Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!
We recently interviewed Tracy Benson for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Tracy and here’s what we discussed about –
1. The story behind Obsesh
2. Empowering and enabling athletes to build and monetize their brand
3. Name, Image and Likeness Laws in NCAA Sports
4. Tracy’s journey from an athlete to a marketer
5. Launching yourself as a female entrepreneur
6. What’s it like to be queer in tech
About our host:
Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at Outgrow.co. He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by the means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.
About our guest:
Tracy Benson is a prolific Disruptor, Digital Media Maven, and Tech Entrepreneur whose purpose-driven demeanor, ingenuity, and tenacity have earned her the reputation of a visionary leader and culture-builder. A DTC expert and an experienced CMO – Tracy has helped build leading lifestyle markets and products into scaled companies such as Home Depot USA, Best Buy, Monster / Beats by Dre, GoPro and Seek Thermal.
EPISODE 076: Breaking Barriers in Tech and Sports With the CEO and Co-Founder of Obsesh
Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda. I’m the creative director at Outgrow.co. And for this month we’re going to interview Tracy Benson who is the CEO of Obsesh. Thanks for joining us, Tracy.
Tracy Benson: Thanks for inviting me, Saksham.
Saksham Sharda: What’s your company about?
Tracy Benson: Obsesh stands for sports obsessions.
Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!
Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!
The Rapid Fire Round!
Saksham Sharda: So, we’re gonna start with the rapid-fire round. The first one is at what age do you want to retire?
Tracy Benson: Today.
Saksham Sharda: Work from home or work from the office?
Tracy Benson: I like the hybrid.
Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
Tracy Benson: Six minutes.
Saksham Sharda: In one sentence describe to me a problem that your company is facing.
Tracy Benson: That’s a good one. I’ve got about 10. Now, one problem our company is facing is trying to figure out how to work in this remote world where people are creating a community.
Saksham Sharda: Your favorite SaaS software tool?
Tracy Benson: Outgrow.
Saksham Sharda: The most embarrassing moment of your life?
Tracy Benson: I’ve had a few of those too. I think it was my 13th birthday party. I was afraid of the basement. My mother threw me a surprise birthday party. And I hit the ground so hard. I might have peed my pants. I was surprised.
Saksham Sharda: The next question who’s Peter Thiel?
Saksham Sharda: Never heard of the guy.
Saksham Sharda: The first movie that comes to your mind when I say the word ambition?
Tracy Benson: Rocky.
Saksham Sharda: Your favorite app?
Tracy Benson: Tender Greens, food on demand really fast.
Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive on?
Tracy Benson: Two, for a couple of days.
Saksham Sharda: Fill in the blank. An upcoming marketing trend is ________.
Tracy Benson: Content is the currency we all connect with and struggle with.
Saksham Sharda: The city in which the best kiss of your life happened?
Tracy Benson: Minneapolis
Saksham Sharda: Pick one – Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey?
Tracy Benson: Jack Dorsey.
Saksham Sharda: When did you last cry and why?
Tracy Benson: This occurred a couple of weeks ago at a really heartfelt movie about a little boy.
Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?
Tracy Benson: Not building Obsesh earlier.
Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?
Tracy Benson: Meditation.
Saksham Sharda: How many speakers at this conference can you name and name them?
Tracy Benson: One, Tracy Benson.
Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?
Tracy Benson: Those that know me, about six espressos.
Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate?
Tracy Benson: Putting off presentation development until 24 hours before the presentation.
Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life?
Tracy Benson: Listening.
Saksham Sharda: Okay and the last question is your favorite Netflix show?
Tracy Benson: Sex Education.
Saksham Sharda: Brilliant. Okay, that was the end of the rapid-fire round. You didn’t skip any questions. So you did quite well.
Tracy Benson: I was gonna skip Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg and Dorsey.
The Big Questions!
Saksham Sharda: All right, what’s the story behind the name of Obsesh?
Tracy Benson: So the story behind the company is we’re building a platform to help athlete creators be able to monetize and secure their future. So our marketplace is two-sided. And we connect top pro athletes and Olympians with young competitive players to learn how to grow, train, and get coaching one on one, we make one on one access scalable and easy for athletes.
Saksham Sharda: So I guess it’s a sports marketplace platform of sorts. Have you any plans to take advantage of the recent revolution in US law that allows athletes including those only in college, much greater rights over their image and name?
Tracy Benson: Absolutely! Name, image, and likeness have been a regulated law by the governing body of the NCAA for the better part of over 70 years. Some imagine the decades we’ve had of the industrial age, internet age web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 100% obsession was born for athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. And we’re doing that really well.
Saksham Sharda: And having been an athlete yourself, how do you think this industry has changed over time and what made you get into revolutionizing the industry in this way?
Tracy Benson: Yeah, that’s a great question. When I came out of college, like so many athletes that were division one, and you were very focused, whether you were full scholarship or not, you went to college to be an athlete, school was always secondary. And so out of college, I wanted to be that athlete, and I was that athlete for several years. And no different than the problem we’re solving, which has been around for a long time is I couldn’t make any money. I had great bathing suits, I had a great six-pack stomach and some cool sunglasses, but I was winning cases of Pepsi, which doesn’t pay the bills. So like so many athletes that still exist today, you have to go do something else, you have to fold clothes, you have to go get a job, I became a marketer. You know, looking back, thank God. But that being said, we’ve been at that problem for a long time, we being the athletes of the United States. And so this is the time in the era. And we’re seeing how young players want to learn and get coached by the true professionals that know how to do it. So it’s kind of coming full circle to help break that barrier and unlock that for everybody.
Saksham Sharda: And Obsesh is only about us athletes and sports. How do you compare the situation in the US to the one in Europe? And do you have any plans to expand in Europe considering you are in Europe right now?
Tracy Benson: Yes, as a matter of fact, we consider ourselves a global company right from the get-go because while we have the US regulation that just unlocked called name-image-likeness. Most athletes don’t live in one place, they travel to various countries to play ball. So for example, we have a WNBA player, Monique billings, she plays her 11 weeks, 12 weeks in the US, she then goes off to Australia, Germany, or any number of countries to play to be able to make money. And so we consider ourselves a global company because athletes are global. You know, nomads, they live wherever their sport is and where their season is. And absolutely, we love Europe.
Saksham Sharda: So you are the #pride presenter at T & W. What is your view, especially with the treatment within American businesses or American business of LGBTQ individuals in the face of a retreat in public policy in some states like Florida? Do you have any views you’d like to express today here?
Tracy Benson: I have a lot of views about being queer, queer founder, I’m thankful that the next web and everybody had alcohol wants to talk about it and bring that education and awareness to everybody. So yes, I am the pride presenter. I’m pretty thrilled because last time I was in Amsterdam for pride, which is not until the end of July here, but we’re going to celebrate pride for the US. I was in the Pride Parade here in Amsterdam, and it was a fucking party on the water, but 2 million people. So that is my best memory. So this one’s a little different. I’m going to be on a tech stage. I’m not sure there will be 2 million people there. But I’m eager to talk to people and educate them about what is the queer central guide, the ultimate guide for navigating Silicon Valley which is where I live in San Francisco, as a startup founder and somebody in the queer community, whether you’re nonbinary fluid, any acronym we have, we love them all. So I’m excited to educate this conference. And no better place to do it than Amsterdam, because Amsterdam is so progressive. And since the early 80s, they’ve shaped so many trends.
Saksham Sharda: And the last question is, what would you be doing if not this?
Tracy Benson: If I could go back, the note to my younger self would say somebody has built up Obsesh, I could have stayed playing for much longer, I probably wouldn’t have gone on to be a marketer and grow as a chief marketer and then a chief marketing and digital officer and then Chief Marketing digital and product. Probably wouldn’t have done all that. Maybe I would have just traveled like a nomad in a nice little sprinter van done that out, played ball coached people along the way, and kind of lived in what I call the creator economy, which is what we’re finally getting to for everybody here today.
Saksham Sharda: Thanks everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Tracy Benson, who is the CEO at Obsesh. Thanks for joining us, Tracy.
Tracy Benson: Thanks for having me.
Saksham Sharda: Check out their website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.