“We are all really excited about the potential of the Virtual Club”
10 July 2020 a 10:00AM
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Earlier this week we launched our new and exciting Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Virtual Club. We sat down with Square Mile Sport Managing Director, James Hassett, to find out more about the Virtual Club.
Interviewer: Earlier this week you launched the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Virtual Club (BSMRVC), tell us how it came about?
James Hassett: Community, exercise and impact have always been at the heart of what we do across our 12-city global series of live events and now we have the opportunity to convene everyone together on one platform, which is tremendously exciting.
For some time we have been asking ourselves how we can improve the overall experience by creating a more globalised competition, making the event more engaging year-round and also by giving a more meaningful connection to the local social development work we do through, The Extra Mile programme in each city. Strangely, the impact the pandemic has had on us postponing the remainder of our live events this year to 2021, has only accelerated our innovation and forced us to adapt. With our efforts focused on bringing the Virtual Club to life, we will now have a platform for companies across the world to connect, compete and contribute in a way they never could before.
There are a lot of activity tracking platforms out there, what makes the BSMR VC unique?
JH: We did a lot of research and ran a lot of workshops internally to see what options were available – what was good and what could be improved. The team were all in agreement that we wanted to make sure our values sat at the core of the platform and we continued to offer the ‘success’ ingredients from the live events into the virtual world; well-being, teamwork, inclusivity, social impact and fun!
Like the relay races themselves, the Virtual Club will see corporate professionals being physically active together to raise significant funds for local causes as part of a global community effort. That is very special and we are thrilled to have been able to bring it all together on one platform.
You mentioned the funds for local causes there, how is that going to work?
JH: We have been committed to finding the best way to continue the connection to all our participants and our support of the local charities in every city through, The Extra Mile programme. The Virtual Club is going to be enable us to do exactly just that.
Users will be able to unlock $90,000 per month for the first three months (July-September) if and when the average points per user is over 1,000 for the month. In October there will then be an extra $30,000 bonus donation for the city that has been the most active and accumulated the most points on platform. We hope everyone will take on the challenge; get more active and help donate to their local community too!
Hassett hopes the Virtual Club will increase regular physical activity in the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay community.
I know the Virtual Club has only just launched but you must have some other ideas for it up your sleeve?
JH: Absolutely. We’ve had some great discussions already within the team, with Bloomberg and our other partners about new developmental features and content we can bring to life going forward. We are all really excited about the potential of the Virtual Club and how it can be a valuable tool for corporate professionals to stay active all year round.
Launching a new product or services can come with many different challenges, which were the biggest one’s you encountered?
JH: That’s a great question. As with any tech products there are a lot of technological issues that need to be foreseen if possible and ironed out as well. The end-to-end development of the Virtual Club was done during the lock down period, so all of the work we did to get it ready was done purely via virtual calls, instant messenger and email. There were no face-to-face meetings which was very different. However, it’s all proven the power of technology to enable and facilitate all of us across multiple different teams, in different countries, working together to achieve a single objective.
What are your hopes for the Virtual Club?
JH: We would love to see everyone who has taken part in a live Bloomberg Square Mile Relay race in the past on the platform, using it on a regular basis and really enjoying all the benefits from the Club’s virtual events, stories, articles and of course unlocking the donations. We’d also like to reach out to new individuals, companies and cities and get them involved as well.
Ultimately, we want to continue to strive towards our vision of a more healthy, active and socially conscious world that has a positive impact on users, their organisation and the world around them.
It’s been great talking to you today James. Just one final question: How can people register for the Virtual Club?
JH: It’s been fun. Thank you for your time and the great questions. They just need to go to website and follow the stages to register.