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Kenny Beecham is used to giving the rundown on NBA stats, but those are the stats for his burgeoning business, Enjoy Basketball.
Launched in partnership with Cody and Cole Hock, the founders of talent management company Up North, Enjoy Basketball is both a three-times-weekly newsletter about all things, well, basketball, and a merch/events company that’s had two exclusive clothing line drops to date and is prepping for its biggest merch drop yet ahead of the holidays.
In case you’ve missed our previous feature on Beecham, here’s the recap: Like lots of kids, he grew up with big NBA dreams, but once he realized he wasn’t going to make it into the league, he parlayed his love for the game into something a little more reachable–becoming an absolute beast at NBA 2K.
Beecham started uploading videos about the game to his YouTube channel, KOT4Q (aka King of the Fourth Quarter), in 2012. By 2018, he’d made a name for himself in the 2K community. That’s how he ended up hooking up with House of Highlights, which gave him a slot cohosting its weekly NBA fan podcast Through the Wire.
And now, with Enjoy Basketball, he and the Hock brothers are overseeing a team of around ten people producing three newsletter installments a week.
For Beecham, Enjoy Basketball is an opportunity to keep connecting with the passionate audience he’s built over the last decade, and a chance to reach even more fans to talk about the game they all love so much.
Check out our chat with him below.
Tubefilter: It’s been a while since we spoke! What has been up for you in the past two years?
Kenny Beecham: First and foremost, content has been the number one thing on the priority list. Continuing to do what I love and putting out content for my viewers and trying to grow the audience. But also, during the pandemic, we started Enjoy Basketball—me and my guys over at Up North Management. It’s for the enjoyers of basketball to have a place to call community and talk things hoops, watch hoops, and read hoops.
Tubefilter: It fascinates me that you decided to go with starting a newsletter. I feel like many creators lean toward starting a podcast or Discord server, something like that, so what interested you and Cody and Cole about starting a newsletter?
Kenny Beecham: Well, for me, I’ve been subscribed to a few newsletters for some time and I feel like the few sports-related ones that I am subscribed to, it’s like once a week, and it’s just like not enough content out there. We decided to do ours because we knew that with the community we have already built, we would be able to find some writers who really fit our voice. We knew that there was an avenue for people who want to read about games and read about the sports story, so it was a pretty easy decision for us.
Tubefilter: When did development on this begin?
Kenny Beecham: It was in the very early stages…Maybe Cody and Cole might have the exact day, but as soon as we had the idea of starting Enjoy Basketball, a newsletter was like one of the first things we thought of, just because they are big subscribers of newsletters across the creator market and business and stuff, so we came together pretty easily on that.
Tubefilter: Did they come up with the idea? Or did you come up with it and you approached them?
Kenny Beecham: I think I just put in our group chat, “We should do a newsletter,” and they were like, “Perfect.” I think they had already thought about it. We hadn’t had our meeting thinking about what we’d do next for the brand. It was definitely something that we both had on our minds, but I might have sent the text first.
Tubefilter: When did it launch?
Kenny Beecham: I don’t remember the exact day, but it was right before the 2022 playoffs, so it must have been in the middle of April.
Tubefilter: So it’s recent.
Kenny Beecham: Yes, so April of 2022.
Tubefilter: I know you’ve gotten some really high-profile sponsorships, so how have things changed from launch to now?
Kenny Beecham: It’s been really cool. We have over 30,000 subscribers, pushing 40,000, which is always great.
Tubefilter: That’s amazing.
Kenny Beecham: We have an open rate of about 50%, which is…
Tubefilter: Oh wow.
Kenny Beecham: This is something completely new for me. It took me a while to understand like what an average open rate was and how much we’re killing it, but the community really loves it. We drop it three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and one of my favorite things about it is that each day is a different voice. We have a bunch of different writers that come in.
Even if you like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, maybe for sure on Friday, “Connor is my favorite writer and I know he’s going to do something great. I really love Connor’s voice.” So it’s been really, really good. We’ve been able to get, like you mentioned, sponsorships from people, like PrizePicks has come in for some sponsorship, Run Your Pool has come in, and we’ve done giveaways for people who are in the community, so we’ve been able to turn the newsletter to something bigger than just words on a paper.
Tubefilter: The fact that you’re three times weekly and you have a 50% open rate is insane.
Kenny Beecham: Thank you. Yes. The community is really behind our messaging and our writers are very great.
Tubefilter: Do you have a Discord server or any surrounding things around the newsletter to build that community?
Kenny Beecham: Not necessarily. We had a Twitter community in the very early stage of Twitter Communities. In my opinion, Twitter kind of dropped the ball on moderation and things like that, so it was very hard for us to maintain just the voice that we wanted, so we got rid of that one. We have been talking about going back into a Discord server, because I have my own personal Discord server for my community. It would be really easy to just have like a specific one for the Enjoy Basketball brand and newsletter subscribers.
Tubefilter: Got you. Okay. How do you see Enjoy Basketball? Obviously, people who have read our other features about you will know about your background, but how do you see this as the continuation of your personal journey as a creator?
Kenny Beecham: I have a bunch of different channels, but one thing that’s very consistent amongst them is the love of the game of basketball. For years now, I’ve been just trying to preach the message of like, at the end of the day, this is a kids’ game that we all grew up loving and playing, and it should be seen as that and just pure entertainment at the end of the day. When I thought about Enjoy Basketball as meaning more than something I just said at the end of every video, we thought about it in a sense of “How can we impact other people?”
Cody always says something very great: There’s four Cs within our business. It’s community, and that’s with the newsletter. That’s with us having people who, without us even asking, have “Enjoy Basketball” in their Twitter bio, or instead of having a profile picture of themselves, it’s the Enjoy Basketball logo. That’s the community we’re bringing.
The next one is commerce, and alongside the brand, we sell merch. We’ve had two different drops that have completely sold out, which is amazing. We have one that we’ve been working on big over the last couple of months.
And one of the main things we haven’t been able to completely do yet is charity. That was one of the main things I thought of when talking to Cody and Cole was like, basketball was such a big part of me growing up on the west side of Chicago, and I was lucky enough to have parents who were able to pay for me to play basketball at the local gym or lucky enough to have new sneakers every year, but everybody doesn’t have their luxury. The next thing for us is to figure out ways to give back. We’ve been in conversations with a bunch of different brands and sports teams about putting that together, figuring out exactly what that looks like.
Tubefilter: That’s very cool. You also have an event coming up, is that right? Or no, you just had it.
Kenny Beecham: Exactly. We just had it in New York. It was in collaboration with Shopify. It was amazing, in their SoHo headquarters. It was a free event, so anybody could RSVP. We were looking at the RSVP numbers, like, “Oh, are these people actually going to show up?” It’s a lot easier to just say “I will be there” when it’s no money attached, but we still had about 200 people come through, which was amazing. We had people from the NBA, we had people from PrizePicks and these different companies coming out.
We did a panel, me, Cody, Cole answering questions, and then we opened it up to the audience and it was just so very cool to see so many people coming in with one common goal and one common interest, and that’s the game of basketball.
Before the actual panel, we did a pop-up shop, so we were seeing people coming in about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., just coming in and looking at the new exclusive merch that we had put together, and then at 5 p.m., it turned into our panel until about 9 p.m.. It was just overall a great time that wouldn’t be possible without the community.
Tubefilter: I don’t know if you are able to track this, but have you seen a lot of crossover from your personal YouTube community into Enjoy Basketball and vice versa?
Kenny Beecham: I would assume so. We haven’t been able to track it too much, but the newsletter specifically, the first initial push was me shouting it out. I always do like these fake ad reads where I say the video was sponsored by me and I tell them about the projects I’ve been working on. Our initial push with the newsletter came specifically from within by YouTube audience, but we have seen it grow much more than that where we’re getting more people to sign on without me doing a formal read or me even mentioning it in videos. Just by word of mouth, people telling their friends that the newsletter is nice and people just enjoying the brand.
Tubefilter: How does this fit into your everyday schedule? You were already busy, so how is this working for you?
Kenny Beecham: It’s a lot. It’s definitely a lot going on. Luckily, with Cody and Cole and the team that they’ve built with Up North, my workload isn’t as much as you probably think. I’m in the meetings, obviously, as we make decisions, but we have a team that takes care of the writers and an editor on the newsletter front. We have Cody and Cole. It takes business meetings to figure out sponsorships and things like that. I’m in all of these meetings, but my workload isn’t as high as you would think as the face of the brand.
Tubefilter: How big is the team?
Kenny Beecham: Oh, that’s a very good question. It’s me, Cody, and Cole, and we have four writers. We have a social team that does TikToks and things like that. I think that’s about two to three people. We have Jamie, who also works with Up North. I would say the team is maybe around 10 people. Maybe 11 or 12 people.
Tubefilter: Are there any upcoming plans you can talk about? Any goals you guys have?
Kenny Beecham: The goal is just to continue to preach the message and have more people sign up. We have a drop coming right during the holiday season, before Christmas, and Hanukkah and Kwanza. I don’t know if I could give it away completely, but we wanted to diversify what we sell, so it’s not just normal merch all the time. We’re looking to go into things to put around the household. That’s probably the furthest I can say without giving it away.
Tubefilter: Okay. That is very cool, though.
Kenny Beecham: Thank you.
Tubefilter: Is there anything else you feel readers should know about you or Enjoy Basketball?
Kenny Beecham: No, not really. At the end of the day, our big thing is about the message behind the things that we do, and just pushing the message of enjoying the game.
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