I have told this story a hundred times, but am finally getting it posted more than a year later. I must admit my Mario Andretti experience from a previous post runs neck and neck with this one at the top of my ‘brush with fame’ list, but both events were very cool. In April 2016 I got a selfie with Magic Johnson at the 2016 Ellucian Live conference in Denver, CO.
It was a lot of fun There were 8500+ people in the room so what are the odds that I would be one of the four people to get a selfie w/ Magic. I suppose it increased my odds when I sat in the front row and wore a Laker shirt. There were 8499 suits, ties and jackets in the rooms so I guess the one dude in the bright Laker shirt stood out. His keynote was pretty awesome as well! A side of Magic Johnson and his work that I never knew about. It was sincere and transformative (Learn more about the Magic Johnson Foundation here). Magic had hopped off the stage and was telling the story of his various educational ventures, taking selfies with people and being the personable guy that he is. He made the rounds and came up the aisle behind me toward the end of his keynote address. He walked right by me and takes a left back toward the center the auditorium. Suddenly he stops turns around and looks at me and says,
I’m gonna get a picture with the guy in the Laker shirt (aka me)
It was wild after the selfie as I walked through the hoards of Ellucian Live attendees. People were high fiving me, saying, “hey there is the Laker guy” “I wish I had a selfie with Magic” etc. I have also included in the album below a twitter screen shot that cracks me up. My 15 minutes of fame I suppose. Oh and yes after getting a picture with Magic there were some very exciting sessions throughout the rest of the day…Nothing else even close.
The story of the Laker shirt I am wearing makes the Magic selfie even better. I am not really a Laker fan, however, we had a meeting with all of our college CIOs and Presidents scheduled during the Magic Johnson keynote on Monday morning. I whined a lot about missing the keynote because of the meeting so I bought the Laker shirt, which I was going to wear as a protest at our scheduled meeting. I mean how often do you get to hear a Magic Johnson Keynote address. As it turned out with all of the snow and travel cancellations for the eLive 2016 conference we had only had 1 of 7 presidents who ended up coming. Therefore, they moved our meeting andI went to the keynote and got my picture taken with Magic!!!!!!
What did I learn from all of this? There is probably a marketing lesson in this one about standing out from the crowd. I learned it pays to wear a bright yellow Laker shirt when the other 8499 people are wearing dark colored jackets and suits!!!!