Okay so it's safe to say that popular meme has run its course. Good job everybody, we killed it. However, I had a feeling that title might work to catch your eye in an age when everybody and their dog is competing for your attention with the wisest of wisdoms to share with their fifties of followers. Lucky for you today my 4th anniversary with Old Hat is this week and I feel like I have some wisest of wisdoms to share with you regarding videos for the upcoming 2013-14 sports season. 
 
Zac has created a culture in the office where if anybody says "No we can't do that" it better be followed up with a "but here's how we can solve the issue." It can be really annoying at first, because it's so easy to shoot down something and find all of its faults. You actually have to engage your brain to solve issues. I think it's a quality that makes Old Hat a unique and desirable company to work with and work for. He's got a whole legion of problem solvers at his disposal. This can be a handy weapon in your marketing arsenal if you're stuck in a pickle. 
 
Here are three of the top Frequently Asked Video Questions/Issues ("FAVQ/I" if you will) that I've heard during my tenure whilst at the Hat. 
 

Q/I: We don't have any highlights because all of our starters are new. 

  
   A: Like MJ says, "you are not alone" (great song, creepy creepy video). When you're working in athletics this is something everybody deals with at some point. Players graduate, go pro, leave the team, get traded, retire, etc. You might feel limited, but there are a few different routes to follow:
 
-Schedule an Old Hat shoot with your noobs practicing/working out. August two-a-days can provide some pretty unique footage. And from my experience, Strength & Conditioning coaches are a treasure trove of audio (Fear not. We can bleep out and edit around all of their creative words of encouragement). 
 
-You can also go the green screen route and have a cool voice over script throughout telling the story of this new team. 
 
-This could provide the perfect opportunity to introduce your new players to your fanbase. Hometowns, childhood photos and video give fans a glimpse into who these athletes really are and where they came from.
 
-Focus on your team's history or tradition over the years. Invite the legends back to campus. Or 
gather up your old photos and videos.
 
 
Q/I: Hey Deb, not all of us have a big tradition to brag about. What then? WHAT? THEN?
 
  A: That's a-okay! I know you'd like to have a rich history of winning (I know I'd like for the Minnesota Vikings to have seven championships) but your history is history. You can't change it (Unless you have a time machine). From a video perspective this frees you to try new ideas each year. Some of our most creative videos come from teams that don't have a championship pedigree. 
 
-Focus on your current team. Remember, you can have 15-20 solid highlights from a season even if you don't make the post-season.
 
-Maybe your coach had a really good locker room speech and you have the footage. 
 
-Utilize your city/campus for locations. 
 
-Show off your game day atmosphere.
 
 
Q/I: We can't schedule our shoot now because our new uniforms won't arrive for another month.
 
   A: This is another common issue for almost every team. We know a lot of you get worried about the short turnaround time from shoot to Game 1 that is created by waiting for those slick new jerseys to arrive. If you don't HAVE to shoot your players in their new jerseys you can get away with using warm-up uniforms, practice shirts or whatever team gear your players have. It is possible to have a cool video without the new uniforms. 
 
 
There are several more questions/issues that we deal with on a daily basis here at OH HQ. We're like little creative firefighters putting out fires left and right (can you imagine Dustin with one of those hats??? Geoff, get on that one please). So no matter the issue you can be confident we will find the best solutions.

You guys... being a homeowner is A LOT OF WORK. Especially if you're crazy like me and decide to make renovations... oh, and also perform the renovations yourself. Anything to save a few bucks, am I right? Anyway, homeownership has taken over my life and it's all I think about.

 

I'm just hoping this:

 

doesn't turn into this:

 

I will most likely be posting some things on my blog: www.daytodayblog.com if you're interested in the progress! However, I can't make any promises on when that will happen... probably early 2014...so...yeah... 

HAVE A GOOD DAY!

 

images from http://dammitminnie.blogspot.com

 

Yesterday you saw what Robert remembers about his childhood, Generation X style. Today, I'm going to go back to my childhood and let you know what us Generation Y'ers love. Like Robert said, knowing your audience is really important when trying to engage them at a game or sell them tickets. I loved theme nights/parties when I was in school, because you get to remember your childhood, but party like an adult. One of my favorite places in Kansas City is a bar called Shark Bar, where they only play 90's music. I know every song! It's great. 

Cartoons/Sat.morning shows: Saved by the Bell: the New Class, Saved by the Bell: College Years, USA High, Hang Time, Power Rangers, Pepper Ann, Recess, Hey Arnold

TV Shows: The Mickey Mouse Club, The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley, Wild & Crazy Kids, GUTS!, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Rugrats, Boy Meets World (TGIF anyone?!?!), All That, Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts, Home Improvement, Full House, Family Ties. 

Movies: Angels in the Outfield (featuring a very young Joseph Gorden Levitt, DREAM MAN), It Takes Two, Mighty Ducks, Heavyweights, LIttle Giants, Baby's Day Out, Rookie of the Year, Hook, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, The Sandlot, The Babysitters Club.

 

Music/Bands: Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, The Macarena, B*Witched, Hanson

Trends: Lisa Fank, Caboodles, War Heads, Beanie Babies, Jellies, Slap Bracelets, Butterfly Clips, Stick on Earrings, Frosted Tips on guys (what up JT), 

Cutting edge electronics: Cell Phones (the start of them), DiscMan, Game Boy, AIM/AOL,

 

Toys:  Skip It, Milky/Gel Pens, Tamagotchi, Pokeman, Furby's, Pogs, Dream Phone, Lite Brite, Yo-Yo's with Brains, Koosh Balls

 

So many great things went on in the 90's when I was growing up! Still wish I thos Gelly Roll pens were popular! 

That title is from The Who's song titled, you guessed it... Talkin 'bout my Generation. Which is NOT from my generation, but it was fitting for today's blog.

Tricia and I decided we would do a two-part blog about each of our generations- me being a Gen Xer and her being part of Generation Y. We wanted to do a little comparison in how society and trends changed in that 12 year gap that separates Tricia and I.

And why does it matter what generation people are from anyway? As marketers we like to lump people into certain demographic categories, so this is basically another way to help target a specific group. But by categorizing someone by their generation, you're not dividing by sex, race, religion or socioeconomic background. It's really just a nice way of grouping people by their age, and within that generation are a lot of common bonds that only they understand. So next time you're putting together entertainment for a sporting event, think about your audience and the different commonalities each generation of ticketholders share with each other. You can connect with a lot of people (or divide an audience) by saying something as simple as "who remembers when waterbeds were really cool?"

Now on to what was cool for Generation X. Check back tomorrow to see how this compares with Generation Y.

Cartoons/Sat.morning shows: He-Man (and of course She-Ra), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Looney Tunes, Thundercats (Ho!), Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Duck Tales, Saved by the Bell

TV Shows: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, A.L.F, Different Strokes, Who's the Boss, Magnum P.I., Punky Brewster, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, Dallas, Growing Pains, Three's Company, The Greatest American Hero, The Fall Guy- I threw those last two in there because they were my favs.

Movies: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Goonies, Top Gun, Flight of the Navigator, Indiana Jones, E.T., The Karate Kid, Footloose, Dirty Dancing-  wow, I could add about 50 others to this list.

Music/Bands: I naturally think of hair bands because that's what I was listening to...

Poison, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, U2, Journey, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Def Leppard, The Bangles, Chicago, Huey Lewis, Air Supply, Toto, Tesla, Prince, Robert Palmer, INXS

Trends: Flannel, Big Hair, Trapper Keepers, Doc Martens, Rubiks Cube, Swatch, Mullets, Punk Rockers

Cutting edge electronics: Atari, Nintendo, Computers (we had the Tandy 2000 pictured below), Speak and Spell

Toys: Teddy Ruxpin, Simon Says, Cabbage Patch Dolls (and Garbage Pail Kids came soon after)

 

Hope all you Generation Xers enjoyed a trip back to your childhood. Peace, I'm out...

 

A few months ago, I signed Aaron up to audition for The Voice.  Over the weekend, we met in St. Louis for the audition where he went up against thousands of talented people.

While we were waiting, we heard the stories of hope that they would get picked for the show, and how it would change their lives.  There were stories of people who had been working hard over the years to have a career in music, while others said they've just been trying out for reality shows to get their big break.  There are different ways to make things happen, but hard work is always the way I go.  One of my favorite questions is, How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  If The Voice doesn't work out, find another avenue to keep going.  Like Tucker Max taught me, just do something.

Over the next seven hours, I chatted with some of the people who were there supporting their friends, children or parents.  That combo of hard work and a great support group is what makes the difference between achieving your dream or giving up on it.  Everything is easier when you have people there encouraging you.

Being able to surround myself with overachievers, especially the NACMA Board of Directors, has been key to my growth personally and professionally.  I've been reading articles over the last year that say that in addition to being around people who work as hard as you, also steer clear of those who don't have a strong work ethic.  The people who complain about getting a project assigned to them at 4:58 pm instead of being grateful that they have a job can affect your morale.  Also, most likely you'll be spending your time making up for the projects that these folks aren't truly dedicating themselves too.  I've heard several people through the years say, "Don't complain when people give you assignments ... worry when they stop giving them to you."

We work in sports.  It's fun!  If you're not having fun in this industry, there's a problem.  And it's not just at work that tells the story of the type of person you are, but in life in general.  I look for the people who are making the most of every opportunity, as well as people who make their own opportunities.  I like to be around people who are passionate about something, whether it's their family or singing or painting, etc.  That's why I was excited to be there when Aaron auditioned for the show.  He puts in the work to keep developing his voice, and that's the type of person who motivates me to keep working too.  And to keep having fun.  

When my friend, Dan, surprised me on Tuesday with tickets to the New Kids concert on Thursday night, I didn't even think twice even though it meant driving three hours up to Chicago since I was out of town at the time.  

It also meant leaving right after the concert at 11 pm to drive five hours to St. Louis to pick Aaron up at the airport 8 am.  No big deal because it was a chance to see a group I adored as a child and hang out with friends who are so important to me.  So I missed some sleep?  But we didn't miss a beat as we set up a work station at The St. Louis Bread Company to knock out our work before taking advantage of all there is to do in STL!  One of the most frustrating things to hear when someone is asked why they didn't finish the project or get a task done is "I didn't have time."  Make time.

After the concert Dan texted me and said, "you're an inspiration for seizing the moment."  I don't know what's ahead for me, but I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I have no regrets along the way.  Everyone has dreams and ideas, but the ones that get off the ground are the ones you truly invest in.  You have to work for them.  It would be nice if Blake Shelton took you under his wing to make you a superstar, but the reality is you have to keep plugging away with the same energy everyday.  

While Aaron didn't make it on the show, he walked away with experience and suggestions on how to keep getting better.  Being able to accept rejection and take the advice of others is what will help you keep growing.  Those are the people I love being around.  The ones who go to a convention and have every session highlighted that they plan to attend because they want to make sure they don't miss something.  Or those who are always reading a book.  Or writing for the sports journals to share their advice and/or ideas with others in the industry.  That is motivating.

I hope everyone has created a "circle of trust" as my friend, Amy, calls ours.  Surrounding yourself with passionate and positive people, and paying less attention to those who aren't as motivated.  It doesn't matter what you do, "just do something".

When in Utah, do as the Utahns do. 

Last Saturday morning I visited the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City to get my fix for local flavor--literally. The SLCDFM (as I just decided to call it) is a big deal here. There weren't open parking spots nearby and the sidewalks were packed. And, man, was the food good. There's nothing like a taste of fresh fruits and veggies. Or Utah Honey Butter made with raw local honey. I didn't buy any of that because I would have drank it by the bottle. And you would have too so don't judge me. 

But to me, the Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmers Market (pictured above) is more than a block party of delicious foods from local growers. It's a study into marketing and branding for companies big and small.

Think of these big time brand names: Nike, Toyota, McDonald's. I bet you've got a few of their campaigns, slogans, products in your head right now. They're big and memorable and spend a lot of time and money on their branding. 

But what do you do when you're a local farmer with no budget to spend on marketing?

That morning at the market I was on the prowl for some kale (Drizzle olive oil and sea salt on it, cook it at 350-400 for about 15-20 minutes. You're welcome.) I visited one stall run by a father-daughter team. Above their booth was a sign that read "Someone Someone Garden Summer Project." And it was written in .... Papyrus. With Comic Sans subtext.

Put yourself in my shoes: Do you judge this product by its brand?

Well, in this case, you better say "no" because, really, it's a child and she's growing kale and you're going to buy that kale and ask for double because you're not a jerk.

But stroll down the path and you'll see homemade salsa packaged with clashing colors and strange design elements accented with grammar mistakes. In any other market or environment, would this product stand against the giants with their professional packaging and well-known status?

Maybe. Maybe not. There's a lot to think about here.

But I can vouch for that salsa. It was caught somewhere between "crazy" and "good." 

So, point of my story, you've always been told never to judge a book by its cover. Let's all do the same with the little guys and their branding, yeah?

After any big game, fans and players often want commemorative t-shirts. To meet the demand and to cash in on the 'We're #1" euphoria there are often two sets of shirts designed declaring each team the Champs…you know, just in case.

I've been a designer a while now and over the years I have designed a lot of these championship t-shirts. I've alway been curious as to what happens to the losing teams shirts, jackets and hats. I mean that’s a lot of misprinted items that can’t hit store shelves.

Well, recently I found out  about a group called World Vision. These guys save the items from certain doom by sending them overseas to people living in disaster areas and impoverished, third world nations which is great. Of course, there are people right here in America who could desperately use a fresh, clean t-shirt or jacket. I'd actually prefer that these items be donated to local charities. However, overseas distribution is part of an agreement between the pro leagues and World Vision. The I guess the leagues want to avoid any donated items popping up on eBay or appearing on TV.

 From a branding/marketing stand point I guess I can understand that decision. But it does make me wonder if the leagues are really interested in helping people in third world countries or if they're more concerned with not offending losing players and heartbroken fans…

Two subjects today...

 

AMAZON PRIME

I love Amazon.com.  LOVE IT.  I despise going to malls and stores to buy things.  And Amazon has made me so much happier because it prevents me from having to do that.  And they keep doing more and more to make me my ability to never leave my desk or house a reality.  There's this specific type of granola bar that I like that I can never buy in stores.  Amazon has 'em!  And they offer a subscription service so once a month they just automatically send me some.  I never run out!  Sunday night my sons and I were wanting to watch a movie.  They had never seen Cheaper by the Dozen but Netlix doesn't have it.  Amazone Prime does!  Within seconds we had paid $2.99 to "rent" it and were snuggled up watching a great family movie together.  And if you're a member of Amazon Prime, you get free 2-day shipping on everything.  WTF?!  How could life get any more convenient than this?

Well that brings me to my story about yesterday when I realized just how spoiled Amazon Prime has made me.  My mouse broke mid-morning.  The little scrolling ball on the top stopped scrolling as these Apple mouses (mice?) tend to do.  I already had my browser open so I went to amazon.com and typed in Apple Mouse, clicked on the first result, placed my order and in less than 30 seconds, a new mouse was on its way to me.  So while Speedy Gonzales might be the fastest mouse in all of Mexico, I undoubtedly got the speediest mouse in all of America.

 

BRICK WALL ADVERTISING

Entirely different subject here but since I rarely (if ever) blog about design, I decided to post a quick tribute to one of my favorite forms of design... Brick Wall Advertising.  I love me some old brick wall advertising.  The more worn and vintage looking, the better.  I grew up in a town full of old buildings that had this stuff painted on the sides.  Maybe that's where I developed my affinity for it.  But if I could figure out a way to hang giant brick walls around my house and office featuring these old ads, I would.  Here are some of my faves that I found from a quick google search.

is wedding season! For the past five days I have been in Louisville, Kentucky visiting family and friends while preparing for my sister's wedding this fall. The trip included finding the bridesmaids shoes, altering dresses, going over rehersal dinner and wedding day logistics and convincing my sister and her fiance that they need to play the Wobble to get everyone on the dance floor! 

Over the weekend a few friends of mine were at a wedding in Columbia, South Carolina. I received this text below, moments before this article was written. 

My sister isn't a sports fan, so sports won't play a role in her wedding. But as someone who has sports consume their personal and professional life, seeing this is pretty cool!

What do you think? Will/did sports play a role in your wedding? Share your story below!

Busy season has officially started here at Old Hat, but the past month and a half, I've been in my own busy season.  I've been traveling around the past couple of months to weddings, funerals, and visiting friends. 

I spent June in Norman painting and moving into my new house, and winning the kickball leauge championships. 

Then, I got to go to the zoo, play golf and climb trees in Portland, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and watch two cousins get married.  I also made a trip to St. Louis and Kansas City in one weekend for different events. I think I have FINALLY caught up on sleep and am feeling like my life is becoming normal again. 

June was so busy, I'm taking a break from traveling the rest of July, then I'm headed to Denver in August, and then it's football season! Already planning on going to a couple different games! 

What about you? Where have you been this summer? 

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