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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (405) 310-2133 x118.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re probably familiar LaVar Ball, his newly-drafted-by-the-Lakers eldest son Lonzo, and the family’s Big Baller Brand. From Mr. Ball’s loudmouthed media presence to the family’s recent random appearance on WWE, the Balls have been hard to ignore. Whether you find them entertaining or repugnant, they’re an interesting case study from a marketing perspective.
$495 shoes? Really?
The price tag certainly seems exorbitant for a newly established brand entering the shoe market, especially since the shoe is associated with a player who hasn’t even made his NBA debut. But before you write the pricing decision off as a bad one, let’s talk about it for a minute. It’s a known marketing principle that if you want to be seen as a prestige brand, you price high. Tesla didn’t come into the market with cars priced to sell to the masses, and Rolex wouldn’t be as coveted if they charged half as much for their watches.
The whole point of premium pricing is to communicate that a brand isn’t for everyone and that it’s a status symbol. As LaVar Ball said on Twitter, “"If you can't afford the ZO2'S, you're NOT a BIG BALLER." Premium pricing creates a sense of scarcity and conveys that the product is exclusive and high-end, giving consumers a reason to covet and desire it. In addition, start-ups and niche brands often need to price high in order to try to cover their cost of production. As a market entry strategy, it’s a risky move because you limit your potential purchasers and you’re asking people to shell out a lot of money to try an unproven product. However, it’s easier to start priced high and then either lower your prices or introduce a lower-priced alternative later than it is to introduce yourself as a mass-market brand and try to move upward. Only time will tell whether premium pricing is the right move for the Big Baller Brand.
Is any publicity good publicity?
Phineas T. Barnum (as in Barnum & Bailey Circus) is often credited with saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. LaVar Ball has certainly created his own media circus with outrageous comments, like saying you can’t win a championship with three white guys because their foot speed is too slow or claiming that Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. He made headlines for his heated comments to Kristine Leahy of Fox Sports 1 when she asked how many pairs of shoes Big Baller Brand had sold. And on Twitter, #LaVarBallSays enjoyed a Chuck Norris-esque moment this spring as Twitter users shared their own outrageous statements.
For a start-up brand with little or no media budget, earned media is a smart way to market yourself. Big Baller Brand is trying to independently break into a saturated and competitive market space, and you can’t do that without building brand recognition. It would have taken a massive marketing budget to gain as much awareness for the Big Baller Brand in such a short period of time as LaVar Ball has been able to gain for free with his antics. However, the controversial nature of his comments and the brand’s current lack of depth make this a dangerous game. LaVar Ball has already turned many people off. He might say they’re the people he doesn’t want associated with his brand anyway, but he may find out the hard way that there really is such a thing as bad publicity.
Although the U.S. media delights in drama, this type of approach has a limited shelf life. If Lonzo’s NBA career takes off as the Balls hope, and if the two younger Ball sons deliver media-worthy sports performances of their own in the next year, that will bring greater recognition to the Big Baller Brand and give it something sustainable (and positive) to talk about. If that happens, using periodic obnoxious commentary to keep the brand in the news and interesting to consumers could be a viable strategy as long as LaVar Ball doesn’t overdo it. But if insults and inflated claims are the only thing LaVar Ball and his brand have to offer in the long run, he’ll likely end up losing the spotlight - and business - as consumers tire of his hot air. After all, willingness to pay high prices for a brand is rooted in wanting to be associated with what that brand stands for.
Even though Lonzo Ball was one of the stars of this year’s college basketball season and the number two pick in the NBA draft, his voice isn’t usually the one you hear thanks to his outspoken father. A lot of people have wondered whether LaVar’s cocky, overbearing approach benefits his son or will end up costing Lonzo millions of dollars. One of the best things Lonzo could have done for himself and the Big Baller Brand is exactly what he did: publicly make fun of his situation. The fact that he roasted his father on national TV in an ad for Foot Locker instantly made Lonzo a more sympathetic and likable figure. And after being subjected to so much of Ball Senior’s bluster, who among us wasn’t talking about this ad when it came out? It’s the perfect first step for Lonzo as he begins growing into his own public persona outside of his father’s shadow. Does the ad mean a possible future partnership between Foot Locker and the Big Baller Brand? Hard to say, and speculation on that point may be exactly what the Balls hoped to drive. Regardless, the spot is a win-win for Lonzo Ball and Foot Locker…and indirectly for the Big Baller Brand. I don’t know if LaVar Ball was behind it or had a hand in it, but whoever came up with the idea was pretty darn smart.
If you've been attending NACDA/NACMA regularly each year, you know that it's a lot like celebrating the new year for college athletics. We all make plans for the big event- even make resolutions about how things are going to be different next year, and after it's all said and done we're scrambling like we have every year past, just hoping we can stick to those resolutions we were so fired up about just a few weeks before.
Well NACMA has come and gone, so here's hoping that you're able to stick to your guns this year.
For Old Hat, this year's NACMA was a busy one. Besides the preparation and couple of days in the exhibit hall at the booth, we hosted our Chilla in the Villa on Sunday night, Zac had just released his new book If Not for Athletics so he was signing and selling those each day. We also held a session for social media/Snapchat on Wednesday. There was a lot going on, but we know that pushing ourselves for these few days pays dividends later. I think that's the mindset of everyone there and the reason we're all so exhausted by the time we get back home.
We've learned over the years that NACMA is the place we go to cultivate those relationships we've developed over the years and start forming new relationships. Sure, we want you to know about Old Hat and what we do, but that's just bonus for those that have never heard of us. The people we meet are most important: What we do for them will impact many other lives. That's what the world of sports is all about. If you don't believe me, just read Zac's book.
We understand that environmental branding is imperative in appealing to fans and is a game-changer in the recruiting process. We also know that big projects often mean big investments and sometimes big headaches! We wanted to find out more about the challenges you face when it comes to projects involving large-scale graphics, so we recently conducted a survey through our new company, Powerhouse.
Here are a few things we learned through the Powerhouse Environmental Graphics Survey:
1. You believe environmental graphics projects are effective.
Only 14% of survey respondents said that the environmental graphics projects they’ve done in the past 24 months weren’t effective at all. We’re not surprised, because large-scale graphics projects are a great way to influence the energy of student-athletes, administrators, donors and fans. The big question to ask yourself is: are your environmental graphics projects as effective as you’d like them to be?
2. You prefer local partners, but don’t always use them.
80% percent of survey participants agreed that using local printers and installers is an important consideration when creating environmental graphics. Pricing and creative design capability were the top two reasons cited for choosing to work with a supplier outside the local area.
3. Football and basketball rule the roost.
Not surprisingly, basketball and football facilities were identified as the main focus for environmental graphics investments. The environmental graphics used in these facilities were also seen as the most effective by survey participants.
For more survey data and insights, see the full survey report here.
NACMA. It’s our favorite event of the year! It’s when we get to see all of our clients and friends, new and old, from near and far. Aside from a few trips to campuses for photo/video shoots throughout the year, we don’t get to hang out with our clients in person. That’s why we love NACMA! We get to see everyone, show you what we’ve been up to lately, and talk about plans for the upcoming season.
As always, we will be set up at our booth for both days. #306. Come see us.
Having clients all across the country means my communication relies mostly on emails and phone calls. It’s amazing to me how connected I feel to clients I’ve been working with for a few years, that I forget I’ve never actually met them in person. It’s interesting to me to continue to learn about people’s personalities through email…the way they say hello, the way they sign off. As Shrek says, we are like onions – you have to peel the layers back. And it’s true!
Something I’ve been trying to do more is set up video calls with clients. To me, they are more engaging and personal than a phone call. I get to see your smiling faces, and it makes me feel even more like a part of your team. #teamwork
Not only do I get to know you better as a person at NACMA and through our communication, but I feel that it helps me do my job more efficiently. As I get to know you and your brand, I am able to better proactively think about things you will like. I can anticipate what might work for you or how to better approach a project.
I know I talked about onions already, but sometimes I feel like a chameleon, too. Each one of you is different in terms of brand and as a person. Some like to chat and talk about anything and everything, and some like to get straight to the point. Over time, I continue to pick up on how to seamlessly blend with each individual.
If you follow Old Hat at all, you certainly must have heard by now that I recently finished writing a book called If Not for Athletics. And as you can see from the graphic above, it's a collection of 64 stories from 57 athletics administrators about the many ways in which sports shapes our lives. The books should be available on IfNotforAthletics.com and Amazon.com by June 15, and we started allowing people to preorder the book last week. The response has been amazing, and I can't wait to see the impact this book makes. I'm extremely proud of it.
I don't want to give anything away by posting any of the meat of the book here. However, I did think it might be nice to post the introduction so you can get a taste for what's in store. Although, I didn't want to call it the "Introduction," because that's kinda boring. So it's called "Pregame."
So here's the Pregame section of If Not for Athletics. I hope you enjoy it.
In 2001 I was fresh out of college, working at an advertising agency in Oklahoma City. I didn’t have a design degree but fortunately was able to pick up a thing or two from the talented designers around me. When a graphic design job came open at the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department, I jumped at the opportunity as this was a dream job for me. My office was to be in the very stadium where I’d spent my childhood watching the Sooners play. It was here that I realized I wanted to spend my career working in athletics marketing.
After three years at OU, I started my own company and called it Old Hat. I will be referring to Old Hat here and there because I’ve spent the majority of the past 13 years of my life either working at or thinking about my company, so it’s important that you know what Old Hat is and why it’s relevant to this book.
Old Hat is a strategic marketing agency dedicated solely to the athletics industry. Since 2004, we have worked with more than 150 sports organizations in the U.S., Canada and France. Our mission is to drive attendance, increase fundraising (on the collegiate level) and improve the game experience for fans. Old Hat has three divisions: Old Hat Creative, Old Hat Sports Branding and Powerhouse. The “Creative” side has been around since 2004 and is primarily focused on the marketing of collegiate athletics. We launched the sports branding division in 2014 to handle athletic organization rebrands consisting of logos, typefaces, jersey design, etc. And finally, Powerhouse is a company that handles what we call “environmental graphics” or “facility graphics” which are anything that can improve the aesthetics of an arena, stadium, building or campus and extend a university’s visual branding to the architectural platform.
I’m including information about my companies here so: 1) you know that when I reference “Old Hat” I’m not just talking about some old dirty ball cap of mine, and 2) you understand that I’ve spent my entire career working in athletics and that on some level, I might be qualified to write a book about it.
I also want to clarify that while I believe sports is powerful on every level, from little league to professional, most of my career has been spent in collegiate athletics. Therefore, the stories in this book are all from people who have worked in the collegiate ranks and much of my perspective is based on what I have witnessed on the university level.
Sport administrators, for those not familiar with the term, are the unsung heroes of athletics. They’re the sports information guys, collecting statistics during the games to send to media outlets, facilitating interviews of our favorite athletes and coaches and getting articles posted on the team website about the events. They’re the marketing and promotions team that write the scripts for the games so the P.A. guy knows when to read certain announcements, the band knows when to go onto the field and the intro video plays at the correct time. They’re the fundraising people that go out and get donations to build new facilities and support student-athletes with scholarships. And they’re the directors of athletics who do their best to keep it all running smoothly.
No one ever starts as an administrator. In order to have the desire to dedicate yourself to a career in athletics administration, you have to have been so struck by the power of athletics that you dedicate your life to giving back to what has given you so much. Throughout this book, you’ll read amazing stories from administrators about the ways athletes, coaches and fans positively impacted them.
Administrators spend their careers doing incredible things from behind the scenes. We don’t hear enough about the positive influence they have on athletes, coaches and fans. They’re not the ones scoring points and they’re not the ones calling plays and doing post-game interviews. They’re not even the ones standing in the bleachers screaming their heads off. They’re the ones standing quietly off to the side, keeping it all going. Their hours are long and their responsibilities are endless. They’re in charge of keeping a few hundred student-athletes on the straight and narrow, they have to run clean programs that follow all the rules and at the same time build winning programs. It’s a tough job that takes a special kind of person.
That’s exactly why I wanted this book to be a collection of stories from administrators. Fans are going to talk about the power of sports from a fan’s perspective. Coaches will talk about it from a coach’s perspective. Athletes will… you get the point. Administrators are the one group that pull from all perspectives and whose stories give us the most clear picture of the depth and breadth of the way sports shapes us. So when you’re reading these stories, keep in mind that you’re not just getting the perspective of athletics administrators. You’re getting stories from fans, coaches and athletes who love sports so much, they dedicated their careers to it.
These stories are phenomenal. Hearing them has truly been a life-altering experience for me, as it has made me realize just how important sports is to the fabric of our lives. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to be the avenue through which these stories will make it into your life and I hope I do them justice.
In order to gather some fan feedback for various parts of this book, Old Hat conducted a sports fan survey in spring 2017. We sent the survey out to 10,000 people from all over the United States that had previously designated themselves as sports fans. We wanted all age groups, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations represented.
Most of the relevant data from this report will be found in my commentary throughout this book. However, if you would like to view an infographic of the survey results, you may do so at: http://oldhatcreative.com/blog/heres-what-sports-fans-really-think
While my name is on the cover of this book, this would not have been possible without the contributions of the numerous athletic administrators who shared their stories. Rather than simply interview these administrators and use their feedback to help craft the direction of the message, I thought it only fair to share their stories as they told them. For the record, every single one of these stories was provided to me via a recorded phone conversation. We then transcribed each conversation and created a narrative around the story they told. We submitted the stories to each participant with the instruction that they had 100% editorial control over the story and that we wouldn’t print a word of it without their go-ahead. It was important to me that we got their story right and I felt that the only way to do that was to: 1) let each one of them edit their own story as they saw fit and 2) only print what they approved.
I also think it’s important to note (and this speaks to the power of the subject matter of this book) that I ended up asking 59 administrators to participate in this book. You can flip through the pages of this book and count the names of the people you see, or you can just trust me when I tell you that of those 59 requests, 57 of them agreed to participate. And it’s also important to point out that not a single person was compensated in any way for their time or story. They simply wanted to do it because they believed in the importance of this message.
As a thank you to all those who have participated, I will be donating a portion of any profits from the sale of this book to a general athletic scholarship fund. One of the most important themes in this book is the power sports has to educate student-athletes, many of whom would never have had access to an education otherwise. I hope this book helps promote that idea both through its message and through a financial contribution to that fund.
After listening to story after story and realizing how great they are, I decided to turn some of them into a podcast series. The name of the podcast is Stop the Clock and it is available on iTunes and Google Play. So if you’d like to hear some of the stories as told by the individual who lived them, give the podcast a listen. Follow me on Twitter @ZacLogsdon for up-to-date news on new episodes being released and other information about If Not for Athletics and Stop the Clock.
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:
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!