Happy Monday!!! Hey, how's your bracket doing?? 

Yeah, me too. It's not looking good, but congrats to our clients in the Sweet Sixteen! We're quite proud of your accomplishment! As we continue on this week a good majority of schools are returning from Spring Break. It's obvious that that's the case here in Norman because the traffic has increased considerably. Gotta love those student drivers!

Anywho, I'm one of those weirdos who misses school. I don't miss the 20+page grad school research papers, but I do miss the learning. I've always said if I go back for a PhD someday it would be for the cool title (to make people call me Dr.), but in all honesty I dig the challenge of a classroom. I recently discovered an incredibly cool YouTube Channel called "Crash Course." It's an educational channel that covers History, Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Ecology and Psychology. The videos are totally engaging and informative. I'm a big fan of their humor and fantastic animations as well.

Now, I don't think you can learn everything about a subject in a ten-minute video, but that's not the point of these videos. I think it creates a foundation of interest in the subject matter and that's thanks in large part to the presentation of the material. I really got into history at K-State because of the faculty who presented their subjects with passion and unique and engaging presentations. To this day I still love history and enjoy reading and watching all things about that subject. On the other end of the learning spectrum, I absolutely disliked my trigonometry class because the professor was abysmal at presenting the information to the students. To this day I throw up a little when I hear anything about sines, cosines and tangents. 

That same basic principle can be applied to sports marketing campaigns and in-game entertainment. You want to create an interest in your team/school and the best way to do that is with a creative presentation of your team/school. Presenters (teachers, marketers) play a big role in how the fan/student connect to a subject and how you will continue to connect in the future. Anybody can throw some highlights in a timeline and set it to some epic music and have a video. Anybody can talk about an historic event and throw around dates and names and teach a class. But those things don't make a good video or a good teacher. I like to think that's why schools, teams and organizations come to Old Hat. We get that a poster is more that just photos, fonts and photoshop. We get that a website is more that just text, photos and clicks. We get that a video is more than just clips cut to music. We get that videography and photography is more that just pointing and shooting a camera. And we get that good customer service is more that just answering phone calls and emails. I think when you start to devalue these things you're devaluing your message or your product and you're devaluing your fans.

Now please excuse me as I learn about Taxes and Smuggling:

 

Every time my turn to blog comes up, I struggle to find something to write about.  I have no problem just sitting down and writing when I want to, but for some reason when I have that “assignment”, I struggle.  When I can’t think of anything, I start asking people for ideas.  

Today Kelby told me I could write about the Southland Conference.  Unfortunately, I have not worked on many of their projects and don’t have a great depth of knowledge about the conference.  This led me to Robert’s office to ask him about the work we did for them.  Robert asked why I was going to blog about Southland and that led to a conversation about why we have a blog. 

Old Hat had a blog before I got here.  It was something I inherited and was told to manage but it was not something that I brought to the table.  So why do we blog?  

If you look at Robert’s blogs you might think his purpose to blog is to show you what artistic project he has been working on over the weekends.  If you look at Zac’s blogs you think we blog so he can talk about how he has developed his management philosophy over the years.  If you look at my blogs you probably think our blogs are made for some one to aimlessly ramble.   

The more I think about this, the more I think that is the point.  We are Old Hat Creative.  We are a full service marketing agency.  We have six divisions and we have some personality.  That is the point of our blog.  We want you to get to know us.  We want you to trust us and we want you to understand the company that produces all of the work that we do.  Robert may blog about his kids, but that is who he is and who he is, is a VITAL part of Old Hat Creative.  Deb may only blog about video work we do, but that video work is one of the biggest reasons Old Hat is known in the industry.  

When you read our blog, I hope you enjoy it.  I hope it shows you the amazing work we do and the amazing people we have who produce that work.  

Think we should blog about something else? Let me know @kk13cball

March Madness is right around the corner and it seems like everyone has basketball on their mind. Yes, basketball is fun and exciting and I do love watching the NCAA Tournament. I have even more to cheer about this year as both the Nebraska Women's and Men's teams look to each make the tourney. However, I find myself getting more excited about another sport....baseball! 

As the weather warms up and daylight savings time makes the light last into the evening, I really get the urge to take a trip out to the ballpark. Collegiate baseball started last month and since I live in Norman, those are the games I make it to the most. I like baseball, but I'm definitely not a superfan. I don't have a favorite team and I generally don't watch games on TV. What really gets me excited is being at an actual game. The environment is second to none. The sounds, the smells, the general atmosphere all add up to a great time for me. There's nothing better than sitting down with a cheap hot dog and a drink (preferably a beer) and watching a game. I've also spent way more time than I care to admit thinking about what my "at bat" song would be if I played.

A few weeks ago, the Sooners opened the 2014 season with a series vs. Seton Hall and the weather was incredible for February. So, my husband and I packed up all of the required baby travel items and took our son to his first baseball game. We brought a blanket and sat in the outfield since we didn't know how he would respond. We were able to watch about four solid innings of baseball before he got too fussy. Soon after arriving, one of the OU outfielders blasted a three run homer right near where we were sitting. The Sooners put up 15 runs on the day for a great win and it was great to enjoy some family time at the ballpark. 

Here is my son at his first game (Mommy looks a lot more excited than he is):

The Old Hat staff has recently put out some stellar baseball projects - here are a few posters that I really like:

And...Dustin recently took some great vintage baseball inspired photos for an internal Old Hat project.  Here is my shot:  

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this project - stay tuned! 

 

Fortunately, it's not just in my MIND that I'm going to Carolina.  I'm actually going there.  I'm going there in my mind too.  I mean, my mind will be with me while I'm there.  But so will my body.  And my wife's body.  And her mind.  So just to recap, both the minds AND the bodies of Zac and Holli Logsdon are going to Carolina.

Now that we've established that, let's talk about why.  One thing I've learned in my time on this planet is that people in the Carolinas are more educated than anyone else in the country.  If you're not from this area, don't be insulted.  I'm not from North or South Carolina either.  And I've conducted no scientific study upon which to base this opinion.  This statement is based purely on the fact that there seem to be more major universities in this area than anywhere else in the country.  Again, ZERO research went into this but the fact is, I'm heading out to Charlotte, NC in a couple of weeks and I'm going to be able to visit 12 of our clients' campuses in a 7-span.

One of the great pleasures of having the job that I do is that I get to visit college campuses.  I absolutely love getting to meet the people we work with, see their campuses and facilities and also see the work we've done for them displayed around their offices.  It's rare that we actually get to see the billboards, posters, intro videos, etc. printed, hung and shown.  Over the past many years, Old Hat has just kept adding and adding clients from North and South Carolina.  With the latest additions of Clemson and ECU, my wife and I decided that it was time we get out there and see how many of them we could visit.

Here's the list of campuses we plan to hit during the trip, in the order we're going to visit them.  Make sure to follow me on twitter @zaclogsdon to see lots of photos from our #OHCarolina Tour.

1. UNC-Charlotte

2. Clemson

3. Presbyterian College

4. South Carolina

5. College of Charleston

6. UNC-Greensboro

7. Wake Forest

8. High Point

9. UNC

10. NC State

11. East Carolina

12. Duke

I was really hoping to be able to get up to App State as well but I don't think it's going to work out.  Still, 12 clients in 7 days is a lot.  Really looking forward to meeting the clients I've never met in person and seeing those that I've know for a long time.

As a designer, the first thing I look for during sporting events is the logo with which the event has been branded. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're bad and the Olympics are no exception. Some truly great images have come from past games. The most memorable manage to distill the host country's essence and character into one iconic image. 


The 2000 Sydney games is a good example of this. However, for every great Olympic logo, there is an equally memorable yet bad logo. Remember the complete mess of the 2012 London logo?


This years Sochi logo left much to be desired in my opinion, especially since the host county is one with a very rich history. I'm not sure what all went into the decision making process that came up with this logo. But if their goal was to come up with something completely forgettable then they achieved it!  It's really nothing more than a web address - Sochi.ru  Really? A web address? Even I can do that! (see above) Is that the best they could come up with? Well, no. No it's not. Over the last few days the internet has offered up several really great alternate versions of the Sochi logo. Some are "official alternates", while others are just fan made designs. Here just a few examples. Either way, most of them surpass the official logo in every aspect. Enjoy what could have been Olympic logo fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you saw my posting on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, you know that yesterday (February 16, 2004) was Old Hat's official 10-Year Anniversary.  We had our party a couple weeks ago but yesterday was the official date.  Ten years ago yesterday, yours truly was sitting alone in a tiny office at 763 Asp Avenue on Campus Corner in Norman wondering what the hell he had gotten himself into.  I remember spending about $150 on office supplies and worrying that I couldn't afford it.  I remember negotiating my $350/month rent and being sick to my stomach that I wouldn't be able to pay it.  And I remember having a LOT of free time.

It seems like forever ago and it seems like just yesterday.  We occupied about 100 square feet back then and now our office space is about 5,000 square feet.  One employee and now 28.  One Apple computer and now more than 30.  One client and now more than 90.  The only thing that has decreased in the past 10 years is the number of hairs on my head.  In celebration of our 10 years in business, I have decided to make a list of the Top Ten things I have learned over the past 10 years (about running a business, that is).

10. Don't be a flake - I feel like one of the primary reasons we have had success is because we actually do what we say we'll do.  So many creative agencies are known for missing deadlines, being unavaible, etc.  But our focus has always been on giving our clients what they want as quickly as possible.  

9. Always say yes - Sometimes a "yes" should be followed by a "but"... but we always try to start with "yes."  Yes, we can turn that project around in a less than desirable time, BUT here are the restrictions and/or it's going to cost more.  Yes, we know how to do a website that does that.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

8. Slow and steady wins the race - I think that some companies simply grow too fast and don't take the time to build a proper foundation that can handle their success.  Old Hat has definitely grown rapidly but we've always limited our growth to what we felt like we could handle without sacrificing the quality of our work and of our customer service.  

7. Give back - Take some time to do something to give back to the community that allowed you to prosper.  We have done an annual fundraiser every year for the past 5 years and it's not only the right thing to do, it's a great team-builder and gives your staff something to rally around.

6. Say Thank You - To everyone that does anything for you, say thank you.  Over and over and over again.  Thank your clients.  Thank your staff.  Thank your janitor.  Be grateful for what you have and you will have more of it.

5. Have fun - It's hard enought to get through a workday without also feeling like you can't have any fun.  Take some time out and do something fun during the day. I don't think we do this enough but we should.

4. Red and Black - If you're running a business, learn how to manage finances.  I've blogged about this before but I can't stress the importance of this enough.  For 7 years, I really didn't have anything to do with our day-to-day finances.  But I was finally forced to learn it and the past 3 years have been by far our most successful because of it.

3. Rotten Apples- The single most important factor in the success of any company is the people it employs.  Find good ones and do everything you can to keep them.  Identify the bad ones and allow them to find a different opportunity outside the company.  One bad apple can definitely spoil the bunch.

2. Read y'all - Another thing I've blogged a lot about.  Read!  Learn from other people that have been successful.  Learn from their mistakes.  There are hundreds and hundreds of books out there that tell you how to effectively run a business.  If you don't read them, you have no excuse for failure.

1. Be Ridiculous - Less than 4% of small businesses ever make it to 10 years.  That's because in order to succeed you have to be absolutely ridiculous about making yourself succeed.  Be ridiculous about customer service.  Be ridiculous about over-delivering on promises.  Be ridiculous about providing the best of whatever it is you sell.  Be ridiculous about how you market yourself.  For 10 years, Old Hat has been ridiculous.  And our goal for the next 10 is to make the first 10 look like child's play.  We were just getting warmed up for those first 10 years.  The next 10 are going to be ABSURD.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you that have made the past 10 years possible.  I'd list out everyone that has contributed to our success but there are too many to name.  You know who you are.  And know that I'm looking at you when I say:

It is Friday January 31st.  Today, we are getting infected. 

As Zac put it, he spent all day yesterday getting infected and today he is going to infect us.  Staff infection is normally done sometime in May as we gear up for another busy season in college athletics.  This year we are doing an extra infection as we gear up for the Duey Does a Decade party.

Are you coming to the party? 

Don’t be that guy.  Don’t be the one that has to hear the stories about the party and only live vicariously through our twitter feed.  Come on, no one wants to be that guy. 

I will be there.  Duey will be there.  Gnorman will be there. Nick Lachey might be there.  Ashley and Jessica will ACTUALLY be here.  IN PERSON.  It’s a crazy world we are living in…

You do not want to miss this party.  Worried that you forgot to RSVP.  Don’t.  Just go here

 

See you Saturday!

 

 

 

It is the day after Christmas. A day of work for some.  A day of recovery for others. Hopefully, you behaved this year and Santa paid you a visit yesterday.  Gift cards seem to be popular but not everyone enjoys the idea.  If you got one you will not use or that is to a store you don’t have around you, there are several options for redeeming the cards.

Boxing Day is today. In the US it is not a holiday and holds no significance.  It is celebrated in the U.K. and Canada but the reason it is significant for me is the soccer.  The English Premier League treats their fans to a full slate of soccer. Most are going to be off from work and the league makes sure they have something to do.  Unfortunately, the team I support started at 630 this morning.  Great to be able to watch but I would have loved to sleep until at least 8.  My team did not start well but are back in the game with it tied at halftime. 

I went to see the second Hobbit movie last night. The movie was loud and long but entertaining.  The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy are some of my favorite books.  I was destined to be a bit disappointed with the theatrical adaption and I was.  To me there were too many parts from the book that were glossed over while too many events that Peter Jackson decided to invent.  Oh well, he knows he has people like me with these movies.  I love the books enough to watch whatever he puts out at least once.  

The second half is about to start so I am going to wrap this up. Enjoy Boxing day and all the soccer it has to offer!

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