"Yes You Can" ! That's the word we got today at our huge Employee Celebration Broadcast! It's also our new tag line - Sprint, Yes You Can. You'll be hearing more of that soon. It was fascinating to be at this event. For those who haven't heard, Sprint has merged with Nextel (yes those annoying walkie-talkie phones!! Just kidding boss if you are out there in blogland!!)
The merger was official Friday afternoon at the close of business. Today was the Employee's Day and that it was. It was really cool to be a part of something so huge and so well put together.(NOTE TO MY NIECES IN LUBBOCK: Glad you are reading my blog!!!)
One thing I'm finding out is that this new company advertises and promotes much better than my old Company. Sprint (the old version) just never did it like some of the other companies. Sure there was the "Sprint Guy" but that was not as prominent as some of our competitors. Nextel, as you may know, is the title sponsor of NASCAR. Remember back for years it was the Winston Cup Series but NASCAR wanted to go a different direction away from smoking and chose Nextel several years ago. When the merger was announced, this title sponsor issue was one of the first major issues the new Company was going to have to deal with. At this point, they've decided to keep the name "Nextel Cup" for the rest of 2005 and the 2006 season. They will decide later on (in early 2006) on the name of the Cup for 2007 and beyond. The "NEXTEL" brand name still lives on at the new Sprint in the form of the product name of the famous walkie-talkie phones. So your "Nextel phone" could have been bought at a new Sprint store... get it?? I know ... me too. It's a little confusing. So keep your eyes open in early 2006 on some big NASCAR announcement... for those that care.
Now, back to today. There were 6 major locations where live broadcasts would be held. They were: Reston, VA (D.C. area - Nextel Hdqtrs), Kansas City (Sprint Hdqtrs), Dallas/Ft. Worth, Orlando, New York and Irvine, CA (near L.A.). These cities were selected b/c they had the largest concentration of Sprint and Nextel employees. There were other cities who were holding large employee gatherings to watch the broadcast via satellite. And other employees could watch this all via the internet (I still can't explain how a phone call works so don't ask me to explain how all this happens but it does). It was like a big telethon format with lots of "back to you in Reston" and "let's throw it now back to Dallas to see what's going on in Texas". Each of the 6 cities had major executives at each location. In Dallas, we had the Chief Marketing Officer and the Senior VP of our Consumer Division. The CMO made an exciting announcement about Sprint teaming with the NFL again to be the Official Wireless Communications Service Sponsor. For more on that, read here. At the end of his announcement, he threw out a football that I almost caught so that was fun. Some of the crowd on the stage threw out mini footballs and I did catch one of those. Our event was held in the huge hotel ballroom and there were probably 2000+ Sprint and Nextel employees there. Like I said, it was huge!!
They announced some new benefits for the merged company which was cool. Some sad stuff (no longer receiving pension benefits going fwd) but got some good news about our 401k plan. I think I may even end up with some more vacation time so that's great as well. Overall, the benefits are great - can't complain. We got a cool bag, a new t-shirt, a miniature flag with the new logo on it, and some fun "thunder sticks" which are simply loud, inflatable balloons that make alot of noise when you bang them together. Believe me, these will not make it home for my 2 boys to use - no way!
Overall, it was an exciting day. Today was a day for the Employees to celebrate. I think we did it up big and that was exciting. Looking forward to continuing with this new company for years to come. Don't know exactly what the impact will be to my job but I'm putting that in the hands of my upper management and more importantly in the hands of God. For now, I'm just enjoying today and laughing at the fact that I got paid to do all this!! (I was just going to get it out there before many of you made sarcastic comments about it!!)
God bless you all,