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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Our guest this week is Nick Sautner, CEO of Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. A worldwide leader in sports and entertainment, Eden Park was the first venue to host a sporting event and a concert at full capacity since the pandemic and has won a number of recent global awards, including the Product Innovation Award for “Staydium Glamping”. Sautner has also been recognized as EVANZ Supreme Person of the Year and TheStadiumBusiness Global Executive of the Year. Throughout this episode, Sautner shares his framework for Eden Park’s strategic plan, his “town hall vs. cathedral” mentality and monetizing the venue to create more participative events and experiences.

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This week, we welcome Kevin Gober, Sr. Director of Arena Experience & Leadership and & Development for the Atlanta Hawks, back to the podcast. A recurring guest on the show, Kevin shares his takeaways from welcoming fans back to venues, adapting to increasing capacities and gets candid on the staffing challenges that State Farm Arena has faced. For venues across the country preparing for a return to full capacity, this episode dives deep into the programs Kevin and State Farm Arena are putting in place to grow their staff, create an employee referral program and develop the leadership skills of their current team.

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For our second Flip the Switch Live episode, we are joined by Dan Gale of Leona Marketing Group and Tim Rebich of Varsity Partners. Sharing their perspectives as third-parties in the college athletics space, this episode is more idea-based than best practices focused. Dan, Tim and David forecast where college athletics is headed and the impacts NIL and multimedia sponsorship will have on the industry.

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Our latest episode features Jen Rottenberg, Chief Marketing Officer for Fan Controlled Football (FCF). Just as it sounds, this new professional league gave the fans the ability to select everything from team names, colors and logos to the plays that were called on the field during the game. To make that all happen, data is at the heart of everything FCF does, attracting four uniques audiences and crafting every aspect of the game for active broadcast viewing, as opposed to the traditional emphasis on the in-person experience.

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This week’s guest is Mike Farrell, Assistant AD for Broadcasting and Video Production at University of Maryland. As part of Maryland’s 75-year Terrapin Club “Reinvented” campaign, Mike and his team created Terrapin Club +. Often referred to as “Netflix for Terps”, the subscription service is the first of its kind in college athletics and features five shows to create additional value for Terrapin Club members and share the stories of Maryland current and former student-athletes.

We go in-depth on content strategies and deepening ties with your tribes in this episode.

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Today’s guest is Jason Fox. After 6 years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins, Jason launched EarBuds in 2018. What started as a platform to facilitate consumers and fans being able to listen to the same playlists as their favorite athletes in real-time has morphed into a new social listening experience through EarBuds’ partnerships with Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify.
This episode covers everything from sports tech, data, exclusive fan experiences, entrepreneurship and digital social engagement.

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Joining the show this week is Brittany Hodak. Recently named Chief Experience Officer at Experience.com, Brittany shares her frameworks that organizations can adopt to cultivate super fans and experiences. Prior to joining Experience.com, Brittany co-founded a marketing and collectibles company ZinePak (later named The Superfan Company), which was featured on Shark Tank and earned one of the highest valuations in show history. She exited in 2019 to focus full-time on speaking and consulting with organizations to harness the passion within fans.

David and Brittany set their rivalry aside to dive in to Brittany’s SUPER strategy and focusing on real-time data to perfect customer and employee experience.

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Rachel Jacobson is the President of the Drone Racing League. After 21 years in the NBA, her last role being VP of Global Business Development, and a brief stint in the private sector, Rachel was named president of DRL just one year ago.

DRL is a technology company first and the decisions they make from a business, employee and customer experience standpoint are all from a technology perspective, because of the outreach it enables with both traditional and non-traditional sports fans who have embraced their organization.

We touch on everything from leadership and culture, to making decisions that serve the holistic customer and bringing new fans into their ecosystem.

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This episode covers everything from leadership and building a company, to NIL legislation and empowering student-athletes. Today’s guest is Jim Cavale, Founder and CEO of INFLCR. With NIL legislation set to go into effect this summer, college athletic departments are facing so many unknowns. Jim and his team recently launched INFLCR Verified and INFLCR Plus, initiatives to help athletic departments and student-athletes proactively prepare for this change and provide them the tools to capitalize on their brand power and voice.

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Today’s episode is all about turning fans into customers and customers into fans. David sits down with internationally-known author, advisor, educator and speaker David Meerman Scott. Scott co-wrote his latest book, Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers into Fans, with his daughter Reiko Scott. Fanocracy unearths the science behind building emotional connections in your tribe and marketing lessons learned from fandoms outside of sports, including the Grateful Dead. The show takes a deep dive on applying those lessons to cultivating stronger experiences and relationships with your fanbase.

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In today’s episode, David is joined by Luka Garza, starting center for the Iowa Hawkeyes,  AP College Basketball Player of the Year, and winner of the 2021 Naismith Trophy. They discuss name, image, and likeness, the launch of Luka’s new NFT company LukaGarzaNFTGroup.io and how Luka hopes to provide opportunities for college athletes to monetize their

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Today’s guest is Ed Vincent, Founder and CEO of FestivalPass. Ed and his team are trying to reinvent the model for accessing live events and how we go about deciding what events to go to as consumers. FestivalPass is the first festival and live event subscription marketplace that provides access to music, film, food and wine, tech and innovation, sports and entertainment and more. His data-driven background is trying to help shape the future of the live events industry.

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On this episode, David sits down with Kameron Durham, Vice President of Guest Experience for the entire entertainment footprint of Hollywood Park, including SoFi Stadium, the brand new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.  Prior to this role, he was the Director of Guest Services for the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. In its first year, SoFi Stadium did not host any fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of guests, they re-thought customer experience and service as stakeholder experience and service, focusing on the employees and players and those who are expected to deliver magical moments for fans.

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In today’s episode, David sits down with two industry legends Rob Temple, Chief Executive Officer at FishBait Solutions, LLC and Rick Jones, Captain, Creative Director and Shareholder at FishBait Solutions, LLC. When combining Rick’s creative mind for amazing corporate sponsorship ideas and insights and Rob’s previous 20-year experience as ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing the two bring a powerhouse of knowledge into this episode. The three get into sponsorships and how to find the right corporate partners to connect with your unique fans.

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Our guest today is Jesse Schwarz, who set an NBA Top Shot record earlier this year, paying $208k for a replay of a LeBron James dunk. If that makes no sense to you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this episode.

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For today, we’re really going to be diving deep into Fandom. And no it should be no surprise, that much of how fandom is changing today is based on the evolution of the creator economy. If you’re not familiar with the creator economy, have no fear, we do some definition setting in the episode.

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Shep, KG, and David cover everything from designing an organization’s purpose to how customer service has changed for the future due to the pandemic.

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Our guest today is with Disney Parks & Resorts legend, Lee Cockerell. In this episode, we focus on leadership, customer service, and time management,

Lee Cockerell retired as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a position he held for ten years. His responsibilities encompassed a diverse mix of operations, which included 20 resort hotels with over 24,000 Guest rooms, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 5 golf courses, a shopping village & nighttime entertainment complex (Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs), the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the ancillary operations support functions.

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