The “Great Resignation” or “Great Migration” has incited a movement by employees to find roles where they feel valued and appreciated. But not everyone wants to be recognized or shown appreciation in the same way. In this episode, David sits down with Dr. Paul White, author of “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace”, to talk about how to show appreciation for your staff in ways that are meaningful to them.

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This week on Flip the Switch, we are joined by Paula Courtney, CEO of the Verde Group.  Partnering with many Fortune 100 companies, the Verde Group brings unique methods to studying consumer behavior and improving the customer experience. Rather than asking “How was your experience?” Paula and her team probe for customer dissatisfaction. Their research has demonstrated that innovating off of points of friction and restoring consumer confidence have a greater financial impact on organizations.  This episode dives into the five key elements of consumer choice, knowing your customer and maintaining their loyalty.

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In this episode, David sits down with Shawn McIntosh, Charlotte FC’s Chief Fan Officer, the first role of its kind in any professional league. Throughout this episode, Shawn shares his strategies and tactics for building relationships with Charlotte FC supporters and community leaders and bringing that voice to the table in internal club meetings.

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This College Leaders segment features Bryan Blair, Deputy Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer at Washington State University.  In the four years that Bryan and his team have been in Pullman, they’ve worked to build a culture that highlights and celebrates what is unique about Wazzou.  Bryan and David hit on hiring coaches and staff that are cultural fits, embracing your identity and taking risks to move college athletics forward.

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This episode features industry legend Scott O’Neil. In his most recent role, Scott was the CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, overseeing the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to that, he held positions of Senior Vice President of the NBA’s Team Marketing and Business Operations division and President of Madison Square Garden Sports.

Throughout the podcast, Scott charmed us with stories as he and David dive into a number of insights that influenced his career and became the foundation for his new book, “Be Where Your Feet Are: Seven Principles to Keep You Present, Grounded and Thriving.”

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This week we’re joined by Jamie Pollard, Director of Athletics at Iowa State University. Since his arrival in 2005, he has re-imagined almost every facet of the department, leading the Cyclones to records in attendance and ticket sales and academic scores and some of their highest finishes in the Learfield Directors’ Cup. His leadership extends throughout the industry as he was recently named NACDA President of the Year for 2021-22. In this episode, Jamie and David break down how Iowa State approaches its fan experience by “speaking the fans’ love language” and leading like an entrepreneur.

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This week, we sat down with Rhett Hobart, Associate AD for Fan Experience and Brand Development at Wake Forest University. Since he joined the Demon Deacons in April 2020, Rhett and his team have launched their “Welcome to Deactown” brand campaign, introduced new in-game experiences for the greater college football fan and debuted a co-branded beer, Deacon Brew, all to create the “Best Fan Experience in North Carolina.” In this episode, we go deep into strategies and tactics for engaging your fan base and building a true community.

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This week, we welcome Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart to the show. After 20 years as UK’s Athletic Director, Mitch has produced one of the largest leadership trees with more than six former associates now holding Division 1 athletic director positions. In this episode, Mitch shares his passion for equipping people to launch people and guiding his organization with a true servant heart and integrity.

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This episode of Flip the Switch features Customer Experience Coach, Keynote Speaker and Author Dan Gingiss. Dan’s latest book, “The Experience Maker,” comes out today, featuring his “WISE” framework and stories from 20 years of experience working with brands, including McDonald’s, Discover and Humana. Throughout the episode, Dan and David discuss simple, yet remarkable ways to enhance your engagement with your customers.

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Joining us on today’s episode is Eric Nichols, the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Branding/Chief Marketing Officer at the University of South Carolina. Nichols oversees Marketing, Digital and Social Media, and the University band and spirit programs as well as serving as the primary liaison for Licensing, merchandise sales, and outsourced entities including

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Today’s episode is all about appealing to the emotional side of fandom with Peter Sorckoff. What started as a career in a therapeutic environment has evolved into 20 plus years of understanding the human subconscious impact on fandom. Peter leveraged those insights to create immersive marketing and branding experiences for major brands in the NBA, the MLB and NHL, most notably as the Chief Creative Officer and EVP of Brand for the Atlanta Hawks. Now, Peter is applying similar concepts to other industries, including aviation and retail, through his company, Seer. This podcast goes in-depth on building experiences based on the instinctual – and sometimes irrational – aspects of fandom.

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Michael Thompson joins David for this week’s College Leaders podcast. After nine years at Ole Miss, Michael reunited with Ross Bjork at Texas A&M in October of 2019 as the Deputy Athletics Director for External Relations and Business Development. His innovative leadership has led to appointments as the 2020-21 NACMA President and membership in the SEC’s fan experience working group. His team also won the 2019 NACDA Technology Innovation Award. Counting down the days to football at Kyle Field, Michael shares his framework for keeping the 12th Man traditions sacred while employing data and new technology to evolve and innovate game day and carrying that through to other sports.

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In our latest College Leaders podcast, we are joined by Troy Dannen, Ben Weiner Director of Athletics at Tulane University, to discuss leadership and guiding Tulane through turbulent times. Five years into his tenure, he’s revamped his senior management, increased fundraising and enhanced the student-athlete and fan experiences. He’s a recognized leader in college athletics, recently named to the newly established NCAA Constitution Committee, representing all Group of 5 schools.

Less than 24 hours before we recorded the podcast, Tulane announced its mask and vaccination policy in conjunction with the City of New Orleans. Throughout the episode, Troy shares his framework for scenario planning and decision making.

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In this episode, David is joined by Greg Turner to dive in to the differences in fandoms and live events between China and the West. What started as a summer internship for Greg has evolved into a 20-year career in China, moving from agencies to live events and venue management, before establishing his own company, Shenzhen High Performance Event Management. Compared to most of our fan bases that have existed for decades, live events have only been a regular part of the Chinese culture for the last 20 years. Throughout this podcast, Greg shares a number of applicable lessons on educating and engaging fans and bringing new audiences in to sporting events.

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The University of Miami became the first college athletic department to break into the NFT space, announcing the new CanesVault this week that will officially open on August 16. In this episode, Dan Boyd, Miami’s Senior Associate AD for Sales and Marketing and Jon Parise, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GigLabs, Miami’s NFT partner, join David to discuss the strategies and behind-the-scenes conversations leading to this innovative launch.

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This week’s special College Leaders segment features Rick George, Athletic Director at University of Colorado.  Rick had a rather unorthodox path to the big chair, taking on roles with the PGA Champions Tour and the Texas Rangers’ Front Office before returning to the collegiate industry with Colorado in 2013.  Throughout this episode, Rick and David discuss Colorado’s strategic plans, its “RAPID” core values and the importance of incremental revenue generation.  

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This week’s episode strays from our usual podcast pattern. David is joined by Justin Doherty, Senior Associate AD for External Communications at Wisconsin. Outside of his roles in brand communications, marketing, video services and facility branding, Justin has authored four books on Wisconsin history. David and Justin have embarked on a 25-book challenge and share some of their top hits and reading strategies in this bonus episode.

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In our latest podcast, David sits down with John Kosner. After 20 years at ESPN, where he transformed its digital media strategy, John co-founded Micromanagement Ventures with former NBA Commissioner David Stern and also leads Kosner Media, where he invests in and advises sports tech companies focused in sports media, sports betting and gambling and player development.

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A long-time sports executive, Rick Burton brings a breadth of experience and insights to this week’s podcast. After roles in brand management with Miller Lite, a stint as commissioner of the National Basketball League in Australia and Chief Marketing Officer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Rick has spent the last 12 years at Syracuse University as the David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management and Faculty Athletics Representative. He’s also co-authored three books and contributes regularly to Sports Business Journal, as well as Sportico and Sports Business.

This episode goes deep on all of Rick’s specialties – sports marketing sponsorship, the Tokyo Olympics, organizational management and leadership and ESports.

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Flip the Switch is all about uncovering the latest trends in sports and entertainment and the experiments organizations are running. Working alongside college athletic departments has inspired a new series: Flip the Switch – College Leaders. Joining David on the show will be senior leaders who are transforming the industry and implementing those trends and experiments.

Our first guest of the series is DeWayne Peevy, Vice President and Director of Athletics at DePaul University. Peevy became AD in September of 2020, after 12 years at Kentucky, including the last 7 as Deputy AD.

In this episode, DeWayne shares his experience from the first 10 months in the role, lessons from his past that have influenced his leadership style today and the vision he has for DePaul, recently announced through the department’s new “Dream Big” strategic plan.

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