How a Snapchat artist partnered with the San Diego Chargers

Shaun Ayala used his extensive experience as a Snapchat artist to help the Chargers reach a younger audience.
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Shaun Ayala almost didn’t realize the extent of Snapchat’s full potential until it was too late. A marketer by trade and education, Ayala kept hearing online about the platform from Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of social media consulting agency, VaynerMedia.

“There was one moment where Gary said, ‘Those who are on Snapchat and are doing it right are doodling on their picture,’” Ayala explained. “And I said, ‘Doodling?’ I wasn’t aware that you could doodle on your pictures. And I went back to the app and sure enough I found this doodling tool. I said, ‘Hey, this is the app I’m going to try and break through with.’”

That was two years ago. Since then, the Los Angeles-based Snapchat artist— who doubles as a full-time marketing manager at Best Buy—has been focusing exclusively on the five-year-old social channel, teaching himself its intricacies, learning from the Snapchat community and educating other digital strategists and marketers how to better engage their followings.

He’s created content for FOX, Lions Gate Entertainment and Paramount Pictures, with his latest collaboration coming last month around the Chargers’ training camp. It’s one of the first times a NFL team has solicited the services of a Snapchat artist.

In April, Ayala and Chargers senior manager of digital content Joel Price were on the same panel at Social Media Marketing World 2016 conference. The duo brainstormed how to leverage Ayala’s proficiency on Snapchat with the Chargers desire to attract a younger audience.

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“We were really looking to tie in something with our brand around training camp, and Shaun had some great ideas for us,” Price said. “He sold us on the games concept and the interactivity of it.”

Ayala created two 24-hour Live Stories with the Chargers, the first featuring Tire Drills and fans posting their #ChargersSnaps and the second being a “Hail Mary” Snapchat game, where followers were asked to take a screenshot of their catch and Snap it back to the team.

According to Ayala, the cost of his services depends on a handful of factors: the call to actions within the Live Story, the complexity of the content and how much engagement is expected after the content publishes. His fees can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for a single Story.

As the NFL kicks off in a week, Ayala and Price have been in regular communication to see what other campaigns they can potentially create in 2016. Do not be shocked if a few professional and college teams follow suit later this fall.

“For this Training Camp project, it was a perfect fit,” Price said about working with Ayala. “His concepts of bringing the audience in totally blew us away.”