The University of Sussex hosted a YouTube Panel Discussion on 26 February and one of the speakers for the event was footballing YouTube Creator Matt Jackson.
As a Brighton-based YouTube Creator, Matt does a lot of work with Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, working with some of Brighton’s best-loved sporting legends.
If you are a footballing fan, or want to learn more about your local club, then definitely check out Matt’s channel, as it gives you an entertaining and well-rounded perspective on the footballing world. We got the chance to chat with Matt on the day of the event and learn more about his brilliant channel and his successful career so far.
For anyone who doesn’t already know what you do, could you explain a bit about your career?
I am a footballing YouTube Creator. So I create football challenges and film with ex-footballers. I also do vlogs and podcasts on my channel.
What first inspired you to take the first steps and start your Youtube career?
I am a big fan of Brighton & Hove Albion so that was my initial go-to. I wanted to talk to Brighton & Hove Albion and talk to fans on a daily basis. So, I sat down, made my first video and I haven’t really looked back. That was where it all started.
As someone who has experienced it first hand, what do you think are the key steps in setting up a successful YouTube channel?
I think you have to pick a topic or genre you want to go for first. I think if you know what you want to do, it is so much easier to set up a YouTube channel, in comparison to if you just think ‘I will make videos about loads of random stuff’. I think you need a specific topic or area you want to discuss and make videos on first. For me that was really key to how I started my YouTube channel.
As you’ve mentioned, you do a lot of work with Brighton & Hove Albion, how did this first come about?
So this literally came from doing my YouTube channel. I had been making videos and I then got an email one day from the media manager saying ‘I would like to see you’. I thought I was in trouble. I thought I had done something in my videos that would make them say ‘you have to take all your videos down’ [laughs]. But then I turned up and he said ‘we are looking for someone who can make videos and interact with fans’ and they thought I would be perfect.
Since then, I haven’t looked back and I’ve been there about four years now. This was my entrance into it and without YouTube I wouldn’t have had that start, yeah YouTube has made a big impact.
What has been your favourite thing about working with the club?
This is a club that I have supported since I was, like, two… well basically since I was born. My dad is a Brighton fan so this is a club who I have watched continuously over the years. To actually be around this – I have been able to film with players who I watched growing up – that is one of my favourite things.
To film with people who were my footballing idols growing up, yeah that’s definitely one of my favourite things.
Image credit: Instagram – mjac8
You film a wide variety of content, not just football-focused pieces. But overall, what has been your favourite video to date?
Wow that’s a tough one I have never thought of that question. Well in terms of vlogging, I have been lucky to do videos in Dubai with my sister, which was probably one of my favourite types of vlog.
But from a footballing point of view, I enjoy filming with current players, ex-players and working with people from around the club who I have supported from when I was young. I have never really thought of which one is my favourite video, I should probably give some more thought to that!
How do you find balancing your personal life and your everyday vlogging? Is this a difficult balance to keep at times?
I think if you are going to vlog you need to be aware that you are going to put certain pieces out there. For example, I keep my relationship quite private, that is one of the things I wanted to do from the beginning.
But I still get my family and friends involved which is really important to me because it isn’t just about making content, it is about making content which I want to look back in a few years and think ‘ahhh I remember that experience’. It is about creating experiences. So I find it quite easy as there is not anything that I try to keep out of, apart from my relationship which I sometimes try to keep private. Not really much to say I’m not really that interesting [laughs]!
What other sports are you particularly interested in? Do you see yourself venturing beyond football at any point?
American football – I know that is a bit different as it is not really over here in the UK but I am a big fan of American football. I like tennis as well… yeah they are probably the main two.
Football is generally the one and my main focus. It takes up so much of my time, if I am not working full-time as a nurse, then I am doing football related videos.
If you could would you like to do more videos about American football and tennis?
I would love to – I have done vlogging when I have been over to America in the past. American football is on-par with football for me, I love them both and they are both fantastic. But I am a bit scared I would get broken bones if I tried to play it.
You’ve recently started The MJAC8 Podcast, how is this new project going and what are you enjoying most about it at the moment?
It is going really good. For me, it is an interesting one as I am very curious about other people, their journey and how they got to certain areas. I am really just interested in how other people have got to where they are today.
So, when I started this project I wanted it to be, not necessarily about me, but other people. I wanted my subscribers to see other people and have an interested in what those people have done. I’ve had a Brighton Albion legend and a sports presenter (Jules Breach) on the show.
I have also had a content creator (Shray Miguel) on the show and he spoke about his struggles as a youngster to where he is now. He spoke about issues of depression and gangs and his journey up until now. I am very interested in other people and how they have succeeded in life. That is what I wanted to get across in my podcast. I think YouTube is a platform for people to succeed, be different and express themselves.
I think that by getting guests on my podcast, I want people to realise that actually you don’t have to be a certain someone to be successful and get where you want to be in life. That was something that I was really keen to get across.
Who is your favourite person that you have been able to work with so far?
So taking away my family and friends – that is a good question! That would probably go back to ex-Brighton Albion players like Guy Butters and Adam Vergo – these are people who were my footballing idols as I grew up. I watched them week-in week-out, so to be able to get the opportunity to film with them, interview them and create content with them is incredible.
Even current Brighton players, I get to film with them too which again, is like a dream. That sounds corny, but these are people who I would have loved to meet growing up. If you would have told me growing up that I would be meeting them I would have thought ‘no way’ but I am very, very lucky to have now.
What tips would you give to somebody looking to start a YouTube career, or equally, wants to go into sports in another capacity?
With regards to YouTube create content you enjoy. You don’t necessarily have to film with big people to get big or be successful – create content with people you enjoy. If you do that it will come across in your videos that you are enjoying the content you make. For me, I think film with people who inspire you or who can get the best out of you and then you can have the most fun with them and create the best content.
With regards to sports in general, again, you have to be really interested and dedicated to it. For me, football is something I am passionate about which makes it easier to create that content.
Just be different, there’s a lot of stuff that is the same out there so if you are coming into it try and think of other ways to promote what you want to put out there. It is just about being different and finding different ways to get your voice out there.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any more exciting projects coming up?
Just continuing really. Working as a nurse is my full-time job, but with YouTube I want to keep creating content. I want to keep creating the podcast and make two or three a month; that would be nice. But, I don’t have any specific plans apart from continuing what I am doing and having fun.
That sounds brilliant, we will definitely look forward to seeing more from you in the future!
Featured image credit: Instagram – mjac8