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article imageMike McShane opens up about 2017 Tough Mudder experience Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 22, 2017 in Entertainment
Mike McShane chatted with Digital Journal about his experience on Tough Mudder. He also opened up about his job description as experience manager at Live Nation's Jones Beach Theater.
"I ran two Tough Mudder events on the East Coast this year, Philly and Tri State," he said. "They were equally difficult and enjoyable. At both events, the design and construction team at Tough Mudder was able to completely transform the landscape of each venue however they see fit. At both events, traversing the course was equally as difficult as conquering the obstacles. To me, this adds an exceptional deal of difficulty."
McShane continued, "Part of my personal experience with Tough Mudder involves running in costume; and the team I've run with for the past four years enjoys incorporating that element. This year, in Philly I ran dressed up in a Batman getup, and for Tri State I ran as Goku from DragonBall Z. Don't get me wrong, the absolute insanity of doing so is not at all lost on myself and my teammates, but the amount of attention you get on course for doing it is so energizing."
He noted that the most difficult part of running a Tough Mudder, is the commitment. "When you're in mud-run gear and you're out with your team conquering the obstacles, the course almost runs itself. But in the months leading up to it, the prep work can become time consuming. For me, in my line of work and and preferred lifestyle, finding the time to train properly is pretty difficult. When one travels frequently or works long hours for days at a time, it's certainly useful to have competitions as an extra workout motivation," he explained.
McShane further added, "The thing I love most about Tough Mudder is the camaraderie. There are a few obstacles which can only be overcome on your own, but the most fun ones are the obstacles which require help from other people. The feeling of simultaneously needing and being needed by strangers cannot be put into words. It can only be physically experienced."
Fir aspiring Mudders, he said, "The best piece of advice I could give to aspiring Mudders would be 'Listen to the Legionnaires on course.' Anyone can tell aspiring Mudders to do a ton of pull ups and cardio, but on the course, the advice of Mudder Leggionnaires is absolutely crucial. I've seen plenty of first timers exhaust themselves on otherwise easy obstacles because they tried conquering it their own way instead of following the advice of seasoned veterans."
Experience manager at Live Nation
He serves as Experience Manager at Live Nation's Jones Beach Theater on Long Island. "It is my job to ensure the guests and employees at my assigned Live Nation concert venue are having the absolute best times of their lives," he said. "My responsibilities in this role span from guest services to employee behavior and recognition. All of the people I work alongside with in this role have one guaranteed thing in common, we're all fans of music and live entertainment. With that in mind, Live Nation has constructed a Common Purpose which guides our company in its business practices: 'Fans creating once in a lifetime experiences for fans.' What this means is, as avid music lovers, all Live Nation employees strive to provide our guests with exceptional and unforgettable concert moments that we ourselves, as employees of Live Nation, experience too. To rephrase my previous statement, as an Experience Manager, I try to create once in a lifetime experiences for my employees, so that they may do the exact same thing with guests that enter our venue."
On his future plans, he said, "My plans for the future include running at least 15 more Tough Mudder events, traveling domestically and internationally as frequently as I can, and advancing my career within the live entertainment industry, preferably within the ranks of Live Nation."
Digital transformation of entertainment industry
McShane opened up about the digital transformation of the entertainment industry. "Smartphones have greatly changed the entertainment industry, as I perceive it. I viewed apps such as Periscope and Snapchat as a greater threat than they turned out to be, and my company has pursued technological opportunities in areas which I didn't forsee," he said. "I felt the entertainment industry's best shot at competing with Snap and Periscope was utilizing either Network TV or Internet streaming services to broadcast high quality concert streams for customers unable or unwilling to attend live events. I figured, 'why would anyone pay for a concert if they could watch an attendee stream the show on their phone for free? As it turns out, however, concert fans would much rather view shows at the venue than through a screen. Go figure."
He continued, "As for my company, both Ticketmaster and Live Nation have solid phone apps that make attending concerts way easier than it used to be. There's no more waiting in line. Anywhere. For anything. Period. The Ticketmaster app allows you to purchase scanable concert tickets right on your mobile. And the Live Nation app lets you get instant answers to any concert-related question one could have, and let's you order food from your seat at the show. Speaking as a consumer, it's stupidly convenient."
On his use of technology in his job, be said, "My role doesn't require the use of anything too high tech. I use a laptop to report to my bosses, and a cell phone to photograph what we call 'miracle moments' (moments which deliver on Live Nation's Common Purpose) during concerts, as well as to record show notes and answer guest questions submitted via Live Nation's phone app."
Last year, Digital Journal chatted with Mike's twin, Kevin McShane about his Tough Mudder experience.
More about Tough Mudder, mike mcshane, experience manager, Live nation
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