We went to Umdois and Futliga's studio to talk with Fabio Nakano about what it's like to manage a YouTube Channel, the pressure of creating good content, the whole soccer lifestyle and soccer boots. Because, if it's some kind of footwear it's got stories to tell. Fabio showed us his custom Nike Hypervenom Phantom III Elite which he has never put on his feet.
"I'm Fábio Nakano, I do Audio-Visual for social medias search as YouTube and Instagram. I have two channels, Umdois and FutLiga, a channel only about soccer content, which is something I am crazy about, not so much on the pro soccer side of things but more on the whole soccer lifestyle. Since I come from an audio-visual background and it's also what I work with today, I turn my passion into videos. And soccer came into my life through two different ways - is something that I like and as something that I work with. I was able to find that balance with working with what I really love. and that has brought me amazing experiences, even being here with you guys today, I think is pretty cool."
How did you start and how was the path for the Umdois channel?
The Umdois it's a group of friends from way back, I have known one of my associates since we were eight years old. We're a bunch of friends that went to school together and we were always into Audio Visual and we had good synergy. So we started as a production company that was the initial idea "dude what do we do? Ah, YouTube is what's happening now". There were already a lot of YouTube channels at the time but we didn't really know what that meant. But we realized that what was blowing up at the time were viral videos that were slightly related to cannabis.
And that was exactly what we did and it worked out really well, our video really blew up. We even got emails from Globo telling us to take the video down, even YouTube told us to take it down. It was crazy. CQC called us up, It was nuts. We got some strikes from YouTube and our Channel ended up getting shut down because we didn't take the video down. YouTube began to really make it hard for us to grow, so we decided to do everything ourselves just like a real production company - from soundtrack all the way to the final product - we did entire production for a sketch called “Rolezinho em Osasco”. So we put the video out there, and that video blew up also, it was completely crazy. After that, they even called us for a network, and we didn't even have any idea of what that was. Imagine something like this: we would make a video and post it on the internet, and just wait to see what happened.
And that's when we joined Tubo Br, MTV had just ended and what was left of it was only digital. That's when we developed this really good relationship and started to make our own path. Then we realized that the recipe for YouTube was 2 released weekly content and Tubo Br, which back then was MTV, said: "I think that if you guys talk more about cannabis and approach that subject in a different way, it's going to be a really big differential for you guys in the future". we agreed but we didn't have the money to hire any actors, so we had to work with what we had and we put ourselves in front of the camera. We said: "Hey Brazil, we are users, how's it going?". When we got to one hundred thousand subscribers it was awesome, but until we got there, we have been through some rough patches, we fought, we even thought about shutting down the channel, we took a break. But once we reached that 100,000 that's when it blew up, and we started getting invited to stuff, people knew was because of our work and that's what we wanted the most. We did a collab with Dráuzio Varella! It was so dope you know?
We came from the audiovisual world with zero bucks and today we are able to produce good content, work with brands and say " look we are professionals, prepaid taxes and we employ people", and they're really nice people. We transformed this into a business, and we've given like 10 talks about business.
IN UMDOIS AS WELL AS FUTLIGA, I'M KIND OF BEHIND THE SCENES OF EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON - I'M MORE IN CHARGE OF NUMBER INTELLIGENCE, CONCEPT, AND IDENTITY. THEN BACALHAU AND GABI HAVE THE SKILL TO TAKE ALL THAT AND TRANSFORM IT INTO CONTENT IN A VERY ORGANIC WAY.
When we interviewed Bacalhau and Gabi they explained a little bit of their roles in Futliga, we wanted to know yours. What do you do on the channel?
In Umdois as well as Futliga, I'm kind of behind the scenes of everything that goes on - I'm more in charge of number intelligence, concept, and identity. Then Bacalhau and Gabi have the skill to take all that and transform it into content in a very organic way. I have a few blocks of my own in Futliga like the soccer boot custom which I really like. So I'm more in charge of the whole "backstage" thing, because whether you like it or not it's still a business right? All areas have to be running.
So you would be sort of like the "back office" while Bacalhau would be more of the face of the channel right?
Exactly! Generate the content, redo the storytelling, we have our own team back there. That's pretty much it. I do more of the backstage and he is like the face of the channel, but we try to keep everything in balance.
THAT'S THE REAL DIFFICULTY - HOW TO WORK WITH METRICS, HAVE GOOD RESULTS, PERFORMANCE, CONCEPT, GETTING A MESSAGE THROUGH AND MAKING OUR AUDIENCE WATCH THE VIDEOS. BUT, IT MIGHT BE CHALLENGING, BUT I THINK IT'S A REALLY COOL CHALLENGE TO HAVE, AT LEAST FOR US THAT WORK WITH CONTENT, IT'S REALLY COOL
Your channel has really cool content and it's visually really well-made, it's not just another YouTube video. So what's the hardest part in creating this kind of content for such a niche in soccer.
Our biggest difficulty is this: imagine a brand sends you a briefing, let's say that's Nike for example. So Nike comes up to you and says guys a million of the best Minds came up with this. Now take this and make a video with it". You go, holy shit, right? Our first problem is that we work with YouTube metrics, so if you don't perform well they don't show your stuff and eventually, your channel dies. So imagine that I have to be worried about the metrics and still show the concept and the brands storytelling, and in a way that it's organic so people don't go like - "oh, these guys are getting paid to say that". It at the same time you're working with Nike, and we are very careful about how this content is being made. Actually, we try to make it even better every day.
We had to put in a lot of sweat so we could have this infrastructure that we have today, the audio in the lighting is still getting better. when you put in all the work you can see the Channel Growing and the audience notices too, and they grow along with you, they're steps. But our biggest concern is still how to improve our content in quantity, without losing our quality. Because there's that little bar of " quantity vs quality"- who can balance both? It's something we've been fighting really hard not to lose and at the same time it's not just bringing in more product after product. We are sponsored by Nike, we like Nike very much, but the channel has to have our field to it and not the other way around. But that's the real difficulty - how to work with metrics, have good results, performance, concept, getting a message through and making our audience watch the videos. But, it might be challenging, but I think it's a really cool challenge to have, at least for us that work with content, it's really cool.