Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday afternoon at ESPN

Today is my last day at ESPN.  Right now the entire office is watching the US/Belgium soccer game as I write this.  This has been a great experience here in Bristol, CT and I have a lot of stuff to bring back to the classroom.  Below is my departure e-mail I sent to the ESPN Communications staff:

As today is my last day at ESPN, I thought I would send a note telling everyone how much I enjoyed being here. THANKS!  I have harvested a great deal, professionally and personally, from my brief tenure here.  I remain extremely impressed by the passion and dedication of all of you on this team.  I have especially appreciated the team spirit you all demonstrated to me and one another.

As someone with plenty of gray hair from practicing communications and a consultant who has visited myriad communications departments, I feel qualified to say that during these past two weeks I have been in the presence of consummate professionals. It has been a refreshing, exciting reminder. We are uniquely privileged to work in dynamic, engaging careers which few understand, but include their own distinct set of challenges and rewards.

It was also enjoyable to work alongside such a diverse group of individuals at various stages in their careers.  The interactions between the seasoned professionals, mid-level workhorses and aspiring newbies was inspiring.  As a faculty member for the last 10+ years, I am usually on the other side of the desk getting 20-somethings ready to enter the workforce. I am encouraged to know there are professional practitioners and mentors out there willing to invest in the next generation of communicators.

In closing, let me say ESPN communications “gets it.” Thanks again for demonstrating this. If there is anything I can do for any of you, please do not hesitate to ask. I also hope to see some of you at U of SC when ESPN Gameday and the SEC channel comes to town.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday at ESPN

Today is my last Monday at ESPN--sad.  Overall it has been a very interesting time. 

This weekend I spent some time outside the office catching up with family in the area.  Updated the blog wth some new photos.

Today is the end of the month/beginning of the month staff meeting.  I am also meeting with some other staff members and my sponsor about some ongoing projects.

Similarly I hope to cut a V/O for a video project and get some edits/clearance for an article I am writing for PR Tactics about training the next communicator.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Photos from my visit to ESPN's DC2 on Friday.

The ESPN media towers which show past SportsCenter commercials at a touch of the screen.  There are more than 400 streaming commercials being shown simultaneously.  A touch of the commercial enlarges the video and runs the entire commercial.  Pretty slick tech.

I think this is one of the coolest conference rooms in the world. It even has a putting green in the corner. It is in the building where I work.

 Here is the video wall at ESPN's DC2.

Here is the ESPN DC2 quote wall.  This is just a part of the wall.  I am sure ESPN fans will recognize some of the quotes here.

A selfie in front of the ESPN video towers.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My first ESPN byline!

It is Thursday morning here at ESPN.  Photo of the day is this lovely brick shaped bank which is part of ESPN's CSR.  Their charities of choice include the Boys and Girls club as well as their own V foundation.  The V foundation will be featured prominently at the upcoming ESPY awards.

One of the most interesting conversations I had yesterday was with the ESPN social media leader who talked with me about social media metrics. 

I also had an interesting conversation with the New York office about the upcoming hot dog eating contest on July 4. 

Today's biggest headline is the USA - Germany soccer match at the world cup today. I expect a lot of employees around here will be multi-tasking as they cheer on the USA to win and proceed in the brackets for the championship

On the how does it benefit my home institution question, I also had a preliminary exchange between my dean and the School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS) about finding an intern or master's student to work with ESPN on a major archiving project they are working on.

Finally, two exciting tidbits.  I will have my first byline on ESPN Front Row and I was just informed yesterday that my abstract has been accepted for the upcoming PRSA conference in DC in October.  All in all a good week so far.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday at ESPN

So I am posting a few photos of my time at ESPN today.  The place has a cool vibe, Everyone is very busy.

I am working on four projects myself. It is exciting to see all the things going on.  This week there is Wimbledon, FIFA World Cup, the NBA draft, ESPN the Body magazine, baseball and a wide variety of other activities including the July 4 Hot dog eating contest.

See the photos below.  Of particular interest to me is the ITK kiosk where they inform employees about what is going on at ESPN.  These kiosks are scattered throughout the campus and a wonderful communication tool.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Another busy day at ESPN today.  Chuck Pagano, coach of the Indianapolis Colts visited the campus and took a bunch of questions from employees as well as made the rounds on several ESPN communications properties.  Pagano has a new book out entitled Sidelined, which chronicles his battle with cancer.  Very humble man, endearing speaker.

Also had a long discussion with ESPN's CSR director.  Very interesting observations and discussions of how to integrate CSR efforts across the rest of the organization.  Also lots of information about strategy and tactics.

Wrote questions for an analyst about the upcoming NBA draft, circulated some ideas for PR positioning as they relate to a new Saturday Night Football broadcast booth team. Also started work on the SEC channel launch.