If you’re a regular viewer of the morning sports news talkers, then you’re familiar with former NBA player, Ryan Hollins. Hollins is a stand in analysts for Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s First Take.
He’s very good at being an unlikable personality and that’s what ESPN wants.
Hollins has plenty of unpopular opinions. He interrupts his partners. He regularly says sensational things. And he always looks like his sitting in a chair that is too small of him.
Why would ESPN have someone who is so unpopular on their program on a regular basis?
Because you react to him. That’s why.
Look at social media, YouTube, and other online mentions. The guys mentions are through the roof.
This has become a metric to win over advertisers. They don’t just want a large audience anymore (although that’s plenty fine), but they want a large and engaged audience that will always be providing feedback.
Right now he does that better than anyone else on the show except for Smith and Kellerman. No other guest hosts get these types of responses and they are also generally panned as well.
A lot of those comments are negative saying “Well, I guess I won’t be watching First Take today.” *grumble, grumble, grumble*.
Yes, you will. I know this. You know this. ESPN knows this.
People say these things are about Skip Bayless, who was once Smith’s partner, and is now his competition. It’s just not true.
So the next time you wonder why Ryan Hollins is grinning at you when you turn on the television know this.
It’s your reaction which is allowing him to succeed and everyone on the other end of the television knows.