My guess is that the promoters of the Olympia Weekend want to keep The Rock happy and decided to make Phil Heath the host of the Instagram LIVE series leading up to the biggest show in bodybuilding. The 7x Mr. Olympia will also host the event’s Pay Per View programming.
While I applaud Heath for turning a new page insofar as how he deals with critics, he is not a journalist. And if he aspires to become one, he has a long way to go. His approach of interacting with his guests and ignoring the audience flies in the face of everything that social media is about. The fact he lost as much as 3,000 viewers while interviewing Chris Bumstead – the most popular physique-based athlete in the world – is very telling. What’s even more telling is that he had 2x and reigning Mr. Olympia Big Ramy on the Olympia Instagram LIVE on Monday, December 5th, and the show peaked with a mere 1,800 live viewers. The fact that between the two there’s nine years of Olympia titles should have commanded an audience at least half of that which attended the Bumstead show. I must admit I could only watch about five minutes worth and by the time I exited out, the LIVE was down to the low 1700’s. That’s atrocious for a Monday night, which has always been primetime for fitness programs on social media.
With real journalists like Dennis James, Shawn Ray, and Bob Cicherillo to choose from it’s a little bizarre that the Olympia executives would choose to go with Heath. While I know the powers that be keep tabs on me, I wonder if any of my constructive critiques simply fall on deaf ears. When it comes to social media – it’s all about interaction! People get bored hearing stories that only Phil and his guest know about. These LIVE chats should be all about the fans. Instead they’re all about the hosts.
Phil needs to take a page from Brandon Curry, Shaun Clarida, or any number of bodybuilding greats who consistently use LIVE features on social media. They always read comments, they try to answer fan questions, and they try to NARROW the gap between star and supporter. This is why they command an ever-growing fanbases. Phil needs to understand he’s doing a job and that that job is promoting the Olympia, not promoting himself and/or his guest(s). How do you promote the Olympia? YOU TALK ABOUT THE CONTEST AND ENGAGE WITH THE FANS.
These Instagram LIVE’s are a great opportunity to increase interest in the Super Bowl of Bodybuilding; instead, many fans are losing interest because they’re being ignored. And that’s not my opinion, that’s fact. JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBERS!
Then again, if this job was given to a friend of a friend, then it really doesn’t matter what kind of work product is delivered. It’s just business and there’s probably a bigger picture we’re not aware of. Maybe it’s one way of keeping Athleticon a vision that will never see life. Maybe Phil deserves the job because he’s the future of journalism? Maybe it’s time to just publish this article. Lol