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Women's History Month: Emma Kramer


Chances are if you are reading this article, it’s because you saw it on one of Real Salt Lake’s social media platforms, and that is by design. Every single piece of Claret-and-Cobalt website content is trafficked in by well thought out and perfectly timed tweets, stories and posts.

Social media is Real Salt Lake’s biggest voice outside of the players and coaches on the field, it is the largest distributor of information, provides the most up-to-date updates on games and gives an inside look into what goes on behind the scenes of a professional soccer team, all with a combined audience of over half a million.

Every tweet is carefully calculated, every photo purposefully chosen, and every meme is brainstormed and tested to provide maximum entertainment, and all of it is run by one woman - Digital Director Emma Kramer.

In the grand scheme of things, Kramer is relatively new to Real Salt Lake, having moved to the better side of the Rocky Mountain Cup less than a year ago.

But her impact has already become an integral part of the Club’s overall success. In less than a year the Tik Tok has quickly risen to the fourth-most followed team account in Major League Soccer, and under her supervision the Twitter and Instagram have both grown more than a hundred thousand followers.

However, despite her work in growing the brand and increasing the number of followers, Kramer is constantly fighting an uphill battle.

“There is this stigma that social media is not a real job,” Kramer said.

And she would be correct.

It’s difficult to quantify the importance of social media. Social media doesn’t directly turn a profit, or help the team perform better. Plus, the dramatic rise of new digital platforms in recent years has moved at such a rapid pace that it is nearly impossible to keep up with.

It can be like butting up against an unmoving wall, trying to communicate the importance of a role that very few fully understand.

“People just assume that I am an intern, as if a professional sports organization would just allow an intern to push send without proper supervision or education,” Kramer said.

And while the “good job, intern” tweets can sometimes be comical, they perpetuate the idea that Kramer’s role is unworthy of a full-time salary, or the respect that comes along with it, negating all the work she has done to get to this point.

In college Kramer was originally interested in Infographics and Publication Design, creating layout design for magazines. But an internship with a minor league baseball team changed the trajectory of her life, as she became addicted to the thrill of working in sports.

During her time at Ohio University, she held a variety of internships, hoping to discover a more specific passion within the sports world. She worked as a marketing intern for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the National Hockey League, and as a digital intern with Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer, which is where she discovered a love for social media and for soccer.

Shortly after college, Kramer parlayed her internship with the Crew into a full-time position with the Colorado Rapids.

While at Columbus she had been trusted and encouraged to step outside of the status quo, but in Colorado she found herself having to adjust to a more rigid way of thinking.

“It was a time when I wasn’t confident in the work I was doing, I didn’t want to leave sports, but I was at the point where I was just applying anywhere, I had convinced myself that maybe my dream wasn’t meant to work out.”

Yet that all changed when the role at Real Salt Lake came about.

“The people here are incredible, I felt accepted from the first day, it’s just such a different vibe where people are open to new ideas and even welcoming of them,” Kramer shared. “I feel trusted to do the job I was hired to do.”

Her boss, Vice President of Marketing and Game Production Tyler Gibbons had a similar career path, having previously run the Club’s social accounts. He now gets to sit back and watch as she elevates the Club in a new and exciting way.

“As a club, we’ve been fortunate to have a tradition of creative excellence because of the immensely talented staff, and Em’s compassion, work ethic and diverse set of skills has taken the brand to new heights,” Gibbons said. “She’s and invaluable member of our organization and an emerging star in the industry.”

In just a short amount of time she has risen from Social Media Manager to the Club’s Digital Director, overseeing the entire content production, including photography, videography, social media. While in this role she has been the creative drive behind the ownership announcement, the roll out of the Believe kit, and the execution of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs run which saw RSL competing in the Western Conference Final.

However, despite her success and title there are still stigmas to overcome

“Sometimes it can still feel like a battle because of my age and gender.” At 24 years old, Kramer is by far the youngest director in the Club, male or female. But it is because of the support behind her that she was able to progress to this level.

“Young female leaders are more than capable of doing the job, they just have to be given the opportunity and then trusted to execute,” Kramer said.

So, next time you go to like a tweet, comment on an Instagram post, or catch a glimpse of a girl running behind the celebrations on your tv screen know that it’s a woman making sure you are getting the best Claret-and-Cobalt content.