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Sports gets personal

Sep 29, 2014

As a content coordinator for media company Athlete Interactive, Devon Jeffreys, ’08, has taken a slightly more personal approach to sports reporting.

Jeffreys is responsible for maintaining the websites and social media presence for nearly 20 athlete clients, including NBA stars Deron Williams and Jason Kidd, and NASCAR’s Brad Keselowksi.  

Much like a daily newspaper would cover their local sports team, Jeffreys strives to provide fans of the Athlete Interactive’s clients with the same type of coverage, with the twist being that the athlete is the central focus of each story.

“I’ve been able to connect with athletes at the top of most of the major sports, and get an inside and different look at their lives and careers that I wouldn’t have otherwise working for a newspaper,” said Jeffreys.

Jeffreys began working for the Los Angeles-based Athlete Interactive as an intern in 2008. His first assignment was keeping NBA star Jason Kidd’s website updated during the 2008 Summer Olympics. The job transitioned into a part-time role while Jeffreys worked as a sports editor at the Sanford Herald in Sanford, Fla. When Jeffreys moved home to New Jersey in 2011, he began working for the company full-time.

Jeffreys says that while the job certainly has its perks, such as getting all-access passes to NASCAR races while covering Brad Keselowski, it’s not as glamorous as it might seem.

“I get to do a lot of cool things, but really my day-to-day involves just updating client websites and posting to social media from my home office,” he said. “It’s a pretty regular job in that regard.” 

But it’s the “cool things” that allowed Jeffreys to be featured in stories written for the popular sports website Deadspin, as well as The Wall Street Journal.

When the company launched DeronWilliams.com in 2011 in the midst of the NBA lockout, the Brooklyn Nets star was playing for a team in Turkey to stay on his game. While overseas, Williams worked very closely with Jeffreys to get the word out about what was happening. When the league reopened, Jeffreys was credentialed to cover Williams at all Nets games.

“During my first season covering the Nets in Brooklyn, my boss was approached by a writer from The Wall Street Journal for a story about the website and our unique coverage of Deron,” said Jeffreys, who admits he was hesitant to do the interview because he didn’t want to be viewed differently by his peers. “After the article came out, I think a lot of the Nets beat writers looked at me a little oddly for a while, but I just continued to go about my business. I’m not doing the exact same type of work they do, but I work just as hard at my job as they do at theirs and I hope they respect that.”

And as big of a deal as it was to be in The Wall Street Journal, Jeffreys couldn’t contain his excitement about being featured on Deadspin.

“It was really cool to be featured, even if it was in a story, not as a writer,” he said. “That was my ‘I made it’ moment, I think.”

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