The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Humans of UWL: Bryn Sato, Bryniebooo

Bryn Sato. Photo provided by Bryn Sato.

Bryn Sato is a second-year media studies student and two-sport athlete at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. What makes Sato stand out amongst her peers? Her TikTok following of 1.8 million.  

Known as Bryniebooo on TikTok and Instagram, Sato’s content spans from day-in-the-life vlogs of her practice routines and college activities to collaborations with brands like American Eagle, Lululemon and Casetify.  

“It’s definitely a lot,” said Sato regarding her schedule. Keeping a routine and to-do list, Sato manages to keep school and athletics her top priority and makes social media content when time allows.  

Sato started on TikTok her sophomore year of high school just before COVID-19 shut down schools in her hometown of Grayslake, Illinois. When Sato hit 16,000 followers on TikTok her mom suggested she use a different name than her own. 

Brynieboo was a name her friend had called her, and it stuck as Sato’s platforms continued to grow.  

In high school Sato was competitive on the cross country and track team, however running in college wasn’t always her plan.  

“It wasn’t a dream of mine,” said Sato. “As I got older and started to like it [running] more I was like, ‘OK I want to do this in college’.” 

Sato visited UWL around the time she began gaining a following on social media. “I really liked the coaches,” she said. “The area is really pretty, and there are a lot of places to run.” The size of UWL was also attractive to Sato.  

With a population of nearly 10,500 students, UWL is the fifth largest school in the UW system. However, this number is not even close to Sato’s following.  

“I don’t think about it [her number of followers] too often and when I do, I’m like ‘OK that’s so many people’,” Sato said. “But it’s just kind of hard to put into perspective because I just look at it like a one and an eight.”  

On a medium sized campus Sato explained she gets recognized frequently. “I have to be mindful of everything that I am doing. I feel like I am always kind of being watched, which is not a bad thing, but I have to be careful and aware,” she said. 

Sato described her audience as a 50/50 split between younger teenage girls and girls in college. It is important to her that she is being a positive influence while posting, “…good content that is kind and uplifting.” 

Sato grew up Christian, going to church and Christian camps. “When I came to college, I picked my own church and it’s been awesome,” she said. Her videos reading bible verses and discussing her faith have become a popular aspect of Sato’s content.  

“I give off shy, quiet vibes on social media,” said Sato. She explained that people who know her personally have a different impression. “I am actually pretty outgoing which has changed over the years. I used to be super shy at the beginning of high school,” she said.  

Given Sato’s substantial following, she faces abnormal amounts criticism. On Dec. 17, 2023, a TikTok video was posted by a UWL student indirectly talking about Sato. The video, garnering 5.3 million views, labeled Sato a bully and implied that Sato’s online personality might differ from her behavior outside of social media.  

Sato made her own video in response. “It just stinks that one person made up a rumor about me and made a video about it and then everyone’s believing them. Lying hurts people,” Sato said in her video which now has 2.5 million views.  

This situation was a first for Sato and it wasn’t something she took lightly. “The whole thing was just blown out of portion, and it was hard to protect my image because it was just a rumor,” she said.  

Moments of negativity are few and far between on Sato’s platforms. “Every once and while there is a rude comment and I just delete it,” she said. “I am just having fun, posting videos and building a community.” 

Sato recently joined The Clementine Group, a social media agency to help her manage her platforms. Her friend and fellow UWL student, Lacey Brander also helps Sato as her manager. “She was really interested in what I was doing so I was like, ‘this is the perfect fit’,” Sato said.  

When Sato describes her job as content creator, she explains how she makes money. “I work with different brands and companies to post and promote their products, or their songs, or clothes,” she said. Recently, she had a partnership with Dales Clothing, a local La Crosse clothing boutique.  

“It’s really nice to meet everyone in person,” Sato said, which is what she identified stands out when doing local brand deals compared to bigger companies.  

She has partnered with Shop Twenties, another local La Crosse clothing company. Their mission, as stated on their website, is to start gospel conversations through clothing and encourage people to live intentionally in their twenties – values that align with Sato and her platform.  

It is not about the number of followers for Sato, but the people themselves. Sato said, “I get a lot of comments that say, ‘Oh you helped me become a runner, or you inspire me’ and that’s just the best feeling.”  

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About the Contributor
Isabel Piarulli
Isabel Piarulli, Executive Editor
Year at UWL: Junior PGPs: She/Her/Hers Hometown: Menasha, WI Major: Psychology and Political Science Minor: Communication Studies Other Campus Involvement: Student Association CASSH Senator, University Centers Admin Assistant, Psychology Club, Pre-Law Society member Future Plans after Graduation: Attend law school Favorite Activity in La Crosse: Visiting Pearl Street Books
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