Tracey Savell Reavis is the Director of Digital Communications & Strategy at the Los Angeles 2022 Gay Games Bid.
How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
Infusing technology into your business model in a way that is authentic to your brand and that connects with your audience. To me that means being innovative and creative. Taking risks. Breaking rules. Leading. It can, but does not have to be elaborate or done on a grand scale. As long as it resonates with your customers.
What are some challenges of creating a digital strategy for the [Los Angeles 2022] Gay Games?
I think our biggest challenge will be tapping into what our audience wants, what they expect from participation in a global sports event. We need to make sure the athletes are not distracted from their sport, but are engaged in what will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. It’s a huge honor to be part of that.
We are creating a Digital Task Force to focus on a strategy that engages athletes, spectators and volunteers with content, marketing, e-commerce and mobile strategies to make sure everyone has a unique and enjoyable experience.
It will be exciting to create something that keeps with the Gay Games traditions and at the same time build something completely new and forward thinking.
What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?
I am not at all surprised. Companies are recognizing digital transformation, in some shape or form, even if it is scaled to budget, is essential for successful business growth. And whoever is tasked with analyzing an organizations’ business model and creating a digital strategy that is aligned with the company vision has to be in the C-Suite. The position cannot work in a siloed environment.
But I think the collaboration is what makes the role so enticing. It’s a process n experience you can really sink your teeth into. To me, the CDO role represents a fresh and creative perspective that can really speak to customer engagement.
The digital space is a growth industry. That’s a good thing as long as everyone is included. Research shows that there is not much representation of minorities and underserved communities in the CDO position across the US. I hope to use my current position, and the fact that I am on a path to become a CDO, as a platform to advocate for inclusion and to close that gap. I think that starts with sharing information, making sure everyone has access to opportunities and training to be prepared to take them on.
What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
I’d say the same advice applies to searching in any industry. Be curious. Be informed. I read everything I can get my hands on about sports technology. Network. Join professional organizations, or create them. Talk to everyone and anyone that you can. You never know where your next opportunity will come from. I could not have planned for my position, but my years of sports experience made it easy for the people I already knew to consider me. Find a mentor. Connect with someone who has achieved what you want. Ask how they did it, then make a plan for yourself. Check in with them regularly – it will force you to be accountable. And finally volunteer. Be known as a giver and you will be surprised how much opportunity comes your way.
What is the best part about leading digital transformation?
Without a doubt it is the creative process. I get to use so many of my skills at once – technology, strategy, writing, marketing – all while working with sports, which is what I am most passionate about. To be able to start with ‘what if?’, and have an explosion of ideas start flowing is always incredibly exciting. For me it’s the perfect job.
For more information on Tracey Reavis, connect with her on LinkedIn.