Another year and another successful NACMA in the books for us. We had a great time catching up with current clients and connecting with potential new clients. Overall, the trip was a blast and here are the top nine things we learned:
1. Stuckey's is an American Tradition - Anyone ever heard of Stuckey's? It's a chain of gas stations that I thought had gone the way of the dodo bird. There used to be multiple Stuckey's locations dotting I-35 in Oklahoma but I haven't seen one in years. As luck would have it, there's one right outside Pensacola, FL and we stopped there TWICE on this trip. Stuckey's is a great place to stop if you want really cheaply made chachkis, ugly t-shirts, alligator claw back-scratchers, etc. We decided to pick up surprises for all the staff that couldn't make the trip with us. See below.
2. The back seat of a Suburban is not meant for adults - Six adults in one suburban in a 45 hour (total) road trip is tough. Josie and Hannah are the smallest so we forced them into the third seat for a good portion of the trip. I gave them a hard time for complaining about it but the fact of the matter is, that seat wasn't meant for adults. Holli and I rode back there for a while on the way down there and then started the trip back with a solid 6 hours back there. It was not enjoyable. Here's a photo of me and Holli asleep in the back while everyone else is enjoying their spacious seating.
3. There's Only One Place Left in the World That Still Allows Smoking Indoors... And We Had Our Party There - For all of our clients that are chain-smokers, I'm sure you were delighted to see that the bar we chose for our party allowed smoking. For all of you that DON'T want lung cancer, I'm sure the cloud of smoke was a bit of a shock when you arrive. On the upside, the bar's vending machine DID offer condoms. So we had that going for us... which was nice.
4. Make Sure to Bring $1.25 to Pensacola Beach - Pensacola Beach is a pretty nice beach. Crowded... but the sand is white and the water is clear. But if you have any desire to walk out on the pier, you better have some cash with you. Pensacola must be very proud of their pier as they charge $1.25 to walk on it. It's like a toll road for your feet. We walked over to it but hadn't brought any methods of payment with us so we opted out of the walk on the pier. Oh well.
5. The Lighting is Better in the Suburban than in My Shower - So apparently sunlight through the back windows of a Suburband does a better job of showing missed spots on shaven legs than the lighting in my shower at home. Holli noticed a few spots on the drive out there that she had missed so she hollered at whoever was in the front seat to fetch her the razor she keeps in the glove compartment for this very reason. I'm thinking about installing a shower in the Suburban so she can kill two birds with one stone from here on out.
6. 500 Square Feet is a LOT of Awesomeness - The past few years, we've had a 20 x 20 foot booth space in the tradeshow. This year, we decided to go with a 10 x 40 foot space to mix it up a little. It was a little experiment. Well, due to a longer story than you care to hear, we expanded that to 10 x 50 feet. It was nice to have all that space but I think we'll go back down to 10 x 40 next year.
7. Robert and I have Similar Tastes in Swimwear - I've known Robert a long time... since we were juniors in college, to be exact. And we've worked together for many years. So I know him pretty well. But I have to admit that I was surprised when we got ready to leave for the beach and discovered that our swimsuits were nearly identical.
8. Just Like the Seminoles, My Diet Dr Pepper Record will Forever be Unconquered - FSU was the latest in my trek to have the record for the most Division 1 college campuses upon which a person has been photographed drinking a Diet Dr Pepper. This was number 26 for me.
9. People Would Rather See My Wife Hula Hoop than See Me Do ANYTHING - It all started as a joke. Last year we had a hula hoop at the booth because we wrapped a sign around it. Holli hula hooped with it, I video'd it, uploaded it to facebook and she became a hula hooping sensation. So I decided it would be funny to make this year's t-shirt giveaway an Old Hat University Hula Hooping Team t-shirt and to promote it, I'd have her hula hoop at landmarks all the way to Orlando AND at the booth. Well what I discovered is that videos of her hula hooping are far more popular than anything I've ever done on camera. So far, her videos have been viewed 3,201 times. The most popular was the one of her hula hooping with Nicole Imbrogno. You can view that on the Old Hat facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oldhat
So today is my two year anniversary at Old Hat Creative. Much like my very first blog, this one will touch on a few things. A lot has changed for me in the last few years, though it seems to be settling down with much of the change coming in the first few months of that stretch two years ago.
The NBA Finals wrapped up last night with Golden State winning their first title in 40 years, finishing off one of the great seasons in NBA history. The Warriors are classy group with a likable cast including Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr. Kerr was one of my favorite Bulls back in the day (other than Michael and Scottie) and Kerr has enjoyed success at many of his career stops including playing, coaching or broadcasting. The Warriors also held off a spectacular series performance by one of the great players in history in LeBron James. I've been a LeBron fan for a long time but continue to be amazed / disappointed by all of the hate that's slung his way in spite of his on-court performance. Granted LeBron brings some of it on himself with actions like "The Decision" and "Not one, not two, not three, etc", but he is already one of the top 10 of all-time with several good years left. LeBron and MJ are often compared, many times unfairly because they are different types of players. Can't we be fans of both? I know I am. Jordan won four of his six titles in his 30s and LeBron, who just turned 30, already has two championships under his belt. Even though LeBron is just 2-4 in the Finals, that still holds up when compared to other legends such as Jerry West (1-8 Finals record), Wilt Chamberlain (2-5) or Karl Malone (0-3). Imagine what it would be like if Jordan, West or Chamberlain played in the social media era?
The New York Times reported yesterday that the St. Louis Cardinals were being investigated by the FBI for hacking the Houston Astros player evaluation computer database. We will see how this turns out, but the Internet has already had fun with this one and will call into question the accomplishments of the Cardinals over the last decade. I'm not condoning the hacking/cheating, but this has to be a lesson to create stronger passwords and don't re-use old ones. Especially if you're moving from one organization to a rival one!
Old Hat goes to 11 …. NACMAs. Another successful convention is wrapping up. A time to meet old friends and make some new ones. If you liked what you saw at NACMA or maybe weren't able to attend, check out the ways we use our experience and expertise to make you look good. Like Old Hat Sports Branding. Or court projection videos. Or Fanswers and Fangage. Maybe a print piece, large or small, is what you need. We will make you look good.
Soccer is awesome. I’ve been enjoying getting to watch some of the Women’s World Cup this week. I started playing organized soccer when I was in 6th grade and continued playing through high school. It seems fitting that I ended up interning for the San Jose Earthquakes (still called the San Jose Clash when I was with them) during my summers in college. I worked in the community relations department doing everything from coordinating player appearances to selling group and corporate ticket packages to even being the mascot at community events. It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. One of the other interns and I did such a great job, they even added us to the team poster (or maybe we used a xerox machine and photos of us to add ourselves into it).
Now working at Old Hat, I’ve had the chance to work on some cool soccer poster projects as well. Here’s a few of my favorites:
It's almost time to start working on the 2015 fall sport posters and I'm looking forward to seeing what fun soccer projects I'll get to work on this summer!
I realized this morning that NACMA is less than three weeks away...and started to get a tiny bit stressed.
We still have lots to do! NACMA is a team effort around here, and nearly everyone in the office is contributing in some way. There's been hotel reservations, party invitations...trailer rentals and graphics environmental. A photo shoot and ordering loot. Booth construction and office obstruction. And I don't have enough brain power to think of more rhyming phrases. Instead, I'll turn my attention to checking more off our list.
Old Hat Clients - make sure to watch your mail and email for more information soon!
One of the best parts of life is getting to celebrate special occasions. Last week I celebrated my fifth anniversary of working at Old Hat. I actually used to live in Norman, OK and started my Old Hat career as the Web Production Manager. When my husband got a job offer in North Carolina, I was excited about the move, but super sad about leaving Old Hat. Fortunately for me, a short time after I moved to NC, Zac offered me a chance to rejoin the Old Hat team as an account executive. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to work with so many of our awesome clients on a daily basis and am excited to be a part of Old Hat's continued growth for many years to come.
Speaking of special occasions, I should probably mention that today is my 9th wedding anniversary. It's been an adventurous nine years filled with new jobs, new states, new homes, two kids, a dog and lots of fun. I wouldn't trade it for anything and am thankful for every day we get to spend together!
Old Hat knows a thing or two about celebrating big events as well. Often times, we are asked to design pieces to celebrate a milestone in a sports' history. You can check out some of our commemorative branding projects here:
This past week has been pretty exciting! Last Monday, our client, Duke, won the Men's Basketball National Championship. On Saturday, our client, Providence College, won the Men's Hockey National Championship and our client, OU, won the Men's Gymnastics National Championship! Not a bad few days! I was fortunate to work with Duke on a lot of their regular and post season Men's Basketball print and video pieces. Additionally, I worked with Providence on their Men's Hockey intro video this year. Dustin went over to OU and did a photo shoot for the Men's Gymnastics team this fall for them to use in their marketing efforts throughout the season. Seems like if you want to win a National Championship, maybe you should consider letting Old Hat help with some of your marketing pieces ;)
You can check out some of the work for these champion clients here:
Providence Men's Hockey Intro Video:
Duke Men's Basketball Season Ticket Book (click thru to video the entire publication):
Men's Basketball Poster, Schedule Card and Magnet:
I’m a planner. I love to plan things, so it makes me happy inside when we are starting football projects before the basketball tournament has even started, because that means people are planning ahead! We have already started on football posters for next year!
My job is all about planning. Everyday I plan out the schedules for our print designers. I make sure we have enough time to get projects done, thinking about everything else that might come up during the day.
I love a good spreadsheet, and thinking about what could happen in the future. If you give yourself enough time, you can really get anything done. It’s when you wait until the last minute that things become rushed and all out of sorts! As I grow up, I start planning in my head the rest of my life. If it all works out how I have planned, let me tell you, my life is going to look pretty good!
(don't worry, i know things don't always happen like you plan)
Here is a good scheduling material for you to use!
Great staff photo, huh? Only, that's not us. And that will never be us. We don't wear power suits or ties. We wear jeans, t-shirts, ballcaps, athletic shorts... pretty much whatever we want.
I was looking at our "About Us" page the other day and I couldn't believe how corporate looking I had allowed it to become. All our staff photos looked like we belonged in a photo like the one above. But that's not us. So I decided to spend my morning getting US back into our about us page. There are no major changes here but it's a much better representation of who we are than it was before. This page doesn't include our entire staff, by the way. Just the people you're likely to come into contact with when you deal with us. Though after spending some time working on this page, I think we probably need to get our entire staff on here.
Since my husband and I both work in athletics, our girls have been to a lot of sporting events in their short lives. They've watched collegiate football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf and more. Regardless of what the sport is, they always want to know who they are supposed to cheer for. Since the majority of events we go to are to watch UNCG, that's become their team. Being in North Carolina, and right in the middle of the Duke / North Carolina rivalry, my girls have already picked sides on that as well. My oldest daughter has a close friend whose parents went to Carolina and are super fans. So she likes to cheer for them too because her friend likes them. Her friend has made quite the impact, so much so, that she has randomly told me that God is a Carolina fan because he painted the sky Carolina blue. Funny stuff. Meanwhile, my youngest daughter likes to cheer for Duke because they had glow sticks at one of the basketball events we went to for them. Clearly allegiances start young!
That got me thinking about all of the cool projects Old Hat has done for various schools' kids clubs. From logos, to brochures, to membership cards and shirts, there's a lot schools can do to get kids invested in their program from a young age. Here's a few of the kids club projects we've been fortunate to be a part of: