One of the things that the amazing Tracie Hitz taught me early on working at Northwestern was the importance in creating a good bond with EVERYONE who works at Northwestern. Having a positive, beneficial relationship with your facilities crew can provide a helping hand when you need to drag all those t-shirt boxes from one side of the stadium to the other. Making sure you keep your athletic communications buddies in the loop on your marketing promotions might get you more shout-outs in press releases. Bringing some doughnuts in to your football contact can help get his support with player appearances. 


Working effectively with the ticket office is one of the best ways to help you reach your goals. At Northwestern, our ticket office was a small crew who had a number of years of experience with the Wildcats. One of the key things I discovered is that supporting their efforts will help them support your efforts. When season ticket mailings went out, our marketing team was down helping stuff envelopes for two days straight. When we had promotional giveaways, the ticketing team would help pass out t-shirts if they could spare the time. As an athletic department, you have the same common goal and helping one another reach those goals together is much easier than struggling apart.

Whenever we decided to offer special discounts on tickets (like group ticket pricing for people wearing one of our promotional t-shirts), the ticketing department had to do extra work to make that happen. Communication between departments was a must. If they can understand why you are doing these marketing initiatives, it helps them embrace the extra work. Weekly meetings and a good amount of emails made sure we were on the same page.

Utilizing ticketing crews for feedback following games is often overlooked. Ticketing personnel are often the first or one of the first contacts your fans make at an event. Ensuring your ticketing crew greets fans with a smile, knows about your promotions for the game and can relay customer feedback to you are all important things to consider. Our ticketing team passed along valuable feedback, like how much fans loved that light up mug or if they were annoyed with the long line entering the parking lot.

One thing Tracie and I always wish we could capitalized on was collecting the contact information of our walk-up traffic. Going back, I am sure we could have worked with our ticketing team to try and collect this information add to our customer database. Thinking of new and different ways to use this important resource is something Tracie and I are always thinking about for our clients.

If there is an opportunity you are hoping to take advantage of, reach out and see if we can help! If you think this information was a game-changer, and I mean, how could you not, just wait for an exciting new feature from our ticket-meister, Andy.  Andy is quite a ticketing dandy and will be bringing you the 411 on the selling tickets. Stay-tuned for more!

...so here's a few.

I understand that other Old Hatters have already written about NACMA, but as a first time attendee, you KNOW I’m going to write about it.  What some of the other Old Hatters cannot write about however, is their NACMA #OHRoadtrip!!!!!

Aaron, Bethany, Kelby, and I were hand-picked by Zac and Robert to take a cross-country road trip while everyone else got stuck flying.  Our journey began from OHC Headquarters Monday night at midnight. 

Even though it was the middle of the night, we were all full of energy and excited for our trip. 

A few hours in however, we started to lose a few passengers to sleep.  By the time the sun was rising somewhere in Arkansas, we switched drivers.  

We even ran a lap around the car to wake up!

Bethany took over for Aaron, and this is where it was my time to shine.  You might be asking yourself, “Why is it YOUR time, Hannah, if you aren’t even driving?”  

Well, it was my turn to be the “keepthedriverawake-er” which Bethany soon coined the term #RoadDog.  I may have not driven the most hours (by far), but I believe this job to be just as important, if not more.  This was a perfect opportunity for my fellow client relater and me to bond over client relations things.  We talked about our boyfriends (hers), our time as student-athletes, celebrity gossip, and whatever else came to our minds.  

Before we knew it, we had passed through Arkansas, Memphis, TN, and Mississippi to arrive in Auburn, Alabama.  Bethany was super excited to meet her brand new nephew, and Aaron, Kelby, and I toured Auburn’s beautiful campus.  Thank you to Eli Wilkerson for taking us around everywhere.  We enjoyed a nice dinner and went to bed early.  We were on the road again by 4 AM.

Our next day of driving took us through Georgia and on to Florida; obviously, we sang along to Cruise by Florida Georgia Line.  This day was also filled with singing some of the all time greatest songs of the 90’s.  

We arrived at the hotel and immediately started setting up our epic booth for the exhibition hall.  I don’t think I mentioned earlier, our booth also made the road trip with us, in the attached trailer behind us.

From that point on, for the next two days, it was non-stop.  I don’t think I sat down for more than 3 minutes at a time.  

Thanks to Tracie’s magic, I was signed up last minute for Basic Training.  I heard from NACMA presidents, absorbed their career and life advice, and even did some speed networking.  It was humorous handing out my legendary basketball trading card in the mix of everyone else’s cards with school logos on them.  

I spent two days at the Old Hat booth meeting clients for the first time in person.  After emailing and calling for a few months, it was nice to put faces to the email addresses.  In the midst of meeting clients and prospective clients, I somehow found time for a handstand contest!  #HandstandsWithHannah is going to catch on one way or another.  To my surprise, another former collegiate gymnast challenged me, and boy did we have a contest on our hands. <- see what I did there?  We were both upside down for about a minute, but in the end, Katie Caliendo from Duquesne, prevailed and took home the championship.

After two days of meeting new people, seeing some former and current fellow ISU Redbirds, it was time to start our journey home. 

We packed everything in the trailer and got on the road.  We left Saturday around noon, and we returned to Auburn.  We spent the night there and left early the next morning to complete the drive.  Our trip home was slightly less entertaining than the way there; we were all worn out. However, we did experience some interesting things along the way.  We:

- Survived breakfast at a McDonald’s that has been in business since the dinosaurs ate there

- Lived through someone smoking while pumping gas AT THE GAS STATION

- Saw a dump truck full of green beans



- Cleaned the largest bird dropping ever off the car window…3 times

 

Sang along to Slow Jams Sunday and listened to the Apology Hotline

- Drove successfully through rain and crazy lightning

Finally, we arrived in Norman around 1 AM safe and sound.  

Even though it was a really smooth road trip and I had a wonderful time, I think I’ll stay home for a while.   My first NACMA experience was awesome, and I am excited to trek back to Orlando next year.   

I am so happy to have been able to meet my current clients in person, and I look forward to seeing y’all again sometime!    

Thank you to everyone who followed along #OHRoadTrip on Twitter and kept us entertained during the drive.  We are forever grateful.

Until next time…

Our comfort zone. It's a great place.

It's warm. It' smells nice and most importantly, it's familiar. 

But when was the last time you heard about someone accomplishing something dynamic from within the confines of said space?

Don't get me wrong. Throngs of people get through their existence, and in some cases achieve moderate success, by not leaving their zone. Many people are fine with that. But as professionals, teams and organizations driven by success and the desire to achieve, we have to asks ourselves if we want to be remembered for what we set out to accomplish or forgotten for what we never did.

From a business and marketing standpoint: What is your relevant differentiation--the thing that sets you apart from your competitors? What is it about you or your organization that compels people to invest in you or your cause?

Case in point: Chicago-based, Grammy award-winning alternative rock group Wilco.

The acoustic driven folk/rock ensemble recently decided to change things up at their concerts by including an 'all request' set in their shows. 

Through their online submission forms, they have amassed hundreds of requests from fans, many outside their comfort zone, but you don't get folks in Oklahoma writing blogs about you (or go viral for that matter) by doing the same thing every day.

Pretty fun if you ask me:

So think about it--take a break from the norm and try different and dynamic out. Who know, you just might stumble across amazing.

 

Two weeks ago, you may have read how Old Hat has started a new venture by opening our first on-campus design studio at the University of Utah.

Luke and his trusty sidekick, Steve, are in Salt Lake ready to knock out super projects for the Utes. Here are their tails...tales.

During their first romp at the local dog park, Steve made his first puppy friend. Wally.

Luke and Steve then took some time to check out Game Seven. Steve still isn't sure what's more ridiculous: Lebron's cry-faces or Chris Bosh letting himself be mercilessly attacked by confetti.

Until next time--have a great week! 

-Luke & Steve.

I've been settling in Utah for the past couple days and haven't had the chance to send out postcards to family and friends. This city is bigger and more organized than most, so Steve (my dog) and I have been exploring. Ain't nobody got time for mailing things when they're exploring. So pretend this is a (long) postcard. This is what I would say:


Dear Everyone,

Hello. How are you? I am fine.

Salt Lake City is a really cool place. The city is vibrant and busy, but not so busy you become overwhelmed.

There is a lot to do here! Steve and I walked to where I will be working soon. It's only 2 miles from our apartment, but it requires climbing a hill with, like, 6 percent grade (or more) and rises up, like, 800 feet. I'm almost not joking here. We were exhausted about halfway up. 

There is a lot of shopping here, too. I visited the City Creek Mall and The Gateway, two large malls that are unique in their builds. In Oklahoma, we usually think of a mall as an enclosed space. But these malls were open to the air under various canopies and layouts. City Creek even has a mountain stream through it with retractable glass roofing! Fancy.

I went to the city park the other day to visit the city aviary. It's free of charge! It's a cool enclosure full of local and exotic birds. It's also home to a bird named Picasso who paints paintings for you. How cool is that?

We've visited a lot of local landmarks like the library and Temple Square. Pretty fascinating stuff. 

I've also covered the globe in terms of finding diverse food. And it's all been good. Wow.

So, yep. That's my time in Salt Lake City so far. Today, Steve and I have planned more walking. Not sure what we'll discover, but it's going to be fun.

Until next time,

Luke 

xoxo

Like a lot of people in this country, I have spent the last couple nights watching the Spurs vs. Heat in the NBA finals.  I am not a huge basketball fan but I grew up near San Antonio and watch the Spurs as much as I can.   

About midway through the first half, there seemed to be a rather random offensive foul call on Tim Duncan.  Before you jump ship and assume this is going to be a blog complaining about the officials from a Spurs fan who had to watch his team get smashed last night, stay with me.  What grabbed my attention about this is the way the ABC/ESPN handled the situation.  The announcer immediately made a comment about Bosh needing to write a check for flopping to the NBA and they went to commercial.  After the commercial they come back and are interviewing a former official about the play.   He quickly declared it was a great call and there was no need to question it.  Not surprisingly, the announcer made a quick comment about wanting to rebuttal and then they went too commercial.  The announcer was never allowed a rebuttal.  

Throughout the rest of the night they went back to the retired official to justify calls made by the other officials against both teams. A soft foul on Wade had to be replayed and discussed by the retired official so the fans believed in the call.  It became quite comical and it is something they have continued to do throughout the playoffs.  

Why am I rambling on about this?  Questioning the officiating of the NBA is nothing new but this attempt to involve the sideline crew and announcers came off as insincere.  How does this relate to Old Hat?  It made me think of all of the marketing plans that come through our office every year.  They come in all shapes and sizes, with teams trying figure out what they can do to get the attention of their fans.  More often than not it is the marketing plans that are laid out with the fans in mind.  The plans that genuinely take the interest of their fans to heart are the ones that are the most successful.  
Marketing is not about trying to convince your fans that you are thinking correctly or that you care about the fans experience.  Marketing is about actually caring about your fans experience.  Wanting to make sure they have the best time and want to come back because they enjoyed their day with your organization.  

 

Here at Old hat, we are basically an Apple company. You can look across the office and see a managerie of Apple products. Some iMacs here, Mac pros there. Kevin watching soccer on an iPad. I can't even count how many iPhones are. So, needless to say, a lot of us get pretty excited when we get to learn about the new stuff coming out of Cupertino. This week was the annual Apple WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) in San Francisco. Maybe someday, Zac will let Tanner and me go so that we can get in on the action. Anyway, as expected, Mr. Cook and his cohorts delivered a plethora of new Apple hardware and software solutions. I am going to touch on a couple of the annoucements that have really caught my attention.

 

Software:

iOS 7


Now, as an app developer, the annoucement of the new mobile OS is a little annoying because I have to back to the drawing board on some app architecture. But as an end user, I am very excited. First, the astheics. To me, it looks very pretty, and very intuitive. I like the migration from glassy and glossy to the more flat look. The addition of the parallax (a technique that I am quite a fan of, as seen here) to the home screen, actually adds more depth to the device than the glossy Web 2.0 icons could ever deliver. Some people are complaining about the design of the new native app icons. Personally, I like the simplicity and to me, looks really good. Some features that I am looking forward to:

  • Slide anywhere to unlock
  • True multitasking with app preview
  • Airdrop
  • Control Center (A simple swipe up brings loads settings)

OS X Mavericks


First, I was a little dissappointed to learn that Apple wasn't sticking with the big cat theme. I am sure that there are at least a few more ferocious felines to be used, but I guess "Mavericks" will do. The design itself has pretty much stayed the same. The new independent multidispalys look pretty sweet. This means I can switch spaces on my dsplays independent of each other. Also, going full screen on one display will not affect the other dispaly. The new Finder feature seem pretty awesome as well. Tabs in Finder allows you to just need one Finder window. Very useful when needing to migrate files from one place to another. Tags looks to be pretty useful as well. This will allow you to "categorize" your files without the need to group them physically. Also really nice when tryin to find a file using spotlight. However, the features that I am most excited to see are the new power conservation features. Now, I am not enough of an electrical engineer to explain how all of that stuff is going to work, but if it will extend my battery life, and reduce wear and tear on my MacBook, I am all for it!

Hardware:

The new MacBook Airs are all small and cute and whatnot, but the new Mac Pro is one sexy beast.

WHOA!

Small. Shiny. Cylindrical. Black. Powerful. Somewhat breaking away from Appl'e usual design asthetic, this thing looks awesome. People keep likening it to a trash can or a coffee grinder, but to that, I say "Bah!". Really though, I think the day of big, bulky desktop computers is over, and this is machine that will help put an end to the beige box. Some people will complain about the lack of expandibility, but the beast has 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports. Expand it externally. The I/O is fast enough these days. Remember, it's 2013, not 2003. Maybe after we develop our next killer app, Zac will break down and get Tanner and me one of these.

 

Maverick approves.

Well, you'll probably be hearing from me later this fall when the new iPhone is anounced.

It’s that time of year again... the middle of June and I’m headed to either Dallas or Orlando for the NACMA convention. Having been as both a participant while working on campus in sports marketing and as a vendor during my time at XOS/JumpTV/NeuLion and Old Hat, it’s always been such a great opportunity for professional development. From the information and experiences shared at the sessions to the resources found in the collateral corner and exhibit hall, and the overall networking within the industry, I look forward to  NACMA every year! 

This year is no exception. Since a lot of the Old Hat clients that I work with will be at the convention, I’m excited to get to chat with them in person and just hang out as friends at the Old Hat Thirsty Poolside Thursday event on June 13. You can get more info on the event and how to win free drink tickets here http://oldhatcreative.com/blog/its-most-wonderful-time-year. Additionally, since I’m based out of Greensboro, NC, NACMA is one of the few times during the year where I get to see my Old Hat colleagues based out of the Norman and Chicago offices. 

I’ll be headed to Orlando bright and early tomorrow morning and I’m already looking forward to another great convention. Please stop by the Old Hat booth to say hello!

So, today it's my turn to write a blog. I've known about it for a while but haven't been able to think of anything interesting to write about. All day yesterday I kept asking myself "hey Jared, what are you going to write about tomorrow?". And all I could think was "pffft... I don't know." Then it dawned on me! I'll write about not knowing things.

Not knowing things is probably the one thing that all of us have in common.  There’s no shame in it. It’s a simple fact of life. There's a lot of things I don't know. Personally, when I don't know something, I try to work harder than anyone else to find out. But while I don't know, I just admit that I don't know. I don't pretend to know. I don't make stuff up and act like I know. I don't even try to convince other people that I know. I just say "I don't know". It's OK. After all, you can't really learn anything until you admit that you didn't know it to begin with.

Well, that's pretty much it. "I don't know" what else to say about that. (see what I did there?)

You know…NACMA! 

This year, we're doing it bigger and better so let us show you how we "Amplify the Sports Experience" at our booth, #427. In March, Old Hat launched a divisional rebrand; six divisions under one umbrella. We've always been six divisions, but now it's time for us to tell you our story through our 'hands-on' solutions catalog. This year's catalog features marketing campaigns for clients we visited on campus, creating a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience including: the 12th Man Foundation, Cincinnati, Duke, WAC, Xavier, Martin Methodist, South Carolina, Akron and Miami. Whether you're interested in capture and productions, branding and print design or interactive and consulting, we've created a six step process to show you how each division of Old Hat will work with your department. 

On Thursday, June 13th, Old Hat will be hosting Thirsty Poolside Thursday at the Falls Pool Bar located at the Orlando World Resort. All are welcome but do you want to win a free drink? We'll be posting and hosting challenges via social media and at our booth from Tuesday through Thursday. 

During the travel days (Wednesday and Thursday) you can compete in our social media challenges by following @OldHatCreative and #OHAMPLIFY. The top 5 from each category will win a drink on Old Hat! Travel day challenges include:

1. People watching! It's addicting and the airport is the perfect place to do it. Find something that should NOT be amplified, snap a photo using Instagram and post to Twitter using #OHAMPLIFY. 

2. Jam out to your favorite song! Vine yourself bursting out the lyrics and post to Twitter using #OHAMPLIFY. 

3. CANNONBALL! Relaxing by the pool before heading into mad learning sessions at NACMA? Have someone snap a photo of you doing a cannonball, or any other type of splash, and post to Twitter using #OHAMPLIFY.

4. Road trip! Are you taking the road less traveled to Orlando? Aaron, Bethany, Hannah and Kelby are making the drive from Norman to Orlando starting on Tuesday and ending on Sunday. If you want to know, it's a 20 hour drive… one way! Give the crew something to laugh at by sharing your road trip photos on Twitter using #OHAMPLIFY. After all, you may need one after a long drive.

You can also win a drink ticket at our booth! Not only will the first 100 people to visit our booth #427 receive an official Old Hat University, home of the Fighting Gnomes t-shirt, but you can compete in challenges to win a cold one on us! Think you can eat more M&M's than we did for Michigan's 900th win? Can you run your hands through your hair better than Robert? Can you do a handstand with Hannah? If so, we'll see you on Thursday night with a drink on us!

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