By Esther Morales
When Covid-19 struck and quarantine was at its peak this summer, sophomore marketing major Adam Yu and hometown friend Robert Schweitzer took to TikTok to pass the time. Today, over 1.4 million followers and 62.1 million likes later, the pair have managed to mold their account @CS99TV into a hub for viral sports-related content.
“My friend Robert and I have always been into all types of sports as well as content creation,” Yu said. “When the pandemic came around and we were all sent home from school, we decided to start filming some videos for fun.”
Created this past July, CS99TV specializes in fun sports challenges, games and trick-shot videos featuring both themselves and local Cherry Hill athletes. The friends have rapidly built a following to share and explore their love of sports in a digital format.
Launched in 2016, TikTok had a surge in popularity during the pandemic — earning its spot as one of the most-downloaded apps of 2020. The app’s design and algorithm makes it hard to put down, delivering the most interesting and relevant content to like-minded users around the world.
The fast success of the account can be attributed to some of CS99TV’s earliest TikToks of the pair responding to challenges from commenters. Yu and Schweitzer were not only met with millions of views per video, but a considerable amount of user interaction — followers and newcomers commenting what kind of videos they would love to see next.
“Obviously you never know how your content will be received, but I believe that we’ve made some really creative content and put in a lot of work to make quality videos, and it’s definitely been worth it,” said Yu.
The pair have had the opportunity to grow their personal networks and their virality has allowed them to gain influencer partnerships with brands like SeatGeek.
“It’s really been amazing to see what we’ve been able to do with the account. At this point, we’ve been able to network with social media managers at major sports companies like ESPN, Sports Center, Sports Illustrated and more,” Yu said. “We’ve also been able to work with brands like Franklin Sports and Body Armor.”
Taking post consistency, filming and editing into account while being a full-time student, he noted that managing CS99TV has helped with his time management and interpersonal skills.
“When you have a lot of things to balance as the sole owners of an account, it’s important to structure your day to keep up with all your work,” he said. “Social media management also calls for a lot of communication. I’d say social media management has helped me develop my communication and people skills even further.”
Yu said that he admires that TikTok is able to be a platform where anyone can create and watch videos with friends and family. Similar to YouTube, he believes that TikTok will open up the door for younger people to pursue a career in social media and content creation. With 689 million monthly users and 60% of the demographic being Gen Zers, the app attracts a younger crowd.
“We get messages all the time from fans telling us that our videos make their day or that they look forward to watching our videos every day, and that’s truly the positive impact that TikTok has on so many,” he said.
Now more than ever, influencing is becoming an increasingly coveted lifestyle for individuals looking for alternative ways of exploring their passions and hobbies. For students who are working to grow an audience for their content or are dabbling in different aspects of social media management, Yu has some advice.
“At the end of the day, I genuinely believe in posting content that you enjoy making and that can bring value to other people,” he said. “It’s not about posting content for the likes or views. Those will come over time. It really comes down to enjoying what you do every single day, and that’s the truth.”