Episode 4: Creating Memorable Experiences For Athletes During A Pandemic Is Possible!

Shannon Smith the Director of Operational Excellence at Varsity All Star shares what the key ingredients are in creating successful cheer and dance competitions before and during COVID-19. Knowing that cheering is shifting towards being a sanctioned sport makes listening to Smith’s podcast most beneficial.

This month’s podcast offers insight into Varsity All Star’s pandemic success:

  • Launching Varsity TV for virtual competitions
  • How using the Band App for coaches, judges, and staff is essential in disseminating relevant information
  • The importance of phone calls, video conferencing, emails, advance communication with coaches, and use of social media to connect with spectators
  • The benefits of using a consistent scoring system, no matter the competition size or location
    Employ a detailed communication strategy on various topics that range from coach check-ins to spectator ticketing/viewing to safety protocols regarding crowd rotation and event timing

Smith reflects on March 2020 and how events were on a hard pause. No longer having the ability to see the joy in competitors’ faces, pushed Varsity All Star to be innovative. So much so, the team quickly became well versed in hosting virtual competitions on Varsity TV and maintaining social engagement. Varsity TV required the following:

  • Performances to be uploaded
  • Virtual judging
  • Scoring to be emailed
  • Sharing performances to subscribers

Viewed by many as an industry trendsetter, Varsity All Star’s primary goal remains to ensure the industry remains solid. Will virtual competitions continue? Most likely, it provides the opportunity for three vital components, scheduling advanced coach meetings, choreography sessions/workshops, and finally yet importantly events for athletes of all ages.