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Helping the Spurs Get Back to Making Memories

Overview

Businesses with large gatherings of people have not had much luck this year. The sports and entertainment industry was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing the risk of disease transmission, while providing an enjoyable fan experience is a difficult balancing act. However, as the pandemic progressed and states moved into new reopening phases, organizations like Spurs Sports & Entertainment put plans together to bring staff and fans back to live events. The Spurs have started their reopening journey and are utilizing ReturnSafe’s infectious disease management platform to do so.

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INSTITUTION

Spurs Sports and Entertainment

INDUSTRY

Sports and Entertainment

Challenge

Implementing daily wellness checks was a priority

Implementing an automated process for daily wellness checks was the top priority for the Spurs as they began the very first phase of reopening. According to Casey Heverling, VP & General Manager of AT&T Center, “Implementing some version of a daily wellness check was a priority for us when we began thinking about how our employees would return to work. Guidelines from state and federal authorities made that clear. However, what wasn’t clear was how we would deploy something like that in a scalable way.” The Spurs leadership set out to find a user-friendly method of both executing these daily health checks and tracking the responses to use that information for any necessary contact tracing measures as the pandemic continues.

Additionally, the Spurs needed to ensure they could deny entry to employees who did not meet return to work criteria. The Spurs had to meet the NBA‘s strict testing requirements including denying entry to folks who tested positive for COVID-19 or did not follow the appropriate pre-game testing procedure. According to the NBA, all employees working home games were required to report 2 negative tests beforehand.

Solution

Purposeful execution of the digital health screening and contact tracing

Heverling’s team proactively engaged with their staff on the process it would take to return to work and their concerns around doing so. It was clear that the need for a user-friendly solution that would allow employees to self-screen daily before coming to work would be key. “We evaluated about a half dozen return to work platforms and we got several referrals for ReturnSafe. As we navigated the opportunities, it was clear to us that ReturnSafe offered a purposeful execution of the digital health screening and contact tracing solution that we were looking for,” commented Heverling. “From the get-go, it has been a true partnership. By choosing ReturnSafe we now have the platform and the technology partner by our side to be ready for that next phase of bringing our full workforce back.”

The Spurs have also adopted our test management feature to enhance their safety program. Their testing provider regularly uploads employee test results into the ReturnSafe Command Center. Employees must report 2 negative results before a game. If they do not complete both tests or test positive for COVID-19, they are not cleared to report to work. In our Command Center, the Spurs administrators can override their screening recommendation to stay home so the employees do not pass building entry criteria.

Results

Smooth Onboarding Process for Confident Return to Creating Memories

With ease of use and auditability at the top of the requirements list for their return to work solution, leadership at Spurs Sports & Entertainment were excited by the intuitive design of the employee app and the depth of capabilities in the administrator’s Command Center.

“I was able to easily navigate the app and our dedicated success manager has helped us to not only learn about the solution, but has also helped us educate our employees on the screening process going forward,” said Mr. Heverling.”We are in the business of bringing people together and creating memories and we haven’t been able to do that during the pandemic. Anything that will allow us to do that in a safe, responsible, appropriate way, we are going to get behind. ReturnSafe is helping us get back to doing what we do best.”

As the organization moves through its reopening phases — beginning with essential employees, then broadening to the entire workforce, and moving eventually to fans — having a convenient, automated daily screening process is necessary for a safe, confident return to making memories.

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“We are in the business of bringing people together and creating memories and we haven’t been able to do that during the pandemic. Anything that will allow us to do that in a safe, responsible, appropriate way, we are going to get behind. ReturnSafe is helping us get back to doing what we do best.”

Casey Heverling
VP and General Manager | San Antonio Spurs

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