The Suns.com Newsroom opening was a big deal around here. I wrote a “diary” post on Thursday but didn’t get a chance to put it on the blog until today. It’s basically a “Day In the Life Of” post from a fan who had the opportunity to experience the whole thing.
Amaré Stoudemire visited the Suns.com newsroom but didn’t do this to any Suns.com team members. (NBAE Photos)
Today, August 9, 202007, is a really busy day here at
Suns.com. We have the grand opening of
the Suns.com Newsroom and there is a lot going on centered around that.Of course, today of all days the traffic
going into the office was especially slow and while I left in time to get to
the office at around 7:45, I didn’t make it until 8:15. There was a slow time of about 30 to 45
minutes when I got into the office but starting at 9:00, the place went
nuts. The PR people were coming in to
make sure we had the offices clean and looking nice, the balloon people were
creating some cool orange balloon bouquets and during all of this I had IT
working on my computer.
On top of all that, the Internet went down and it was
chaos. If you work for a web site and
the Internet goes down, you don’t even have to fake like you’re working!Since this is such a big day in Suns.com
history (and on a personal note, it’s a big day for me since I’m meeting all of
these people for the first time), I figured I would keep a running diary. Kind of like Bill Simmons, but not as
funny. Probably not funny at all! But if you’re a Suns fan, you might find the
run-down a little interesting.
11:33 am: Mike
D’Antoni walks into the Newsroom. I
introduced myself and managed to not giggle because I was meeting the famed
Phoenix Suns coach.
11:38 am: The Gorilla
came in to scope things out, but it was hard to recognize him without all the
11:47 am: Gambo arrives
to set up shop for the day. He’s as cool
in person as he sounds on the radio.
He’s very personable and can talk about anything.
12:2007 pm: Since it’s
Amare Stoudemire Day and all, NBA TV decided to oblige and show the top 10
Amare dunks. Nice!!
12:45 pm: Fifteen
minutes until show time. I’ve switched
desks for the day since Gambo and Burns are taking up the spot I normally sit
in. The Internet finally came back on so
now we can try and get some work done for the next 15 minutes. Then we start the festivities.
1:00 pm: It’s getting
hectic in here. People are running
around everywhere. But the excitement is
ramping up as well. You can feel the
energy in the air.
1:20 pm: I met Amare
Stoudemire! WOOHOO! As an employee of the Phoenix Suns, I’m not
supposed to get excited about that stuff, I think. But as a fan?
It’s just plain awesome. He was
very personable and genuinely seems like a nice guy.
1:30 pm: Stoudemire
just sat down with Gambo and Burns for their on-air interview, less than 10
feet from my desk! Amare is a great
interviewee. I’m amazed at how easily
these guys can answer questions that seem difficult to even think about let
alone just answer on the fly.
1:33 pm: The
interview is still going on. And there
are a lot of people waiting for the ribbon cutting ceremony outside the
Newsroom. A LOT of people. You can tell they’re getting restless. Probably because they know the refreshments
are on the other side of the room and they can’t get to those until the ribbon
1:45 pm: Amare
finished his interview a few minutes ago and now Coach D’Antoni is in. I just got kicked out of my desk, so Amare
could sign our wall. We have a
“Celebrity Wall” where our visitors can sign it. So far we have Amare and The Gorilla
signatures on the wall.
1:58 pm: It’s
interesting watching the different people get interviewed. Amare is a great interviewee and answers the
questions very well. Then Coach D’Antoni
comes in and he has a different demeanor, but is still just as good. He has a more conversational tone and it
really just sounds like they are having a conversation as opposed to having an
interview. You know how you see Coach D’Antoni on the air or in interviews and he seems like a really cool guy, and just likes to shoot the breeze about basketball? Yeah, that’s exactly how he is in person.
2:35 pm: It’s been
more than 30 minutes since I was sitting at my computer. I’ve been running around, kicked out of my
desk (again) and getting printouts of the submissions for the impromptu
sweepstakes Gambo talked us into throwing up on the site. We’ve probably had almost 500 submissions in
the first 90 minutes!
3:00 pm: We now have
over 800 submissions for the contest. So
if you didn’t win, don’t feel bad. There
are 800 other people right with you. Everything
around here has slowed down since Amare and Coach D’Antoni left. I’m actually the only other one in the office
with Gambo and Burns at this point.
Everyone else is around the arena doing other work. Me?
I’m sitting here doing metrics and just listening to the radio guys,
like I’ve always done. It’s just kind of
weird hearing them in person.
5:00 pm: Things are
starting to slow down around here now, although Gambo and Burns are still going
strong. I’m just about ready to leave
for the day. The prizes are about to be given
out, but I’ll listen to that on the way home.
We had over 1,500 submissions!
It’s been an awesome day and I just wish that more fans
could see things like this in person. If
you’re interested in seeing more from the day, you can check out the video at
Suns.com. It takes all the best parts of
the day – including interviews with Amare Stoudemire, Mike D’Antoni, Robert
Sarver and a couple of Suns Dancers – and puts them all into an easily viewed
The main reason such a big deal was made out of the Newsroom
opening was that now we will be able to provide more information at a quicker
pace to the fans who visit Suns.com.
Which brings me to the question I want to ask: If you were running Suns.com for a week, what
would you implement? In other words, if
you could do anything to make Suns.com better, what would it be? I can’t promise that any of the ideas will be
put into place, but it is always interesting to hear from the users of the site
to see what they would want changed or added.
Let me know in the comments below.