Building community and embracing new digital landscapes

Monday, June 6, 2022

Tyson McGavin

TikTok Tyson

Tyson McGavin (BGBDA ’22) is fostering community among game players and embracing the emerging digital marketing landscape of TikTok. He recently surpassed the 500K follower milestone for Big Blue Bubble’s My Singing Monsters account. 

When Tyson joined gaming studio Big Blue Bubble as a student on his work term, he saw the opportunity to utilize TikTok to engage their customers better, especially the next generation. He took the initiative to experiment and push boundaries within the digital media space to create relevant content while completing his other responsibilities.

Graduating this month with his Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts, Tyson was able to take his work term position and transition it to a full-time opportunity post-graduation. 

Big Blue Bubble ultimately hired Tyson as a Digital Media Specialist to focus on creating TikToks. He began creating memorable and fun media campaigns for their game My Singing Monsters. He grew the TikTok account from 68K followers and 187K likes to over 500K followers and three million likes in under a year, an impressive marketing feat for anyone, especially someone this early in their career.

 “The broadness of the [Global Business and Digital Arts] program gave me the mindset to try everything and… see what everything brings. And then using what you learn, you realize what the best thing is,” notes Tyson. 

Community building is in his DNA

As Tyson entered his first year as a student, he created a group chat for all incoming students to connect. This mindset of community building continued throughout his academic career. As a student, Tyson built community as an active member of the Global Business and Digital Arts Society at Stratford every year, ultimately serving as vice-president and president. Under Tyson’s leadership, the club helped promote other Stratford student initiatives, including the Creator’s Collective Gallery, the Relay for Life and creating welcome back to campus videos.

“I definitely have that drive, and I think GBDA Society put me in that mindset of bringing people to a collective community and fun... and doing that together,” says Tyson.

His success with Big Blue Bubble did not come without hard work, as he developed nearly 300 TikToks over the year, some with more success than others. Not to be discouraged, Tyson persevered, and his tenacity helped him achieve this incredible marketing feat. “We had a few bangers, but the bangers wouldn’t have come out if the grind didn’t happen,” notes Tyson about his more successful campaigns.

“Another thing GBDA taught me was not to stop at one stage and one mindset of how to do something. If it’s not working... keep trying something else until something does work. Ride that wave, but then once it’s done, then you go back to the drawing board.”

Part of building community is knowing how to work collaboratively in teams. Tyson notes that GBDA’s team-based projects prepared him for work at Big Blue Bubble and notes without the team experience at Stratford, “I would have been a little more reserved and maybe not had the confidence to have taken that initiative.”

Ever the optimist, Tyson closes by saying, “I will see you at 1 million [followers]”.

Tyson is already showcasing Waterloo’s talent and entrepreneurial drive. We look forward to celebrating with him and his GBDA cohort at Spring Convocation.

This story originally appeared on Waterloo News.


Some see students. You see potential.

Shape the future this Giving Tuesday. Make a gift to help unlock two challenge grants! Your gift will be directed to the Stratford School Excellence Fund, allowing us to recognize student excellence by awarding scholarships to GBDA and MDEI students this year (2022), in honour of the School’s 10th Anniversary. When $5,000 in gifts have been made to the Stratford School Excellence Fund, an extra $1,000 will be unlocked, which will allow 10 or more GBDA and MDEI students to receive Stratford School 10th Anniversary Scholarships! 

Some see students. You see potential.

Shape the future this Giving Tuesday. Make a gift to help unlock two challenge grants! Donations will be directed to the Stratford School Excellence Fund, allowing us to recognize student excellence by awarding scholarships to GBDA and MDEI students this year, in honour of the School’s 10th Anniversary.