Eric Stark is a co-founder and President of Slate, a US-based company that simplifies social content creation for brands, making the process much faster.
Winners of the 2022 ISC Sports Tech Company of the Year, they’ve been in business now for almost five years.
Eric makes no secret of the fact that his business journey began as an NFL fan first and foremost. He rose through the NFL to become Director of International Marketing and Content Stratgey and also, Manager of International Content Strategy.
His CV includes time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
But having worked for multiple teams, along with a business partner, he spotted a gap in the market and Slate was born.
Eric gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film & Media studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2012.
Eric Stark on getting into the Digital Sports Media Industry: “My first role out of college was with the NFL in a digital media capacity. I will say I joined the company and was interested in the role because of the NFL side not because of the digital media side and it was a good pairing because I quickly fell in love with the digital media side and specifically, how digital media and sports come together and that started my career. I have been in the digital media and sports world ever since, but really, I was just an NFL fan who had a best friend in college with a sister who worked at the NFL and I wouldn’t stop bugging her, every other week, to say in touch and then an internship opened up and I got an interview and the rest went from there!”
Eric Stark on Slate’s USP: “When we started, it was about speed for sure. We started as a mobile editing tool only, and it really was about speed of turnaround, especially when you are in person at an event. But there is a need for all social teams across industries to just be more nimble. Yes, speed is part of that, but really it’s just about being able to have an idea and to easily execute it and create content.
There’s a higher volume of social content that every brand needs to create and there are more platforms than ever that these brands need to create content for. That’s only increasing and the need for short-form video content is only increasing and it’s not easy to create this content. Teams have to use several different editing tools currently, like Premier and we are trying to make it easier for those teams to create that content without it having to pass through so many hands.”
Eric Stark on where Slate goes in the future: “We are starting to grow more with college athletics in the US. A lot of universities are using Slate for their athletic programmes and a lot of them that aren’t, I think will start using it eventually.
Outside the US, we do have some Premier League Clubs and some other international football clubs and rugby and other sports that are popular in Europe and elsewhere, but there is still a lot of room for us to grow.
I am getting more interested in Premier League and international soccer and did a lot of work there when I worked at the NFL with different teams in the Premier League and I think that sport continues to have a really bright future in the US and we are seeing it grow more and more. With the Premier League on NBC and the World Cup coming soon and I live in Portland, Oregon right now, a city which really cares about it’s MLS team, so that sport continues to interest me and it’s something I will follow.”