Politics & Pumpkin Pie: Washington & Lee students lead the way


Blog Post by Dan Carney, SVP Operations

June 12, 2020

As Senior Vice President of Operations, I’m charged with delivering technology solutions for our clients and driving the internal technology needs for our company.


As a member of our Senior Leadership Team, I’m also committed to supporting opportunities for us to give back to the greater good.


And as a parent, I’m always looking for ways to connect the dots for young people and make technology relevant to real world business challenges.


This is the story of how all that came together last year over Thanksgiving—it’s a story I’m happy to share because I feel it really epitomizes what Limelight is all about.


“Pass the turkey…and can we borrow an embedded player to live stream our global event?”


This was essentially the request made by my son’s friend, a student at Washington & Lee University, over the dinner table last November.


Every four years, the students of Washington & Lee host a Mock Convention to simulate the presidential nomination process. It involves 95% of the students and dates back to 1908, earning the “Mock Con” the reputation as the nation’s most accurate predictive convention. They expected record viewership on a global scale.


In talking further, it became apparent that Washington & Lee needed a Content Delivery Network (CDN) partner to help deliver seamless and high-quality live streaming to viewers worldwide. They also wanted to capitalize on the growing consumption of news video across mobile devices and reach out to a wider Mock Con audience that consumed content on the go. This was right up our alley.


Within weeks of our conversation, Limelight had agreed to support the live-stream event, coordinate some national PR and deployed solutions engineers to work directly with the students to understand and solve their challenges.


We were able to help push out the convention in a way that had never been done before, allowing the students to host the live stream on a dedicated Mock Convention site. Embedding the player made it much easier to attract viewers and take ownership of the audience.


“This was the most watched Mock Convention of our 112-year history thanks in large part to Limelight.” —Donald LeCompte, the Logistics Chair for Mock Convention 2020


Limelight’s CDN provided instant global scale to get Mock Con 2020 content to audience devices wherever they were located. As a result, total viewership was 4X more than the 2016 convention, setting a new record of nearly 60,000 engagements.


Our collaboration with the Washington & Lee students was a great learning experience for all involved and the type of thing we hope to do more of.


To read more about the technology solutions Limelight delivered for this use case, check out the full case study here.