Minnesota Vikings Media Whiz “Wobby” Reflects on Gustavus Experience

Mike Wobschall took advantage of his education, student employment, and several internships to find his niche with the Minnesota Vikings.
Posted on February 20th, 2017 by

Mike "Wobby" Wobschall '06. (Photo by John Noltner.)

At U.S. Bank Stadium on a Sunday morning in autumn, there are three hours until kick-off and less time than that before Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus Mike Wobschall ‘06 needs to be in the radio booth overseeing the football field below. As fans fill in and the excitement grows, he joins Minnesota Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen on the sidelines and the two move in front of the camera to film the weekly pregame show, Vikings Gameday Live.

Wobschall records one more live radio spot before he settles into the role where it all began, next to the broadcasters and the sports statisticians. The former student employee in the Gustavus Department of Sports Information is now the Senior Content Manager for the Vikings Entertainment Network, where Minnesota football fans and followers know him as “Wobby,” their one-stop connection to all things Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, Paul Allen, and Mike Wobschall on the sideline. (Photo courtesy of the Vikings Entertainment Network.)

Behind the scenes, Wobschall helps manage several of the organization’s digital content platforms, including the website and both radio and television programming, while also acting as an intermediary between these departments. But to Wobschall, a loyal fan who used to cheer from his hometown of Waseca, Minn., the most important part of his job is interacting with the fans and allowing them to see their favorite team in a different light.

Wobschall answers every fan email and responds to select questions through weekly articles and video series known as the “Monday Morning Mailbag” and “Pick 6 Mailbag.” While posting updates on social media and articles on the website, he also provides team reports and player analyses on his podcasts. He is a regular contributor on KFAN Radio with Allen, who is both a colleague and close friend.

“During the season, the team’s performance on Sunday determines how my job will go for the week. My competitive side thrives on riding the highs and lows that come with being part of a team,” said Wobschall, who finished his 12th season with the Minnesota Vikings this fall. “I didn’t realize it when I didn’t try out for the Gustavus baseball team, but I wasn’t leaving sports. I was just joining a new side and it was the best decision I could have made.”

For Wobschall, finding his home as an integral part of the Vikings media team was the final step after a successful and busy four years at Gustavus.

“I loved high school and was not looking too far ahead to college and to be honest, I did not know the benefits of a liberal arts college when I was deciding. That quickly changed,” said Wobschall. “I ended up thriving at Gustavus because my horizons were broadened and I was pushed out of my comfort zone.”

During his time on the Hill, the communication studies major and political science minor gained an appreciation for working towards a larger goal.

“I certainly wrote a lot of papers,” Wobschall laughed. “But I also learned one of the most important skills of my career in my communication classes. We practiced discussion and debate where the ability to construct and defend an argument is crucial. When we go live on the radio, I have one chance to articulate and I want to get it right.”

Outside of the classroom, Wobschall found an influential mentor in Tim Kennedy ‘82, the College’s former sports information director and current vice president for marketing and communication. Kennedy organized the sports information office with the purpose of producing professional work while also putting his student assistants in direct hands-on roles. Wobschall fit right into the team, excelling in the press box and quickly learning the ropes of sports statistics and reporting.

Paul Allen and Mike Wobschall record a pregame video segment. (Photo courtesy of the Vikings Entertainment Network.)

“Mike has an exceptional combination of work ethic, intellect, and creativity. He was a magician as a statistician and writer and even though he was a loyal Gustie fan, he always maintained professional and ethical work in the press box,” said Kennedy. “By the time he was a senior, he was mentoring and training younger students into the sports information roles. When he graduated, he had the experience and pure talent to be a director.”

Wobschall’s hard work did not go unnoticed. During his sophomore year, he was offered an internship with the Minnesota State High School League, where he kept statistics for state championship games. Within the next year, Kennedy recognized that Wobschall could perform at the highest level and made a phone call to Tom West, the Minnesota Vikings’ assistant director of public relations.

During his senior year and the 2005 Vikings season, Wobschall joined a media relations team of three personnel and wrote articles for the official Minnesota Vikings website. After graduation, the Vikings offered him another internship, which turned into a full-time job in 2007. Since then, the Vikings Entertainment Network has grown with the rise of technology, adding nearly 20 more employees and a presence across all media outlets.

“He took a passion for sports and turned it into a career by taking advantage of every opportunity he could,” Kennedy said. “Even with all the growth he has had with the Vikings and the development of their media network, this is just the beginning for him. By the time he is done, he will be recognized as one of the finest in professional sports media.”

Mike ’06 and Ali (Chorley) ’08 Wobschall. (Photo courtesy of the Vikings Entertainment Network.)

“Looking back, I owe a lot to Gustavus. I learned accountability, responsibility, and humility in a high-pressure yet supportive environment and found my next home with a new team,” recalled Wobschall. “And of all the contacts and friends I made, the most important person I met in the world of Gustie sports was my future wife.”

Looking ahead, Wobschall is excited for the future. When the team and network transitions to the new facility in Eagan in the upcoming months, he hopes they can continue to push the bar in their industry and unveil new content on more mediums.

In the meantime, he is content splitting his time at the current Vikings office at Winter Park with his home in Loretto, Minn., where he and his wife Ali (Chorley ‘08) are raising three young children.

The kids are frequent visitors to the Vikings training camp and office parties — and their dad is showing them how to wear Gustie black and gold and Vikings purple all at the same time.

###

Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 


3 Comments

  1. Joy Leininger says:

    Great article Sophie!!

  2. Howard Voigt says:

    I was honored to work with Mike As his mentor while at the High School League. I am proud to say I knew him when…

  3. Derek Martin says:

    Great article about a great Gustie!