Tweetmaster. Gif wizard. Supplier of premium dog content. Kayla Knapp—officially the social content and strategy manager for the Timbers, Thorns, and T2—wears a lot of hats. Stumptown Footy sat down (electronically) with the social media guru to talk about Twitter, Game of Thrones, and her very good dog, Olivia.
How are you liking Portland so far? Any highlights?
Portland has been amazing beyond any expectations so far. Picking up my life and relocating was a bit uncertain, but between the community, the city itself and all the really great dogs everywhere, it’s been a pretty smooth transition. Of my highlights so far, attending my first Timbers and Thorns games at Providence Park has been really special. This is a club I’ve observed and respected from a distance since they entered the league and since the NWSL launched, and witnessing the magic in person is something every soccer fan should do. I’ve also had a blast playing soccer here in Portland – I joined a brand new league called Toffee League, and it’s been a great way to meet new people in the community while getting some nutmegs in.
Where did the idea for the "Carson Galaxy" video come from and what was the production process like? Did you hold the video for a Timbers win against the Galaxy, or were you going to release it either way?
Unfortunately, our resident science expert, professor Wil Lamette, is the only one who knows the answers to those questions, so you’d have to ask him.
How did you get so good at Twitter? Any tips for the rest of us?
I get asked this question a lot, and to be honest, I don’t really have a good answer. But my best advice is to be true to yourself. I sort of stumbled into my “brand” of dogs/soccer/activism by tweeting about things that were important to me, and not really caring if anyone liked what I posted or not. I think when you’re passionate about something, people latch onto it. Obviously there's a lot of thought that goes into what I post, but I don’t want to share all my secrets. ;)
Maybe instead we should be concerned about the lasting damage playing in said league causes those athletes, or the rampant domestic violence— Kayla Knapp (@TheKaylaKnapp) August 22, 2017
What's your game-day routine like?
My game-day routine varies depending on the time of the match. My most important task is usually the night before – I line up my game-day outfit. For Timbers games, it’s always this dark green dress that matches the colors perfectly, and for Thorns games, either a vibrant red dress or black dress with flowers that have a bit of color pop. It seems silly, and I'm not really into fashion, but having that portion of my day organized helps get me mentally set for match coverage, which can often be very fast-paced and hectic.
What's the hardest part of your job? The most fun?
Hardest part is at times staying organized. Three teams, multiple social accounts for each; it can be a lot! The most fun is any time I get to be out in the community with the players for events—seeing them interact with fans is so rewarding.
If the Timbers and Thorns could each draft one Game of Thrones character, who would you choose and why?
Bran Stark for the Timbers. He’d join in an assistant coach role; use his powers to see the future to help predict what opponents are going to do.
Arya Stark for the Thorns. She could be a secret agent—put on the face of one of the opponents and score an own goal.
Tell me everything about your dog.
Her name is Olivia, she’s 11 months old (her birthday is September 13th!), she’s a blue-nose pit bull mix and I adopted her from a rescue in Los Angeles right before moving to Portland. I had been fostering dogs at this rescue—Wags and Walks—and as I was getting ready to move, I stopped by their office one last time, and she gave me one look and I knew she was coming home with me. I named her Olivia after Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU. Her hobbies include cuddling, hugging strangers (no seriously, it’s the cutest), chewing/carrying sticks, wrestling at the dog park and definitely a lot of napping. Olivia and Merritt’s dog, Diego, are BFFs at the office—they only stop playing when we physically separate them because they’re clearly too tired to carry on.