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Pro Football Hall of Fame Keeps the Sport Alive—Even During the Game-Changing COVID-19


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As we all struggle with COVID-19’s immediate impact on businesses and employees, it’s important to remember the effects that the coronavirus is also having on our major cultural institutions. Concert halls and Broadway shows have gone dark. First-run movies aren’t debuting in theaters. The 2020 Summer Olympics has been postponed indefinitely. And this year’s professional sports seasons might be canceled as well.

But for the staff behind the Pro Football Hall of Fame, nothing—not even a worldwide pandemic —will stop them from carrying out their mission to honor the legacies of exceptional figures in the sport by enshrining them in the Hall of Fame.

Fortunately, even before anyone had heard of the novel coronavirus, the organization had already switched to a cloud-based, work-from-anywhere communications solution.

RingCentral keeps this operation from being sidelined

When Ohio joined the growing list of states to announce lockdown orders, the staff of the Pro Football Hall of Fame had to transition immediately from operating together out of the organization’s Canton offices to working 100% from their homes.

But because all of its 70+ employees have RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud-communications solution, the company hasn’t had to slow the pace of operations. In fact, this forced transition to a remote, digital working environment has given the team ideas for new ways to carry out their mission.

For example, in the past the organization recorded only audio interviews with their Hall of Fame inductees. But now that they have RingCentral’s built-in video conferencing, they can create full video recordings just by sending interviewees a one-click link to a RingCentral meeting online.

“These video interviews are going to be such a valuable part of the digital archive of our inductees here at the Hall of Fame,” explains Chad Reese, senior director of technology. “Their children and grandchildren will be able to come in and watch those interviews. Plus, historians, authors, and documentarians for generations will have much richer resources for learning about these legendary people in the sport.”

As Chad notes, the organization is calling this video-based interview library the Personal Legacy Archive of Players, Officials, and Administrators. He also notes that without RingCentral Vi, the Pro Football Hall of Fame couldn’t be building such an important library of videos during this pandemic.

Cloud communications helps this team easily huddle—even from across town

Another reason the Pro Football Hall of Fame hasn’t felt a disruption to its operations, even as its entire staff is forced to work remotely, is that RingCentral’s solution is so intuitive and easy to learn.

“I’ve been doing a few one-on-one online training sessions with employees,” says Chad, “just to make sure everyone knows how to use all of RingCentral’s features for voice calls, video meetings, screen sharing, team messaging, the mobile apps… everything… What’s been amazing is that I probably spend no more than three minutes with anybody. Everyone just says, ‘Oh, look, it can do this,’ and, ‘Oh, I see, it can do that.’”

In fact, the company’s cloud-communications solution is providing so many ways for the team to collaborate and stay connected digitally, Chad sees even more team communication taking place than usual.

“We’ve had lots of face-to-face team meetings over the system. We’re having board meetings this way. You’d be amazed at how much collaboration and communication is happening across the company—and how much we’re getting done—even though everyone is stuck at home.”

Originally published Apr 03, 2020, updated Aug 12, 2020

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