Quitters never win.  Winners never quit.  What a load of crap.  Sure, if you're running a race and you quit in the middle of it, you're not going to win.  But some people subscribe to the notion that quitting is a bad thing, in all situations.  "You can't just jump ship when things get tough or don't go the way you want."  Of course you can.  And thankfully, studies are now showing that you SHOULD.

"Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting.  Because you can't solve tomorrow's problem if you're not willing to abandon today's dud." - Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in Think Like a Freak

Now I'm not advocating that anyone quit on something at the first sign of dissatisfaction.  That would be counterproductive.  But I do believe (and the people at Freakonomics agree) that we should all be more willing to pull the metaphorical plug a little earlier on things when we know we're unhappy.  There's this notion of "sunk cost" that keeps us fighting losing battles which ultimately end up causing even greater dissatisfaction and 6 months down the road, you wish you had just quit 6 months ago.  When we have sunk time, energy, money, etc. into something, we hold onto it hoping things will turn around.  And we SHOULD... to an extent.  But there's a point at which we know that we need to just call it quits but we continue with it because we've already invested so much time in it.

I've always subscribed to the philosophy that when faced with a decision, you should do what you'll regret the least... not necessarily what you want the most.  So before you go off and quit something, the first thing you wanna do is make sure you're not going to regret it later. So I'm definitely not advocating quitting something without giving it a LOT of thought and consideration.  But once you've figured out in your head that your future is not in that job, relationship, situation, etc., end it immediately.  You'll be glad you did.

Disagree?

When was the last time you quit something that didn't end up being a good decision?  If it's happened a lot, then maybe you're one of those people that makes decisions like this without giving it enough thought.  For me, I can't think of a single time that I quit anything where I regretted it for a single second.  Are there things I miss?  Sure.  Would I have loved to stay in that situation if it had been salvageable?  You bet your hiney.

When I was in eighth grade, I hated school.  Absolutely despised it.  And a lot of it had to do with the school I was in.  That school was fine for some people but for me, it was pure hell.  So I quit going there.  I transferred to a different school where I had a great experience, met lifelong friends and met the eventual mother of my children.

When I worked for the OU Athletics Department, I eventually got to the point where I knew I had reached my potential there.  I was not happy.  People told me I was absolutely NUTS for wanting to quit.  I had a good, reliable job working for a university, doing what I loved and getting to go on free Bowl trips every year.  But I quit.  And it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I now own the nation's premiere sports creative agency and am infinitely more satisfied with my career.  And when the time comes when I'm not, I'll probably quit this too.

I've quit other things, too.  Personal relationships... Professional relationships... I quit holding on to the idea that I can grow a nice head of hair and just decided to buzz it all off.  Point is, not only do I not regret anything I've ever quit, I'm much happier because of those things.

Think Like A Freak

Still don't believe me?  That's okay.  But you should read the latest book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubnar, Think Like a Freak.  They spend an entire chapter on this and do it way more justice than I have.  The point they make (and the one I'm trying to make), is that quitting is okay.  And for the most part, it leads to greater satisfaction in life. 

Dear Old Hat Staff: Please don't quit.

I sincerely hope that this blog hasn't inspired anyone on my staff to quit.  That would suck.  But only because my assumption is that if I've inspired them to quit, they have to have been unhappy here for some time.  And THAT is what would bother me.  All I want for any of my staff is that they are as happy as they can possibly be.  And if quitting their job would lead to greater happiness, I would encourage them to rip the band-aid off and move on to the next phase of their lives.  

Sincerely,

Zac

P.S. But seriously, Old Hatters... don't quit your jobs.  This philosophy applies to everyone but you. 

 

Several of us at Old Hat are fans of logo and uniform design. There have certainly been some unique ones that teams have debuted recently. Minor league teams, especially baseball and hockey, are not afraid to take chances and try new things, in effort to sell tickets and create buzz. Movie themes, pop culture, historical, patriotic - really anything seems to be within the realm of possibilities. Many use them as part of a theme-night with special promotions and guests during the evening. 

A few teams seem to lead the way, for example, the Lehigh Iron Pigs, Brooklyn Cyclones and Memphis Redbirds. The Iron Pigs even have a website dedicated to selling their bacon-themed merchandise and once had a 'Couple Married on the Mound Night'. The Cyclones went out of their way to show off their 'authentic' Star Wars jerseys. The Redbirds have modeled Eqyptian jerseys as well as Organ Donor Night jerseys.

Here are just some of the wildest ones I've come across. 

 

Star Wars 

 

 

Ghostbusters

 

Santa Claus / Christmas

 

Superheroes

 

Social Media 

 

Just completely random...


Fresh Prince of Bel Air


Michael Jackson


Hot Dogs?


The Price is Right


Convict Night


Don Cherry Night


Gettysburg Address

and finally ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE NIGHT!

 

Thanks to Sportslogos.net for several of the images.


That doesn't even include all the bad camo jerseys in various sports or ugly soccer jerseys through the years. What have you seen? Tweet us the craziest ones you've come across.

The World Cup is almost here.  I love World Cup summers.  It gives me soccer for almost an entire year.  

I watch the English Premier League every weekend during the season at the annoyance of my significant other who LOVES to have her Saturday mornings interrupted at 6am for me to turn on the TV.  However, this is the exact reason I am really excited about this world cup.  The games are on during daylight hours.  I have watched most of every world cup since USA 1994.  To be honest, the last World Cup hosted on this continent played a large role in why I love this sport.  Each location has never really been an ideal time.  South Korea and Japan were rough since the games very early in the morning.  France was not that bad and neither was Germany since those games started around the same time as the leagues I normally follow.   You can check out the schedule here 

We have a lot of TVs in the office and they will be tuned to the games.  There are even games that we can enjoy in a bar after work or in our case, the lounge

I am sure there are many of you saying soccer still sucks.  In fact, there are probably people reading this that I can see from my desk saying that.  I can understand.  I love soccer.  I have played the game for 25 years and have an understanding that even makes a nil nil draw incredibly exciting. You should still watch a couple games if you enjoy sports.  This is the biggest sporting event in the world. Attending a match that matters between two entire countries is one of the most exciting events I have ever witnessed.  The passion displayed when you are cheering for your country is second to none.  

And to top it off, I get to watch soccer on Friday the 13th.  Jackpot!

Check out these goals from past world cups. Enjoy the games!!

Easy title for a simple blog…Right?  

Yesterday as I sat at the vet for two hours I started planning this blog.  With an appointment at 4, I finally got to see a vet at 5:30.  Then I spent all of 4 minutes with the vet before she was out the door and on her way.  It was a great experience.  

During the time I was there, five different employees apologized, not a single one looked me in the eye as they did.  When I was taken back to a room four times, an assistant came to the room hoping to stash another patient in that room only to be disappointed that it was in use.  They then proceeded to talk directly on the other side of the door about who was in the room, how long I had been there, and what I needed.  They also mixed in some trash talk about another patient.  I guess they thought the door was sound proof?

To add to this wonderful experience, while in the waiting room, I witnessed them bring out a dog who they had given the wrong shot.  They “apologized” to the owner, and once she was out the door the girls at the front desk proceeded to blame the owner, debate whether they should charge the owner for the shot, and then decided to call the owners boyfriend blaming the person who picked the dog up while charging him for the shot nobody requested.  

What is the point of this rambling besides the obvious fact I need a new vet?  Customer service… that’s the point.  

We pride ourselves on customer service at Old Hat.  When Zac writes about being grateful for the opportunity, he means it.  When we send out small gifts on our client’s birthday, we do it because we truly hope we can brighten the day of the people who give us a reason to show up in the morning.  

I had so many people tell me they were sorry yesterday but not a single one of them meant what they said.  When I brought this up to the vet, she at least looked me in the eye while she fed me lines about how they “care” about my time and that unfortunately ”things like this happen.”  I am a little embarrassed to say that I laughed at her when she said they cared about my time.  They do not care about my time. They care about my wallet.  From the time I entered the office to the time I left, my money was what mattered.  They could say all they wanted about my time or apologize to me.  When it is that easy to tell they don’t mean it, they are wasting their breath. 

Old Hat has a staff made up of people who worked on campus at some point in their careers. We know how difficult it can be to deal with 80,000 fans that are truly passionate about their alma mater.  There are always going to be problems, but if you actually care about customer service and treat your customers in a way that shows you care, they will see.  If you fake it or your staff fakes it, the fans will see through the charade and it will cost you.  

We are Old Hat Creative.  We are committed to customer service and our clients. 

We all love an exciting sporting event! (Or at least if you're an Old Hatter you do.)  And not many are exciting as last night's NBA Playoff game 5 of the Thunder vs Clippers.  It was breathtaking for myself and fellow Thunder fans.  I'm not going to get into the details of the game, but rather talk about how we choose to interact with each other during and after the game via Social Media.

Social Media spikes during major sporting events (or major events in general).  People, like myself, want to cheer on their team, congratulate their favorite players, or yell publicly at the refs (well as loud as 144 characters will let you yell).  What I started thinking about last night was how we do this... Some post just to Twitter; others to Facebook; some to Google+; and then people like me that post to all three... when their phone doesn't die mid tweet.

Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Facebook has all (or most) your friends on it and you can tell the world or just those friends how you feel.  Setting the privacy allows you to vent a little more than you should with a public post.  Then their is Twitter that allows you to speak to the world and maybe even a celebrity, but only with 144 characters. (Still scratching my head on where that number came from.)  The privacy on tweets is not really there, unless you lock your entire account and even then you may have some followers you don't want to share with.  Then there is Google Plus that seems to be the best of all the worlds... yet only a few people may see your post as members don't seem to be as active as members of other two platforms.

I use each one a bit differently.  When I want others to public see my support for my team, I go to Twitter.  When I want to say something to my friends and family or hear their reaction, I go with Facebook.  And finally, when I want my close friends (as most of them are nerds like me and have Google+ accounts) or I want a very targeted audience I fall back on Google Plus.  How do you use your Social Media accounts during sporting events?

I've never been much of a water drinker.  In fact, I can't stand the stuff.  I drink a LOT of Diet Dr. Pepper but when I go through periods of cutting back on that, I just don't drink anything.  My philosophies on eating are similar to those of drinking.  I'd rather not eat than eat things that taste awful.  I don't eat vegetables.  I don't eat healthy food, for the most part.  If I'm trying to lose weight, I just have to cut way back on portions because I'd rather not eat anything than eat a quinoa burger with a side of squash.  Same rules apply with drinking water.  Why drink something that has no flavor?  I'd rather drink nothing than drink something that has no flavor.  So what's the point?

The Point
Well, the point is that sometimes you gotta do things you don't want to do in order to be succesful in achieving your goals.  I've been working out with a trainer for a year now.  I also jog 4-5 miles at least 5 times per week.  I lost 18 pounds from November to February but have since plateaued.  I haven't been eating as well as I should be but I should still be dropping pounds.  For a year, my trainer has been pretty much begging me to drink more water.  When I told her a year ago that I drank 8-10 DDPs per day, I thought she was going to faint.  Now, I've cut that down to between 1-4 DDPs per day but what I haven't done is supplemented with water.  I try.  But I'll sit here at my desk and get thirsty and think, "No... I'd rather drink nothing than drink water."  But my trainer has been persistent.  And this week I promised her that I'd drink 34 oz. (or more) of water per day.  She swears that will help kickstart my weight loss.  (Trying to drop another 10 pounds by NACMA.)

I don't know if drinking lots of water every day will help me reach my goal.  But when what you're doing isn't working any more, you have to try new things.  Even if it's as awful as drinking more water.

Doing Things You Don't Want To Do
I think the same is true in operating your business.  This isn't a brilliant revelation, of course.  Who Moved My Cheese is a great book by Spencer Johnson that addresses this very point.  A business continually has to change and adapt to the culture around it to make sure that it doesn't die or become obsolete.  History is full of examples of companies that adapted and thrived.  But the examples of companies that refused to adapt and therefore went belly-up are a much higher percentage.  I think the point that I'm trying to make is that it's not enough to just try new things in order to achieve your success.  Sometimes, you gotta go a step further and do things you've always avoided doing.  Like drinking water.  

Old Hat is ten years old.  We've never had a single year without revenue growth.  But that didn't come from doing things the way we've always done them.  That came from continuously examining how we do everything and making sure that the way we do it is the most effective way.  And sometimes it means doing things we don't really want to do because we know that doing them will make us healthier.

I think that sometimes the mistake people (myself included) make is they make adjustments they WANT to make... adapt the ways they WANT to adapt.  They do the things that allow them to say they are implementing change, but they're sticking to the things that taste good.  But I think the key to finding true success is not WANTING to do the things you know need to be done... and then doing them anyway.

I have a 20 ounce cup of water at my desk and I'm on my 3rd fill-up of the day.  I don't know if it's going to help.  But it sure won't hurt.

Do you watch the NFL draft?  I will be honest and say that I never do.  I follow the NFL from a distance and will watch the occasional game, but the draft?  I just cannot get into watching the spectacle.  

This year, several Aggies will most likely be drafted in the first round.  I do care where they end up and will check online to find out, but there is no way I am going to sit down and watch two hours of commercials to see 32 names called.  

What does interest me about the draft is how brands try to maximize their presence.  I know there will be commercials and the NFL will have most ambush marketing on lock down, but when brands know people are watching, how will they try to take advantage?  Will we see a suit designer tweeting out every time one of their suits walks across the stage?  Will Under Armour or Adidas ask an athlete to get a face tattoo?  If that happens, what do you think the going rate is for an athlete to brand themselves?  I would think the face is prime real-estate and probably draws a higher price.  What about a giant swoosh in the side of someone’s hair?

This is what interests me about the draft.  It is an unveiling of the people who different companies will use for the next 3-7 years to try to sell us products.  Are they making the right choice by investing in Johnathon Manziel or should they have investing in Jadeveon Clowney? Only time can really answer that question. 

The one thing I do know is that there will be more than one hug from an NFL executive that resembles this….

Hello, my name is Ashley Allison and I have a planning problem.

Even when I was a kid, I was the one who had to know what we were doing, when and why. I hated when we had days of nothing to do and would get my brother to plan out entire days with me to make sure we maximized the fun. When I started to think about marketing plans, I realize I havebasically created one for my life that helps guide me in the day to day (and because I am awesome). I don't like to drift, so I know my goals, make decisions to align with my strategies and live in the day to day tactics to make these big goals more manageable.

My love of organization and creativity is what guided me to pursue a career in marketing in the first place. Sports being a huge passion of mine, allowed me to apply it to a field I love.

If I could shout from the rooftops one thing to all of our clients, it would be CANNONBALL. Wait, no. It would be how they all underutilize us as a resource for marketing ideas and planning. We have a solid crew of creatives and marketers who have worked on campus before joining Old Hat. I believe this background allows us to better understand the needs of our clients. We also have the amazing opportunity to see what schools all across the country are doing and what is working. And plus, I really miss working on an in depth marketing plan for each season.

I came across an article in Forbes about how to make a marketing plan. I thought it was a decent article that pushed marketers to think of a variety of aspects that can help/hurt their marketing efforts. When I worked at Northwestern, we utilized a basic outline for each of our marketing plans, like the one below. We would set three goals for the season. These were quantifiable goals (ie have ##### attendance, generate $$$ revenue, have ### interactions on social media pages).

These goals each had three strategies that, if completed, would allow us to hit our goal. These were things like sell $$$ in season tickets, $$$ in group tickets and $$$ in individual tickets.

 

Finally, the last and most important part is establishing the tactics that will make your goals and strategies a success. These tactics were then turned into a calendar that we could look at daily to make sure we were working toward achieving our goals. It makes it a lot easier to reach goals when you have a road map to show you the way and that’s what marketing plans provide, so ladies and gentleman, start your planning!

My wife's car has been in the shop for the past few days.  A few weeks ago the entire suspension system had to be replaced.  That was awesome.  Problem is, the computer component that regulates said suspension system was bad and that's what was causing the suspension problems to begin with.  So a month later, it had to be replaced again.  Under warranty... no big deal.  BUT, that computer component had to be replaced as well so that was another sum of money I hadn't really planned on forking over.  Anyway, the fella at the auto shop told me that the dealership had to reprogram the thing.  They installed it and were to take it over to the dealership first thing Monday for reprogramming.  I'd have it back by end of day Monday.

So Monday comes and I hear nothing from them.  End of day Monday comes and I finally call to see what's up.  No one answers.  So I literally run to the place from work (as I have no automobile) to try to get there before they close.  I arrive and find the guy leaving the place.  I flag him down and give him some version of, "WTF, mate?"  He says, "Oh, man... I totally forgot to call the dealership."  Too late to get the car by this point, I'm another day without the car.  I've already been without it for 5 days and have made due.  But based on his promise that I'd have it back Monday, I made plans for Tuesday that required me AND my wife to have our own automobiles.  And all those plans were shot because dude "forgot" to call the dealership.  It's not like he just couldn't get the job done or that a new problem came up and the project was delayed.  He forgot.

And that made me mad.

Old Hat has many core principles and a brand promise that I've blogged about.  But man... none of that matters if you don't follow the one rule that should be common sense.  Do what you say you're going to do.  And if for some reason you can't, do anything you can do to make it right.  And that's another area that my auto shop failed.  He didn't do what he promised.  And made no attempt to make it right.

I run into so many businesses that stay afloat despite their inability to follow this rule.  They might not be Fortune 500 companies but they've been in business for many years.  But time and time again, they don't do what they say they're going to do. And it boggles my mind that they are still around.  But what that tells me is that if these people can stay in business, think about how successful they could be if they just did what they said they'd do.  

This blog seems like more than a rant than anything offering any real direction.  But I guess what I'm saying is that if you own a business... if you work in a business... if you want to be succesful in whatever it is you're doing... Do what you say you're going to do and your path to success will be a lot smoother.

I love small businesses. Whether it's a local boutique or restaurant, I love finding unique things in each city I visit. Recent studies found that 50% of small businesses have increased their time spent on social media compared to last year, in return, they've gainied new customers and better business. 

Are article posted on socialmediatoday.com shares 5 ways your small business can make a bigger impact. Here are some best practices (some from the article, some added by me): 

1. Post Regularly. 1 to 2 posts on Facebook, 4 to 5 posts on Twitter, 1 post on Instagram per day. 

2. Plan Posts. Running challenges and campaigns don't work well on the spur of the moment. Plan out your challenge and campaign at least one week in advance. 

3. Connect. Respond, like, share, comment, retweet, and favorite posts. Engaging with your customers helps build relationships and trust.

4. Choosing a Channel: Not every social media channel works for every brand. Choose the top 2 to 3 channels that work best for you and excel at them before launching another. 

5. Be Unique. What's unique about your business? Share it. 

Here are a few of my favorite local business in Oklahoma who I believe are excelling on social media:

Plenty Mercantile: A home goods store in OKC. They have a unique location in Auto Alley with rooftop space. For the third Thursday of the month they host an event during Auto Alley's Shop Hop to bring in new friends and invite old friends back. If you visit their store, you're likely to get a snack (cotton candy or roasted chestnuts) and the chance to teeter-tot! 

Keep It Local OK: An organization created to introduce all things local to Oklahoma. They are very active on Twitter and Instagram. Each day they post new content, telling followers where they can find that day's deal with their Keep It Local OK card. If you post about one of the businesses who is a member of their organization, they're very likely to respond!

STASH: A local shop in Norman that sells local made products. The unique thing about STASH isn't what they sell, but their recent story. 12 weeks ago they adopted a dog from a local shelter who was expecting. Two weeks later she had 11 puppies! Since the day they were born, STASH has been telling the story of their journey, sharing photos and videos, and even hosting an adoption event at their store. 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Social Media