April 6, 2007

My day with the Nats sales office

I could talk about Opening Day. And I likely will revisit it. (Nate's fury was among many amusing moments for me). I'm also going to address the whole bitterness thing and the impression that I whine. Cause I wine, not whine, for the record.

No, today I have something far more fan boy to talk about. It's going to require some background, so let me get that part out of the way.

Besides playing a corporate overlord in a low-rated Nationals Blog, I own a company that does IT consulting for small businesses.  We do a lot of work with Microsoft, and we’re looking for ways to show off some of our cool messaging and remote access capabilities, particularly related to Windows Mobile handhelds.  You’ll see where I’m going with this in a second.   Windows Mobile, besides having all the cool Blackberry like features of getting email in real time also allows you to manage Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents anywhere you have an Internet connection via wireless, like Verizon, Cingular or Sprint.   I do a lot of reading email in the stands at RFK.

We do a lot of “event based marketing”, so rather than plaster our message in print, we invite customers or potential customers out to see the technology we talk about and do education.  The best events are ones that are different….. 

… like what we’re working on now.

Showing off data manipulation in the field is boring when it’s related to business, but doing data analysis, say on baseball statistics when on a handheld sitting in the stands, that’s more interesting and a hell of a lot more fun.

Microsoft and Evolve (my company) have put our heads together and we want to do an event at a Nationals baseball game – specifically, the May 17 day game.    We want to put together teams of our customers and potential customers to use Windows Mobile handhelds in the stands to play a game using Excel to track player stats in real time.   This part of the event has me in some need for help from the blogging community, and Evolve and Microsoft are going to do something for the bloggers to make it happen. Can you say "Evolve will pay for beer at a tailgate?" Business deductible beer is the best tasting beer, for the record. I am happy to provide some samples.

I'll be blogging about this too more in coming days.

Tuesday I went downtown to meet with someone in corporate sales with the Nats to discuss the event, and had the opportunity to have a meeting at the corporate sales office on Connecticut Avenue downtown. (There is a small team store in the lobby, BTW). Thus the fan-boy part of the story begins.

Getting off the elevator at the 8th floor, the Nats are on one side and Smith Barney on the other. Smith Barney has a big, brown wood entry way -- and our Nats have a colorful, LCD peppered entry way. There are multiple TVs behind the receptionist's desk -- a large center one showing game highlights, and smaller ones around it with the logo, and info about where you are ("welcome to the sales and marketing center" kind of things).

There are also lots of drawings of the new ballpark, as well as assorted pieces of baseball memorabilia -- bats, balls, pictures of RFK, a plush blue seat (I believe from the Home Plate Suite), and assorted curly W logos and the circular DC logo on the floor.

I was escorted into conference room 2, which had a combination of baseball pictures (old time baseball shots) and pictures of the new stadium and suite layouts. It's much more detailed diagrams than I had seen before, showing elevations and angles on the seating, particularly related to the suites and their positioning.

The gentleman from the sales department was a gracious host, and we discussed specifics about the event and what we're planning. Nothing is decided yet in terms of specific logistics, so I don't have anything to report there, but it was a great meeting and I think we'll be making some progress. I will report back.

I left the meeting just grinning ear to ear -- besides being able to work something out with the ball team, I got to spend some time in the Nats office and not just loiter. A very professional, very neat experience in the office. I texted Nate and Watson as I wanted to share the fan boy experience.


Nate said...

Media whore. You got into Kasten's inner sanctum and didn't get us any bootleg pictures?

Did you at least ask somebody about the jersey selection?

Dave said...

I do have another meeting. I'll work on getting it done then.

MissChatter said...

It sounds like a blast! I was in there once for a press conference - very cool office! I'll stay tuned.