Volunteering at NFL London
The Microsoft Surface team as well as some interns throughout the company partnered with the NFL at Regent Street and Wembley in the build-up to Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts match-up. We were situated on Regent Street on the Saturday where 600k people passed through the many NFL related pop-ups, including Microsoft’s Digital Lounge, which saw the Microsoft Surface make its mark with a pop-up to demonstrate the product. As interns, we could tell our story and have a deep interaction with the fans, giving demo’s and getting involved in the buzz of the NFL game. The lounge then moved on to Wembley on the Sunday where a further 100k people were about to interact with the pop-ups before entering Wembley Stadium for the game, which we were lucky enough to see ourselves!
As part of the Marketing Communications team for Surface, I was lucky enough to be involved in this event from start to finish; from being involved in the initial planning meetings all the way through to the actual event. Having hands on involvement in experiential marketing like this is very rare, so this will definitely go down as one of my highlights during my time at Microsoft.
My personal highlight from the weekend was getting to interact with so many different people from all over the world, of all ages (including the cutest NFL fan in the picture above). It was great to be able to be involved in the buzz and to interact with fans; showing them our Surface devices, giving them demo’s, and learning lots about the NFL along the way. Seeing how involved and impressed they were with both our stand and the devices made me even prouder to be a part of Microsoft.
Being a massive NFL fan (a Patriots/Brady fanboy for those who are interested – no hate please), the choice to volunteer at the NFL International Series in London was umm…easy! Showcasing the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 at such a large-scale event on Regent Street, and then at Wembley Stadium, was such a huge opportunity. I had never done anything like this before, but had a lot of fun being able talk to fellow fans, and being lucky enough to be given tickets to watch the game. It is these unique projects that anyone can get involved in at Microsoft which is what really sets it apart. You go there to do some ‘work’ and it ends up being so much more.
My personal highlight of the day was watching the Colts vs Jags game at Wembley Stadium. It is not every day that you are given the chance to watch a game at Wembley, let alone an NFL game packed out with 83,000 fans! Another personal highlight for me was somehow managing to leave my bag on the train back to Reading. I got off the train, walked through the ticket barriers and past the taxi rank before realising that, oh yeah Ewan…you may have forgotten something. I really never cease to amaze myself sometimes. Don’t worry, after a 4 hour trip to Bristol, the bag has returned – faith in humanity restored.
Being an intern on the C+E Team, I engage purely in commercial (B2B) marketing on a regular basis. As such, I jumped at the chance to volunteer at this amazing event and gain some valuable consumer marketing experience. It was great having the opportunity to interact with people face to face and try my hand at demoing the Surface Pro 4! Volunteering at the Surface booth and getting to be on the “front lines” made me realize once again how lucky I am to be working at such a beloved company as Microsoft. #blessed
Personally, the highlight of the day for me was getting to take pictures for social media of attendees checking out our devices. It was great seeing the enthusiasm people had for Surface products and being able to capture their reactions to all the cool features they were playing around with. Of course, getting the chance to watch the Jaguars face off against the Colts afterwards wasn’t too shabby, either! ;)
Despite not working in marketing, I took the opportunity to experience the goings on of an event such as this and can say I’m incredibly pleased that I did. Interfacing directly with our community of consumers enabled me learn lots about what we have to offer and I found myself taking away more than I realised I would. I only helped out for one day but I found it to be a packed and enjoyable experience!
My personal highlight was certainly seeing a young girl use the Surface Pro’s stylus on Microsoft Edge to circle the team logos on our Bing Analytics page, drawing lines from the Jaguars and Colts logos to the words “Rule” and “Drool” respectively, without me explaining how it worked beforehand. That level of intuitive interactivity enabling freedom of expression in people of all ages is inspiring and I was proud to see our device drive this forward. On an unrelated note, go Jags!