Webex to WFH: How Spartan Race Continues on During Covid-19

Webex to WFH: How Spartan Race Continues on During Covid-19

Sponsored by our partner, Cisco Webex

Spartans are tough as nails. In looking back at our #BeUnbreakable blog series and social media campaign, it's inspiring to see how Spartans persevere—from crushing insane jumprope workouts to bagging trail marathons just because you can. But it's an odd time, to be sure. Many of you went from working full time, to not working at all. Others, from readily available daily daycare to juggling kiddos and their class schedules. And more still, from schlepping to an office to crafting a makeshift workspace at home. We get it. And we're right there with you.

Like you, we at Spartan HQ take our core values of community and teamwork to heart. We're a tight knit team at our Boston and New York offices, and we—like so many other businesses worldwide—went from working side by side to working remotely, literally overnight. Because we are the largest fitness event company in the world, next to big city marathons, this was a trick. And because teamwork is essential to us, we went to Cisco Webex (the leader in video conferencing, online meetings, screen sharing, webinars and more) for help.

"When the world needed to transition to a remote working model overnight, Webex was there to keep businesses running without skipping a beat," says Leonard Callejo, Director of Online Marketing at Cisco Webex. "Webex gives you a simple, reliable and secure video communication platform that brings teams together to connect and collaborate from anywhere. While there are lots of solutions to choose from for things like virtual happy hours and social gatherings, Webex is the right choice when you need to get work done."

And we can say (hands down): true that.

Work From Home Solutions, Reimagined

"We needed a multi use platform that was reliable and secure enough to host internal meetings, but that also had the features to help us continue creating amazing content and virtual events," says Kyle Gingras, Partnership Services Manager at Spartan Race. "Webex checked all the boxes and we couldn't be happier."

We integrated the platform to support our workflow in the middle of June, and haven't looked back. We hold regular "town hall" meetings internally, where all Spartan employees jump on to get updates, discern next steps and share success stories. Webex has been integral to helping us do this, straight from our own living rooms.

3 Reasons Why We Love Cisco Webex

1. It Fosters Teamwork, Any Time, Anywhere

Webex is designed to be a simple, yet powerful platform for bringing teams together virtually. Not only is it an easy-to-use platform that provides amazing collaboration experiences for its users, it’s also designed to be easy to implement and manage across the largest of enterprises. Webex both unites internal Spartan teams together to maintain workflow, and also keeps the full Spartan community together through virtual races, digital events and content series. "Perhaps the biggest game changer for companies like Spartan, was the ability to quickly pivot to a more digital business model with the support of Webex," says Callejo. "For example, being able to shift traditional in-person events to powerful, far-reaching virtual events, with a full-featured platform that can accommodate an audience of thousands. This has allowed businesses to not only keep the lights on during the pandemic, but to seize new opportunities." 

2. It's Super Simple to Implement (And We Like Easy!)

For IT admins, it offers a single point of control for provisioning, security configuration, and device management, as well as powerful analytics and reporting that give actionable insight to drive adoption across the organization. Essentially, it's cake to implement, and doesn't take long. "One marketing company we work with mentioned that it took only four days to get their marketing events up and running on the Webex platform, with great feedback from both their employees and audience," says Callejo.

3. Versatility is the Name of the Game

Flexible cloud, hybrid and on-prem options make it easy to expand as your collaboration needs evolve. Translation: this means you can do just about anything you want. "Offering more than just video conferencing, Webex gives you the flexibility to scale and grow," says Callejo. "It gives you a full featured suite for virtual meetings and team collaboration so you can call, message and meet from one single platform." This includes HD video conferencing, rich screen sharing, team messaging, file sharing, digital whiteboarding, video calling, AI-powered collaboration, and more.

The Bottom Line

Staying safe during this COVID-19 pandemic has been crucial to maintaining people's health and wellness. And we take it seriously, from running in masks outside to limiting travel and grocery store trips. Beyond health, this pandemic has also been no joke to business. While we were gutted to have to cancel several Spartan Races, Webex helped support us as we launched our Virtual Race series, as well as poured dozens of hours into research, and consulting with outside health experts, to establish new post-COVID protocols and get Spartans safely racing again. "Like the rest of the world, Spartan has been forced to conduct all business-related activities virtually," says Gingras. "We are a very collaborative organization and all departments rely on one another to accomplish our combined goals. Webex has allowed us to maintain our collaborative approach even under these difficult circumstances."

Not only has Webex been versatile and easy to use, but also it's the most secure platform out there. (Hackers be gone, dang it.) Or as Callejo puts it, "no video bombers in your meetings. What happens in your meetings, stays in your meetings." Now, our content and marketing teams have the tools they need to increase productivity and create better content.

"All of our jobs are made easier," says Gingras. "At Spartan our entire business relies on different types of technology. When I first started at Spartan, all we used were Google products to manage just about everything. Now we communicate via video chat with Webex, instant message with Slack, and manage/track important data with Smartsheet."

From file sharing and conference calls, to whiteboard technology and screen sharing, adding Webex to the Spartan workflow has changed the game for keeping our heads above water during a global health crisis. In fact, we just rolled out our race lineup for the rest of the year and we're back to producing races all across the U.S. working with local health and law enforcement entities to putting Spartans back on the race track safely. Thanks to Webex, working from home has never been easier (and perhaps, you could say, we're actually more productive!). If anything, we've only seen our core values of community and teamwork take root in more meaningful ways. We're proud as hell of our company, and you Spartans, for powering through these crazy times. Onward and upward. AROO!

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