Be sure to join us tomorrow, February 11, at 3:00 central for our webinar! We'll discuss the Raise Up Carolina gameday and ticket sales website we created for North Carolina and present some of the results from this endeavor. We'll also talk in depth about marketing automation and how it can help you! 

To attend the webinar, use this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/455887357

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States +1 (312) 757-3121

Access Code: 455-887-357 

If you have trouble logging on, call our office and we can help! 405-310-2133.

 

I was talking with one of our account executives about a site we recently launched.  We were reviewing the analytics and noticed there was a significant jump between now and the last time I pulled the numbers.  I had not noticed the jump initially, but when it was pointed out to me I did a little digging and was able to pin point the cause.  

I am a planner.  I make lists. I think about what can go wrong, what will go wrong, and how I am going to deal with it.  In just about all aspects of my life, this is how I approach things.  It is probably the personality trait that Zac loves and simultaneously hates about me, but it's how I can make sure I am doing what is needed to get the job done.  

Two seemingly random paragraphs that I hope to tie together before finishing this up.  That’s the point of this whole thing, I have a plan to make this all make sense AND that’s what you have to do. You have to have a plan on how to take the next step, regardless of what that step may be.  

Regardless of what you are working on, you need a plan.  Here is why… 

When it comes to an interactive project, we start early.  We take the time to get to know you as a client.  What are your goals in general? What is your goal for the website? How will you measure that goal?  We need to know what is on your list of to-do’s or what's important to you, because we want to help you manage that list of to-do’s.  The questions I mention above are the first steps. Outlining what needs to get done and what has to be done allows us to focus our efforts on that area.  

However, knowing goals is just the start.  We are partners with you and that means we will take over now that we know your goals.  The next step is to sit down and figure out what is important to the people who will visit the site.  What are the key things that will cause them to make a decision in your favor and how can we tailor the site to match those?  Where are the areas of the site that the analytics (and YOUR FANS) say are important?  Can they be improved, cleaned up, or even combined?  As we go through our discovery we analyze your current site and make sure the recommendations we make about that site, tie into the goals we already discussed.  We make sure the look of the site is one that fans will find appealing and we make sure that they will be able to find the information that we KNOW is important to them.  It is all part of the plan…

The programming side of any website involves a lot of planning, but once we get to this point in our process, we know the plan and are simply executing the things we know we need to do.  This is typically where I end up losing people because I will go on about coding and how that is done, but for this blog I am saving the nitty gritty for another day.  

Having studied your analytics, worked with you to learn about your fans, analyzed your content; the plan for launching the site usually comes a bit easier.  By this point, we know you, we know your fans, and we know how we're going to reach them.  Whether through emails, ads, press conferences, or even marketing automation, we will have a plan.  

With marketing automation, we will create a detailed plan that takes care of itself and that's what happened in the instance from my first paragraph.  We built out a detailed automation plan that was executing emails at key points in the client’s month.  The spike in traffic happened because of two emails we had set the system to send months ago, went out at a point when fans would be most engaged with the brand and IT WORKED!

I am a planner.  It's just the way I am.  It can get annoying but it helps.  What do you have on your plate?  Need a plan?  Need some help with that plan?  Let me know, I can help. 

Well, it's official. Today marks the date that the merger we've been talking about for the past few months finally takes effect. Truth be told, Old Hat Creative and Third Degree Advertising have been working together for many months now in preparation for combining into a single company. But today is the day that we no longer exist as separate entities. Old Hat and Third Degree are one.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, on one hand, not much. And on the other hand, it means a lot.

What is NOT changing?

Primarily, Old Hat will continue to be the company you know and love...

1. You'll still get birthday cards every year with a coupon for free Fightin' Gnomes gear from the Old Hat University Team Shop.

 

2. You'll continue to be the life of the party by being able to quote random facts that you found by viewing our email signatures. 

• When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.

• Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories per hour.

• Billy goats urinate on their own heads to smell more attractive to females (female goats, I assume).

 

3. You'll continue getting the most amazing creative to help you engage your fans, improve the gameday experience, sell tickets and increase fundraising.

 

4. Our dedication to ridiculously good customer service will never fade. We'll continue to always be available, always be responsive and never miss deadlines.

 

What IS changing?

Well, we're getting bigger...

1. Old Hat is currently headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma with remote employees in North Carolina and Utah. Starting today, we will have talented employees working from offices in Oklahoma City; Durham, NC; Greensboro, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; Charlottesville, VA and Frederick, MD.

This is me outside the OKC office with the downtown skyline in the background:

 

And, we're getting better...

2. Old Hat has a long history of producing amazingly awesome creative. This merger puts us in the position to make that creative even more awesome by adding research, media planning/buying, digital strategy and implementation, content creation, repositioning, media audits, copywriting, marketing automation and much more. We're taking our creative and making it smarter.

The UNC Ticket Sales site is a perfect example of taking our current offerings (web design and development, video production, on-site video shoots) and combining that with the expertise of our new partners (research, strategy and marketing automation).

 

So to summarize, nothing that you like is going away. We're just going from ridiculously-awesome to far-more-ridiculously-awesome. And just for fun, here's a photo tour of our OKC office.

 

This is a map with doorknobs showing all of the locations of Third Degree's clients from all over the United States. It's rad.

 

This is a cool yellow couch. The wall behind me says, "Elevate." 

 

This is a really big pencil we use write all of our really big ideas down with. It's bolted to the wall so no one will steal it.

 

This is the room where we keep a guy named Richard.

 

Just kidding. The men's room says, "Dick" and the ladies' room says, "Jane." How clever is that?

 

This is a cool red refrigerator where I get to keep my Diet Dr Pepper.

 

 

Each week this past month our client reps have been sharing some of their favorite projects they worked on in 2015. And this week, it's my turn! Since I became a client rep in July, I've been taking on some of our new clients, while assisting with some of our long-term clients. Scroll down to see some of my first and (also my favorite) projects as a client rep in 2015. 

University of Memphis

My first project was for the University of Memphis' Time to Shine website. This site was built to help fundraise for Memphis' football and men's basketball new facilities. Check out the video playing in the background! 

University of Michigan

Another fun project was the University of Michigan's football animations for the 2015 season. For these animations, our productions team incorporated a brick wall and iron gates to create a traditional feel. You can see a full list of the animations here 

 

 

Northwestern University 

We created a fun, new Derby animation for Northwestern Football, customizing it for their sponsor, Coca-Cola. Our productions team created helmet to completely cover the drivers face and uniforms that match different Coca-Cola products.  

DePaul University

In November, the City of Chicago broke ground on a new convention center, the McCormick Collection which will house the McCormick Place Event Center. Starting in the fall of 2017, DePaul Men's and Women's Basketball teams will begin playing here. Old Hat was given several opportunities to assist with this project including three websites and a video to get Blue Demon fans excited about the move to this downtown Chicago facility, 

HomeCourtChicago.com - This website highlights everything related to the new convention center including hotels and the entertainment venue. 

Sales Presentation - This website is actually a touch screen website that is displayed on monitors throughout DePaul Preview Center. Sales Associates at the Preview Center walk Blue Demon fans through the project and show premium seating opportunities. 

Scheduling Website - This site is used to help Blue Demon fans schedule appointments easily with a DePaul Sales Associate to look around the Preview Center. 

 


So it's 2016 which you've probably already heard, and you know what that means... it actually means a lot of things- like a presidential election year and the Summer Olympics in Rio and Leap Year and yes... Groundhog Day! Actually I think that occurs every year. Either way, none of these things bring me to the point of my blog.

The rollover into 2016 means I get to blog about my favorite projects from 2015 (hence the reason for the large 2015 graphic up top)! We like to do recaps and favorite projects lists around here, and sometimes we may even overdo it. But that's what we're all about (why do it when you can overdo it?).

With that, let's see how we did in 2015.

You may have seen in our latest newsletter how many new clients we were fortunate to work with this past year. Even I was surprised at all the new business from 2015. One of these new clients, the American Athletic Conference, just held their first-ever football championship. I'm proud to say Old Hat was able to work with the client on multiple projects to market the event and enhance the in-game experience for fans. It all comes down to One was the tagline for the championship, and that theme was used throughout the year in print, interactive and video work leading up to the big game. Here are a few of the pieces from the American Football Championship.

 

 

 

Another group of projects that turned out exceptional and unique are the Notre Dame template posters that have been used for their olympic sports. Notre Dame has been more conscious and deliberate about keeping their brand consistent (which I applaud), so the template posters this year came with a more stringent set of guidelines to ensure we were staying within the brand. Our designers did a great job not only staying within the guidelines, but the template poster could be seen as a **big word spoiler alert** microcosm of the style guide itself. 

 

I would eventually include every project as one of my favorites if I had more time, because our designers across all media (interactive, video and print) are truly experts at what they do. We're very fortunate to get to work with the clients that we have, and our clients are also very fortunate to get to have our designers put together incredible projects day in and day out. I'll leave you with a few more of my favorites from the year. Here's to a great 2016 for Old Hat and our clients!

 

 

 

Old Hat Creative recently launched the website RaiseUpCarolina.com.  It was and is a unique project that had some interesting results. 

First, while this is not always an option for websites, we were able to meet with the clients face to face and discussed the website.  UNC has long been a friend of Old Hat’s, but this was the first website we would be doing with them.  Zac and I went to Chapel Hill once together and then Zac returned with Dustin to shoot some of the footage used on the site.  We were able to go through what they wanted out of the site and get a feel for what they envisioned for their athletic department over the next year.  We do not always get to do this with clients, but when we do, it helps the process go considerably smoother.  Plus, I always enjoy a trip to see our clients.   

Once we have met with the client and received the content we start building out the site.  Dustin is great at what he does and his ability to lay out content in an efficient manner is one of the things that take our sites to another level.  Our process is another one of the reasons we are able to create amazing websites and working closely with a client on a website allows us to refine this process to match the goals of their website.  UNC wanted to push season tickets for football and that is the main goal of the website.  To accommodate this push, Dustin worked hand in hand with the marketing and ticket staff at UNC to make sure the content was laid out in an effective and aesthetically pleasing manner.  

Combining marketing automation with a well laid out website can bring a whole new level of efficiency to your staff and this was one of the primary goals of the Raise Up Carolina website.  We were able to target specific demographics of the fan base with newsletters and content, see how they reacted, and then adjust our focus to fit that specific demographic.  This is something we work closely with UNC on and that is still going on at this time.  When we know and understand the goals of our clients, we will adjust what we do to make sure we help them accomplish those goals.  Ashley and Joel (from our OKC office) have studied the goals of UNC so much that they are starting to see things in shades of Tar Heel Blue, but this is what we mean we say we are here to help.  

Deadlines and seasons change easily in our industry.  Teams that we might think will be sitting at 2-8 end up sitting at 8-2 and looking to get into the playoffs.  Our experience working on campus and in this industry has prepared us for that.  We have our processes in place to handle these changes and are able to deliver for our clients when few other firms could.  Every project will have these challenges, but that’s part of the process and another reason why we make sure we know everything we need to about your goals.  

In the end, major projects like this are about the relationship.  We got in on the ground floor with UNC for this site and it helped throughout the process.  We are still working with them to target their marketing efforts, using analytics to study their fan base, and using marketing automation to make them as efficient as possible.   

We are on the same team on projects like this.  We will help you accomplish your goals. 

Our 2016 New Year’s resolution: share more of what we know.

In the past 12 years, we’ve learned a lot about sports marketing and fundraising. In fact, we’re not going to be shy about saying this: we’re experts. And we’ve realized that our clients, friends, and fans would benefit from our expertise – so we’re going to start sharing more of it.

Over the upcoming year, you can expect to see more articles on our blog about sports marketing best practices, achieving fundraising goals, advice for common sports marketing challenges, marketing trends, and more. If you’ve got a sports marketing question or challenge that’s keeping you up at night, send it to us! We’d be happy to tackle it in our blog and give you some free advice. After all, our staff has a combined 482 years of experience in sports marketing and development. I know what you're thinking. 482 years? Seriously? No, not seriously. But it's a lot. 

But don’t worry, if you like hearing about our antics and personal escapades you’ll still be able to read about them on all our various social media outlets. Robert will still run shirtless through the snow. Zac will still do uncomfortable interviews with the OH staff. And Geoff might write a haiku again sometime. 

So buckle in. Twenty-sixteen is poised to be the greatest year in the history of years. And your best resource for making it the best for you is right here at the Old Hat blog.

 

Need the ability for your fans to schedule a time to meet in order to talk about potentially buying season tickets, a loge box, or a suite?  Well Old Hat Creative has just the thing for you.  This past month, we launched the first site with our new Appointment Scheduler.  

 This easy-to-use system, allows you to set appointment times for your fans to schedule at their leisure.

It features a mobile friendly, responsive design and will alert you via email when an appointment is made.

It also has the ability to bulk download all the appointment times into a spreadsheet.

Okay, so I don't normally hit you up with such a hard and direct sales pitch, but I was just too excited about this new product, not to share. I am proud of the system's simple, yet powerful engine. Seriously, if you think this might be useful for you, even if you are outside the sports arena, give us a call!  405.310.2133  Don't be shy! ;)

Consider the creation of this awesome product a Christmas gift to you, from me. Take care, and you all have a safe Holiday Season.

As a sports marketer, what do you sell? The simple and obvious answer is, of course, tickets. Those game ticket sales in turn fuel other revenue streams: concessions, merchandise, and indirectly other types of program support.

But in reality, you’re selling much more than tickets. You’re selling an experience of your school’s brand and what it means to be a fan of your particular sports program. That experience means different things to different people.

Your entire target audience has one important thing in common: they’re all fans of your program to some degree or another. That means all of them are likely to respond to certain visual cues like your logo, colors, and images of your team, campus, or game venue. However, if you really want to market yourself strategically and effectively, you need to segment your audience further and get to know what drives them.

There are several ways to segment your fans: alumni, donor level, development group member, fan club member, season ticket holder, single game ticket purchaser, whether they’re die-hards or jump-on-a-winning-bandwagon fans, and of course the usual demographic indicators such as age, gender, and geographic location. One of the best ways to segment your current target audience is through market research surveys that enable you to understand their motivations for being a fan and what the game experience means to them.

Here are a few simple examples of what this might look like and how you could use it to drive tailored communication strategies:

·       Students might value the fan experience because it reinforces their connection with the school and contributes to their sense of personal identity at this stage of their lives. What makes the student experience unique at your school? Think about how you can tap into traditions like these.

Alumni might be motivated by the opportunity to relive the fun and excitement of their college days, reconnecting with the brand through a combination of sense of tradition, nostalgia, and present day pride. Why not take advantage of opportunities like social media’s #TBT (Throwback Thursday) to help you reinforce that connection and encourage greater engagement?

Parents of students might see the experience as a way to strengthen their connection with their child and may feel a sense of ownership and pride based on their financial contributions to the school. Consider how you can encourage mom or dad’s commitment to the team.

Parents of younger children (whether they’re alumni or not) may value the fan experience as a means of creating memories, passing down a love the game, or teaching kids about teamwork. How is the game experience different for them, and what can you do to showcase the family-friendly side of your brand?

Locals who aren’t alumni and don’t have children attending your school may relate more to a sense of local pride or deep-rooted geographic rivalries. Think about what you can do or say that will recognize and encourage their continued support as honorary members of your organization.

When you understand what motivates your different fan groups to be part of the game experience, it’s easier to identify the right marketing themes. Some motivations or feelings will span segmented groups and resonate with the majority of your fans. Those are the themes you should consider for your overall marketing message. Other motivations will be specific to certain segments, and you should use those to tailor your engagement with each group.

Every ticket or season tickets package you sell represents a wide range of emotions and motivations that are felt by your fans as part of the game experience. So don’t just sell tickets: sell can’t-hold-us-down commitment. Sell remember-when-we nostalgia. Sell ours-is-better-than-yours rivalry. Sell this-is-our-house pride. Your fans will love you for it.

Recently we launched this awesome little website http://raiseupcarolina.com/ 

You should probably check it out.  It was one of the more fun projects to work on and we were able to do some really cool things with the client.  

Remember this guy?

  

 
 



 

 

 

Have you ever seen him do stuff like this before  

and enjoyed it?  

Well, if you answered yes to the first part of that last question, but then no to the second, then you are probably a reasonable person with well rounded hobbies for entertainment.  If you answered yes to ANY part of that question or just think that site I mentioned above is really cool, then you are in luck because on February 11th, Old Hat will combine those two amazing categories into a rock block of fun.  And by “rock block of fun”, I mean a webinar that goes through the process of helping you sell tickets with an amazing Old Hat website.  

Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the date, but as with all things Old Hat does, it will involve a little bit of random, a little bit of awesome, and a lotta bit expertise. 

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