Cisco Systems: Connecting the World to Share Powerful Stories

Today the Villanova in the Valley cohort had the pleasure of meeting with Maria Dincel and her associates Robert Neumann, Michael Caponigro, Edward Olsen, and Landon Calannio of Cisco Systems. Maria and her team specialize in Sports and Entertainment marketing strategy, which consists of:

  • Protecting and growing the business.
  • Driving brand awareness.
  • Expanding employee pride and engagement.
  • Partnering with global brands and shifting brand perception.

Maria and her team are known for their work with the NHL, MLB, and NBA. She has also worked on the Rio Olympic Games. Throughout the four years leading up to the games in 2016 she helped to raise brand awareness in Brazil from 7% to 36%. However, Cisco’s efforts in Brazil went far beyond broadcasting and marketing. While in Rio, Cisco taught technical skills to members of the community and even hired some of them to work for the company.

In addition to their sports focus, they also have completed projects in the entertainment industry, specifically with Live Nation to deliver one of the first e-ticketing services and creating digital solutions to enhance concert experiences for One Republic and U2. Cisco has showcased its telecommunications services on the Ellen show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and movies like The Martian as well.

On the latter portion of our tour, Ed and Michael gave us look into the science behind Cisco’s digital signage web devices and their capabilities.We were able to see the different graphics and the science behind “cutting through the noise” of a concert venue or stadium to attract as well as maintain a consumer’s attention.

I was astonished by how passionate and hospitable Maria and her associates were on our visit. They took great time and care educating us about Cisco, and it felt like we could talk for hours. Michael imparted valuable advice to our group by insisting that if we wanted to succeed in Silicon Valley, it was important that we first know ourselves and our interests, keep an open mind, follow our passions, and seek underserved populations to provide solutions for. At the very heart of Cisco’s broadcasting and telecommunications is the desire to tell meaningful and powerful stories, and the story they told us today was one of diligence, hope, and adaptability in an ever-changing world.