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Mike Kaufman is bridging the gap between athlete and content creator

Mike Kaufman is cooking up something special.

The sports media specialist and content creator has gained a vast amount of popularity in the past several months and is beginning to create a significant name for himself.

I had the opportunity to speak with Kaufman to discuss his recent success and grand visions. It was an insightful and gratifying experience that gave me a deep look into the world of a content star and taught me lessons applicable to my own life.

“I just fell in love with the sport.”


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How do you say “dunk” in French? 🤷‍♂️🇫🇷 @betterbounce

A post shared by Mike Kaufman (@overtimemikey) on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:54pm PDT

Kaufman played in a variety of sports growing up, participating in baseball, soccer, and basketball. He fell in love with the latter early on and found himself playing in his driveway every single day. Within the first year of his playing, he knew that it would be a part of his future.

Kaufman also had a strong passion for creating videos and editing, something relatively uncommon for young athletes. As a kid, he would always rewatch All-Star games and dunk contests, rewinding and observing them in slow motion.

“I’ve always been obsessed with playing the sport and then capturing it. In a sense, trying to create some sort of content before I even knew what it meant.”


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That NYC ENERGY 🔋🗣 @overtime

A post shared by Mike Kaufman (@overtimemikey) on Aug 28, 2018 at 3:27pm PDT

He recalls always finding websites to download Kobe Bryant highlights and would use Windows Movie Maker to cut them up and create fresh mixes. It was Kaufman’s two distinct sides that would lead to interesting innovation.

He always had a creative side as an athlete that he didn’t want to lose.

From a player’s perspective, Kaufman gives basketball a lot of credit for many of the life lessons that he developed. It is something that defined his work ethic to a large extent. He developed an obsession for being prepared and would gain confidence from putting in the extra reps.

His journey wasn’t easy, though. It took an unorthodox approach that saw him transferring schools after his sophomore year just to make the varsity team.


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A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:27am PDT

After two decent years, Kaufman still had no formal Division-1 college offers. After eventually playing for a Division-3 school, he played two seasons professionally in Israel.

“I was always just taking risks, and believing in myself,” he said.

Kaufman was a year younger than his grade growing up, and never got any AAU opportunities. When his family moved to Florida, they decided not to re-class. Because of this, he was a late-bloomer and was constantly injured throughout his high school career.

He faced much adversity but knew that he would outwork people post-basketball. It helped build his level of control.


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ALL STAR WEEKEND WAS A VIBE ⭐️ @overtimelarry @overtime @karltowns

A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Feb 18, 2019 at 8:33am PST

When he moved back to New York for his next chapter, Kaufman was ready.

“I’ve always had this creative side that I didn’t want to lose.”

Kaufman has a variety of roles that he takes on. He works full time as Overtime Sports’ Senior Manager of Social Strategy & Distribution. The New York-based company is a sports network that garners a billion views a month using a variety of platforms and formats.

Along with this, he is the founder of the sports content platform Better Bounce, an influential brand that produces instructional basketball, training, and workout videos. The platform’s Instagram page has notched over 72K followers and has topped 200K views on several of its videos.

Kaufman’s TikTok page has exploded as well. In the short time that the platform has gained popularity, Kaufman’s page has skyrocketed to 240K followers and nearly 8 million likes.


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Shooting Tip #5 🚨 SOUND ON 🔊 Squaring up to the basket 🎯 #betterbounce

A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:40am PDT

Kaufman loves creating the content. He makes it to help coach people but learns himself at the same time. It is now his journey as he aims to reach millions of people.

It is a rare form of connection that Kaufman shares with his audience. Seldom is there a sports content page with the mission and drive that Kaufman strives for. He connects with his viewers on such a special level because of the shared learning that they are experiencing.

“Everything you put into the game of basketball comes back to you one way or another.”

Kaufman has carved a career path for himself that he yearns for. His global reach has expanded through traveling the world and working in the sports space.

The process isn’t something that you can cheat, as he mentions. “As a player, I was obsessed with the details, and the footwork, and all of these different players,” he explains.

“You can’t cheat it. It’s time and work, and it’s reps that you have to put in and they have to be meticulous and detailed.”


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DUNKING in JEANS is not easy 😈 We dressed up as construction workers and BALLED OUT in NYC @overtime

A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:21am PST

Kaufman isn’t trying to debate whether he is the best player or video editor out there. What he is focused on is his ability to bring the two worlds together, and create the best possible content for his audience.

“I want to make it in a way wherein 15 to 30 seconds someone can consume it, save the video and go try it out on their driveway later that night.”

Kaufman has seen a lot of organic growth on both his personal accounts and Better Bounce. He receives countless DMs of support from people in many foreign countries, including Italy, Brazil, and several South American countries.

Kaufman seeks to publish content that help kids improve, and the messages that he receives in return are motivation to keep him expanding forward.

With the accounts’ growth and success, new brand partnership opportunities continue presenting themselves. These allow Kaufman to continue creating top-quality content to reach a range of different audiences.

Video optimization is a very important part of Kaufman’s platform. It is also one of the reasons he has achieved prime success.

With breakdowns, he will stay between 15 and 22 seconds. The length is very important, as two to three seconds can make a substantial difference. The opening is crucial as well, as the audience must know what they’re going to get in the first few seconds.

“They’re gonna keep watching and if they don’t, they’ll swipe up,” Kaufman says.

There is enough of a basketball audience on TikTok to generate solid views, but the key to maintaining the desired audience is in the details.

Kaufman has had videos gain up to 5 million views, with several 2 million and 1 million pieces thrown in there. As a video editor, he is obsessed with the format and making sure that the content can translate between platforms. Having technical video editing skills definitely helps.

“Definitely one of the best highlights of the day.”

Experiences take you places, and in Kaufman’s case, to people. One of his favorite memories is when he had the opportunity to spend an evening playing pickup with Dwyane Wade.

Wade had been in New York and tweeted that he wanted someone to play after-work hoops with. The Overtime squad DM’d him, coordinated a time, and a few hours later they were at a gym.

Kaufman, some coworkers, and a camera crew were ready to meet the man himself. A few minutes later, the 13-time NBA All-Star walked in.

He had fallen in love watching Dwyane Wade growing up, and it was truly a surreal moment for him. Minutes later, Kaufman, his crew, and Wade were playing pickup basketball in a New York City gym.

“I’d never passed the ball so much, I just wanted to set up Dwyane Wade every possession I had,” Kaufman laughed.

One of his favorite memories is when Kaufman scored on a nice move. “Get that guy a 10-day contract,” Wade bellowed.

Wade even managed to throw him an alley-oop in between games.

Months later, Kaufman and his crew ran into Wade again at his final Madison Square Garden game. They were able to set him up with some fresh Overtime gear and even reenacted a jersey swap.


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THE @overtime JERSEY SWAP 😱 @dwyanewade

A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Mar 30, 2019 at 8:24pm PDT

Kaufman also had the opportunity to spend time with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Greece.

The Nike NYC team contacted Kaufman to go to Athens, Greece for Giannis’ new sneaker launch. Kaufman and other media members were able to see the gym that he played in, his family, and an insightful tour into the young life of the star.

Kaufman also had the opportunity to interview Giannis, speak with his brothers up close, and of course, try on the sneakers.

“Just the most down to Earth family you’ll ever meet,” Kaufman said. “Really good guys and it was just dope to get that whole experience.”

“My job is a triple threat.”

Kaufman’s career is a bit complicated at the moment, mostly because of the vast amount of responsibilities he has.

His top priority is Overtime, where he is a full-time employee. While he runs the company’s social media editing, the extra content that he makes isn’t part of the job description.


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Thankful for @overtime 🙏🏼 and our 1 million followers 😆

A post shared by Mike Kaufman (@overtimemikey) on Nov 21, 2018 at 12:46pm PST

He primarily focuses on addressing how Overtime will run TV shows, distribute the content, and strategize the planning. After hours, he attacks his other projects. The most important thing to him? Kaufman focuses on himself as a person.

He views himself as a “triple threat,” and avoids specializing in just one thing. His first and most important threat is being a legitimate professional. He wants to be a leader who gets the most out of his teammates.

The second threat is being a creator. Kaufman realizes the importance of being able to shoot and edit. He doesn’t want the lack of skills to be the reason why he can’t do something.

The third threat is being the talent behind the camera. In Kaufman’s case, it is being an athlete, but he makes it clear that that is not only the path.


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How good Will Zion be in the NBA? 🤨 @zionwilliamson

A post shared by Mike Kaufman ✪ (@betterbounce) on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:15pm PDT

Whatever your strength is, wherever you can find success, that is the place where you should attack and demonstrate your talent.

Kaufman realized how multidimensional his job was when he participated in Overtime’s Takeover Event last year.

The team invited the top high school basketball players in the country for a tournament in Brooklyn. Kaufman had the opportunity to film the event that day and even jumped on the court to participate in one of the games.

He stayed up all night editing the content with his team. The excitement that he had surrounding that rare event proved the versatility and thrill of his career.

Managing and mentoring people in these situations is important for Kaufman as well.

“When I’m engaged in multiple ways, I can do all the things I love to do.”

In the next ten years, Kaufman hopes to continue growing his career path in the sports media world while simultaneously developing his personal brands.

“I don’t see myself sticking to just one of those things,” Kaufman says. “I want to keep all three of those blades sharp for as long as I can.”


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Over the summer I was locked up in a mansion with all my coworkers and it got CRAZY 🤭 full video in bio 📲 @overtime

A post shared by Mike Kaufman (@overtimemikey) on Feb 13, 2020 at 2:51pm PST

Things are always changing in the social and sports media worlds, and it is important to stay alert and adapt to each situation.

Kaufman’s content is an engaging and appealing experience. He is one of the few content creators that thrives on a combination of originality, innovation, and inspiration.

We can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Kaufman and his platforms. One thing is for certain: it will put a smile on our faces.