September 24, 2021

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Meet Dev Sethi, Head of Sports, Instagram

Dev Sethi believes that context, timing and understanding the pipes of how distributed media works, is equally important as making great content. Learn more about him and his inspiring work in our newest feature.

For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about your background. 

I’ve spent my career to date at the intersection of tech and media, having worked for two platforms and two media companies. I’m one of the lucky ones who has been able to marry my passion for sports with my current profession leading Sports Partnerships at Instagram. In this role, I act as the connective tissue between Instagram and the sports industry, representing the interests of athletes, leagues, teams, media companies, and creators who collectively make Instagram such a great place for fans. I’m a native of the D.C. Metro Area and this is also where I currently reside. I spend my free time actually enjoying being a sports fan! I also freely give my time speaking with and supporting existing and aspiring members of my industry, including providing mentorship as part of the South Asians in Sports (SAIS) community. I rarely have wisdom to impart but am always happy to share my observations and experiences to those who are interested.

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing Anthem Awards entries?

I’m grateful for opportunities like these in that I get the chance to review, assess, and enjoy great content, especially content that I might otherwise not see. I’m always energized and inspired by the diversity of storytelling and engagement that we see among these entries. It seems the levels of creativity and innovation increase all the time!

What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?

It has to start or enhance conversation. In a distributed media landscape, the challenges of breaking through are substantial and it’s why the best content and the best content creators understand the pipes as much as they understand what makes good content, because they truly go hand in hand. Also, context and timing matter.. With countless competing interests for attention, mindshare, let alone support, the content and cause alone may not be enough. Comprehensive strategy on distribution, tracking, etc is critical. And of course, being specific about and engaging at the onset with the very communities being served. 

How does your work at Instagram support your mission?

My team takes so much pride bringing opportunities to underrepresented communities, whether that be launching editorial series such as #SeeMe which amplify diverse voices in sport, or the ways in which we support emerging diverse creatives in our Student Section and Playmakers programs, and even in cultivating the next generation of black sports creators as part of Facebook’s We The Culture. We get to define impact in a number of ways, and these types of initiatives are their own kind of investment in the sports community.

Bonus: What’s your favorite purpose-driven project or mission-driven campaign right now, and why?

I’ve always been a huge fan of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats – because it’s all about players putting the causes, projects, and campaigns they care about at the forefront, and doing so in a creative way.