Verge Meets: Ollie Ball with JD Sports

This week JD Sports is going on tour, reinventing the ultimate school bus helping make shopping for the new term not feel like a chore. With the new school term just around the corner, JD Sports, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and lifestyle brands is hitting the road with its ‘Click Refresh’ Back-to-School Tour – ensuring kids head back to school repping their favourite brands, in head-to-toe style. The Click-Refresh school bus will be servin’ up the coolest creps, the finest fits and top term-time swag in, Birmingham tomorrow, and Liverpool on Sunday. There’ll be other surprises too, including appearances from stars from the worlds of gaming and entertainment.

Verge CEO Andre Dixon caught up with TikToker sensation Ollie Ball to discuss the campaign and more about his rise to fame thanks to his quirky, funny social videos. JD and their gaming partner EXCEL ESPORTS will provide students plenty of opportunity to enjoy the gaming with Ollie on the top floor of the bus, with prizes to be won along the way.

 

A: You’re 17 with 2.7m followers on TikTok, tell us about how you started your journey to being a social media sensation 

O: Making TikToks was just a fun way for me and my friends to mess around and be creative during our lunch breaks. Jacob Pasquill ran his account and came up with most of the ideas, I said the classic “It’s Ollie Ball here” line and it went mental. Those two weeks it really blew up and changed both of our lives. 

Life must be so different from before, tell us about the most shocking moments since you’ve become so popular online 

It’s so different, there hasn’t been a day since we got famous that I haven’t been recongised. I can’t complain because I love it, but it is crazy. I think the maddest thing is being able to be paid to travel and go to festivals. At Radio 1 Big Weekend I met KSI and Central Cee backstage. I grew up watching KSI and having him gassed to meet me was unbelievable.

Where do you get the ideas for your content and what’s the process for creating your videos 

My TikTok videos are really low effort and that adds to the comedy of them. I’ve tried spending lots of time and money on upping the quality and production but nothing works better than recording videos in my bedroom where i’m dancing with bad lighting or reacting to a video with my double chin in shot.

Do you have any dream content collaborations? Anyone you’d love to partner up with? 

It would have to be Addison Rae… for obvious reasons. I’m a big fan of her content. 

Who’s you’re favourite TikToker right now, who’s on your watch list? 

Has to be Cal the Dragon – he’s a genius at knowing how to play the TikTok game.

Tell us about your partnership with JD sports, EXCEL ESPORTS and the click refresh back to school tour – why does this collab mean a lot to you? 

I’m really excited to be working with JD Sports on their back to school tour and EXCEL, as it gives me a chance to meet people up and down the country. And as one of Britain’s best looking people I think it’s important to help people look their best for the first day of school.

The back-to-school tour is all about looking your best for the first day of school, tell us about your favourite back to school items, what could you not start a new term without? 

A new pair of kicks, is a must, my go-to would be a box fresh pair of Nike Air Max 90  along with a fresh trim and a good pencil case.

What role did you play in your class? Were you in the back cracking jokes or a teacher’s pet? 

Both the class clown and irresistible stud. 

What’s it been like working with EXCEL and what do you think of the work they’re doing with JD? 

I’ve loved working with EX|CEL as they’re making waves in the gaming industry and their partnership with JD brings gaming to new audiences and in new ways. I’m really excited to continue working with them in the future.

What does gaming mean to you and what are your favourite games to play? 

I’ve always loved gaming and it has always been a way to connect with my friends and meet new people online from all over the world. My favourite games are FIFA, Call of Duty and a bit of Fortnite.

Finally, any words of wisdom to all the young influencers coming up? What are the key things you’ve learned in your career so far?

My advice to grow on TikTok is to experiment with your content and when something works, double down on it and consistently post. The key things i’ve learnt in my career so far is to surround yourself with a good team, to work hard and to take opportunities outside of your comfort zone.

The JD ‘Click Refresh’ Back-to-School Tour will be making the following stops, this August:

Friday 19th August

Birmingham Bullring

Opening times: 10am – 6pm

Sunday 21st August

Liverpool One

Opening times: 11am – 5pm

Bring your mum, your dad, your mates, your siblings and spread the word – it’s one not to miss if you want to be top of the class, in the style stakes at least, at the start of the new school year. Keep your eyes peeled on the JD Social channels, for all the information that you’ll need.

If you can’t make it down to the JD ‘Click Refresh Back to School’ Tour, drop in and level up at your local JD store, or online for the must have Back to School essentials.

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