Cricketer turned content creator: Shane Lee on impactful podcasting
It’s a popular medium that’s taken the meaning of ‘content creation’ to a whole new level.
But podcasts are far from new.
Often an insouciant addition to a brand’s marketing strategy, few companies use podcasts to their full potential.
Adding to the challenge, it seems like everyone, everywhere has a podcast, so how do you cut through the metaphorical and literal noise in a heavily saturated market?
Being an ex-professional athlete with an impressive blue book of contacts like Shane Lee helps.
“I’ve always been interested in people outside of sport,” says the former Australian first-class cricketer. “I’ve always had a passion for storytelling and that’s really where the podcasting comes into play.”
Lee is so much more than a cricketer having studied and worked in marketing in addition to representing Australia on the world stage. “My background was professional cricket for many years. Whilst I was playing, I studied and went on to co-found a marketing company called Insight. We owned a public relations firm as well.”
With his catalogue of esteemed connections, Shane Lee and business partner Craig Hodges established The Afternoon Sport Group, a banner under which they have created multiple podcasts with a following to boot. Lee has leveraged his experience in the sports world and connections along the way to create high-quality content with a distinct personality of its own.
“I’ve always had a real passion for the media space, in particular radio.
“Podcasts are very sticky, once you engage somebody with what you’re talking about they’re with you for the journey, and they’re choosing to listen to you, giving you a great opportunity to communicate and establish a deeper dialogue with your audience.”
Connecting with like-minded businesspeople is an important aspect of the Afternoon Sport offering. Lee is constantly leveraging his own environment to foster quality connections and grow his network. Based at Work Club 200 George in Sydney, Lee notes that the quality of his space plays a large part in his work.
“It feels like a very creative space to me. I hate sterile environments, even though I played as a sportsman, and we’re supposed to be very linear, concentrated and very focused, I do have a very creative side. I love writing and I like telling stories. I think Work Club spaces are great to encourage that.”
Telling stories is a strong aspect of Work Club’s philosophy. The workspaces are designed with the idea that each piece of furniture and each person that comes through the space has their own unique story, with the individual’s experience being just as important as the collective.
Whilst the Afternoon Sport Group is a sports media business on the surface, the platform facilitates these compelling stories and serves as a method of tackling bigger issues affecting their target audience.
Lunch with Lee was the cricketer’s first foray into podcasting and has grown substantially since inception.
“I was walking down George Street with my business partner Craig one afternoon after a nice long lunch and I bumped into Kirk Pengilly from INXS, Adam Gilchrist who was a former teammate and batsman for Australia, and a politician. After bumping into three pretty influential people Craig says- ‘you know a lot of people Shane, you should really form a podcast.’”
And so, Lunch with Lee was born- a podcast where Lee gathers three influential people from different areas and facilitates deep discussions around key issues like men’s mental health.
“It’s the real focus for Lunch with Lee. I think as men we self-diagnose and self-treat. We try and cure ourselves or ignore issues.
“We spend our first forty years destroying our health trying to get to where we’re going with our careers, and then the next forty, if you’re lucky, trying to get our health back. We’re pretty ignorant. I think we don’t communicate very well, and we don’t talk about our feelings.
Lee acknowledges that the limitations of this platform, and that whilst advocating and discussing mental health is admirable, there’s a larger conversation to be had.
“We really are just scratching the surface. I don’t profess to have all the answers, I’m more about opening up the lines of communication and trying to talk about these things.
“The greatest thing about what we do is storytelling, and everyone deserves a chance to tell their story.”
—- You can listen to Lunch with Lee here.