Jack Settleman, 24, grew up in Maryland and was a sports fan from an early age, thanks to his family’s beer-distribution business that supplied beer to the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles stadiums.
"I grew up on the business side of sports, which is what led to my passion for creating within the field of sports," Settleman told Insider. "Sports impacted my family business’s bottom line. If the Ravens won a game, more beer was sold, and if there were playoff games, it meant a really great January."
When he was 21 and a student at the University of Texas at Austin studying sports management, he founded SnapBack Sports, a Snapchat account that combines behind-the-scenes clips, a curated sports feed, analysis of the game, and up-to-date sports news. It has 896,000 followers and 500 million views per year, making it one of the largest sports-focused Snapchat accounts in the world.
The account’s on pace to make $500,000 this year, Settleman said. After business expenses, Settleman estimates he’ll take home $200,000 to $250,000.
"At the time, Instagram and Twitter were busy with sports content, but Snapchat wasn’t," he said. "I thought showcasing sports through a vertical frame was a cool way of doing it."
SnapBack Sports was a passion project for Settleman, and he continued working on it during his first job out of college at Action Networks, a sports-betting company. In 2019, he joined sports and entertainment media company Whistle in a unique dual role as both talent and a content strategy manager.
"My transition to the camera-facing influencer world came about two years after we launched SnapBack Sports, and that’s when I went to work with Whistle," he said. "I went from my little bubble of Snapchat to being able to connect with their massive audiences on YouTube, Instagram, and in the podcasting world."
In January, he was able to fully financially support himself, but he still works with Whistle for certain projects. He also recently launched a new YouTube series with Whistle called "Making Bread," where he talks about his passion for alternative investing, specifically in the forms of sports cards, day trading, NFTs, sports gambling, and more.
He literally makes a loaf of bread with a series of experts who have been successful in alternative investing endeavors, like sneakers or other collectibles, and gives advice on how viewers can start their journey. The first season consists of four episodes and launched June 25.
Here’s a look inside Settleman’s daily routine as an influencer.
He wakes up at 8:30 a.m.
"I wake up and probably do the worst thing possible, which is immediately check my phone and my notifications before getting our morning content posted for the day," he said. "After that, I hit my journal and write down three things I want to accomplish that day, say my daily affirmations, and then get a workout in. My favorite workout is boxing."
When he’s not in meetings, he’s working from his apartment in New York City.
The morning is his most creative time of day, which is when he’ll create and post content.
SnapBack Sports’ main social platform is Snapchat, but it’s also on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.
"A lot of content comes from what the audience is asking for," he said. "If they comment and seem interested in say, Game 3 of the NBA Finals, we’ll think about how we can convey that information in a super fun way."
He also records his podcast "SnapBack Pod" in the morning with cohost Abe Granoff, where they talk about the latest big-time sports moments from the NFL, NBA, Premier League, and more.
"In between meetings, I check the news and social media to make sure I know what’s going on. I have Twitter notifications on, and I’m always funneling in data and content," he said.
After lunch, he meets with brand partners.
As the only full-time employee of SnapBack Sports, Settleman is typically in back-to-back meetings with brand partners to strategize content for the remainder of the week. Past and current brand partners include Gillette, ESPN, Call of Duty, Nerf, Wild Aces, TNT, Underdog Fantasy, House of Highlights, and TickPick.
Settleman said Whistle’s sports-media connections and working with a sports-betting agency during 2019’s football season helped take his business to the next level and allowed brands to take him seriously.
"Being able to say that we have people 18+ and 21+ who are willing to put real dollars into this was huge," he said. "Once we had that data and information, that’s when we knew this business could make money."
By night, the games begin.
"We cover anything that’s interesting to the fans," he said. "It’s 365, sports do not stop."
Settleman is the sole voice of SnapBack Sports, meaning everything that’s posted will come directly from him — "whether it’s reacting on Twitter, getting content up on the SnapBack pages, and doing that throughout the night until the last game," he said.
Settleman’s parents always advised him to have a backup plan, which is what inspired him to get into alternative investing.
"The stats say that influencers’ careers are shorter than pro athletes’ careers," he said. "If you get locked into just that sports demographic, you age out. The show is a way for me to involve my other passions and interests that are important to me."
Emma Reynolds July 21, 2021 at 10:09PM