Being a sports fan is fun! A lot of what Old Hat works with our clients on is creating products to enhance the fan experience. Recently I've been fortunate to work on a few in venue entertainment games for Wright State and the University of Florida. 

Wright State wanted to create a version of the Derby to use on their main videoboard at their basketball games. We used photos of their men's and women's basketball head coaches as well as their mascot to create the drivers for their race, The Raider Rally Derby, and created three different race outcomes.

 

The University of Florida also wanted to create a Derby race to use on their main videoboard at a variety of sporting events. They chose to use their men's basketball head coach, women's basketball head coach, and women's gymnastics coach as the drivers. They also opted to create another version of the Derby using three other athletic department staff members for a second set of drivers. They also tied in a sponsor element to their race and branded it as The SunTrust Gator Derby.

Lastly, we also created a fun shuffle animation for the University of Florida that was created to look like it was taking place on Florida's basketball court. This shuffle also tied in a sponsor and was branded as The Kangaroo Express Shuffle. 

Keeping fans entertained and having fun at sporting events is an important piece to them coming back to future events. You can check out some of the other in game entertainment projects we've worked on here:

http://oldhatcreative.com/work/division/productions/category/fan-entertainment


When you go to a game, what do you pay attention to? Probably depends on your background and what you're interested in. Coaches and current or former players might watch the action differently than an average fan, maybe watching plays develop or the action away from the ball. An administrator might look at the atmosphere, the crowd reaction or how well the event is staffed. Kids might watch the mascot one moment and something completely random the next. A cheerleader might watch that game's cheerleaders or dance team. A musical person might concentrate on the music played over the speakers or the band. 

For me, having worked as a public address announcer for more than 20 years, I pay attention to the announcer. Are they speaking clearly and easy to understand? What type of style do they have? How is the sound in relation to the crowd noise, speakers and music? Having worked some as a photographer, I'm looking for a unique angle and the lighting. I also look at the presentation and how things flow - how smooth the timeouts and fan contests go. I'm also big on their graphics, on anything from the scoreboard to the programs and signage. My wife finds it funny that we as designers analyze the fonts and color choices in a TV commercial, but that's what we do. It is important to know what others are doing and what the trends are, to continue to grow.

That advice applies to anything. Pay attention to others in your field and see how they do things, good and bad. Use what you find to improve your skills. Never stop seeking to grow. If you want to get better, never stop learning.

Guys, I'm not going to lie, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is basketball season and I'm staggering towards it. Like Stevie said in an earlier blog post, our brains are pretty fried and full of highlights at this point in early November. I'll add that my brain is pretty fried on emails and questions too. I'm told those are the joys of being in charge. So in conclusion, I'll wrap up this futile attempt at clever writing and let one of our 2014-15 basketball intros do all of the talking:

 

Old Hat has been working hard on basketball projects for the past several months. Now that basketball season is upon us, we're getting to see a lot of those completed projects in action. From posters, to tickets to player features, intro videos and many other kinds of projects in between, we've been busy! One of my favorite parts about being located in Greensboro, NC, is that I'm in driving distance to a lot of our clients. One of those clients is Duke. We've been fortunate to have worked with Duke on a lot of their basketball print, branding, video and animation projects for this upcoming season. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go over to Duke's Countdown to Craziness event with my family this past weekend and see a lot of those pieces in person.

Cameron Indoor Stadium is definitely one of the coolest sports venues I've been too. We arrived in time to watch some of the fun student entertainment prior to the team scrimmage and dunk contest, which also gave me some time to check out the schedule cards and roster cards that Old Hat designed.

The part of Countdown to Craziness that I was most excited about was getting to see the animation work we created for Duke's team intro video. We worked with Duke to create three unique animations to be projected onto the court. The first animation was a series of their 4 championship banners that dropped down while video clips of their national chamionship celebrations played. The second animation was two separate banners to help introduce the team before they took the court. The third and most involved animation was created to help bring the court to life. We created a series of 3D cubes and effects to make the the floor move and come alive. We built upon that design and created a series of cubes that rotated across the court to display many different images from Duke Basketball's storied history. Combining our animation work with the videos Duke created gave the crowd at Countdown to Craziness quite the show! You can check the projects out here as well as see how they were used at the event:

http://oldhatcreative.com/work/project/duke-basketball-floor-animation

Keep an eye out for more exciting Duke work being released soon!

 

 

Holy cow, you guys. It has been ridiculously busy the past few weeks (or months, really) but it feels like it has been INFINITE YEARS (in a good way). Football season doesn't always feel super busy because we have all summer to kinda worry about it and plan it with our amazing clients, but once you feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief after the season starts and most of the projects have been delivered, BAM - It's time for basketball and hockey season.

So like, we don't have the whole summer, and did you guys know there are men's AND women's basketball AND hockey teams?! For those keeping score at home, that's 2*basketball+2*hockey = 4 TIMES the videos! My brain has watched so much Old Hat Capture footage and client highlights over the past few weeks, I'm pretty sure if you could take a picture of the inside of my head, it would just be a melted mess of basketball and hockey. HOWEVER, we're finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A few projects have already been delivered and most of the rest are in the works and getting final touches. I'm so excited about everything we've got coming out. They're all unique and super awesome! I know your fans are going to love them.

P.S. HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS! (sorry, I couldn't help myself)

Yep…How ‘bout them Cowboys?!

Last Sunday’s game against the Seahawks was certainly a great game of football, and it was just absolutely amazing day for Cowboys fans.  To play in an atmosphere like Seattle’s and come away with a win, even while making it difficult for themselves, (cough…special teams) is just…wonderful.

I didn’t see the game though.  I was in the car driving back to Norman from Dallas.  Was I disappointed I couldn’t watch the game?  Of course.  But you know what I could do instead?  Listen to it on the radio!

I'm assuming like most people, I typically would rather watch a game than only listen to it.  While I do understand football, sometimes it is hard to follow when I can’t see what is happening at the same time because the radio announcer just talks so darn fast.   

Let me tell you, I forgot just how exciting it is to listen to a live sporting event on the radio.  Brad Sham, longtime Cowboys radio voice, is superb.  Not only could I imagine the scene in my head as he described every detail, but he definitely let his excitement be known.  He’d raise his voice in anticipation as Tony Romo’s play would develop or when Dez made an incredible catch. 

I don’t know if it was just because it was THAT good of a game or I had the volume up loud enough to where I felt like I was there with the "12th man," but I was on the edge of my seat.  Listening to that game made my drive seem so much faster than when I’m normally just singing along to my favorite songs.

Only having the game on the radio made me think about some of our intro videos with radio calls.  They get me every time.  There is just something about the raw excitement in the announcer’s voice watching the action unfold in front of their eyes, not knowing exactly what will happen next…it just takes it to another level.  

In today’s world of visual HD everything, it was refreshing to get back to the basics and enjoy the game through the airwaves.      

This past week I was fortunate to get to meet up with Dustin and travel to Murray State to shoot footage for their men's and women's basketball intro videos. I hadn't been to Murray State before, so I was excited to visit a new campus and meet with another client in person. I had been communicating with the Murray State marketing department for the past couple of months about the intro videos. The fun part for me about being at a video shoot is seeing how we take the client's vision and help to create the content. From there our crazy talented editors work their magic to bring everything together. I'm excited to see how the intro videos turn out! Keep an eye out for the finished products over the next few weeks. In the mean time, here's some photos from our time in Murray, KY!

  

  

  

  

  

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm a pretty visual person. I haven't seen that Ben Stiller movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (i'm a little wary of comedians in possibly serious roles...I'm looking at you Sandler and Ferrell), but the preview made me think that the main character had a pretty active imagination. Listen, I may be judging the movie completely by its trailer. Okay I AM completely judging it by its trailer. Tricia saw it and liked it, but Tricia has never seen Titanic or Jurrasic Park. How can I possibly trust a person's movie judgement if they've never seen those two movies?? Alright fine, people. I think Walter Mitty is coming to HBO this month. I'll check it out and dedicate my next blog post to that movie (maybe).

BUT I DIGRESS. What was this blog post supposed to be about?

I'm a visual person.

Fun fact #2: I use humor to cope with the daily ins and outs of life. 

Combine the two and you'll find that communicating with me via email or IM will always contain a series of gifs to help me express myself. I actually have a pretty extensive library of gifs organized according to moods, actions or people. Remember Apple's "There's an app for that" slogan a few years back? Well I have the slogan "There's a gif for that" (trademark pending). I find that gifs can perfectly communicate what I'm trying to say.

Below are some of my favorite gifs:

 

 I actually have a folder called "Tom Hanks." He is perfect and I love him.

I could put this in either my "Hi" or "Food" folders. 

 This is also Tom Hanks, but it's categorized in my "Wink and Point" folder.

 This is for when I want to give somebody an uncomfortable virtual hug.

 I save this one for special occasions like delivering a bunch of projects. 

 The Mexican National Team Coach has a bunch of amazing gifs. He is all energy.

 The following are fairly self-explanatory. It's a fun, but stressful job. Good thing we have gifs.

 

 I credit this one to Dustin. Nice find, man. I use this one a lot now.

 Possibly my favorite scene from my favorite movie.

And finally a little positive affirmation for the end of the day. 

Last week, Dustin and I took our second trip of the year to the University of Utah for a video and photo shoot.  This time, we were capturing footage of basketball and gymnastics.  This was my first gymnastics shoot, and as expected, I was super excited to be back in a gym.  

The gymnastics world is extremely small, and it turned out, I already knew a few people in the Utah gymnastics family.  I even caught up with an old teammate of mine from home.  She is a former Ute herself and was in town to do makeup for the girls.  Also, my old athletic trainer at Illinois State is now the Utah gymnastics trainer.  It was neat to catch up with everyone.

It was also great to see our on campus designer, Douglas and see how well he is doing working at the U.

As always, thank you to the Utah marketing staff for organizing the shoot and another great trip to the SLC.

Checkout a few photos! 

 Men's Basketball green screen video


Men's Basketball action photos


The team gathering around to see their work


My new tall friend...only a few inches difference


More video in different settings


Gymnastics photos


Gymnastics green screen video


My old teammate Nina!

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