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.

And now, a photo recap:

 

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

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.

When Pitt told us they were planning a Star Wars Day at one of their home football games this fall, and asked if we could help with some themed graphics, we knew we were in for a fun project. After collaborating on the design direction, Pitt went ahead and took some awesome themed photos for our design team to work with. Since we've been working on our GIF game (check some of them out HERE), we wanted to use these talents to make some of the images with light sabers even cooler by incorporating a glowing effect into some of the graphics.

Pitt was strategic in announcing this fall's Star Wars Day on May 4 (#MayThe4thBeWithYou) and released the graphics on different social media channels throughout the day. The result was a lot of excitement from their fans and Star Wars lovers alike!

 

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.

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

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.

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