From the Bench: BHS Alum Nesler's Business Draws Big Names in Sports World, including NBC Sports

By Jeff Toquinto on October 08, 2017 from Sports Blog via

I remember, a little more than a decade ago, interviewing this young man who played football for Bridgeport High School. I was impressed with just how good of an interview he was and have joked ever since that he’s a member of my “all-interview” first team.
The young man in question was Luke Nesler. He was a pretty good offensive lineman for some of Bruce Carey’s top teams and, by all accounts back then, a pretty good student for those who had him in the classroom.
While good communication skills don’t always translate into success in the real world, it doesn’t hurt. And Luke Nesler is a pretty good case study of someone who has applied his communication skills into an art form in the business world.
If you don’t’ believe me, you should know that the 28-year-old Nesler is knee deep in the world of communications. In particular, Nesler is the co-founder of an international digital marketing group out of Morgantown – Impakt Media – that focuses on many things and specializes in targeted social media campaigns.
Nesler is busy helping people, particularly businesses, communicate via the world of social media. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media platform, Nesler believes he has the answer to get your business noticed and, more importantly, make money.
His still relatively new company is doing that. Right now, the initial three-person company has grown to 12. He sees more hires and hopes sometime in the future with controlled growth to perhaps push the number as high as 50.
So what’s it have to do with sports? I’ll be there in a moment, but it has to do with one of Impakt’s latest clients – and it’s a doozy – and where it could lead.
Nesler has found himself the perfect niche for his personal skillset and passions and combined it with his educational background. The 2012 West Virginia University graduate with a degree in journalism and communications is making a mark in his business and managing to find work in his job in a few areas that he loves.
“I think it was this past month that I realized how much I love competing and that goes back to my days competing in BMX, which I did all of my life, and into football,” said Nesler. “If you have that in you, it stays with you. Today, business is my new playing field and it’s why I think I’m doing well with this. Just like athletics, business is a very competitive environment.”
Nesler actually created Nesler Media during his days as a student at WVU. In 2013, just after graduation, his company merged with Foliotype and Impakt Media was born.
Early on in the game, Nesler said they found local businesses with horrible commercials and convinced those businesses they could do better. Since then, they’ve went from small business (many of which they still have as clients) to really big names and expanded well beyond commercials.
“It was all local when we took off, but once we started doing what we were doing on the digital front with social media, we realized no one else was doing it,” said Nesler. “If I summed up what we do at this point, it’s that we help businesses increase sales through targeted social media campaigns. We just had one with a client where we created $70,000 in sales on Pinterest in just a few days.”
When you can do that, people usually take notice. And they have.
Nesler’s group works with all businesses, big and small, but he’s still a sports geek at heart. So while having had Nissan Corporate as a customer gets him going and gets all of his effort and attention, he gets a little more jacked up about the prospect of working with those in sports.
Nesler and company are (or have been) working with Major League Baseball, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, and Racer X Illustrated among others. It was in recent months that the door opened on a huge promotion effort that could lead to even bigger things in the future.
The latest client that Impakt did a social media campaign for was NBC Sports. And the campaign fit in perfectly with what the company does.
“We promoted the largest e-sports event of the year, which is what a lot of people still refer to as video games. The audience and participation for gaming in the 14 to 25 age group is huge,” said Nesler. “They have televised events and purses from $100,000 to $1 million.”
NBC wanted to get as much of that audience watching as possible as they had the “Universal Rocket League Grand Finals.” Universal Rocket is a soccer-themed video game. Nesler and Impakt media delivered the audience they wanted.
The three-day social media campaign drew nearly 50 million views. The actual two-day gaming event wasn’t like most events where there are breaks or it last for a few hours. This was an around-the-clock competition consisting mainly of youngsters.
“The viewership was primarily on line through NBC’s streaming platform and it was the first time they promoted something in this manner,” Nesler said. “This was the biggest social media campaign they’ve done in terms of utilizing social media and investment.
“They liked the results as at any given time there were hundreds of thousands of viewers of the competition,” Nesler continued. “You had an international audience as kids from all over the world competed.”
NBC liked it enough that they may be back. Nesler said they’re the type of client that’s not a month-to-month or yearly client, but rather one that would be more apt do something similar – targeted campaigns – that they did for the gaming event. The NBC Sports targets that could involve Nesler and the company he co-founded you may have heard of.
“There are already talks of doing something with the Super Bowl and the Olympics,” said Nesler. “The thing is I had the same passion for that as I did when we worked (with Connect-Bridgeport) on the Bridgeport pre-game football video. I directed that this year and (fellow BHS alum who runs Impakt’s film department) Patrick Martin shot and edit it.
“There’s still that rush with sports and there’s still a rush when you succeed,” Nesler said. “Once you work with someone like NBC or someone that’s local and you produce results, you realize your work has been validated and they realize that we’re not some dude working out of a basement.”
Far from it, but if there’s a basement company out there Nesler can probably help. As he said, you’ll get the same effort that you’d get from his work with NBC Sports – we just probably won’t be blogging about it even though I’m certain he’d give a great interview.

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