YouTuber Callux On Spearheading UMM And Bridging The Gap Between Fans & Athletes
January 25, 2021
UMM is a new sports publisher created to champion professional athletes off the pitch, rather than on it. The venture which launched in December last year aims to bring together YouTuber’s and professional athletes, with a unique proposition – empowering sport stars to showcase unseen sides of their personalities, helping them reach new audiences, and attract brands who face the challenge of appealing to the hard-to-reach YouTube generation.
iSportConnect’s Taruka Srivastava spoke with YouTuber Callux (Callum McGinley) who, after building a following of over 3.7 million subscribers, has recently launched UMM to help established athletes and stars of the future by giving fans better access to their lives, characters and interests through original content.
Why did you want to start this initiative?
The goal of the UMM is simple which is to create one of the biggest sports entertainment platform in the world. You don’t really get to see the characters within sports as you only get to see them on the pitch. UMM would be the place where you can find more about the characters within sports. We want to give the characters a real voice and put them behind some really great ideas and create some really engaging, authentic content.
Why launch it amidst the pandemic?
We started working on this before COVID19 and we basically had to start adapting and evolving to what kind of content we could make. I have been a YouTuber for 10 years now and obviously, trends come and go. The kind of content that works well on the platform now didn’t work 8-10 years ago.
“We are open to all kind of sports and the music world is also going to be massive focus for us. Esports is an interesting avenue as well and I am a massive fan.”
Inadvertently, it is a good thing to launch this now as there are people who are in need of content in lockdown, are on their computers and would like some escapism from the real massive pandemic happening in the world. The online viewership has gone up so I think we have launched at a good time.
Who is currently onboard with this project?
With COVID-19 , it is pretty hard to get access especially face to face which was the original plan, but we are working with ICM Stellar Sports who have a massive roster of footballers. So predominantly with them but we’ve had interest from other agencies as well because they have seen the content that’s gone on the channel and have liked it.
“What we are trying to do is bring athletes on YouTube and show them the potential YouTube has.”
We are open to all kind of sports and the music world is also going to be massive focus for us. Esports is an interesting avenue as well and I am a massive fan but for now we would like to only focus on what we have. We will diversify when the time is right.
From your perspective as a YouTuber, did COVID offer connect of athletes with the fans in a way they never had?
Lot of sports personalities hopped on TikTok last year and TikTok is an incredible platform. Their algorithm is brilliant and basically, anyone can go viral. Many kids if you ask them what they want to be and they will say ‘YouTuber’.
“TikTok is a shorter content and a lot easier to make, and when you add in a personality that people recognise, it’s going to go viral.”
TikTok is a shorter content and a lot easier to make, and when you add in a personality that people recognise, it’s going to go viral. Last year was a push for athletes just tweeting and posting on Instagram, what we are trying to do is bring athletes on YouTube and show them the potential YouTube has. Being a YouTuber is a full-time job and athletes can’t do it as they don’t have time for it and we would like to bridge that gap.
Has the interest of brands in influencers gone down?
No. I think what has happened is that lot of out of home (OOH) advertising budget has been directed towards digital by many brands. For eg. December for me was the highest amount of inbounds in my email in my entire career so far.
Now January has surpassed that, brands are now collaborating with influencers and are spending money on good content to sell their products. A lot of people have been affected but still, the ones who are creating good content have benefited during the lockdown.