Sara Pastor (Lic&MBA 05): “People come to Twitch for the content, but they stay for the community”

February 7, 2022 12:23 pm

Twitch, the interactive entertainment streaming service, has Sara Pastor as its first sales director in Spain. Having worked in the digital space for several years, Sara knows the challenge advertisers face trying to reach audiences; and Twitch can allow them to connect with a vast and diverse community.

Building direct and authentic relationships

-You are the first Twitch sales director in Spain. What are your responsibilities?
I joined Twitch in February 2021 to lead and grow our advertising business in Spain. Spain is really at the forefront of the shift towards more social, community driven audiovisual content which Twitch has pioneered. I greatly enjoy working hand in hand with brands to help them discover the unique magic and opportunities Twitch provides.
Having worked in the digital space for several years, I know the challenge advertisers face trying to reach audiences authentically. For example, 39% of Twitch’s audience is not reachable through traditional TV and one in ten do not watch TV at all. Twitch allows brands to build more direct and authentic relationships with their younger audiences and reach them by partnering with the creators that they love.
Brands of all kinds can be found on Twitch and we offer a range of advertising solutions from traditional 30 second ads to streamer activations and full custom commercials. Twitch content is inherently participatory; it’s not content an audience will ignore with a quick scroll of their smartphone. I think this is a very positive transformation, we’re entering an environment where brand campaigns are more amusing, informative and, of course, entertaining!

-At what moment is the company and what is the key to the success of the platform?
Twitch combines diverse, live streaming content, real-time interactions, and a powerful global community. Since 2011, Twitch has seen over 67 billion hours of viewership. That’s enough for the entire human race to watch over eight hours of video per person.
While it is true to say that Twitch’s DNA is in gaming, we are certainly now much more than that alone – nongaming content has quadrupled in the last three years alone. We’ve had major fashion shows streamed live on Twitch, including from Dior and Ralph Lauren, we’ve had Ruben Martin hosting a match analysis show for La Liga, Ibai interviewing Lionel Messi and hosting the Balloon World Cup, live concerts with the likes of Drake, Ed Sheeran and Kanye West – you name it! We’re focussed on expanding our creator community into new content categories and in new markets, helping more people to find entertainment and community on Twitch.
We often say that people come to Twitch for the content, but they stay for the community.

-What potential does Twitch have for brands and how to start exploiting it?
Our audiences are the adblocker generation who don’t watch TV as regularly as previous generations. Yet on Twitch, advertising has a unique role in powering Twitch’s economy – when your favourite streamer can show you an advert (video pre-roll or mid-roll), it supports their small business, and you want to see them succeed. We also offer premium advertising through our Brand Partnerships Studio which is designed to be interactive, driving organic engagement through streamer activations managed by Twitch. For these reasons, our audience actually embraces advertising, which is a rare thing nowadays! The community loves nothing more than seeing a brand embrace the nuances of the community and find a way to interact with the community authentically. From ad-roll to sponsorships or event custom campaigns, Twitch has a host of solutions available for brands – big and small. Brands can also set up their own Twitch channel to stream their own content. From sports clubs and leagues to CPG brands and music labels, brands are using Twitch to build real and meaningful interactions with their fans and consumers.
All in all, we help brands to discover the magic of Twitch, which can allow them to expand their reach and connect with the incredibly vast and diverse community. By co-creating on Twitch, brands can impact their audience in a very immersive way, building meaningful engagement with the Twitch community.

-How your experience in Adara, where you led the EU sales team is helping you in this new position?
Through all my previous professional experience, I have learned that one of the most important keys to success is based on the passion you have for what you do, what you believe in.
My motto (both in business and life) is the following quote by Maya Angelou: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And this comes from the passion you put in every day.
When I think of Twitch, we are most importantly a community. A community that comes together each day around their passions to shape their own entertainment. And this is the same for the team and me. We’re passionate about our community, and we’re proud that we can play a small part in bringing people together. It is our community-centric approach based on shared passions that is ultimately driving the opportunity for our creators, brands and for our business.

The sense of community and the helpful means of support

-What motivated you to be part of the boards of the Club Business Innovation & Technologies and Club WE Esade Alumni?
When I moved to Miami for work in 2014, I joined the Esade Alumni Miami Chapter Board, which allowed me not only to connect with the local Esade community, but also to start giving back my time and knowledge to others. It was a very enriching experience that empowered me to grow as a person, meet new friends, and expand my network in the city.
When I came back to Barcelona, I wanted to maintain ties with the Esade Alumni and as my professional background was in tech and digital, I became a board member of the Business Innovation and Technologies Club. I have been a member since 2016 and we have always thrived for sharing with our members the best knowledge in the latest technologies and innovation. Additionally, we can be a cross functional club, meaning we have collaborated with other interest clubs (such as Pharmaceutical, Finance, etc.) in order to help the Esade community understand better how they can apply digital transformation into their businesses and organizations.
Since 2020, I have also been given the opportunity to be part of the Women Empowerment (WE) Club so that I can continue supporting a cause very close to me which is empowering women and men to promote diversity, fighting unconscious bias, and thriving for a more balanced world.

-What are the challenges for these clubs this year?
Our main challenge is how we keep engaging with our members by serving them with the best content, knowledge sharing, and speakers, while balancing both virtual and physical events.

-How can the presence of more women be promoted among digital and technological profiles?
There are many initiatives that can help close the gender gap in tech, but I would highlight 3 key areas: education, awareness, and visibility.
Firstly, it is very important to start educating and empowering girls from a very young age to develop a passion for STEM, educate them equally and encourage them to pursue careers in technology.
Secondly, we need to empower both women and men to raise awareness of unconscious bias, address issues in the workplace and promote inclusivity.
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that, as Marian Wright Edelman says, “you can’t be what you can’t see”. So, we need to do more to support women as they advance in their careers and establish more role models in our industry. For women already in tech, mentoring and women’s professional networks such as WE can provide both a sense of community and a helpful means of support.