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Volume 26 No. 174
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Weekend Plans With MLS VP/Owned Platforms Judy Matthew

MLS VP/Owned Platforms JUDY MATTHEW figures to be quite busy this weekend, as the Audi '19 MLS Cup Playoffs are set to begin under a new format. Charged with driving the growth of MLS digital platforms since the digital team was founded in '10, Matthew has been working hard to inform the league's fan base of everything related to this weekend's first-round matches. Matthew said it will be great to finally see all the hard work over the past few months come to fruition. Matthew: "We all put in a lot of work and effort -- from Commissioner DON GARBER and GARY STEVENSON to SETH BACON and CHRIS SCHLOSSER, everyone that I work closely with has put in so much heart and passion into this season." Matthew took some time ahead of the kick-offs to give THE DAILY a preview of what to expect this weekend and how she'll make time for the most important aspect of her life -- her husband and daughter.

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS: We hope the new format better serves our fans overall with the back-to-back games and one-round knockouts. As part of my team's overall responsibilities, we will be very focused on the performance of our digital products. That includes our website, meaning league and club, and our MLS app, which is a tool that our fans really lean on to follow the play-by-play for games, goals and all the other exciting things happening in their match. Email marketing is also something that we will be focused on, making sure that we are sending our fans relevant information about the weekend and that they have everything they need. The big product that we've been focusing on heavily is our Audi '19 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. We launched that a few weeks back and we've seen great engagement with it.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Every game matters this time of year, so we need to make sure that everything is working smoothly. We'll also be around to support all our clubs. Part of my team oversees our digital club services, so they will be on hand to assist our clubs push any new digital activations across all their platforms and make sure that the fan experience across the board is a perfect one. Saturday I will be at home in Little Neck, N.Y., to manage all the responsibilities that I'll have on the digital side for that day from the first game at 1:00pm ET all the way through the last game that starts at 10:00. On Sunday, we'll be recapping the outcomes from Saturday and preparing for the games that day as well.

WRAPPING UP: There's a lot of pressure for the clubs that win this weekend and getting them set for their matches on Wednesday and Thursday, so we'll be supporting that. We will also be making sure all our digital platforms are updated with the latest information. Once we know all the conference semifinals matchups, we'll make sure all that information is pushed across our entire network. Then we need to communicate all this information to our stakeholders, clubs, partners, and vendors and make sure everyone has the lineup for Tuesday and Wednesday. We have a very young fan base that expects us to be on top of it all, so we need to hit those products and make sure they have all the details. Additionally, because of how the playoffs and MLS Cup is structured, we won't find out where MLS Cup will be hosted until the conference finals are complete, so throughout the playoffs we are doing a lot of MLS Cup planning and prep for all the potential markets.

Matthew loves to take weekend get-away trips with her family as a way to spend quality time
Photo: judy matthew
Matthew loves to take weekend get-away trips with her family as a way to spend quality time
Photo: judy matthew
Matthew loves to take weekend get-away trips with her family as a way to spend quality time
Photo: judy matthew

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Saturday kicks off with a little bit of family time. My husband CHRIS and I will take our daughter EMERY swimming. Then we'll probably go to lunch together and spend some quality time before I start work later in the day. Sunday mornings usually include N.Y. bagels or a nice brunch, and this weekend we're going to be pumpkin carving because we promised Emery that we would. Family is very big for me. My family and friends are close by, so we try to get out and spend time with them as much as we can. We're lucky enough to have family in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia that we also like to visit -- quick, fun trips and getting a little warmth while we're at it.

Know of someone who should be featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot a note over to lsmith@sportsbusinessdaily.com.