Helen Yee is a bilingual sports reporter quoted, featured, and credited by the likes of ESPN, Fox Sports, TMZ, Forbes, Sports Illustrated and more. Helen’s grown her profile through becoming a focal voice across combat sports, mainly MMA, as she’s often seen interviewing UFC fighters. She’s occasionally featured as a reporter at boxing events, too, including Mayweather vs McGregor, KSI vs Logan Paul 2 and Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder. She’s also the spouse of The Schmo, whose personal brand I covered last week. However, this week’s focus lies on how Helen has built her personal brand and how she’s successfully engaging with her audience.
Featuring on the Schmozone
Helen’s spouse, David Schmulenson (A.K.A. The Schmo), has a podcast called The Schmozone, which sees Helen co-host it too. The podcast has an array of athletes as guests, predominantly MMA fighters, where Helen and David discuss various topics. Some include training regimes, thoughts on other fighters alongside recent events involving them.
Typically, when a couple collaborates on content together, it’s proven to perform well. For example, content creator Mike Majlak and adult film actress Lana Rhoades used to be a couple, and Mike regularly created vlogs of them together. They ended being some of his highest viewed YouTube videos.
Helen utilising long-form interviews is also an effective way to amplify her journalism style to her audience. Often enough, most of her most viewed content will be YouTube videos/clips of her having short conversations with fighters during media days, weigh-ins, and post-press conferences. Although, as an audience expands for a creator/journalist/online personality, their audience grows an appetite to explore that individual’s personality. Plus, it opens another monetisation stream through sponsorship opportunities and affiliated marketing.
Not only is it beneficial for Helen’s brand, but it allows Yee’s audience to explore the personalities of their favourite fighters in a relaxed environment. Helen and David have interviewed some credible personalities in the fight game, including Alexander Volkanovski, Dan Hooker, Javier Mendez, Brandon Moreno and more.
Founder of Eyes on the Game
Eyes On The Game is a sports show produced and hosted by Helen where the journalist expresses her views on MMA. The majority of Helen’s content is represented via her interviews with M.M.A. fighters across the U.F.C., Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships and more.
As a journalist, it’s imperative to build your brand to stand out to other journalists so that new audiences can recognise you. For example, last week, I emphasised how The Schmo’s colour schemes were integral to his personal brand, which helped propel his profile in the sports industry. Whereas Helen’s stand-out feature is her calm approach to building rapport with the guest she interviews.
Away from journalism, the Las Vegas born is also a bilingual 2x state champ in swimming. She occasionally expresses her progress via social media relating to competition and training. Currently, she’s returned to the gym for training following a setback with injuries.
Through her updates, she’s received endorsements from the M.M.A. community, including 2x champ Henry Cejudo, Lauren Murphy, Jon Anik and more. Small kudos like this could gradually transform into Helen bridging a gap between the MMA and watersports audience through her journey as someone wanting to qualify for the Olympic swimming trials.
This is also personalised content that naturally helps connect your audience to solidify your online community.
Helen’s successful journey as a sports journalist falls for various reasons. However, here are the key points to learn from Helen’s journalism career, supporting creators/athletes/journalists to build their personal brand.
- Sharing personalised content is effective in building a highly-engaged community.
- Identify methods where you can capitalise on emotional connections with your audience.
- Stay open-minded to collaborating with like-minded individuals to enhance fan engagement.
I hope you found this blog valuable; what was the biggest insight you’ve taken away from Helen Yee’s career?