Football legend Alex Scott on creating her own platform
Alex Scott is one of Great Britain's most beloved footballers, and since retiring, she's been quite busy. Discover what she's been working on with her new video platform, "Scottie Talks," on which she interviews her friends and fans, and then tune in for the first episode on July 27, where viewers can submit questions for a personalized Q&A session.
Alex Scott has had an illustrious football career that included winning multiple titles, captaining Arsenal, and representing Great Britain at the Olympics—yet she's far from finished making an impact. Since retiring from football in 2018, Scott has become a stand-out broadcaster, making history as the first woman to be both a pundit on Sky Sports' Super Sunday and BBC commentator for the FIFA Men's World Cup.
During lockdown, Scott created her own video platform called "Scottie Talks" to stay connected with fans and friends via in-depth interviews and personalized Q&A sessions. Mastercard is thrilled to be partnering with Scott to expand the global reach of this platform. We caught up with Scott to discover why starting her own platform was so important, her dream interview guest, and what impact she believes social media has on sports.
What is Priceless to you, and why?
To me, travelling is Priceless: travelling around the world learning different cultures, learning the history and meeting new people. I love seeing things with my own eyes instead of in textbooks or having to assume what they'll be like. Absolutely Priceless.
What are the big changes or trends going on in your industry that are affecting it?
The biggest changes for sport are definitely playing behind closed doors and without fans. We are now seeing and appreciating, more than ever, that sport or football is nothing without the fans.
What made you want to start your own content series?
At the start of lockdown, there wasn't that focus on the female game or female sport. So, I wanted to give female athletes a voice through "Scottie Talks" and give fans a way to still see and hear from their heroes, especially about what they've been doing during lockdown. Then, as it went on, I realized that people just wanted to see two individuals sitting down and talking openly and honestly. They felt a part of and connected to what we were doing.
What can you tell us about bringing your background in sports broadcasting to social media? Any challenges you've faced or interesting lessons?
What people see when I am doing sports broadcasting or on social media is me just being me. I'm not changing or trying to be someone I'm not. If I get something wrong, I'm going to laugh at it or be annoyed at myself, and I can show that and just be who I would be at home. I'm not trying to change who I am just because I'm on a TV screen or doing an Instagram Live.
What do you think is valuable about giving players and former players a platform of their own?
I think it's important because people connect with stories and it gives athletes an opportunity to show their vulnerable side. I don't think there is enough time in TV broadcasting to do that enough, really delving into the players' backgrounds and telling their stories. I think it just makes athletes, or people in any field, more human.
Do you think that social media is shaping the future of the football industry? In what ways?
I do. Not just in football, but in sport generally and in other industries. Social media allows for a connection that wasn't necessarily there before. For example, you had clubs dictating how a player could speak to fans. Now, players have this opportunity to become much closer to their fans and show themselves in ways they wouldn't have been able to before. Whether you do Q&As or Stories or Lives, you have an opportunity to show your followers the real you.
Are there any particular things you wish people knew about what it's like being a woman in a male-dominated field?
I don't think there's anything I wish people knew as I think it's quite clear that, at times, it is harder to be a woman in a male-dominated field. For me, at the moment, it's about fighting to make change happen. There's a saying that "you can't be what you can't see." More representation of women across the pitch is helping, but hopefully we will get to a place where this fight will lessen in the future.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. When I look back at all the obstacles I have overcome, I realize that they were all put there for a reason and made me stronger, made me more confident, and made me believe in the person I am today.
Who would be your dream interview guest?
I'd have to say Michelle Obama. She has so many interesting stories. She is inspirational in how she looks to the future and how she likes to help guide other women and kids. I think it's all very inspiring.
Is there someone in your life you gain inspiration from, and why?
Yes, my mum. Growing up, I saw all the struggles she went through, but she did it in a way that was so admirable. She always showed people kindness no matter what she was going through. To me, she is my absolute inspiration.
What are your goals for the next year?
For now, it's just trying to get through the rest of 2020! But really, my goal is to try to continue to establish myself in the media and to become more rounded and respected as a presenter.
What's a surprising hidden talent not many people know you have?
To be honest, I don't really have any hidden talents. I am learning Spanish and how to play the guitar, but I'm very open about it so that everyone can come on the journey with me!
Want more from Alex Scott? Be sure to check out the first "Scottie Talks" interview and personalized Q&A experience on July 27.