Team Building and Bonding

I’ll be the first to admit, I am always skeptical about team building and bonding things. Many public relations agencies have their methods of team bonding, from purge days to beer Fridays. Being part of a team is integral to working at an agency. Got to have trust right?

Now I’ve been through my fair share of team building exercises over the years, from ropes courses to stupid scavenger hunts where you have to go into a diner and just say “burgermeat,” but recently I encountered the most amazing team building exercise – one that I will back 100% and recommend all agencies get involved in…Intramural Sports!

One random day, one of our new employees had an idea to start a Volleyball team. Volleyball, I know. He went to HR with the idea, got it sent to the CEO, got it approved and BAM! Team Volleyball was made. A skeptical e-mail got sent around asking for volunteers and surprisingly about 15 people signed up. Obviously we had some hidden skills that expand beyond landing feature stories in top tier national outlets 😉 and a team was born.

Okay so that’s the back story and this isn’t one of my clients or anything, but I definitely have to give the organization a shout out -NYC Social Sports Club. An organization run by some really cool people that just want to have a good time. They basically set up sporting events across the city, find some sponsors, refs, etc., and let the games begin. They map out schedules of games and such. It’s really amazing and very awesome.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the most athletic person (even though I told my coworkers that I was awesome) and I’m definitely afraid of things flying at my face and breaking/scarring/scuffing something important. The first night we went we realized that our Thursday volleyball league was just a bunch of average Joes and Janes that wanted to have a good time too. Instant fun.

Of course there are always competitive people that can get sassy but regardless, NYC Social Sports Club sets you up with a bar to go to after the games – that typically end at 10. Great specials, great food, great time. Most of all, everyone still just wants to have fun. Drinking games, social atmosphere, networking, but most importantly team bonding. I found myself hanging out with coworkers I barely knew and never would go out with otherwise.

The organizers at the club definitely know how to party and they want everyone to have a good time  obviously, so points get awarded to the most social, spunky, and fun teams….regardless if they win or lose…My team’s defining moment of the season.

Win or Lose, it doesn’t really matter. The amount of exposure my company got from us being social, having fun with each other, can’t even be measured. Not only did I become better friends with coworkers, but we networked like crazy. Most of the teams are just groups of friends playing, but those groups have players in all different industries. Plus, drinking with the people that kicked your ass on the volleyball court afterward is pretty damn fun.

How awesome would it be to have Agency Wars on the court? How about Fox News vs. GMA vs. Agency? Umm, Team New York Times anyone? I honestly think that all of the members of media need to get involved in this just for the fun part alone! Check out NYC Social Sport’s Club’s Web site, and get a team going! Bring it up to your HR, your CEO, whatever!!! I honestly can’t see why a company won’t pay for their employees to do it, because its basically amazing PR for themselves…even if they lose every game.

Also, i’m pretty legit 😉 NYSSC Star of the week!!! Check it out 🙂


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  • I played in the NYC Social Sports Wednesday night kickball league in October and November and will be signing up for something again this spring for sure. It was a great way to meet young people from all over the city and across lots of different industries. Good networking, good times. Great recommendation on forming a company team and having them pick up the player dues. I urge everyone to sign up and relive your glory days from the schoolyard! See you on the asphalt.

    • hahaha definitely! I think Kickball is the next sport we’re up for.

  • Chris, you ROCK.

    Thank you so much for posting such nice thoughts about us…we work so hard to get the leagues to run smoothly and to maintain the uber-social atmosphere you enjoy every week. It’s awesome when we hear stuff like this. So glad to have you in the Volleyball community!

    Matt – NYC Social Sports Club

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  • A great idea! Our department plays poker once a month & goes bowling every few months. It is nice to be able to interact with coworkers outside of the office… and nice not to play the “trust game”