As we wrote last week, one of the great gifts we continue to have and share is the ability to learn through teaching; and I am blessed to again be coming back to Columbia this fall for what will be my 11th straight year on campus. That is augmented by our summer high school program, but both give me the opportunity to have students hear from some of the great storytellers, and some of the great stories, that we have come across. This summer, and hopefully again this fall, we caught up with Peter Robert Casey, the disruptive, street smart and forward thinking CEO not just of Five Star Basketball, but of Sports Passport, a great digital way for fans to track their memories through the games they have attended, gasp, in person.
This summer Peter once again shared his path to success and innovation, and gave the students his four P’s for success:
Of all the great speakers we had this summer, his story, and his lessons resonated the most.
Peter is always in a quest for digital innovation. From his time being the first-ever credentialed twitter correspondent for St. John’s University to his time working as the first all the digital outreach for the New York Knicks to his work with Nike and other brands and now at the helm of Five Star Basketball, he has always been tinkering, amplifying and expanding the reach of the companies he works with.
One of his other interesting projects which we have written about is his Sports Passport series; a site where fans of all ages can document, collect and share their experiences at arenas and stadia big and small across the country in one place. First there was basketball, then hardball, then football and hockey, all stand-alone efforts for this fans. Then he added soccer, unified the brand under one umbrella, and Sports Passport took off.
Through a successful crowdfund effort he even landed a presenting sponsor, New York Life, and more is on the way. The platform is easily sharable with friends, creating a new competitive landscape for arena and stadium hopping.
Fans can share stories and ticket stubs, and upload photos to complement their game histories. As fans log their games, “Sports Passport” dishes out personalized stats – number of games attended, stadiums seen, best performances witnessed, and each team’s record for games fans personally attended – to compare year over year or even against other fans. It allows future-oriented fans to easily create and track their stadium bucket lists, plan road trips and compete in head-to-head stadium challenges. Fans that complete a stadium challenge or achieve game-specific accomplishments earn unique digital stamps for their Passport. Combined with active leaderboards for “Most Games Logged,” it creates a friendly culture of competition among avid game goers.
From a business perspective, brand can integrate perks into the platform for fans who engage regularly, and the model remains scaleable to any sport globally.
It is not a complex idea; it is a pretty simple one, and simple is something we need more of. Maybe its not the biggest of ideas, but it is a great example of how a smart mind takes his four P’s and rolls them together under one platform. Peter has a passion for sport and innovation, born on the playgrounds of Brooklyn, he has clearly defined his Purpose for the Passport and stays true to that purpose of uniting fans. Given that Passport is not his fulltime job, he continues to show Patience in raising funds and developing the platform, especially with a mobile application, and his Persistence in always looking for change and innovation and speaking to an audience that is not being heard, be it in hoops or in sports and tech, comes across pretty clearly. While we have to be fluid in thought and sometimes in action, the four P’s of Peter Casey hold up well for the longer term.
Great dedication by an innovator seems to again pay off, and with the payoff comes an enhanced fan experience not just for one sports silo, bit for fans across the board.
Some fun lessons learned across the summer, with more to come in the fall.