Columbus Chamber cbuzz: Ryan Chenault and Brian Ciccone of the Ohio Machine

Photos provided by the Columbus Chamber.

The Columbus Chamber and Capital University have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, Columbus-based brand journalist Mikaela Hunt will speak with local business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

There are just some universal truths about running a business – whether that business is a professional sports team, a tech startup or a food truck. During the latest episode of the Columbus Chamber’s cbuzz podcast, Ohio Machine President Ryan Chenault and VP of Marketing & Business Development Brian Ciccone not only discuss the growing popularity of lacrosse across the city and the state, but talk about building the team in terms any business can relate to.

Once thought of as a primarily East Coast or Canadian sport, lacrosse’s popularity is growing in the Midwest, with Ohio finding itself at the epicenter. The Ohio Machine is the sport’s professional presence in the state, entering the market in 2012.

How do you build a rabid following for a new team in a sometimes unfamiliar sport? Education and experience. Chenault and Ciccone discuss the freedom, flexibility, and sometime fear, that comes with building the business that is the Ohio Machine.

“We’re talking about building up a product – it’s a plus and a minus, right, because there is no standard or long-term history,” Ciccone says.

Creating the team’s history as they go, it’s a balance between not being foolish, but not always staying inside the box.

Ciccone and Chenault also discuss the team’s social media presence, including their popular Instagram which has amassed nearly 30,000 followers.

A lesson that’s applicable to all businesses, Chenault outlines their strategy of posting different things across different social media platforms to appeal to the distinctive audience of each. What will resonate on each platform?

For example, the Machine’s Instagram sways to a younger, male audience – a beer special might not be appealing, but a post about a clinic or a meet and greet piques interest.

It ties into Chenault’s biggest piece of advice for businesses doing marketing in-house and on a budget.

“I’m a big believer in data,” he says. “If you have a budget and you can invest it in anything, investing it in finding out…hard facts to make educated decisions in is key.”

Tune into the cbuzz podcast featuring Ryan Chenault & Brian Ciccone of the Ohio Machine

Don’t guess. Businesses should make sure they understand who their audience or consumers are.

Listen to the full podcast to hear more from Chenault and Ciccone about transferable skills (the pair’s backgrounds don’t include lacrosse), building the sport’s popularity, creating game-day experiences and more.

Never miss a cbuzz podcast! Visit the Columbus Chamber website for more great stories and advice from local business owners.

— The Columbus Chamber of Commerce offers news, information and other resources that are free and available to all businesses at columbus.org. —

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Susan is the editor of TheMetropreneur.com and a reporter for ColumbusUnderground.com covering small businesses and entrepreneurs in Central Ohio. She also manages the social media for the publications. Susan holds a degree in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing from The Ohio State University. She sits on the board of the Central Ohio Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and loves coffee, whiskey, cooking and spending time with friends and family.