Real-time Stories and Athletes

Summer 2016

The summer after my sophomore year in college was one of the most exciting and hectic summers of my life. Traveling to Boulder and Eugene while working as a fulltime lifeguard and swim coach, taking microeconomics and helping out at the Edina athletic department kept me busy. I knew with all that I was doing this summer I could get a lot out of all of these experiences. At this point in my college career, I had not decided on a major. I was taking classes in the business school and knew that this was the correct path for me. Eager to get my business career started, I thought checking out the Olympic Trials would be a business trip along with some fun.

Traveling to Eugene was a trip that I really did not know what to expect. I wanted to go and get my name out and see how the event was run. I knew Nike put on an amazing 10-day long event and I was hoping to see some of the so-called Hayward Field magic. Unfortunately, walking around the venue I found out quickly it was harder then I had expected to find the people I wanted to talk to. It was obvious right away that not being a participant and not personally knowing anyone competing, I would have to work for my new connections.

I wanted to make sure I observed as much as I could from this trip. Seeing how smoothly the meet was run and the fan engagement that the atmosphere allowed was amazing. I paid a lot of attention to the different vendors, products, and activities going on around the event. The way that I followed running was through social media, LetsRun, and FloTrack. Being at the physical event really helped develop a lot of ideas on how I believe the sport of running can continue to grow. I want to find ways for fans to easily follow the sport but also enjoy the way they follow the sport.

People love posting and keeping their followers up to date on their career progressions. Following athletes on different social media outlets has allowed me to follow the inside scoop on how these athletes careers are going. You get to understand the struggle and sacrifice these athletes go through day in and day out. It creates a real-time story for fans to follow and see the story of their favorite collegiate or professional athlete. I picture an app where hobby joggers and pros can create their own running story where anyone can follow and learn about each individual journey. This will prove to be very useful when covering club teams on Runners Circuit.

Henry Jessen

IMG_0611If you want to see more about my trip to the 2016 Olympic Trials check out my VSCO.


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