Flip the Switch

38: Modern Work and Digital Experiences w/ Jared Spataro

Our guest for this session is Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft. Jared oversees Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams, as well as the company’s focus on Modern Work. 

Obviously, the different elements of Microsoft 365 are deeply embedded in all of our daily work, from Outlook to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and more. His team has tremendous insight into the data behind how we’re using these tools, allowing his team to see trends before others see them. As a result, Jared and his team have been spending more and more time reimagining the future of work. And this is where we’ll spend the majority of our discussion.

Overseeing Microsoft Teams, Jared’s team played a huge role in the NBA bubble, as their Teams “Together Mode” allowed for the NBA to create virtual fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. We discuss Microsoft’s broader activities in the sports & entertainment and live events industries, where properties everywhere are having to place a more intentional focus on the digital experiences they provide their fans. It’s here that our group found some particularly interesting insights. 

Like many of our guests on this show, Jared’s experience is not limited to just sports & entertainment. He’s seeing trends from all industries around the world, and that insight can help us think differently than our peers, to better engage our fans and our employees. 

Time Stamps:

7:25 – Sporting leagues adapting to digital technology

8:15 – Digitization and the NFL

12:15 – Creating digital experiences for world fans

14:15 – Asynchronous and synchronous transformations

16:05 – Application of Microsoft Teams “together mode” to the NBA and NFL

18:52 – Trends of physical proximity oriented spending being reallocated to digital funds

24:40 – How to combat change-resistant people

28:45 – The role of humans in technology advancement

32:29 – The pandemic’s acceleration of technology

35:00 – Future of Work: Microsoft’s 7 principles

39:39 – What will the new “normal” be after Covid-19?

48:55 – How Microsoft runs meetings

53:24 – Blending digital and physical

Microsoft Teams Resources and Implementations:

Microsoft Teams

NBA Bubble virtual fans experience

Microsoft Teams Together Mode

Future of Work: Seven ways we’re empowering every person and every organization to thrive in a new world of work

Microsoft Teams Planner

Microsoft Power Automate


Where to Reach the Guest:

Connect on Twitter @jared_spataro

Connect on LinkedIn

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Flip the Switch

37: Virtual Fan Engagement Opportunities w/ Brad Wurthman & Chris Grosse

Today’s episode is a little different than usual. This episode is the edited audio from one of our Fireside Chats, something that our invite-only community has access too.

Our subject matter experts for the chat were Brad Wurthman, Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operations at Virginia Tech and Chris Grosse, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing at Penn State University.

Brad and Chris both lead teams responsible for the fan experiences at their famous sporting venues. On a normal football Saturday, their 65k+ stadiums literally shake the ground from screaming fans. But this year, neither stadium will host fans due to the pandemic. So we brought them in to discuss their plans for engaging fans virtually. 

In these Fireside Chats, it’s not just me and the guests. There are tons of other leaders on the platform, where they can chime in, ask questions or add their two cents. So when you hear other voices on this episode, don’t be surprised. If you’d like to join the waitlist to attend future chats and ask your own questions, feel free to sign-up here.

Time Stamps:

 – Replacing stadium experiences for fans at home

15:00 – Creating alternate revenue sources 

20:00 – Changes in key metrics during COVID

22:00 – Penn State’s content strategy for virtual fans

24:50 – Keeping fans engaged with sponsors at home

32:00 – Implementing fan cardboard cutouts 

39:28 – Activating user-generated content

45:25 – Turning tailgating to “homegating”

48:10 – Sports subscription boxes 

53:10 – Biggest skill sets needed on a team for the future 

VT & PSU Virtual Fan Engagement Plans:
Virginia Tech’s Plan
Penn State’s Plan

Where to Reach the Guests:

Brad Wurthman
Connect on Twitter:@wurthman

Connect on LinkedIn

Chris Grosse:
Connect on Twitter: @Chris_Grosse

Connect on LinkedIn

Rachel Mydosh
Connect on Twitter:@rachel_mydosh

Connect on LinkedIn

Stephen Buetel:
Connect on Twitter:@stephenbeutel

Connect on LinkedIn

Pim Koondel:
Connect on LinkedIn

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From The Bridge

Episode 43: Giving Back with Anna Slive Harwood

Rick invites Anna Slive Harwood on the show to discuss her charity, The Mike Slive Foundation. They discuss how her father’s legacy has influenced her career and how the foundation is being dynamic in the light of Covid-19.

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From The Bridge

Episode 34: Get Into Nature with Hal Shaffer

This week From The Bridge, Captain Rick Jones discusses how the world of outdoor sports has seen a shocking increase in demand during the course of COVID-19. His guest is THE Hal Shaffer, an Alabama native, lifelong outdoorsman and host of The Outdoor Channel’s: “Drop Zone”. They discuss the vital role outdoorsman play in our ecosystem and more.

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From The Bridge

Episode 32: Giving Back with Jeff Goodman

On the very first episode of Season Two, Captain Rick Jones addresses the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the live events industry. He debuts a brand new segment titled “Soapbox” and interviews Jeff Goodman, CEO of Ticketsmarter and Ticketsmarter.com to discuss the future of Live Events in a post Corona Virus world.

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