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Q: Michael, congratulations on your Sports Venues Global Market Leader appointment. First, tell us what a typical workday at Solotech looks like for you.
Michael Conner: Each day looks a little different! My daily routine includes supporting the ongoing development of numerous projects and finding creative solutions. Collaborating with many highly talented and skilled teams within and outside Solotech is a treasured activity. Additionally, I strengthen my bonds with colleagues throughout the Sports and Entertainment community and endeavor to extend the Solotech suite of product and service solutions to a broader family of professionals.
Q: What roads did you take to get to Solotech?
MC: I’ve always had a passion for sports, technology, and production, which has taken me on a journey around the globe while working on some of the most remarkable events and projects. I have produced documentaries, directed ceremonies at the Olympics, and worked on NFL Games and Super Bowls as Director of Game Presentation for the Arizona Cardinals. During my time at the latter, I had the advantage of forging a strategic alliance with the team at Pro Sound and Video. During our collaboration the absolute commitment and extraordinary sacrifices that both the Pro Sound crew and the Arizona Cardinals staff invested in bringing many complex and challenging projects to impressive conclusion resulted in a remarkable success story and placed me on the road that would eventually lead me to Solotech.
Q: Growing up, what did you want to become?
MC: In my youth, I had a few modest aspirations: pilot, aeronautical engineer, NFL pro football player. They were professions inspired by the people in my life and in my community, and they taught me to dream and do the hard work. While I may not have attained any of these dreams, I found a passion for technology and my love for sports, both things that would serve me well in my career.
Q: What is the best part about your job?
MC: The most cherished part of my job is working with a team of highly motivated, skilled, and experienced professionals who aspire to be the best at their respective crafts. I love collaborating with others to deliver extraordinary experiences and indelible memories.
Q: Can you explain your role as a Sports Venues Global Market Leader and the importance of such a program within Solotech?
MC: My role is to utilize my experience in sports and entertainment production to design, develop, and execute a global strategy to build a business unit capable of becoming a world leader in systems integration and ultimately attaining this objective. This goal is accomplished through communication, and the effective use of Solotech’s internal resources, departments, and business units. A key component of this position is to act as an ambassador for Solotech, its values, culture, passion, and commitment.
Q: Why did you choose to specialize in sports?
MC: My experience in sports production has created deep bonds across many teams and leagues. I want to continue to partner with these people to create exceptional environments that enable passionate entertainment professionals to deliver extraordinary experiences.
Q: What makes sports AV projects different from any other projects Solotech does?
MC: It takes years to become a top performer in live sports entertainment production. Some portions of a show are heavily scripted and rigidly follow the prescribed format, but much of sports production is fast-moving, with game action driving the production components. The production crew must be agile and resilient. The tools they depend upon must be designed and crafted to support this fast-paced and high-profile environment.
Q: Do you have a different approach when you work on sports venue projects?
MC: The scale of sports venue projects can be monumental. Budgeting both time and money effectively is essential. These are often large and highly visible projects with enormous pressures to perform at the upper reaches of the possible. The work must be exact, and the outcome must be assured. The approach is customer-centric, and the fan experience is prioritized. This industry is built on solid relationships. Understanding the pressures in presenting live sports entertainment to tens of thousands of passionate fans is living in truly rarified air. Still, it is necessary to serve the needs of this unique community.
Q: What has been your favorite project to work on since starting with Solotech?
MC: My favorite assignment since joining the Solotech team is developing expertise in cloud-based & virtual production workflows. Researching new and emerging technologies requires connecting with the best minds in the industry who are advancing these capabilities as software developers, manufacturers, and service providers across the globe. These efforts will help advance capabilities, products, and services within Solotech’s Systems Integration division and yield positive results across the Solotech brand.
Q: What do you see in the future for Solotech?
MC: The result of Solotech’s commitment to the passionate pursuit of excellence and innovation, applied to every task and every project across the organization, will lead the company to dominate the market with a comprehensive array of solutions irresistible to those clients seeking an inspiring environment to create rewarding experiences and delivering extraordinary outcomes.
Q: Since we are a global company, where is your favorite place to travel?
MC: There are so many places in the world that I love to visit, but there’s no place like home. Cayucos, California – Beautiful central coast vistas, giant sequoias, coastal redwoods, and most of all, family. Globally, however, there are so many compelling candidates, but my mind often goes to Paris, so yes, France it is!