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.

If there was only one thing we could say about working with Notre Dame Athletics Marketing Intern Conor Montijo it would be: Fun. If there was another word it would be: Hardworking. Okay, this is our blog we can say whatever we want. Conor is both FUN and HARDWORKING. And well if you're going to be an intern in the sports industry you better have both traits. This "young pup" (that's what Robert calls anybody under the age of 30) is going to do a lot of awesome things with his career because his passion is truly infectious. We also really like that his pregame ritual involves the song "World's Greatest." 

  

It's our pleasure to introduce to you the World's Greatest Intern, Conor Montijo:

1. NAME: Conor Montijo

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Dreamweaver/Notre Dame Athletics Marketing Intern

3. HOMETOWN: Tucson, Arizona (Bear Down)

4. PREGAME RITUAL: Listen to R Kelly’s opus, “World’s Greatest”

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK ON: Tortilla Chips. Guac and salsa are optional.

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Making memories that last for first time fans or 40-year season ticket holders.

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: “Other duties as assigned”

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: Cooking (something other than media room hot dogs) and debating whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie (it is).

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Spend more time outside.

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: “Piano Man” -Billy Joel

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Remember the Titans. Space Jam is a close second.

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friday Night Lights

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: Conor and the Lads

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: JW Chen’s. It’s a local Chinese place I go probably twice a week. I tell myself it’s a healthy habit.

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Three Cup Chicken, it's off the menu but it’s the best thing they serve. Also, don’t sleep on the Almond Shrimp or Spicy Fish

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Jasmine or Mulan, depends on the day.

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Road Runner

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Rode a tricycle down a large hill, didn’t end well for me.

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: Currently in Breaking Bad, my sleep schedule has suffered accordingly.

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Hiking the Grand Canyon

Ella Odland, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator at North Texas Athletics, is known around Old Hat HQ as "The Mean Green Rowing Machine." You see Ella is a former rower from Washington State University and well, Robert is really good at rhyming. We collaborate with Ella on multiple sports marketing strategies and she's a perfect fit with the fine folks in Denton. Ella is great to work with and gives us the right amount of direction and creative freedom to create some really cool work.

This week, Ella answers our 20 Questions and we all find out she has great taste in karaoke songs, tv shows, food, and having a dog. Ella, let us know if you want to video conference in to discuss Grey's every Friday.

 

1. NAME: Ella Odland

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Marketing and Promotions Coordinator at North Texas Athletics

3. HOMETOWN: Seattle, WA

4. PREGAME RITUAL: Eating Pizza

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Peanut Butter

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Being on social media all day and calling it “work”

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Not being able to bring my dog to work ☹

8. HOBBIES: Travelling and exploring new places

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Listen to your parents, they actually know what they’re talking about

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Ignition (Remix)

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: All the Disney movies

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friends and Grey’s Anatomy

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: *ROAR*

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Dick’s Drive-In

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: A special, fries, and a chocolate shake

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Mulan

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Lion

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Flipped a boat… while I was still on the dock

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: How to Get Away with Murder

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Travelling the world

Sports can have a powerful impact on people's lives whether they're part of the action or simply rooting for a favorite team from the sidelines. We wanted to know more about the fan experience, so we asked a few questions. Here's what fans told us during our most recent online survey.

 

Pitt is It! Never have truer words been spoken. We've been partnering with the Pitt Athletics Marketing team for a solid two years now creating everything from schedule posters to web ads to social media packages. Chris Bain, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing, is one of those guys our designers really look forward to collaborating with. We get to work with multiple teams and on multiple concepts. It's all-around awesome for our creative minds when Chris comes our way with a new project.

 

Now let's talk about Chris' answers to the 20 Questions survey: Simply amazing. Karaoke choice? Stellar. Boy band name? On point. Spirit Animal? Best response so far. Well played, Chris. Well played.

 

1. NAME: Chris Bain

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Assistant Athletic Director – Marketing at Pitt

3. HOMETOWN: Albany, NY

4. PREGAME RITUAL: Too superstitious to make public.

5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Not sure you would call it a snack but I love to chew gum. Sugar-free of course. Juicy Fruit Starburst or Trident Layers are my go-to.

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: I love traveling to away football games with the team to see what game day is like on other campuses. It’s an opportunity to see what makes them unique and see if there are others things you’re not doing that we should be.

7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Work-life balance. We have so many games and events we need to be at you need to tell yourself every now and again that it’s ok to miss a game or an event since family comes first.

8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I really like to cook and BBQ. I got a smoker a couple of years ago and love trying new things in it. Ribs and chicken wings are my favorite.

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Learn to play the guitar. I always wanted to and never got around to it.

10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Back to the Future

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: On now has to be This Is Us. Of all-time definitely Seinfeld.

13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: Bane Of My Existence

14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Barrell Junction

15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Cubano with a side of fries and baked beans and an IPA.

16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Rapunzel

17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Goat King – didn’t know that until now.

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Quit a job without having a fallback plan.

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: Homeland Season 5

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I’ve always dreamt of owning/running a sports bar.

In the summer of 2004, I took my first trip to Chapel Hill, NC. I had just started Old Hat and Rick Hart, then on staff at Oklahoma Athletics but now the AD at SMU did me the favor of calling UNC on my behalf to see if they might have some work for me. Fortunately, they did and we’ve been working with UNC ever since. I made my way out there to discuss the details of what we’d be doing for the Tar Heels and afterward, I went over to the nearest apparel shop to grab a souvenir or two. I picked up a navy blue Nike hoodie that had the word “CAROLINA” embroidered across the front of it and more than a dozen years later I’m still wearing that thing as often as I get the chance.

On a recent trip to Charleston, SC, I happened to be wearing that very sweatshirt as I made my way to get my wife some yogurt from the market down the street from our hotel room. A fella was walking my direction and as we got closer he pointed at me and said in a louder-than-expected voice, “Go Heels!” I’ll be honest. I was a bit startled and it took me a minute to figure out what he said and why he said it to me. I had to remind myself that I was wearing an UNC sweatshirt. Fortunately, I was able to gather my thoughts quickly enough to offer a stuttered, “Yeah! Go Heels!” back at him before my confusion became too obvious. This exchange served as a good precursor to the one I had no more than 2 minutes later when I was actually at the market and another man gave me a hearty, “Go Heels!” when he saw me. I was more prepared this time and was quicker with my response. I walked out of the market fired up ready to shout my support for UNC at the next passer-by but unfortunately, I didn’t pass any more Heels fans between there and the hotel room.

Working in collegiate athletics for as long as I have and with as many different universities as I have, my wardrobe is full of team apparel that has been given to me over the years. It is not unusual for me to be wearing an SMU sweatshirt and Kennesaw State hat one day only to be followed up by a Texas A&M t-shirt and Michigan basketball shorts the next. There have been more than a few times that someone has approached me in a public place and commented about how great “that game” was last night, referencing some sporting event featuring the team I am representing with my wardrobe. Problem is, I rarely recall what I happen to be wearing that day so I have to look down at my shirt or take my hat off to remind myself who they think I’m a fan of. Then, I either express my agreement with their statement or have to admit that I missed that particular event.

Believe it or not, though, the point of this is not to talk about my wardrobe or my interactions at the local grocery store. It’s to talk about the bonds we form as fans. Hunter S. Thompson’s quote references football fans specifically but the idea applies to any fan of sport. We share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. We are never alone. We are a legion and sports is often the only thing we have in common.

When was the last time you were wearing your favorite Aerosmith t-shirt and some stranger yelled, “Sweet Emotion!” at you? Or the last time you were wearing that old Incredible Hulk t-shirt and passed a guy that gave you a hearty, “RAAARRRRRRR!!!!!” No, sports fans are in a justice league of their own. And for some reason, though startling, we don’t question it when a random person yells, “Go X!” at us in the restroom at the bar just across from Xavier University’s campus.

Sports creates a bond between people who would otherwise be complete strangers and gives them something to share in common. I recently met a fella on an airplane and we spent the entire flight talking about sports. We didn’t even share the same team in common though. Our bond was formed over the fact that I’m a Sooner fan, Barry Switzer used to coach at OU, Barry Switzer played at Arkansas and that guy on the plane is an Arkansas fan. We connected over a former coach of my team that is a former player from his team. Sports fans are just searching for something to connect over!

The camaraderie that is felt between sports fans is obvious. I’m not uncovering any brilliant revelation here. But I did want to see how many sports fans recognize it themselves. In our fan survey, we asked how many of the participants felt a sense of camaraderie with people at sporting events. We further clarified the question by adding that they should not include people they were attending with. In other words, to what extent do you feel connected with all of the people at those events that you don’t even know. 75% of them said that they feel “a lot” and/or “a great deal” of connection with all those strangers with whom, beyond wearing the same color and cheering for the same team, they have no known commonalities.

Isn’t that kinda nuts? 75% of sports fans feel a connection with people they don’t even know, if for no other reason than that those people are cheering for the same group of people on the field wearing red to score more points than the other group of people on the field wearing blue!

Like I said, the connection between sports fans isn’t breaking news. Every sports fan has experienced it. What you may not have realized, however, is the positive effect sports fans can have on an athletics program. The ever-important home field advantage is because of fans. The scholarships student-athletes receive through the athletic scholarship funds wouldn’t exist without the fans. A department's primary source of revenue (ticket sales) would obviously disappear without fans. Apparel sales, sponsorship dollars, local economy boosts, etc... All because of fans. 80% of those polled think that fans can either “probably” or “definitely” affect the outcome of the game. There’s no doubt in my mind that fans affect outcomes and could do so even more if we focused more on developing relationships with fans.

If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this: Sports does not happen without every member of the team working toward achieving success. It does not happen without the athletes. It does not happen without the coaches. And it sure as hell doesn’t happen without the fans. If you are a sports fan, take pride in what you give to the game. If you are an athlete, thank the fans for wanting to watch you play. If you are a coach, try to tune out the criticism of those people that think you should have gone for it on 4th-and-27 from your own 12-yard-line instead of punting and relish the opportunity you have to affect the lives of young people through your job. All thanks to these crazy fans.


Intro Videos have become as expected at the stadium as hot dogs and cheerleaders. Everybody has a video board and everybody is putting stuff on those boards. Let's take a look at five common mistakes that are made with Intro Videos and how you can punch them up a bit. 

5. All or Nothing

A lot of times when an Intro has too many concepts it's because you're trying to please several different people with several different ideas. We've all been there. You have one minute. You have to include footage of the players in practice, getting ready in the locker room, walking around campus, and at least 20 highlights. Oh yeah, and don't forget about the fan and stadium shots. Oh and the logo! We need it to explode. One more thing: We need to include a few clips of our team's 110-year history. And let's use that Lady Gaga song "Edge of Glory" because the team is expected to do big things this year!

It's a hot mess.

For the sake of the video (and your sanity) try to get a majority of those cooks in the kitchen on the same page. Ask questions and communicate! What is the purpose of your Intro? Get fans excited? To tell a story with some drama? Is it more important to tell a story or show a minute of highlights cut to "Seven Nation Army"? Does the team have their own theme this year that maybe you just don't know about?

Can you turn this super concept video into a couple of different videos? For example, an Intro Video for the current team and a Historical Video honoring the past. There are so many different platforms for displaying videos nowadays. What doesn't work on the board might work great on Twitter leading up to the game. Eminem was wrong. You've got more than one shot. It doesn't have to be all or nothing with your Intro Video. 

4. Length & Pacing

Nobody wants to watch a three-minute Intro. I don't care how amazing the song is or how awesome your highlights are. The exception to this rule is, of course, One Shining Moment. Video viewers' attention spans have dropped about a third from 2000-2015. A good rule of thumb for our partners is between one to two minutes.

On a related note, the pacing is something that is overlooked and underappreciated. We've all seen that video where it feels like three minutes, but it's only been 30-seconds. That's a pacing problem. Sometimes it's because of the music edit. Sometimes it's because of a long highlight. Cut up the tunes. Cut up your clips.

3. Music

Some important bullet points:

• Epic music doesn't always equal an epic video.

• Sometimes the team or your Coach aren't the best judges of music.

• Just because you can jam to the song in your car doesn't mean it's going to work for an Intro Video.

• The search for lyrics that apply literally to your team is a futile attempt.

• Fall Out Boy can't be expected to put out a new album every year.

• Everybody wants a song that builds.

• Figure out the purpose of your Intro and that will likely direct you towards the perfect style and tone of the music and then onto the perfect song.

• Music is SUBJECTIVE.

 

2. Let Athletes Be Athletes

Some athletes are naturals in front of the camera. Some aren't. That's okay because they're supposed to be athletes, not actors. Not everybody can be awesome like Peyton Manning on SNL. Most will be like Michael Phelps: AWKWARD. There's a fine line with Intro Videos between awesome and super cheesy. If Coach wants to include all of the starters in the video, but a couple of them aren't comfortable, maybe he or she is more natural in a group with their buddies. Not every player in the video has to go it alone. Put them in a situation where they can succeed. You wouldn't put a 310lb player at the quarterback position when he's obviously more naturally inclined to a lineman position. So why would you put an uncomfortable athlete center stage?

Another tip for filming the awkward-at-heart: Put them in a natural situation. Michael Phelps doing sketch comedy = bad. Michael Phelps training for his final Olympics = AMAZING. 

1. Copying Yourself / Copying Others 

The #1 pitfall when it comes to Intro Videos is the theory "If it ain't broke don't fix it." It's easy. You know what Coach likes. You know the fans really responded to it. So you essentially paint yourself into a corner. And nobody paints baby into a corner, right? There's only one recipe to make chocolate chip cookies and there's only one equation for the math problem. There's not a lot of creative fulfillment when you template your video each year. 

This also falls in line with the copying somebody else's creative work route. We get it. People tell us all the time they go to our site for ideas. That's cool and we're certainly flattered. That's the name of the game in the biz. It's one thing to take a concept and make it your own with your own brand spin, but it's another thing to flat out shot-for-shot copy somebody else's video. There are folks who have used our Michigan Football Legends concept for about five years now. There are at least three institutions who copied Auburn's 2014 Men's Basketball Intro exactly. EXACTLY! That's not flattery. That's laziness. 

Give your fans and coaches more credit. They deserve more than safe mediocrity. Get out of the habit of saying "no" because you're afraid of taking risks. Become a "YES" woman or man. It's freeing and your Intros will continue to get better each year.

      

 

Think about the question above for a minute or two. When a fan arrives on campus or enters your arena, what is the first thing they hear? Is there a specific script or instructions for your staff? Do you rely only on the friendliness of the staff to welcome fans or have you also set up your facilities in a manner that is inviting?

The venues we visit always seem to be friendly, welcoming, and buzzing with excitement. Usually you feel the power and sense of community within a few minutes of being there. These elements help paint the picture of how truly unique your school is when compared to others.

Now, let’s think about the first thing fans hear or see on your website. Did you put as much thought into that greeting? Did you even think about that as a way to greet and excite your fans? The contrast between a website’s greeting and a greeting at a venue can be startling. And yet, the website for your venue or team is most likely the number one way fans interact with your brand.

You can no longer think of your website as just another billboard, brochure, or piece of marketing collateral. Your website is your biggest venue. It has the most information and will see the most interaction of any touch point. With that in mind, what is the greeting fans are receiving on the website? Are you yelling at them about all of your ticket offerings? Has the development team forced you to put five donate buttons on the home page?

When deciding what will be the focus of your home page, think back to the greeting your staff gives people at your venue or even on the phone. Most likely they do not open the conversation by running through every ticket option you have to offer.

Traffic on a website is diverse. Not everyone is coming to the website because they are ready to buy season tickets or put their name on a building. Some are coming just to figure out what options are available or to see what the school is doing. Your website has to be a resource for all different types of visitors. When a fan comes into your venue or calls about tickets, most likely your staff takes the time to figure out what they are looking for and tries to educate them on what is available that could suit their needs. A website is no different, you have to position yourself as that reliable resource. Once a fan views you as a resource, it is much easier for them to decide to buy season tickets or make that financial commitment to your program.

Look at your site. How are you greeting the visitors who show up at your virtual venue? If it doesn’t match how you greet visitors in person or on the phone, it is time to rethink your approach.

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