2021 Executive Reflections: Mitch Rubenstein on Reinventing the Company and Industry By Reinventing Themselves
When the pandemic hit the U.S. full force in March 2020, sports production was forced to accelerate technology changes that were already in motion but not expected to happen for several years. Health and safety came to the forefront of production concerns at the same time as engineers were racing to enable talent and tech to work from their homes. As always, the production industry came together as a family to deliver sports television to a public that was hungry for live entertainment. This editorial by Mitch Rubenstein, President/Executive Producer, Ross Production Services is the latest in a series of “2021 Reflections” from SVG’s 2021 Sports Production Yearbook in which sports-production leaders look back on a year unlike any other and offer projections for the year ahead.
After the weekend of March 14-15, 2020, I knew that events would be going away for us for the foreseeable future.
What I did not know was how and when they would return. My message and blueprint I’d leave behind: We can reinvent our company by reinventing ourselves, and, through the process, we can help reinvent and restart our industry. I told my team, Let’s not just wait for events as we know them to come back for us to start working again; let’s find a way to work again and make ourselves a needed part of our industry and let’s help bring them back.
I knew we’d be working from home, so communication was key, how we worked together and still pushed ourselves. Every week, we set goals to get better as individuals and as a company. Following the message “Find ways to contribute,” we began to innovate and find a new even more elevated place in our industry.
Ross Mobile Productions became Ross Production Services (RPS), with an even greater focus on innovation through collaboration with our partners. We created the Ross Cloud Solution and our Ross Production Portal, allowing on-air talent and production people all over the world to work together with us from home. When Reese Witherspoon was talking to Jennifer Aniston on a show in our Production Portal created by our talented staff and I saw fans on College GameDay come in through our Cloud Solution, I knew we had truly evolved.
Our RPS team worked long hours, stayed safe working alongside Tennis Channel, World Team Tennis, WNBA, College GameDay, CBS, Athletes Unlimited, EA, BoomBox, NBC, Red Bull, and others, doing our part to let broadcasts continue while bringing an innovative and new approach to live production with all of our Ross products.
At Ross, we work every day under a code of ethics with numbers one and two being, respectively, that we will always act in our customer’s best interest and we will do our best to understand our customer’s requirements. Our code guides us daily, and, through this past year, we were able to act on it to an even greater extent, and we’ll continue to do so as the industry turns to us for forever expanding production needs. In December, we will have three brand-new state-of-the-art Ross control rooms for at-home production and any and all customer needs in our 25,000-sq.-ft. Wallingford, CT, facility