Breaking news: Max Brown announces his leaving after the match due to his…..

Max Brown represents the thrilling potential of rugby union but also underscores its challenge in capturing the interest of younger audiences.

The 22-year-old dynamic wing plays for Walsall RFC in the sixth tier of the English club pyramid. He started playing rugby in his mid-teens, leaving football behind because he enjoyed the physicality of rugby, saying, “I realised I could run into people and smash them and that it was legal.”

Brown briefly moved up a league to play with Stourbridge, where he had a contract promising £100 per match plus travel expenses. However, the commitment proved too demanding, leading him to return to Walsall to “be with my mates”. His full-time job, creating video content about grass-roots rugby, took up too much time. Additionally, his social media following of around 562,000 followers and subscribers earns him “well over £100,000” annually from advertising and other income sources.

“Some brand sponsorships I’ve had have been high four-figure deals,” Brown says with a grin. “It’s absolutely mental. I used to work part-time in a gym, where I’d earn £800 a month.”

According to the latest Premiership salary cap report, focusing on the 2021-22 season, the median wage of top-flight first-team players was £130,000. Brown has spoken with professional players who are amazed at the income an influencer can generate. He admits he is sometimes astonished by it himself.

“It’s literally my whole life,” says Brown, who has run a YouTube channel since he was 12. “People think ‘all you’re doing is filming and posting’. But it involves planning, editing, scheduling content. I hire videographers but do the editing myself, and I’m not stopping at 5pm. I’m thinking about it from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep, and I have been for years.”

At present, Brown has just under 189,000 YouTube subscribers. His Instagram has 133,000 followers, and his TikTok, ideal for short, consumable clips, is close to 240,000 followers. A scroll through his content reveals a playful personality with a knack for creating shareable material. Many videos feature personal highlights filmed by his cameraman.

“I’ll know during a game whether something is going to do well or not,” laughs Brown. “In the game, I’m thinking ‘there’s a clip’! Steps, big hits, or controversial moments always do well. Whether people enjoy it or criticize me, calling me s— and saying I play in a farmers’ league – either way, it does well.”

His channels also feature comedy skits, club social events, fitness tips, and rehab insights. Other videos break down rugby jargon in a relatable, humorous way. For example, why do teammates always tell their kicker to “make sure” when aiming for touch?

One of Brown’s viral hits came from a match against Droitwich a year ago. After scoring one try, he received a long pass out wide.

“I bumped off about four of their players to score, and the ref called it back,” Brown says. “He gave me a yellow card for ‘charging with my forearm’, which I was shocked at. The tackler had gone high, and I was upright, but I got the yellow… which I was pretty pissed off about, to be honest.

“I knew on the pitch that it was going to make a controversial clip on TikTok and Instagram, so I posted it and asked for people’s opinions. I also slowed it down to show it was a clean bump. It got a massive response, with about five million views across both channels and numerous comments.”

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