The Philadelphia 76ers are a team on the rise, garnering new audiences as it harnesses the talent it’s been amassing for years.
Alex Norcross is on a similar track, both in his co-op with the team and in his student career as a pre-junior in the Center for Sport Management. After co-oping in the spring with CSN Philadelphia, now known as NBC Sports Philadelphia, he’s now moved up to a major league sports franchise.
Norcross works as a Digital Associate at the Sixers’ new headquarters and training facility in Camden, N.J., and his day-to-day involves giving a new generation of fans views of Ben Simmons’ passes, T.J. McConnell’s dives for loose balls and everything Joel Embiid does on the court. Those highlights – eagerly awaited and highly trafficked – are in his hands during and after each game as the sole person running and uploading to the team’s YouTube page. “The Sixers have been really focused on digital and social media, but YouTube has been behind their other social media,” he says. “I feel they gave me this assignment so that I could have an impact.”
Norcross attributes some of his on-the-job success to a lifelong interest in statistics, and he’s applying that today not to the ones of the players on the court, but the ones his posts and videos amass.
During his co-op with CSN, he kept meticulous notes on every post and video he created and monitored how they performed. He’s kept up that habit during his time with the Sixers, and just over a month into his co-op, he’s seeing that videos from when he first started remain popular. “People are still watching those Ben Simmons highlights from last month,” he said, with both pride and surprise.
He’s also added social media links to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to every video he posts. “It’s a small thing, but I can tell it’s bumped up our subscribers,” he says.
Norcross works 9 to 5 at team headquarters Monday through Thursday, but the real action each week comes on game nights, whenever they fall – including weekends.
Throughout each game, Norcross is constantly in touch with other digital team members, each of them sharing video clips back and forth. “After the game is very stressful,” Norcross says. “We work to get everything out as soon as possible.” Norcross works in multiple software programs to put together a suite of postgame audio and video, including highlight reels for every Sixers player, along with a post-game podcast that includes clips from the radio broadcast.
Growing up as a Philadelphia sports fan – and a Sixers fan in particular – Norcross has had to learn to think of the team differently. “I listened to and watched a lot of sports growing up, but I was always interested in the business.” Once on the business side of things, he says, “you’re not really a fan anymore.”
That said, Norcross has come away impressed by his experience. “It’s an incredible organization,” he says. “I want to leave a good impression so that other Drexel co-op students might come here in the future.”