From student athlete to CEO

Quinnipiac graduate assists businesses through his new social media company

Brendan O'Sullivan, Editor In Chief

As a 16-year-old, James Doig left high school to play soccer. Nine years later, he launched his own social media company, Social Scousers.

Doig’s business focuses on developing social media and websites for businesses through graphic design, photography, videography, website design and social media management.

Doig launched the company on April 19, but has been building it for the past two years. He wanted to ensure that he could work on his own terms rather than follow a typical work schedule.

“If you go into a nine-to-five job, you don’t have the freedom at all,” Doig said. “You go to an office, you sit there from nine to five, go home, you sleep and do the same every day. And I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to do the same.’”

Doig has been interested in running his own business since high school, but it was never prioritized since soccer was his focus during his adolescence. After leaving St. Francis Xavier’s College in Liverpool, England, he signed a two-year youth contract with Accrington Stanley Football Club and was later recruited to play at Quinnipiac.

In order to enroll at Quinnipiac, Doig had to finish high school. He worked with Vertex Soccer — an agency that helps youth soccer players from the United Kingdom and Ireland transition to United States programs — to receive the proper paperwork and complete the SAT which deemed him NCAA eligible.

Doig returned to his studies in 2013 as a freshman at Quinnipiac but feared he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the university’s workload.

“Before coming out, I said to my friends and everyone, ‘OK, I’ll probably be back in six months,’” Doig said. “‘I’m going to finish the soccer season and then I won’t be able to do the university work. I’ve got no chance … I won’t be able to cope with it. I won’t be able to do it. It’s going to be too hard, too tough.’”

However, after completing one semester, Doig gained a sense of confidence and enjoyment in his academics. He began to prioritize his education over soccer and planned to remain in the United States after graduation, so he could run a business.

In order to pursue those dreams, he declared himself an international business major during his sophomore year. However, one of his beginner-level math professors steered him away.

“He said, ‘James, look, this is very, very basic stuff,’” Doig said. “‘If you’re struggling to do this, then you’re probably going to struggle with the rest of the major because it’s only going to go uphill from here.’”

Initially, Doig said he believed he could stick with international business, but after talking with former Quinnipiac associate athletic director Lyneene Richardson, he chose to study communications.

This time, Doig fully embraced his new major and eventually graduated from Quinnipiac with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2017 and a master’s degree in interactive media and communications in 2018.

James Doig graduated with a masters degree from Quinnipiac in 2018. (Provided from James Doig’s Facebook)

As a requirement in the School of Communications, Doig had to complete a communications-related internship. So, he approached Leon Othen, co-owner of L1 Goalkeeper — a business that sells goalkeeper gloves — and requested an internship in spring 2017.

“His big thing that he did when he was interning was get us set up with a legitimate website and the ability to be able to pay over the web for our services, so he basically got everything online,” Othen said. “We were selling stuff out of the back of our cars or at camps and clinics.”

As an intern, Doig created and managed social media accounts for the company. Through his work at L1 Goalkeeper, Doig slowly built Social Scousers. He continued his work with Othen and L1 Goalkeeper co-owner Marty Walker through his graduate year at Quinnipiac while also interning with the New York Red Bulls, a Major League Soccer club.

Doig’s continuous work with L1 Goalkeeper led the company to increase its 2016-17 sales from $0 to $58,000, its website traffic to 45,000 viewers, its purchasable gloves to 17 and reach 54 states and international locations.

Walker, who is also the Inter Connecticut F.C. high school boys and girls director of coaching and one of three owners of the club, said Othen recommended Doig.

Inter Connecticut F.C. was formally known as Everton America and was linked to Everton F.C., a soccer club in the English Premier League. Doig helped transition and rebrand the club into Inter Connecticut F.C. in 2019.

“(Doig was) a big part of why the transition was well-received and why we’ve become quite a popular club,” Walker said. “We were pretty strong beforehand and we remain strong, but we’ve definitely grown since the rebrand which he definitely helped with.”

Recently, Doig focused on Inter Connecticut F.C.’s social media presence in order to keep its fans engaged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In social media, there’s four steps,” Doig said. “You’ve got to populate your feed with graphic (design) content, photography, whatever you chose it may be. Then you got to get a following, educate the following and turn them into a community.”

Doig prides himself on building communities at Social Scousers. He understands that he cannot promise to increase one’s sales or followers by a certain amount, however, he can promise to build and sustain a community.

“We engage a community,” Doig said. “We speak to people. Social media is a two-way communication stream. Many companies lose sight of that.”