Lisa Ramuschkat is a German presenter and host working for sports television channel SPORT1 and its social media show “Split It”. Furthermore, the former hockey player is also a field reporter for the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga’s international Bundesliga coverage, besides hosting panels and interviews at various events and conferences such as SPOBIS and the International Frankfurt Football Summit.
I had the opportunity to catch up with the Hamburg-born journalist to talk about her career, the influence of social media, women in sports and several other topics.
Enjoy the interview and don’t miss out to follow Lisa on her social media channels…
Q: Lisa, you are a popular presenter on German sports television channel SPORT1, various social media formats and an event host. Did you always have the dream of working in media and especially sports media?
A: Hi Chris, thank you for this opportunity! This is special for me – because actually I am not that popular… (laughs)
I did not always follow this path at all. Like many after finishing school I was rather lost first and got into this field only after finishing my bachelor’s degree.
Q: You have played professional hockey at UHC Hamburg and Münchner SC for many years. How far did your professional sports career influence your future career plans?
A: That was definitely a – if not THE – major influence. I am convinced that if you once experienced what it takes and means to compete on a high level it shapes you in many ways.
Q: Did you ever think of career options outside sports and sports business?
A: Oh yes! I was a very good student with quite a wide range of talents. My dad always suggested medical school or law – and I definitely took that into consideration, too. Today, I am more than happy I didn’t, however. Sports is my number one passion. I don’t think I would be as happy in another, more classic field.
Q: What did you study? And how did things evolve over the years before you joined SPORT1 at the end?
A: I studied Communications (Major) and Psychology (Minor) during my bachelor years and then added a master’s degree in Sports, Business and Communications.
Q: Did you have any role models while approaching your career in sports media? How far did they influence your own career?
A: Since it hadn’t been my childhood dream, I wouldn’t really say so. But I am a big fan of looking at others in order to learn from them. So, as I entered the industry, I definitely started noticing specific things about certain people. E.g. Laura Wontorra, who is actually very popular, always impressed me by her natural and 100% authentic appearance, Anett Sattler by her amazing character and will to empower other women in this very competitive field or Esther Sedlaczek due to her very individual elegance. I could go on about many others for very long… But you know what I am getting at. It’s the individual amazing features of every single one and no one has them all. I think.
Q: You are part of a new generation of media professionals who are not only familiar with online and social media, but who make use of these platforms. How important are the “modern” platforms in comparison to “classic” media such as print, radio and television? What are the challenges and chances of the different media channels? There is a certain perception that new media are harming the quality of news coverage and the quality of information…
A: I can only speak for myself here, of course, but I can say for sure that I would probably not be working as a host right now, if it wasn’t for social media.
It definitely is important because there’s nothing more authentic than UGC (editor’s note: user-generated content), I think. Further, we all see the development of classic TV shows trying to imply social media features, content and tools. Also, the younger generation mainly focuses on these channels because they want to consume on demand – which is something linear TV can’t offer. That’s the main chance, in my eyes: it is individual, authentic and on demand.
Challenges are definitely that everyone can compete and that there are neither measurements or restrictions regarding the quality which means that the users or consumers have to select wisely what to believe in and what not.
So, coming to a conclusion here, I wouldn’t say that social media news coverage is necessarily harming the quality of news coverage in general but there’s definitely still room to improve for both sides: consumers and providers.
Q: You are the host of Germany’s first social media sports show called “Split It” by SPORT1. An entertaining show with quality content… Please tell the readers more about it. What is the concept of “Split It”? Who created the show and how did the first reactions look like when the idea of a social media sports show was presented at SPORT1?
A: “Split It” is my favourite show I’ve ever done because it’s just what I just said about realness and authenticity.
It’s a weekly interview show broadcasted live on the Instagram account of SPORT1. I invite a football player or coach from Bundesliga, the DFB or another expert via a second Instagram account into my livestream as the screen splits and we talk about current football topics. As in any other Insta livestream the users can contribute to the conversation with comments or questions – it’s most fun when fellow football players join… (laughs)
One and a half years ago my former boss Laura Schlüter came up with the idea working on a different project and then instructed me to come up with a concept and execute. Then I started to connect with clubs, players and associations and am facing the second season now.
Reactions were great actually. Some clubs were – and still are – a bit hesitant about participating. On one hand because it is live and therefore harder to control, on the other hand they fear the spontaneous factor the live questions hold. But that’s the minority. Almost every Bundesliga club have joined me so far.
Q: How difficult is it to convince football players, coaches and officials to take part in a social media show?
A: That depends. I got to know a bunch of players and officials personally throughout my career. Most of them are happy to join but during the season it is always on the clubs to decide – and then it can get a bit difficult at times because other factors get into the picture. The last results, deals with other media partners, the clubs’ opinion towards Instagram or SPORT1 and many more.
Q: What were your personal “Split It” highlights to date? Who were the best interviewees you had on the show?
A: The best one so far was definitely with Germany U-21 national head coach Stefan Kuntz because he revealed during my interview how he would love to help Hamburg player Bakery Jatta get the German citizenship so he could join his squad. Jatta, a Gambian refugee, was going through tough times at that moment. He was being accused to have lied about his identity when coming to Germany which made the statement go viral plus he later commented publicly how much Kuntz’ support meant to him. That was crazy. To feel that a product of my project made such a positive impact.
Q: What are your goals for “Split It” and your personal career in the coming months and years?
A: I would love to make “Split It” more popular and maybe even more international. SPORT1 has a rather German peer group at the moment but you never know. Maybe soon there will be an English version.
And to work more internationally is also a big dream of mine. Perhaps I’ll start my own international talk show someday – with diverse guests, topics and probably rather social media like – unconventional and easy going.
Q: What is the charm of such a social media show in comparison to a television show? Do you feel that the interviewees are more relaxed and more talkative than in a television show?
A: The interviewees are 100% more relaxed. Probably also, because they find themselves in their well-known surroundings since we both stay where we are. Thanks to the Instagram livestream. Also, the language we use is much more casual. In TV shows, I know that from personal experience, everyone always tends to act a bit, use more eloquent vocabulary etc. There are less rules, less expectations to be met.
Q: Do you think that sports clubs, federations and media underestimate the potential of social media and its importance as a lead media to reach out with quality content to a younger generation? Do we need more social media formats like “Split It” to serve the needs of young fans? Or should we aim for cross-media formats to have the maximum impact?
A: There is no general answer to this. Some clubs definitely do underestimate – you would be surprised!! – and some definitely don’t. But I feel like in general, Germans have still a lot to win, because we tend to be scared rather than just go with the flow and the opportunities.
And if you want to catch the young peers, you definitely have to go social – and you should rather sooner than later. Personally, I still haven’t seen an ideal cross-media format to be honest, since I find it tough to imply the features of the fast-moving, slang, unconventional social media into a totally different environment just as TV.
Q: Sports media and sports business in general is a male-dominated sector which needs an increasing involvement and presence of many more female leaders and role models. How do you rate the current state of women in sports business? What are the challenges in the business from your very own experiences and perspective?
A: Many people think, because there are quite some women working in front of the cameras, that this number is equal to the percentage of women working in the whole industry – which is not true. But I feel like there are more and more women joining anyways. Which is amazing. I firmly believe that EVERY team is better when diverse.
Challenges can be very different to everyone. But I do feel that women should be more confident about themselves – as in their opinions, their position in discussions. It’s okay to have questions, it’s okay to not know everything – men don’t know it all either…!
Q: What’s your advice to young girls dreaming of a career in sports media or sports business? Where should they start and what should be their focus?
A: They should start right where they want to be! Experience, practice and a proper network are key. The closer you start to make experience and get to know people the higher the chance of getting where you want to. Always speak your mind, don’t leave it to people to guess what you want. Articulate your goals and ambitions to give people the chance to know how to support you, too!
Q: Talking and reporting about sports is an important part of your life. But let’s talk about sports in your private life. Which sports do you actively exercise? Do you still play hockey?
A: I stopped playing field hockey professionally about four years ago and actually struggled quite a bit afterwards to find a proper substitute for myself. I tried basically everything but mostly fell in love with CrossFit and cycling. I’m even a cycling instructor right now. Just can’t go without working out. (smiles)
Q: There is one thing you are really very much into it: Hyrox. What’s Hyrox and how did you expose to it?
A: Oh yes! I love Hyrox. Two friends of mine developed this fitness competition and I not only competed a whole bunch of times but am involved as a host of the events, too.
The format is special because literally EVERYONE can compete. You take turns in running one km and doing a workout – eight times! So eight km and eight workouts in total. And another big plus is that everyone can – and will – finish as well! It’s a matter of finishing time not of capability to survive the course. Season two just started and they even expanded into the US! So hopefully more people will be able to join the Hyrox family soon.
Q: Last but not least, I would like to give you an opportunity to address anything of importance which I didn’t ask you and/or send out a message to all readers sitting in India, Germany and other parts of the world.
A: I would like to use this opportunity to encourage everyone to follow what their heart beats for! And I mean follow as in do everything necessary to reach that. Life is so short and taken for granted way too many times. Say out loud what it is that you want to achieve, set your eyes on the prize and then direct all your energy on just that – and don’t stop until you get there. You CAN get there! Promise.
Q: Lisa, thank you very much for taking some time for this interview! I wish you all the best and I look forward meeting you again very soon!
A: Chris, thank you! I appreciate it. All the best.