“We love football, we love the club, and we love putting smiles on people’s faces…”
It’s been a strange season for football but The Boro Breakdown podcast is still going from strength to strength. Founder and host Jonny Bullock talks to The Tees Online about its success.
Introducing our podcast in the Red Army Studios still gives me goosebumps every time we record. I can’t really describe the feeling. When our intro hits and Elliott gives me a countdown I always feel so excited, happy and just at ease, it’s weird.
The Boro Breakdown podcast started just over two years ago now, but it was about a year prior when I virtually met Dana Malt that the discussions started. Dana is the owner and founder of the Everything MFC page. Dana has done a wonderful job in growing and developing the page to over 60k followers across three social media platforms. The page is what it says on the tin, it really is everything about Middlesbrough Football Club. Transfers, managerial changes, club news, you name it – it’s pretty unbelievable.
When I met Dana, we chatted about how I could contribute and help the page. We agreed on doing match previews initially and just helping out where I could. The initial previews went down really well, but the previews had to change. It wasn’t the research or the photo editing, it was my dyslexia.
Being dyslexic and writing previews just doesn’t go well. It’s time-consuming, the structure of sentences had to be changed frequently and even though my football knowledge and predictions were strong, it just didn’t feel right. We had to adapt it. So we decided on a podcast; and The Boro Breakdown was born.
I started off by myself, in my room with my Blue Snowball mic. I was absolutely bricking it but I just recorded an hour-long podcast off the bat. One take, no editing.
You could hear a lot of nerves in my voice in the first pod and it wasn’t particularly great, but it was a start and it helped me shape how I wanted the future podcasts to be.
The podcasts after that were a lot shorter, snappier, bite-sized previews of the upcoming games and I felt a lot happier with them – I caught the podcast bug and you could tell!
We started arranging guests, we had Yusuf Jama, Neil Grainger and Graeme Bailey in a short space of time, and then I asked Dana and Elliott if I could interview them. Dana was to put a person behind the Everything MFC page as no one really knew who owned it and I interviewed Elliott to hear about his interest with Boro.
Elliott and I went to Teesside University together and studied Marketing and after the podcast we recorded, we just agreed to do it together and within the week I got Dana onboard too.
So every Wednesday/Thursday we recorded the podcast at Teesside Uni. We had a couple more guests, Ian Smith, editor of the Fly Me To The Moon fanzine Rob Nichols, Tom Green and former York and Darlington centre-forward/best friend Chris Dickinson joined us too and the pod just started to grow.
At the end of the 18/19 season, we were approached by the presenting legend that is Dave Roberts to see if we would be interested in joining the newly created Red Army Radio station. A proper studio, working with Dave, Marc Yafano and Phil Bullock (no relation) it was an easy decision to make.
At this time, I do want to thank Dave, Yaf, Phil and the Red Army team. They’ve really helped with our production this year and they’ve become good friends of ours – so thank you so much!
This season is where the podcast has really grown and became more than just a podcast. In terms of growth, our followers just seem to get bigger and bigger each day. Our listenership has doubled, we’ve had Dimi on the podcast, we’ve been featured on Sky Sports, in national newspapers, we’ve been on the pitch before Boro played Preston and we’ve got sponsors now… it’s pretty nuts if I’m honest!
As for more than a podcast, there’s a community feel to our page now and we love it. So thank you to everyone who engages with us. When we see our tweets/posts getting shared and people talk about their memories, the feeling is amazing.
With the growth in mind, we do things a little different now. We have weekly meetings about content, we spend hours in content creation, the podcast prep is a lot longer and we’ve got some extra shows near enough ready to be launched.
I’m excited to see what the future brings for our pages. We do this because we love it, we love football, we love the club, we love putting smiles on people’s faces and we love creating discussions online.
That’s what The Boro Breakdown is all about.
Find out more on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBoroBreakdown/