#ExOps18 is in the books and by all indications, it was a rousing success. Huge thanks goes out to Brad Wurthman, Ryan Peck, Chris Ferris and Daniel Veale for traveling to Norman, spending a couple days with us and contributing great information to the discussion. Thanks also goes out to everyone who joined remotely. We were excited to see that people from the industry were tuning in, asking questions and participating in the discussion. We had a great time, learned a lot and have a lot of notes on ways to make #ExOps19 even more engaging and valuable for everyone.

We covered a number of topics during our day-and-a-half of discussions. You can watch it all for yourself on the Old Hat Facebook page or you can simply read my recap below.

An Unconventional Look at How to Drive Attendance
We kicked things off on Thursday morning with a private presentation I've developed that addresses what I see as a new way looking at collegiate athletics marketing. The group in the room served as my test audience. I do a number of speaking engagements in the spring, and this will be a topic I cover when visiting with athletics marketing groups. In my opinion, we should take a much different approach if we want to fill our stadiums and arenas. In this presentation, I outline what I believe is that approach. Be on the lookout for a webinar of this presentation coming soon.

Major in the Majors
Next up, we had Brad Wurthman of Virginia Tech walk us through a presentation called "Major in the Majors" where he outlined steps he feels we should be taking to focus on the things that truly matter. Brad pointed out that it's difficult to not get bogged down in the minutia and lose sight of the majors, or the big things we actually should be paying attention to. Brad asked questions like, "What's your why?" and "What are we chasing?" and also laid down some golden wisdom with comments like, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it," and my personal favorite, "We don't want our staff to do more, we want them to do different." Check out his presentation slides here, but I also highly recommend you follow along by listening to the Facebook video feed for a more valuable experience hearing it directly from Brad. 

Roundtable Discussion
After Brad's presentation, Chris Ferris of Colorado State led a discussion on various external operations topics. One strong area of focus was that of student attendance. Everyone felt strongly that despite student attendance being a non-factor in direct revenue generation, there are ancillary benefits that cause indirect increases in revenue. The most obvious of those is the effect students have on the overall gameday experience. Games are more exciting and more fun if the students are there. That, paired with the idea that students are your future season ticket holders and donors, brought us to the conclusion that when the old fans are complaining about the loud music and song selection, but your students love it, you err on the side of pleasing the students. Those die-hard older fans aren't going to stop coming because of the music, but your students won't turn into die-hard fans if you don't give them a great experience.

Effects of the New Tax Code on Fundraising
After a lunch break, we came back to another roundtable discussion led by Ryan Peck of North Texas. We went through what the old code states about tax-deductible gifts and what the new code says. We also talked through a number of things different athletic departments have done to try to prepare for the unknown, but "the unknown" was really where we landed on this topic. The fact is, no one really knows how, or if, the new tax code is going to affect the industry. After some initial panic toward the end of 2017, most of the people at the table agreed that it might not be a major issue. Toward the end of this discussion, we also touched on the topic of data analytics, predictive analysis, look-alike modeling and marketing automation.

Virginia Tech Ticket Sales Strategic Planning Session
Having spent the past few hours in discussion, we turned the live-stream off to get our hands dirty with a little strategic planning for Hokies football and men's basketball. Due to the proprietary nature of both the client information being shared, along with wanting to keep our process for making strategic marketing recommendations under wraps, we didn't broadcast this part to the masses. However, I can tell you that ahead of time, Brad Wurthman gave us a goal he's hoping to achieve: increase non-season ticket sales for football and men's basketball. We dug through the data gathered from surveys we'd conducted, talked through some of the issues Va Tech is facing, and looked at census data and historical sales information before calling it a day. This part of the process was all about information gathering. We haven't completed our strategic plan yet, but we will be doing so in the coming weeks and delivering that to Va Tech with a full list of recommendations to help them achieve that goal in a targeted and strategic manner.

2018 Digital Marketing Trends
We kicked things off on Day 2 with a live-streamed presentation from Old Hat's Director of Web/Digital, Kevin Kelly, on the topic of web and digital trends for 2018. Kevin shared some great statistics on the impact of video engagement vs. the traditional means of communicating on social media. Some of those stats:

- 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video vs reading
- 1 in 4 consumers lose interest in product if there's no video about that product
- 4 in 5 consumers say video of how a product works is important in decision to buy
- 95% of a message is retained when watched in video vs. 10% when reading

One idea that was thrown out as a result of this is that maybe instead of having our internal video production crews focus so heavily on high-impact, emotionally driven videos, we should ask them to produce more informational videos that actually communicate a message about our product.

Other topics that were covered are too many to name, but I'll be asking Kevin to develop this into a webinar in the spring - so stay tuned for that. There's some great information that can help us better engage with our fans.

Responding to a Changing Industry
For the final segment of #ExOps18, we turned off the live stream and talked through ways Old Hat can better serve the industry. When I started Old Hat 14 years ago, we were a traditional creative production shop, and we were selling a service the industry was already buying and knew it needed. Old Hat just offered a better version of it at a competitive price. However, as I've seen the industry shift, I've realized the need for our marketing to be much more strategic. Therefore, we developed a wide range of strategic marketing services that include data collection, analysis and strategic recommendations that can help an athletics organization identify who specifically to target, where to find them, how to message to them and how to measure the results. Unlike posters, videos and schedule cards, this list of services is not one the industry already knows it needs. During this discussion, we talked through ways of shifting the industry's perception on what marketing should look like and how to convince athletic departments to look at the product they're selling the same way other industries view their own products and services. That is through doing research, developing insight into who to reach and how to reach them and then rolling out a strategic marketing message in the right ways to the right people.

Overall, it was one of the most fun and most valuable day-and-a-halves in my entire career. Outside the walls of that conference room, we ate a lot of great food, learned a lot about each other and enjoyed the company of some very progressive and forward-thinking minds in collegiate athletics. There were so many people that came together behind-the-scenes to make this a reality, and my sincere gratitude goes out to all of them. We can't wait to do it again next year.

After months of planning, we are excited to announce the first ever Collegiate Athletics External Operations Symposium, or as we like to call it, #ExOps18. What is #ExOps18, you ask? Great question!

#ExOps18 is an opportunity for anyone working in collegiate athletics to learn about and discuss the topics at the forefront of the minds of those charged with ticket sales, increasing attendance, game experience and fundraising - the "external operations" of collegiate athletics. We're starting small and because of the luxuries the web provides us, year one will primarily be an event you can attend remotely. No need to worry about getting approved to spend money to attend. That's assuming, of course, that your university isn't on AOL's pay-per-minute internet service. If so, maybe you can collect some "free trial" disks in the mail and attend next year.

Fortunately for you though, not everyone is attending remotely. Old Hat has invited four of the top minds from collegiate athletics marketing and fundraising to be on-site to present, discuss and field questions. Those minds belong to:

Chris Ferris
Senior Associate AD for Sales, Marketing and Communications
Colorado State University

Ryan Peck
Executive Senior Associate AD for External Affairs
University of North Texas

Daniel Veale
Director of Marketing
SMU

Brad Wurthman
Senior Associate AD for External Affairs
Virginia Tech

On January 25 and 26, these four people will gather at Old Hat world headquarters for a day-and-a-half to discuss the topics that are weighing most heavily on their minds. Portions of those discussions will be live streamed via Facebook Live (link: ExOps.live), and we're inviting you to listen in and be a part of the conversation. You will be able to send in questions ahead of time, ask questions live via Twitter using the #ExOps18 hashtag or submit questions in the comments on the Facebook Live video stream. Below is an agenda for the event and a list of topics we will be discussing, so mark your calendars and get ready to plop down in front of your computer next Thursday and Friday for some great conversation.

Please note: Portions of the days' events will not be live streamed due to proprietary and confidential information being shared. The segments that will be live streamed are indicated below.

 

Thursday, January 25 - All times Central

9:00 a.m. (LIVE) - Welcome, Introductions and Icebreaker 

9:30 a.m. (PRIVATE)- An Unconventional Look at How to Drive Attendance: An internal discussion on fan behavior  - Zac Logsdon, CEO, Old Hat 

10:15 a.m. (LIVE) - Major in the Majors: Filtering out the unimportant and concentrating on valuable metrics - Brad Wurthman, Virginia Tech

10:45 a.m. (LIVE) - Q&A session Brad Wurthman 

11:15 a.m. (LIVE) - Marketing/Ticket Sales Roundtable discussion, led by Chris Ferris, Colorado State - Topics to include: Increasing Student Attendance, Growth Metrics that Matter, Data Analytics and How do you measure engagement?

Noon - Break for Lunch

1:30 p.m. (LIVE) - Fundraising/Development Roundtable discussion, led by Ryan Peck, North Texas - Impact of the new tax code on fundraising

2:30 p.m. (PRIVATE) - Strategic Planning Session for Virginia Tech Ticket Sales

5:00 p.m. - Break for the day

 

Friday, January 26 - All times Central

9:00 a.m. (LIVE) - Digital Marketing Marketing Trends for 2018 Presentation/Discussion - Kevin Kelly, Director of Digital/Web, Old Hat

9:45 a.m. (LIVE) - Q&A - Last opportunity to ask our guests questions

10:15 a.m. (PRIVATE) - Internal Discussion on new products/services, positioning and adapting to the changing market

Noon - #ExOps18 Ends

 

 

Take a second and think about the things you absolutely love to do. Whether it's your job, a hobby, a food...just think about how much you love it.

Could you do or eat that exact same thing starting today and continue until you are 95 years old? For me, that would be 67 years, one month, and 23 days.

I ask these questions because recently, while we were on campus at SMU for our basketball video/photo shoot, Dustin and I had the opportunity to meet someone special.

Meet Brad Bradley - sports photographer and legend. He has been taking photos at SMU and around Dallas for the last 70 years! He is 95 years old and still working. Why? Because he absolutely loves it.

We had a few moments to talk with Brad and his son Jimmy, and the stories of what they've done over the last seven decades are amazing. Doak Walker. Larry Brown. Michael Jordan. Brad took photos of them all. He was the photographer for the Southwest Conference, SEC, and ACC. He would drive around the country and hit every school in those conferences in one trip over the course of a few weeks. As we continued talking, he very humbly told us he pretty much pioneered the sports "action" photo. Instead of having guys posing and hold the ball or helmet, he had them act out some moves/positions from their sport. It hit us that we were talking to the inventor of what we were there doing. He compared our lights/camera set up to how he used to do it, and Dustin and he talked through technology advancements and techniques. It was so cool.

It made me step back and think about how much Brad truly enjoys his work. He could have retired 30 years ago, but he didn't. I hope we all have something in our lives we love so much that we want to do it for 70+ years.

To read more about Brad and his career, take a look at this article from a few years ago.

And of course, here are a few photos with Brad from our shoot:

 

Every year we spend the months of May-October shooting photographs and capturing video content for the fall and winter sports that take place at universities all across the country. 

I'd like to use an example from an old shoot to illustrate the importance of "shooting for the edit". Each time I shoot a sport I am thinking of all the ways in which the photographs may be used and what we'll need to create interesting and dynamic designs once the photos get back to the office. Too often photographers neglect to capture a wide enough range of positions, angles or poses to allow for variety throughout the long athletic season. 

These examples are from the 2015 season for Utah volleyball. Below you can see the schedule poster that kicked off the design process. 

In this case, we knew that we would need to include every athlete on the team somewhere on the poster. This can be a tall task in and of itself, but now imagine if every player was making the same pose or even one of three poses? Suddenly the task of creating an interesting composition becomes much harder. We went on to use the photos captured during this session to create the other elements that a team needs to market itself throughout the season. 

Sometimes the marketing staff likes for photos to be repurposed in different layouts, but kept the same for consistency. Other times we'll settle on completely different photos for each piece.  

Below is a good example of how each player is doing something different and how it plays on the tickets, where each individual pose really stands out. If these were, all the same, the viewer would get bored very quickly. 

You may think that something like the above comes from letting an athlete "freestyle" or just shooting whatever comes up in the process of the shoot. But it is a very calculated approach that gets you what you need.

Below is a screenshot showing just a few of the poses of number 6 that we captured during this shoot. She is looking left, looking right, hands relaxed at her side, hands on hips, arms crossed, ball in hand on the left side, ball in hand on the right side, ball in front, etc. 

We do this for EVERY. SINGLE. ATHLETE. 

Is it time-consuming? Yes.

Is it hard? Yes. But it makes all the difference. 

Now, check out this example from the 2016 Utah volleyball team. 

In this example, you can see a different take on the "all athletes featured" theme. These are action shots and celebration shots as opposed to static, posed shots. But in the case of the 2016 shoot AND the 2015 shoot, we shot BOTH options. (And always do.)

(Above: Action shots from 2015 of Number 6. These were in addition to her posed shots seen earlier in the post.)

(Above: Action shots of Number 5 from the 2016 shoot.)

So next time you commission a shoot, be sure to cover your bases. Shoot left, right, up, down, sideways and every way in between. Shoot with and without balls, rackets, helmets, gloves, and bats. Don't just shoot a few headshots and call it a day. Options make for more exciting content and more excited fans. And that's something we all want. 

 

 

 

 

The need for creative content has never been greater in the world of athletics than it is right now. From traditional media that have been around for years like posters, ads, ticket stock and billboards, to the newer forms of creative output like social media graphics, recruiting graphics and the beloved animated gifs, the new truth is this: you need designers. The problem is, many athletic organizations don't have experience hiring for that position. And they don't have creative directors that leading a team of designers that they can lean on to head that up. No, many times it falls to sports information directors, sport operations managers or marketing directors to hire for a skill set they do not possess. They know what to look for when hiring a coach. They know what to look for when hiring marketing assistants or sports info assistants. But hiring designers is tough. Hiring designers with an eye for sports is nearly impossible.

I've spent nearly two decades in athletics creative and for the past 14 years, I've hired or been a part of the hiring of a lot of designers, editors, animators and other creatives to help Old Hat develop top notch creative for the more than 150 sports organizations we've worked with. We have a process and we know what to look for (and not look for) when identifying talented individuals that know how to produce for sports. So here are some tips and tricks that can help you in your search for someone that can churn out all those social media graphics on signing day.

1. There's no "Eye" in Team - I've seen hundreds of portfolios and interviewed countless designers. Some of them are extremely talented. But an eye for design doesn't always equate to an eye for sports design. Sports design is a different animal and to succeed in this industry, you have to look at design a little bit differently. Most of the design world operates on a "less is more" philosophy. But I've always said that sports subscribes to the "more is more" design philosophy. So one thing to make sure you look for is someone that knows sports and has an eye for sports design. Some will have examples of that in their portfolio but for those that do not...

2. This is a test - No matter how talented they appear to be or how many examples of amazing sports projects they have in their portfolio, always send them a test project. Primarily, this shows me what they can do with a project from scratch. For all I know, their portfolio is full of ads they resized from another designer's template. So send them your logo, a few photos of your athletes, tell them what to create and see what they send back. You'd be surprised by how many designers that have amazing portfolios send back test projects that fall completely flat. If you get something amazing back from them, you're on the right track. But there are other things to keep in mind, like...

3. It's about more than talent  - Talent can get you far but the sports industry is a lot more fast-paced than most. Sometimes we have to produce things with quick turnaround. Actually, that happens more often than not. And great designers have a reputation for wanting to take their time to get it just right. You also want to know how well they follow instructions, how well the can stay on brand and what their attitude is like when you give them feedback. So as a part of your test project, make sure to give them basic instruction on the design, but specific instructions on content. You want to see how the operate with creative freedom but you also want to make sure they can follow instructions. Give them a specific deadline and if they don't meet it, mark them off the list (bonus points for sending it early). Then, if you really want to get a feel for 1) how they are to work with and 2) how much they want the job, send revisions.  At this point, you'll know if they have an eye for sports design, you'll know how good they are and you'll know how fast they are. What else do you need to know about them?

4. For love of the game - They might be good, they might be fast and they might have great attention to detail. But do they love sports? You're going to get a lot more out of them if they do. You want someone that gets excited by what they're doing for you. I always ask, "If you could get a job designing for any industry, what would it be?" or "What's the most fun design project you've ever worked on?" If their answer is that they want to work in the fashion industry or that their favorite design project was their cousin's wedding invitation, they're not for you. That's not to say that you can't get good work out of someone that doesn't love sports but if they're not passionate about what they do, the long hours, tight deadlines and coaches that change their minds 12 times are going to wear on them and their time with your organization will be short-lived. If you can find someone that has an eye for sports design, nails the test project, follows instructions, meets deadlines and absolutely loves sports... HIRE THEM. However, if you want to take it one step further, there's one more thing you can look for that will get you the holy grail of sports designers...

5. What color do they bleed? - This one is easy because you don't have to even ask them the question to find out the answer. Look at their resumé and see where they went to school. If they attended the some other institution, that's fine. They're probably worth hiring anyway. But if they list your school as their alma mater, that's one more mark in the W column for them because I can assure you that they'll pour themselves into their jobs even more if they have a pride in the organization they're working for. This doesn't work, of course, if you're hiring for a professional organization. But you can solve this simply by asking who their favorite teams are. Or simply look at where they're from. If you're hiring for the Pittsburgh Steelers and your candidate grew up in Dallas, they might not have the passion for the Steelers you want them to have. But if you find someone that meets all the criteria for a great sports designer and they went to your school or grew up in your town, you have a winner.

 

We Hire, Train and Consult

One thing to keep in mind is that if you still don't feel comfortable facilitating the hiring process, or if you'd like to have someone to train that individual prior to them taking their seat within your organization, is that Old Hat offers creative staffing services as a part of our mission to help sports organizations drive attendance to their events. We believe strongly that great creative can help fill the stands and we want to help organizations achieve that goal in every way possible. Therefore, we developed a program where we serve as your proxy to hire your creative staff. Here's how it works:

1. We Identify Candidates - We tap our network of sports designers we know from coast-to-coast to see who may be interested in a job in your organization. We also post the job on multiple creative job boards to get as large a pool as possible that are interested in working for you.

2. We Test Them - Over many years we have developed a number of test projects depending upon the job description and we put the candidates through the rigors to figure out who best meets the requirements. 

3. We Interview - We narrow the pool based on talent and we interview them to see who would be the best fit.

4. We Recommend - Based on our tests and interviews, we submit a list of qualified candidates to you. You are the final decision maker on who gets the job.

5. We Train - As a part of our program, we bring your new staff member to Old Hat HQ to spend 2-4 weeks training under our design staff. We put them through a crash course in file management, project management, how to field requests, design tips and tricks, photography, motion graphics and more to make sure they are ready to roll when they begin working for you.

6. We Consult - The hardest part about being a designer in a sports organization is that often times, you're on an island. You're not surrounded by other creatives that you can learn from, bounce ideas off of, etc. It's a lonely gig. Old Hat solves this by being on retainer to answer questions, provide input and allow your designer to submit their ideas for feedback. 

If you're interested in finding out more about our creative hiring services, download this PDF, email me at zac@oldhatcreative.com or call (405) 310-2133 x118.

We're not exaggerating when we say Ronald Semro III is one of the nicest guys in the universe. We first met Ronnie a few years ago as a part of Brad Wurthman's crew at Cincinnati. Since then, we've had the pleasure of working with Ronnie at the Air Force Academy and now SMU for the last year or so. As true friend of Old Hat, collaborating with Ronnie and his team is ALSO one of our favorite things (see #6). And that's not only because of his natural talent as a perfect test model on our photo/video shoots. 

Even better, now that Deb and Hannah know Ronnie is a FRIENDS fanatic too, you know the FRIENDS references will skyrocket. 

1. NAME: Ronnie Semro

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Director of Marketing at SMU

3. HOMETOWN: Aurora, IN

4. PREGAME RITUAL: As we all know, gamedays are hectic. I try to take a minute to reflect on a number of things, such as: all the work our team put into the event, how I got to where I am, and remind myself to have a bit of fun on gameday. Then I immediately go back to double checking everything.

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Cheez-Its

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Three aspects stand out. The first is being influential in creating memorable moments that our supporters cherish. The second is guiding those that look up to me and how I can help them attain their goals. Last but not least, working with our friends at Old Hat!

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The speed bumps we encounter that prohibit either progress or innovation.

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: My hidden talents are so hidden, I’m unaware of them. As for hobbies, I’m a huge soccer follower and I also like to get out on the golf course.

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Speak up. Don’t allow outside factors to alter your thought process. Convey your ideas with confidence. If you aren’t willing to believe in them, how will others.

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: You’re more likely to see me performing in the car next to you than seeing me on stage. Regardless of venue, the favorites would be: Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks, Small Town by John Mellencamp, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Toy Story

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friends

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: I have spent far too much time trying to think of a witty answer for this question. The result is: N’Treble – as that’s exactly what our listeners will be thinking.

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Penn Station

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Pizza Sub & Chocolate Chunk Cookie

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel – I grew up with two older sisters, meaning that I was always outnumbered when we voted on what movie to watch.

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Bear – Thanks to a quiz and some Google searches I’ve been able find out that the Bear stands for strength, confidence, solitude, and standing against adversity.

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: I was rushing to get into my apartment on the third floor and my roommate who was on ground level had the keys. We both thought that it would be fine to toss the keys up so I could get in. We. Were. Wrong. Unfortunately, he had a cannon for an arm and the keys ended up on the roof. We had to build a contraption out of broom handles, duct tape, and a rake to retrieve our keys. It certainly wasn’t our finest hour.

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: I’m currently finishing up Season 3 of Bosch. Please don’t reach out with any spoilers!

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I would like to think that I would be working for a club in Major League Soccer.

We have had the absolute pleasure of working with some really talented Notre Dame Athletics Marketers over the years and Jasmine Cannady is no exception. This former Sacramento State Hornet student-athlete brings a different perspective to projects that not a lot of marketers possess. It's a definite positive. Plus, we're pretty confident she would own Robert on the court and that's just enjoyable to think about.

We're adding Jasmine to our weekly Grey's Anatomy Friday chat. Any suggestions on an appropriate hashtag are welcome (#FridayMcChats). Learn a little bit more about Jasmine Cannady in today's 20 Questions!

 

1. NAME: Jasmine Cannady

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Assistant Marketing Director, University of Notre Dame Athletics

3. HOMETOWN: Sacramento, CA

4. PREGAME RITUAL: NA

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Popcorn

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The people I get to work with and getting to watch my marketing plan come to life right before my eyes. If you are successful, you know. If you are unsuccessful, you know. Either way, you get measurable results that you can act on immediately.

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The fans. Ha! JK. I don’t have a least favorite. I truly love everything about my job.

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I love to read crime/murder mysteries

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Don’t underestimate your qualifications and abilities

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Drops of Jupiter by Train or Don’t Stop Believing by Journey

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Big Fish by Tim Burton

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Grey’s Anatomy

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: IDK (no seriously, “IDK” would be the name of the band)

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: It’s a place in Sacramento, CA called Arigatos. It’s a sushi restaurant.

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Vegetable Tempura, the Dragon and Lion King Rolls and Miso Soup

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Fox

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: When I was in high school I decided to ditch school one day and called myself smart by calling into the front office and pretending to be my mom to excuse my absence. The lady asked for a call back number and instead of leaving my cell phone number, I left my mother’s number. Needless to say, my called me about 20 minutes later asking why I wasn’t in school. Ha!

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: Mad Men, it’s an amazing show! You should watch it!

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I would have either joined the Peace Corps or tried to join the California Highway Patrol as an Officer

Diana Pulupa, Brand Manager, Georgetown University Athletics, has been working with Old Hat for so long that she's got projects on our Archive server. She's definitely an OH OG. Robert added, "When we started working with Di so many years ago, she was just a young [bulldog] pup. And if you keep up with her on Instagram like we do, you'll realize she hasn't aged a bit. She's been a great client and advocate for Old Hat, so now... we lift our shot glasses and salute Diana!" Apparently, Robert is filling up shot glasses at 10 in the morning. But hey, it's for Di and Di is awesome! Cheers!

 

 

1. NAME: Diana Pulupa

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Brand Manager, Georgetown University Athletics

3. HOMETOWN: Bethesda, Md.

4. PREGAME RITUAL: Pray the printed materials get to the venue on time? When I was an athlete (a very very long time ago) my favorite pregame song was Ma$e “Breathe, Stretch, Shake.”

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK ON: Cheese sticks. My cheese consumption went up significantly once I started working with Barbara Barnes who hails from America’s Dairyland.

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Working on a college campus has (seemingly!) kept me young – at least I feel younger than I actually am.

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Seeing rogue or unapproved use of Georgetown logos. Or a lack of Trademark – that TM means so much to me!

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I wouldn’t call it a “talent” but I do enjoy baking and cooking in general. It’s not uncommon for overly ripe bananas to be anonymously left on my desk so I can bake them into banana chocolate chip muffins the next day – and if we’re really good friends, I’ll even make custom muffins that either don’t have chocolate chips or added walnuts, etc.

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Take advantage of those glorious times in life when you can still schedule a nap during the day. I really miss naps.

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: I like other people too much to ever actually do karaoke, but if this were a lip sync battle, I’m prepared to go with Nicki Minaj “Super Bass” if called upon.

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Toss up between Top Gun, Mean Girls and 17 Again because all three are movies that, when on television, definitely get watched – no matter where in the movie it is.

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The Mindy Project

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: I’m not really a “share the spotlight” kind of person. However, the GU sports info office (more specifically, Ryan Sakamoto) once gave me the stage name Positive D. Pretty sure he was mocking me.

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Medium Rare, Washington, D.C.

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Steak frites – the only thing on the menu!

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel … best sidekicks in Sebastian and Flounder.

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal.

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: I have twice waited a full 18 months between oil changes in my current car. Somehow, my poor car is still kicking despite my attempts at literally driving it into the ground.

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: 13 Reasons Why … it was all over the internet! Couldn’t avoid it. But right before that was re-binging Master of None – much more lighthearted and Aziz Ansari is amazing.

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Most likely a job in communications, just outside of sports.

It's that time of year where we begin producing work for the upcoming football season. For some of our clients, the first step of the new posters, tickets, and other projects for the season is an Old Hat photo shoot.

Recently, Dustin and I made the short drive to Dallas to visit our friends at SMU. After collaborating with Ronnie and Brad from SMU, we decided on a concept and were ready to execute. We captured photos for football, men's soccer, women's soccer, and volleyball. We've been capturing photos for SMU for a few years now, but we were extra excited to do something new for them this time. ACTION PHOTOS!

This shoot included:

  • 2 days
  • 3 locations
  • 4 sports
 

In the past, we've captured the student-athletes against a white backdrop. This time, we used practical setups on the football practice field, volleyball court, and in the football stadium.

We thought about doing the photo shoot at night so we could control the lighting, but with so many schedules to work with, that was not entirely possible. Instead, Dustin came up with a way to combat the sunlight. We planned to use a 20' x 20' scrim to help block the light. A scrim is essentially a huge piece of material that we can move around as a big shade. It reminded me of a trampoline...I really wish it was a trampoline. Anyway, as we were setting up, it was determined that it was wayyyyy to windy to use the scrim. So, what now?!

Well, my friends, that is why you always need to plan for the unexpected and be prepared with a backup plan. We've been doing these shoots long enough to know things don't always go exactly as planned. Dustin is always prepared with backup cameras, lights, batteries, and anything and everything else we could possibly need. He quickly thought up a new strategy and adjusted our lighting set up to overpower the sun. I know what you're thinking, no one can overpower the sun. Wrong. Dustin can.

 

We battled two of the windiest Dallas days ever, got a little sunburned one day (we used sunscreen I promise!), and then withstood the chilly 50-degree weather the next day, but it was all worth it for the literal THOUSANDS of photos we captured for SMU to use throughout this year.

I can't share our official photos yet, but here's some behind the scenes photos and videos I took on my iPhone:

Here's Dustin looking cool driving our minivan. And we found a Ronnie!

 

You can see the scrim off to the side and how big it actually is. In this photo, it is even folded in half!

 
 
 
 

We've had the great privilege to work with Chris and the Southland Conference for five years on everything from logos to printed tournament materials to commercials. We get to collaborate with Chris and his crew on a little bit of everything. He's a hardworking, thoughtful guy who puts a lot of effort into his creative messaging for the Southland and its student-athletes. At that's a lot of student athletes!

Chris provided us with a few photos to choose from, but we will always pick the ones with babies. Cute baby, Chris! He's a natural with the mic! It's always great to go visit him down in Frisco because they always find a new great place to eat. Speaking of which, it's about time for another visit...


1. NAME: Chris Mycoskie

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Assistant Commissioner for Television and Electronic Media at the Southland Conference

3. HOMETOWN: Arlington, Texas

4. PREGAME RITUAL: I pray silently during a portion of the national anthem. I started doing that as an athlete and still do it today, whether I’m at an event as an administrator, broadcaster or fan.

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Pita chips and pesto hummus.

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: I love telling stories. Whether it’s through a short piece for social media, or a complete game broadcast on national television, I have a ton of opportunities to tell great stories about our student-athletes and coaches.

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Budgets! If only money were infinite.

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: Any talents I have, I make sure they are visible. As far as hobbies, I used to run 5Ks on a regular basis. But now that I have a son, my runs are a lot shorter. They involve happily pushing a stroller and stops at the neighborhood playground.

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Study more, eat healthier, do not apply for those credit cards and live within your means.

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: My brother Kevin and I knocked out a killer rendition of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” on my nephews’ new karaoke machine at Christmas last year. No comment on which part I sang.

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Tie between Aspen Extreme and Inglorious Basterds.

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The West Wing. I am constantly watching old episodes on Netflix.

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: Austin & the Blockheads.

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Tommy’s on Thomas in Hammond, Louisiana.

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Bayou breadsticks.

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: I don’t have one. I’m sure I’ll develop either a love or a hatred for the princesses if I ever have a daughter.

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: According to results of the quiz I just took on spiritanimal.info, my spirit animal is a deer.

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: When I was 23, I was renting a house and needed something out of the attic. I had no idea I was supposed to walk on the joists. I fell through the ceiling, Clark Griswold style, but I grabbed hold of something and didn’t fall directly to the floor. Otherwise, I probably would have broken an arm, leg or my neck. The ceiling had a huge hole though, plus paint cans fell from the attic and destroyed the carpet below.

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: The Man in the High Castle.

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I’d probably still be chasing my old dream of being a big-time sports anchor. But I’m honestly glad that door closed and this one opened. I love working on this side of college athletics.

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