Episode 85: Samir Gole, VP of Digital Products, Major League Soccer

“I started tinkering with our own processes, embracing an iterative approach and knowing that nothing is finite & complete — everything that we do is always in the hope of iterating and moving forward in an incremental way.”

The first ever VP of Digital Products at Major League Soccer (MLS), Samir Gole: twitter.com/samirgole, joins the podcast to discuss the next wave of digital intiatives at the MLS.

Having worked in digital products at DirectTV and Viacom (MTV, Nickelodean, etc.) previously, Samir brings his experience leading digital products to grow the game of soccer in North America.

We discuss the recent MLSsoccer.com redesign and how Samir moved the organization from waterfall development processses to agile processes as he touches on the benefits of this new approach; something he learned during his time at DirectTV.

Samir also touches on the importance of writing and how the MLS Digital Labs blog is both a recruiting tool for them, as well as a method of getting their thoughts out to executives and others within the organization.

The MLS unapologetically targets millennails. Samir elaborates on why they target this demographic, how they are doing so with new technology and how the MLS has the youngest fan base of any U.S. professional sports league.

Lastly, Samir discusses their recent implementation of hackathons: labs.mlssoccer.com/mls-try-days-ab…f83b#.v1omd55uu—a common practice in the tech startup world—and how they important for ideating and solving long-term problems quickly.