June 16, 2011

#Winning in 2011

Yeah, I did it. I pulled out the lame Charlie Sheen hashtag reference for a title. But it's retro now so it's okay to bring it back. Hear me out...

I was privileged enough to win a free pass by Karine Joly to attend the Worldviews Conference thanks to a contest on Karine Joly's collegewebeditor.com. It has been a great conference on the blend of social media, PR and #highered. For something this close, I planned my flight end of day so I could get the most out of the workday, but also be settled in time for the first day of sessions..Unbeknownst to me when I submitted my comment entry and won the free pass, the Boston Bruins would not only make it to the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup finals, but they would be in Game 7! As a lifelong Bruins fans since my Dad starting taking me to games when I was a kid in single digits, this was a BIG deal for me.

My flight was to arrive in Toronto at 8:15 p.m., right around the time the puck would likely drop after the introductions and anthems. Unfortunately, Air Canada customer service agents decided to strike this week. Delays were expected; and they occurred. Flight was delayed 50 minutes and we didn't land until midway through the second period. After being stuck on the tarmac even longer thanks to the limited staff, I raced my way through customs and to the baggage claim. Big kudos to Toronto's Pearson Airport for having flat screens at the baggage claim. Loved it.

Thankfully, we now have technology and platforms that allow me to share this experience with my family, friends and connections. While in Toronto, I was able to text with family back home in Massachusetts and with friends in Chicago and Pennsylvania; I was able to check in on Foursquare and engage with friends where they were geographically located on this special day; I was able to interact via Twitter and not only get updates about the game when I was missing the first half of the game stuck on a tarmac in Toronto, but i was also able to converse with so many long-time and new friends about this likely, once-in-a-lifetime experience; and I was able to engage on Facebook with an entirely other subset of friends around how lucky we are as Boston sports fans.

It is an amazing time to be alive and engaged. If this was 20 years ago (the last time the Bruins were in the Stanley Cup Finals), and I was stuck in a Toronto airport bar during Game 7, I would have not been able to connect with all of these individuals...unless i had lots of dimes, quarters or whatever it cost for pay phones at that time. I feel lucky to not only have been part of this experience as a sports fan, or lucky to be engaged in the digital marketing space, but I feel extremely lucky to have been able to engage in this experience as a human being.

Try not to forget how far we have come...and how lucky we are to be able to connect with each other in this way.