Former Bobcat Carves Out Niche in Field of Digital Media
Giles County graduate Nate Bain recently had the chance of a lifetime to return to the place many of his fondest sports memories took place as a social media manager for the Tennessee Titans.
“There were just a lot of cool memories, so getting to come back home and work for your hometown team is just a dream for most people working in athletics,” Bain said. “A lot of people don’t get to do that, so to come back at a time when Marcus Mariota is here, and there’s a lot of excitement around the Titans also to come home, it just felt like a good opportunity and a good time to do it.”
Nate, the son of Martin Methodist College Director of Athletics Jeff Bain, has had the rare opportunity to find himself on the front end of a changing landscape in sports media as he turned a one-time hobby into a lasting career in digital and social media.
After a career playing football and basketball at GCHS, he went on to serve as a student manager for the University of Oregon’s basketball team where he frequently used social media to stay in touch with many of his hometown friends. Bain suggested to the staff that the program pursue social media, and the Pulaski native’s connection to social media business took flight from there.
After graduating from Oregon with a bachelor’s in sociology, and serving as an intern in Cleveland, Ohio, where he again helped craft his employer’s social media brand, Bain found himself pursuing a master’s degree in sports business at the University of Tennessee where he said he first realized he could make a career out of his love for digital media.
“As I started to look for opportunities, a lot of people were probably realizing that they needed someone to full-time social media instead of just having an intern tasked with doing that. It started to kind of become a beast of its own. I just kind of hit it at the right time and had the right experience and took off from there,” he said.
Bain worked as an assistant to the basketball sports information director and also served as a SID for men and women’s golf at Tennessee before catching his first big break with an entry level position with the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise. He continued to look for opportunities to climb his way up the ladder with the Rams, taking on new roles and also taking advantage of newly open positions after the team announced it would move the franchise to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, 21 years after the team had originally left the city.
After three years with the franchise, Bain made the decision to return home to the Titans for the 2017 season where an official release stated that he will handle “all digital and social strategy for the Titans, all team social media accounts, digital sponsorship integration and content management.”
Bain said he considers himself lucky to have the opportunities he has and noted that there have been no shortage of strong role models along with way starting with his father here in Pulaski.
“Even five years ago, this wasn’t a career, social media and digital media. Now it is. Now people are starting to make money off of it, posting on Facebook and Twitter, all the day-to-day stuff, getting everyone on the same schedule, getting information to the fans, but it’s also now how do we make money off of this. So as that gets bigger and bigger and advertising goes from newspapers and billboards to websites and social media, hopefully it’ll continue to be a bigger piece of the pie. I have a seat at the proverbial table of an NFL franchise when we have a massive staff meeting. I hope that seats get bigger and bigger,” Bain said.
GCHS head football coach David O’Connor, who coached Bain during his first stint with the program, said he always knew that the former player would find success in whatever field he chose.
“Nathan was one of the best team players that I have ever coached,” O’Connor said. “Not only was he our team’s long snapper and a receiver, he also put a lot of effort into knowing our opponent and being a quality scout team player. His love of sports and incredible sense of team made us coaches know he would become successful in whatever career he chose. But, in a sports related field, he would rise to the top quickly.”
Bain is the featured speaker as this year’s GCHS football steak dinner fund-raiser, which will take place Aug. 15 at Hillcrest Country Club.