their emotion in addition to delivering the news. If you communicate in the same style or method across places like Brazil and Asia, you will fail.