Today’s guest is Mike Crawford, the President and CEO at Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company. Previous to his current role, Mike held a number of leadership roles with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and The Walt Disney Company.
At 4 Seasons, he was the President of Asia Pacific and then Portfolio Management around the world. While at the Walt Disney Company, he spent the majority of his time focused internationally. In his last role, he was the lead executive in charge of Shanghai Disneyland, including the resorts, hotels, retail, dining and entertainment district.
Based on Mike’s background, you can see the growth strategies powering Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company. Throughout the episode, we discuss Mike’s lessons learned from those companies and how he is adapting those insights to the sports & entertainment world.
If the company name sounds familiar but you can’t put your finger on it, Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is the larger organization built around the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Rather than just a place to gather and celebrate the past, the organization is honoring the past and inspiring the future. By leveraging the brand and familiarity of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mike and his team are building a massive entertainment and media destination to immerse customers.
One of the key takeaways from the episode is the way they’re using their real estate to diversify revenue streams, creating retail, dining, hospitality, healthcare, commercial, even residential verticals.
Mike and his team are maniacally focused on building community among sports fans. Not just in-person or on-site, but digitally and year round. This comes through their focus on creating unique content and governing themselves like a true entertainment company. They’re diving deeper into esports and in June, they acquired the first-ever professional fantasy football league.
There are tons of valuable nuggets throughout our conversation that should shift your mindset and approach on how to build your own brand. I hope our conversation inspires new immersive ways to engage your customers and create experiences for your employees that help them buy into your vision.