Flip the Switch

College Leaders | Using Data and Tech to Amplify the ’12th Man’ Tradition w/ Michael Thompson

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.

Show Notes

6:06 What’s new for 2021 Texas A&M Football?

8:57 Creative Planning for Staffing Challenges

13:54 Celebrating The 100th Season of the 12th Man

19:18 Balancing Traditions with New Innovations

23:55 If Money Was No Object…Investments to Enhance Customer Experience

27:03 Defined Social Spaces in Stadiums

30:27 Diving into NFTs and the Blockchain 

33:43 Cracking the Code on Season Ticket Usage

38:43 The Flexible ‘Gig ‘Em Pass’

39:33 Understanding Your Different Customers

43:30 The “FOMO” Factor

46:48 On Michael’s Bookshelf

50:56 When “No” Presents a Better Opportunity

56:36 Best Investment Under $100

57:59 Practicing Intermittent Fasting

1:01:53 Michael’s Billboard


For more information on topics discussed in today’s episode:

Flexible Gig ‘em Pass

On Michael’s Bookshelf

Pappy Land by Wright Thompson

Endurance | Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition by Dennis Perkins

Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn or Twitter


Today’s episode was sponsored by CheckdIn.  Delivering training digitally to better equip your staff for game day.

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