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How The New York Jets Use Hopin to Stop Bullying and Build Relationships with Local High School Athletes

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About

The New York Jets is a professional American football team in the National Football League (NFL).

Challenge

In January 2020, The New York Jets were planning an in-person high school football media day for student athletes and coaches in New Jersey.

The event was initially going to take place in the summer of 2020 at MetLife Stadium, their home field in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but COVID-19 had other plans.

Despite in-person events being canceled, they still wanted to bring as many kids and coaches as possible into the same room for a media day.

Solution

The New York Jets chose to host their high school football media day on Hopin.

They invited 100 schools to the event — six players and one coach from each school. They kicked off the event with presentations for the student athletes using Hopin’s Stage feature.

The first speaker was New York Jets wide receiver and Ramapo High School Football alumni Chris Hogan. He spoke about his experiences as a student athlete, explaining how they shaped both his career and life.

Then, Jesse Linder, VP of Community Relations for The New York Jets, taught the students about different ways to address the media. Finally, Rick Mantz, long-time coach and former Rutgers Director of High School Relations, hosted a seminar for the players on how to make themselves recruitable.

Meanwhile, the coaches met in another virtual room using Hopin’s Sessions feature. In prior years, the coaches would conduct this annual meeting in a hot, loud high school gymnasium.

We were able to provide the exact same thing but do it online.

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Eli Hodges
Coordinator of Community Relations and Youth Football at The New York Jets

To conclude the event, they gave one coach and one student from each school their own virtual room. Then, they invited local reporters to join the virtual rooms and ask the students and coaches questions.

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“It was a unique opportunity for everyone, said Hodges. “It was something that wewanted to put together and seeing that we could use this platform to put ittogether was great.”

Hodges went on to explain how thankful the high school student athletes were forthe opportunity to learn and talk to reporters. “Even the media was thanking us. Itwas an awesome experience all around,” Hodges said.

The event went so well that The New York Jets plan to host their next virtual eventon Hopin — their annual educators’ symposium on anti-bullying.

This year, since many kids are now learning virtually, the event will focusspecifically on cyber bullying.

The New York Jets plan to use Hopin’s Stage for speaker presentations on cyberbullying.

After the presentations, they will give teachers the opportunity to discuss cyberbullying one-on-one using Hopin’s Networking feature. This feature allows theteachers to be individually paired for private, virtual conversations with both videoand sound. “We wanted to give teachers the opportunity to speak with educators like they normally would at the symposium,” said Rachel Zaleznik, CommunityRelations Assistant for The New York Jets.

For the teachers’ symposium, The New York Jets also plan to highlight theirsponsors and partners using Hopin’s Expo feature.

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Results

Hundreds joined for the live, virtual high school football media day.

I can’t imagine if we were on a different platform,” said Hodges. “It felt like a real event.

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Eli Hodges
Coordinator of Community Relations and Youth Football at The New York Jets

The New York Jets expect to reach an even larger audience for their annualsymposium. Now that the event is virtual, they can open up the event to moreteachers.

“We were really thankful that we got the opportunity to work with this platform and we’re excited to do it again,” said Hodges.

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