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.
While I didn’t attend NACMA in Orlando, I did keep up with what was going on via the internet.I was able to watch some sessions via Facebook Live and Twitter Live….so thanks, technology! I also always love seeing things from Collateral Corner…that's one thing I always wish I could see in person.
The Importance of Style Guides
One session I found interesting was about creating a style guide. Style guides are extremely important. They are like the rulebook when it comes to designing. They tell the creative’s what they can and can’t do to a logo, what colors to use, and if there are certain fonts you have to use.
If you don’t have one, don’t worry! We can help! We can help define existing brand standards, help make new ones, and even create a custom font for your department to use.
I thought the topic of Maximizing your Mascot was interesting. It was fun to see a ton of people take pictures with a bulldog. I have a feeling we’ll see some interesting mascot promos coming our way this school year.
I saw some good quotes mentioned from sessions as well. Like..
Contact: Zac Logsdon Author, If Not for Athletics email@example.com
New Book Explores the True Impact of Athletics
Norman, OK – There are countless ways sports impacts people’s lives, but those moments often go unnoticed in today’s fast-paced media or simply never reach the public eye. For many, a pivotal sports experience is what led them into an athletic career and what keeps them coming back despite the challenges inherent in the field.
“Sports permeates everything we do and enhances our lives in ways most of us never think about. We each have stories about sports-related moments we’ve been part of, and athletics administrators are in a truly unique position to see and experience the impact sports has on student-athletes, coaches, fans and communities,” said author Zac Logsdon. “Hearing their stories has been a life-altering experience for me, and I hope others are similarly inspired by this book.”
If Not for Athletics is a collection of stories from 57 of the nation’s top athletics administrators about the many ways in which sports enriches our lives. From the excitement of big wins to the agony of gut-wrenching losses, some of these men and women share the moments in which they witnessed the true power of sports and how it can be a vehicle to promote healing, equality and positive change. The book will be available for purchase at the NACDA Conference in Orlando on June 12-13 in the exhibit hall at booth #306. Signed copies can also be purchased at www.ifnotforathletics.com and will be available on Amazon in late June. A portion of any profits from the sale of the book will be donated to a general athletic scholarship fund.
To hear selected stories in the words of the athletics administrators who experienced moments that made them wish they could stop time either to live in the moment forever or to have another shot at it, tune into the Stop the Clock podcast on iTunes.
Zac Logsdon is an author and public speaker whose two decades of experience working with more than 150 athletic organizations have taught him that sports is truly far more than just a game. He is also the Founder/CEO of Old Hat, a strategic marketing agency that partners with athletic organizations to drive attendance, increase fundraising and improve the game experience for their fans, and President of Powerhouse, a single-source environmental graphics company specifically focused on partnering with athletic organizations.
We understand that environmental branding is imperative in appealing to fans and is a game-changer in the recruiting process. We also know that big projects often mean big investments and sometimes big headaches! We wanted to find out more about the challenges you face when it comes to projects involving large-scale graphics, so we recently conducted a survey through our new company, Powerhouse.
Here are a few things we learned through the Powerhouse Environmental Graphics Survey:
1. You believe environmental graphics projects are effective.
Only 14% of survey respondents said that the environmental graphics projects they’ve done in the past 24 months weren’t effective at all. We’re not surprised, because large-scale graphics projects are a great way to influence the energy of student-athletes, administrators, donors and fans. The big question to ask yourself is: are your environmental graphics projects as effective as you’d like them to be?
2. You prefer local partners, but don’t always use them.
80% percent of survey participants agreed that using local printers and installers is an important consideration when creating environmental graphics. Pricing and creative design capability were the top two reasons cited for choosing to work with a supplier outside the local area.
3. Football and basketball rule the roost.
Not surprisingly, basketball and football facilities were identified as the main focus for environmental graphics investments. The environmental graphics used in these facilities were also seen as the most effective by survey participants.
For more survey data and insights, see the full survey report here.
NACMA. It’s our favorite event of the year! It’s when we get to see all of our clients and friends, new and old, from near and far. Aside from a few trips to campuses for photo/video shoots throughout the year, we don’t get to hang out with our clients in person. That’s why we love NACMA! We get to see everyone, show you what we’ve been up to lately, and talk about plans for the upcoming season.
As always, we will be set up at our booth for both days. #306. Come see us.
Having clients all across the country means my communication relies mostly on emails and phone calls. It’s amazing to me how connected I feel to clients I’ve been working with for a few years, that I forget I’ve never actually met them in person. It’s interesting to me to continue to learn about people’s personalities through email…the way they say hello, the way they sign off. As Shrek says, we are like onions – you have to peel the layers back. And it’s true!
Something I’ve been trying to do more is set up video calls with clients. To me, they are more engaging and personal than a phone call. I get to see your smiling faces, and it makes me feel even more like a part of your team. #teamwork
Not only do I get to know you better as a person at NACMA and through our communication, but I feel that it helps me do my job more efficiently. As I get to know you and your brand, I am able to better proactively think about things you will like. I can anticipate what might work for you or how to better approach a project.
I know I talked about onions already, but sometimes I feel like a chameleon, too. Each one of you is different in terms of brand and as a person. Some like to chat and talk about anything and everything, and some like to get straight to the point. Over time, I continue to pick up on how to seamlessly blend with each individual.
Are ya’ll ready for NACMA? We here at Old Hat are getting ready to WOW you at booth 306. We are excited to talk to you about all the things we have going on. Make sure you check out Powerhouse and Sports Branding as well as our site for our recent projects!
Be on the look out for our Old Hat Fandy Land mailer as well. If you didn’t get one, you can download one here. We are ready to take you on a journey the week before NACMA. Get ready to fill your stands by completing challenges throughout the week. We’ll keep track and give out a pair of Snapchat Spectacles at the booth to the participant with the most fans.
Here’s what you need to do to earn fans throughout the week
• Follow @OldHatCreative on Twitter.
• Keep up with the challenges on Twitter, along with your Old Hat Fandy Land Map. There are multiple challenges every day, complete all the challenges to earn all the fans
• Each day there will be one challenge that we will announce only on Twitter.
• Participate with the challenges and use the hashtag #OHNACMA17 to earn fans. Some challenges are as easy as responding to a tweet, some are pictures and some include sending us a video.
• We’ll post a leaderboard at the end of each day, and we’ll draw from the top 10 people with the most fans for the pair of Snapchat Spectacles.
If you follow Old Hat at all, you certainly must have heard by now that I recently finished writing a book called If Not for Athletics. And as you can see from the graphic above, it's a collection of 64 stories from 57 athletics administrators about the many ways in which sports shapes our lives. The books should be available on IfNotforAthletics.com and Amazon.com by June 15, and we started allowing people to preorder the book last week. The response has been amazing, and I can't wait to see the impact this book makes. I'm extremely proud of it.
I don't want to give anything away by posting any of the meat of the book here. However, I did think it might be nice to post the introduction so you can get a taste for what's in store. Although, I didn't want to call it the "Introduction," because that's kinda boring. So it's called "Pregame."
So here's the Pregame section of If Not for Athletics. I hope you enjoy it.
In 2001 I was fresh out of college, working at an advertising agency in Oklahoma City. I didn’t have a design degree but fortunately was able to pick up a thing or two from the talented designers around me. When a graphic design job came open at the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department, I jumped at the opportunity as this was a dream job for me. My office was to be in the very stadium where I’d spent my childhood watching the Sooners play. It was here that I realized I wanted to spend my career working in athletics marketing.
After three years at OU, I started my own company and called it Old Hat. I will be referring to Old Hat here and there because I’ve spent the majority of the past 13 years of my life either working at or thinking about my company, so it’s important that you know what Old Hat is and why it’s relevant to this book.
Old Hat is a strategic marketing agency dedicated solely to the athletics industry. Since 2004, we have worked with more than 150 sports organizations in the U.S., Canada and France. Our mission is to drive attendance, increase fundraising (on the collegiate level) and improve the game experience for fans. Old Hat has three divisions: Old Hat Creative, Old Hat Sports Branding and Powerhouse. The “Creative” side has been around since 2004 and is primarily focused on the marketing of collegiate athletics. We launched the sports branding division in 2014 to handle athletic organization rebrands consisting of logos, typefaces, jersey design, etc. And finally, Powerhouse is a company that handles what we call “environmental graphics” or “facility graphics” which are anything that can improve the aesthetics of an arena, stadium, building or campus and extend a university’s visual branding to the architectural platform.
I’m including information about my companies here so: 1) you know that when I reference “Old Hat” I’m not just talking about some old dirty ball cap of mine, and 2) you understand that I’ve spent my entire career working in athletics and that on some level, I might be qualified to write a book about it.
I also want to clarify that while I believe sports is powerful on every level, from little league to professional, most of my career has been spent in collegiate athletics. Therefore, the stories in this book are all from people who have worked in the collegiate ranks and much of my perspective is based on what I have witnessed on the university level.
Sport administrators, for those not familiar with the term, are the unsung heroes of athletics. They’re the sports information guys, collecting statistics during the games to send to media outlets, facilitating interviews of our favorite athletes and coaches and getting articles posted on the team website about the events. They’re the marketing and promotions team that write the scripts for the games so the P.A. guy knows when to read certain announcements, the band knows when to go onto the field and the intro video plays at the correct time. They’re the fundraising people that go out and get donations to build new facilities and support student-athletes with scholarships. And they’re the directors of athletics who do their best to keep it all running smoothly.
No one ever starts as an administrator. In order to have the desire to dedicate yourself to a career in athletics administration, you have to have been so struck by the power of athletics that you dedicate your life to giving back to what has given you so much. Throughout this book, you’ll read amazing stories from administrators about the ways athletes, coaches and fans positively impacted them.
Administrators spend their careers doing incredible things from behind the scenes. We don’t hear enough about the positive influence they have on athletes, coaches and fans. They’re not the ones scoring points and they’re not the ones calling plays and doing post-game interviews. They’re not even the ones standing in the bleachers screaming their heads off. They’re the ones standing quietly off to the side, keeping it all going. Their hours are long and their responsibilities are endless. They’re in charge of keeping a few hundred student-athletes on the straight and narrow, they have to run clean programs that follow all the rules and at the same time build winning programs. It’s a tough job that takes a special kind of person.
That’s exactly why I wanted this book to be a collection of stories from administrators. Fans are going to talk about the power of sports from a fan’s perspective. Coaches will talk about it from a coach’s perspective. Athletes will… you get the point. Administrators are the one group that pull from all perspectives and whose stories give us the most clear picture of the depth and breadth of the way sports shapes us. So when you’re reading these stories, keep in mind that you’re not just getting the perspective of athletics administrators. You’re getting stories from fans, coaches and athletes who love sports so much, they dedicated their careers to it.
These stories are phenomenal. Hearing them has truly been a life-altering experience for me, as it has made me realize just how important sports is to the fabric of our lives. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to be the avenue through which these stories will make it into your life and I hope I do them justice.
In order to gather some fan feedback for various parts of this book, Old Hat conducted a sports fan survey in spring 2017. We sent the survey out to 10,000 people from all over the United States that had previously designated themselves as sports fans. We wanted all age groups, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations represented.
Most of the relevant data from this report will be found in my commentary throughout this book. However, if you would like to view an infographic of the survey results, you may do so at: http://oldhatcreative.com/blog/heres-what-sports-fans-really-think
While my name is on the cover of this book, this would not have been possible without the contributions of the numerous athletic administrators who shared their stories. Rather than simply interview these administrators and use their feedback to help craft the direction of the message, I thought it only fair to share their stories as they told them. For the record, every single one of these stories was provided to me via a recorded phone conversation. We then transcribed each conversation and created a narrative around the story they told. We submitted the stories to each participant with the instruction that they had 100% editorial control over the story and that we wouldn’t print a word of it without their go-ahead. It was important to me that we got their story right and I felt that the only way to do that was to: 1) let each one of them edit their own story as they saw fit and 2) only print what they approved.
I also think it’s important to note (and this speaks to the power of the subject matter of this book) that I ended up asking 59 administrators to participate in this book. You can flip through the pages of this book and count the names of the people you see, or you can just trust me when I tell you that of those 59 requests, 57 of them agreed to participate. And it’s also important to point out that not a single person was compensated in any way for their time or story. They simply wanted to do it because they believed in the importance of this message.
As a thank you to all those who have participated, I will be donating a portion of any profits from the sale of this book to a general athletic scholarship fund. One of the most important themes in this book is the power sports has to educate student-athletes, many of whom would never have had access to an education otherwise. I hope this book helps promote that idea both through its message and through a financial contribution to that fund.
After listening to story after story and realizing how great they are, I decided to turn some of them into a podcast series. The name of the podcast is Stop the Clock and it is available on iTunes and Google Play. So if you’d like to hear some of the stories as told by the individual who lived them, give the podcast a listen. Follow me on Twitter @ZacLogsdon for up-to-date news on new episodes being released and other information about If Not for Athletics and Stop the Clock.
We're not exaggerating when we say Ronald Semro III is one of the nicest guys in the universe. We first met Ronnie a few years ago as a part of Brad Wurthman's crew at Cincinnati. Since then, we've had the pleasure of working with Ronnie at the Air Force Academy and now SMU for the last year or so. As true friend of Old Hat, collaborating with Ronnie and his team is ALSO one of our favorite things (see #6). And that's not only because of his natural talent as a perfect test model on our photo/video shoots.
Even better, now that Deb and Hannah know Ronnie is a FRIENDS fanatic too, you know the FRIENDS references will skyrocket.
1. NAME: Ronnie Semro
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Director of Marketing at SMU
3. HOMETOWN: Aurora, IN
4. PREGAME RITUAL: As we all know, gamedays are hectic. I try to take a minute to reflect on a number of things, such as: all the work our team put into the event, how I got to where I am, and remind myself to have a bit of fun on gameday. Then I immediately go back to double checking everything.
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Cheez-Its
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Three aspects stand out. The first is being influential in creating memorable moments that our supporters cherish. The second is guiding those that look up to me and how I can help them attain their goals. Last but not least, working with our friends at Old Hat!
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The speed bumps we encounter that prohibit either progress or innovation.
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: My hidden talents are so hidden, I’m unaware of them. As for hobbies, I’m a huge soccer follower and I also like to get out on the golf course.
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Speak up. Don’t allow outside factors to alter your thought process. Convey your ideas with confidence. If you aren’t willing to believe in them, how will others.
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: You’re more likely to see me performing in the car next to you than seeing me on stage. Regardless of venue, the favorites would be: Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks, Small Town by John Mellencamp, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Toy Story
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friends
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: I have spent far too much time trying to think of a witty answer for this question. The result is: N’Treble – as that’s exactly what our listeners will be thinking.
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Penn Station
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Pizza Sub & Chocolate Chunk Cookie
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel – I grew up with two older sisters, meaning that I was always outnumbered when we voted on what movie to watch.
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Bear – Thanks to a quiz and some Google searches I’ve been able find out that the Bear stands for strength, confidence, solitude, and standing against adversity.
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: I was rushing to get into my apartment on the third floor and my roommate who was on ground level had the keys. We both thought that it would be fine to toss the keys up so I could get in. We. Were. Wrong. Unfortunately, he had a cannon for an arm and the keys ended up on the roof. We had to build a contraption out of broom handles, duct tape, and a rake to retrieve our keys. It certainly wasn’t our finest hour.
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: I’m currently finishing up Season 3 of Bosch. Please don’t reach out with any spoilers!
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I would like to think that I would be working for a club in Major League Soccer.
We have had the absolute pleasure of working with some really talented Notre Dame Athletics Marketers over the years and Jasmine Cannady is no exception. This former Sacramento State Hornet student-athlete brings a different perspective to projects that not a lot of marketers possess. It's a definite positive. Plus, we're pretty confident she would own Robert on the court and that's just enjoyable to think about.
We're adding Jasmine to our weekly Grey's Anatomy Friday chat. Any suggestions on an appropriate hashtag are welcome (#FridayMcChats). Learn a little bit more about Jasmine Cannady in today's 20 Questions!
1. NAME: Jasmine Cannady
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Assistant Marketing Director, University of Notre Dame Athletics
3. HOMETOWN: Sacramento, CA
4. PREGAME RITUAL: NA
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Popcorn
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The people I get to work with and getting to watch my marketing plan come to life right before my eyes. If you are successful, you know. If you are unsuccessful, you know. Either way, you get measurable results that you can act on immediately.
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The fans. Ha! JK. I don’t have a least favorite. I truly love everything about my job.
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I love to read crime/murder mysteries
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Don’t underestimate your qualifications and abilities
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Drops of Jupiter by Train or Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Big Fish by Tim Burton
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Grey’s Anatomy
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: IDK (no seriously, “IDK” would be the name of the band)
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: It’s a place in Sacramento, CA called Arigatos. It’s a sushi restaurant.
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Vegetable Tempura, the Dragon and Lion King Rolls and Miso Soup
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Fox
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: When I was in high school I decided to ditch school one day and called myself smart by calling into the front office and pretending to be my mom to excuse my absence. The lady asked for a call back number and instead of leaving my cell phone number, I left my mother’s number. Needless to say, my called me about 20 minutes later asking why I wasn’t in school. Ha!
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: Mad Men, it’s an amazing show! You should watch it!
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: I would have either joined the Peace Corps or tried to join the California Highway Patrol as an Officer
Diana Pulupa, Brand Manager, Georgetown University Athletics, has been working with Old Hat for so long that she's got projects on our Archive server. She's definitely an OH OG. Robert added, "When we started working with Di so many years ago, she was just a young [bulldog] pup. And if you keep up with her on Instagram like we do, you'll realize she hasn't aged a bit. She's been a great client and advocate for Old Hat, so now... we lift our shot glasses and salute Diana!" Apparently, Robert is filling up shot glasses at 10 in the morning. But hey, it's for Di and Di is awesome! Cheers!
1. NAME: Diana Pulupa
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Brand Manager, Georgetown University Athletics
3. HOMETOWN: Bethesda, Md.
4. PREGAME RITUAL: Pray the printed materials get to the venue on time? When I was an athlete (a very very long time ago) my favorite pregame song was Ma$e “Breathe, Stretch, Shake.”
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK ON: Cheese sticks. My cheese consumption went up significantly once I started working with Barbara Barnes who hails from America’s Dairyland.
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Working on a college campus has (seemingly!) kept me young – at least I feel younger than I actually am.
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Seeing rogue or unapproved use of Georgetown logos. Or a lack of Trademark – that TM means so much to me!
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I wouldn’t call it a “talent” but I do enjoy baking and cooking in general. It’s not uncommon for overly ripe bananas to be anonymously left on my desk so I can bake them into banana chocolate chip muffins the next day – and if we’re really good friends, I’ll even make custom muffins that either don’t have chocolate chips or added walnuts, etc.
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Take advantage of those glorious times in life when you can still schedule a nap during the day. I really miss naps.
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: I like other people too much to ever actually do karaoke, but if this were a lip sync battle, I’m prepared to go with Nicki Minaj “Super Bass” if called upon.
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Toss up between Top Gun, Mean Girls and 17 Again because all three are movies that, when on television, definitely get watched – no matter where in the movie it is.
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The Mindy Project
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: I’m not really a “share the spotlight” kind of person. However, the GU sports info office (more specifically, Ryan Sakamoto) once gave me the stage name Positive D. Pretty sure he was mocking me.
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Medium Rare, Washington, D.C.
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Steak frites – the only thing on the menu!
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Ariel … best sidekicks in Sebastian and Flounder.
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal.
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: I have twice waited a full 18 months between oil changes in my current car. Somehow, my poor car is still kicking despite my attempts at literally driving it into the ground.
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: 13 Reasons Why … it was all over the internet! Couldn’t avoid it. But right before that was re-binging Master of None – much more lighthearted and Aziz Ansari is amazing.
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Most likely a job in communications, just outside of sports.