Cody Moore is a very welcome addition to Old Hat HQ. You might say Cody is the Oklahoma State version of Zac. They have similar er, features and they both wear very fashionable pants. Zac wears patchwork and argyle. Cody wears orange. Here's hoping he gets brave enough to wear orange shorts around the office someday (Q14). Help us welcome Cody Moore with 20 Questions!

1. NAME: Cody Moore

2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Accounting Manager

3. HOMETOWN: McLoud, OK

4. YOUR GO-TO WORK MUSIC: Post Malone, Kenny Chesney, Turnpike Troubadours

5. HOW DID YOU END UP AT OLD HAT: Magic, we were both looking a long time for each other

6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The atmosphere of the office

7. WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB: Learning the accounting for a new industry and the different aspects

8. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT WORK: Spending time with my wife and 2 kids, traveling

9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: My wife and I had a chance to move to Cozumel Mexico at one point and never did….. I think about it often…. DO IT

10. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WHAT'S THE ONE ITEM YOU WOULD BRING: A Boat of course, always been the easiest question to answer  

11. IF YOU COULD ONLY WATCH ONE MOVIE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE: Fools Gold with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson…. It has an 11% on rotten tomatoes

12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friends

13. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT AT OLD HAT: My first few weeks were pretty epic, there were birthdays, anniversary’s etc.. We had lunch or a happy hour 5 times in like 12 days

14. IF YOU COULD TRADE LIVES WITH ONE OF YOUR COWORKERS WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY: Dustin, he seems to travel a lot and gets to see some cool things, plus he is brave enough to wear shorts and I'm not there yet

15. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO WORK DISTRACTION: Running listening to Loud Music

16. FAVORITE SUPER HERO: Daredevil hands down

17. IF YOU WERE AN SNL CHARACTER WHO WOULD YOU BE: Jimmy Fallon or JT as one of the Gibb Brothers

18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Jumped on a moving train in flip flops with an ice cold “Cola” in one hand

19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: True Blood

20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Anything in the tourism industry, tour guide, cabana boy, the sky’s the limit

YouTube is the social media channel for all things video, from self-promotion to how-to lessons to crazy cat antics. It’s the place where brands go to connect with a variety of audiences, where consumers go for information and entertainment, and where social influencers can make a living.

In August, Adweek published an article about what’s hot on YouTube now based on research that Zefr conducted on Gen Z and their YouTube habits. It’s no surprise that right now, back-to-school is top of mind for this generation, as many will be headed to college this fall. Here are the four main types of back-to-school videos they are watching.

1. DIY - 341 million views - Buzzfeed has turned this category upside down by inspiring brands to post their tips and tricks, and clearly it’s resonating. If members of Gen Z want to know how to do something, this is their first stop.

2. Essentials - 286 million views - Essentials feature what’s new in school supplies, clothing, tech and dorm reviews. Gen Z loves to research, so don’t expect them to buy a name brand product if it has received negative reviews. Word of mouth is king, and YouTube is one of Gen Z’s most trusted resources.

3. Commentary - 198 million views - When members of Gen Z need to find the answer to anything, they go to YouTube. It’s also where they like to share their opinions. In this category, you will find vlogs, skits, plus college comparisons and reviews.

4. Regimens - 132 million views - This is a pretty broad category that includes meal prep, hairstyle tutorials and getting ready routines. Gen Z is looking for ways to make their days more efficient.

If you’re marketing to Gen Z, here are three ways you can connect with this audience through YouTube.

1. Post back-to-school related content.  Think about what information Gen Z fans might find relevant or useful right now.  Topics like how to become a member of the student section, where to find game schedules and promotions, and how to easily attend games and events. If you want to be top of mind, you need to find ways to make your brand more relevant in their eyes. Become a friend, not just another business.

2. Place digital ads in back-to-school videos. The great thing about digital marketing is you can tailor your content to be presented in certain types of videos. If you are targeting this younger demographic, this is where they are. The numbers don’t lie: with a 100% YOY (year over year) increase in back-to-school video views on YouTube, this trend is not going away anytime soon. It’s the right place and the right time for digital advertising if you want to communicate with this audience.

3. Bring on an influencer. Research shows that Generation Z looks at social media influencers as bigger stars than TV and movie personalities. This is great for brands because it gives you an affordable and natural way to engage this audience. Social media influencers create their own content, so that’s less work your staff has to do on social media. Do some research, find an influencer who’s the right fit for your brand, and let them help you engage Gen Z.

For as long as I've been working in athletics, this industry has always focused heavily on project work. Meaning, it is rare that you find an athletic department that engages a firm or a designer to be a strategic partner. Most of the time, it's more about finding a designer or firm that can quickly churn out random projects. While that type of partner may meet your short-term needs from an efficiency (time-to-market) standpoint when you need last minute help, it’s not a partnership that’s going to help you move the needle in a meaningful way.

Here’s why treating the external designer or creative agency you work with as a strategic partner helps you get the most bang out of your marketing buck.

1. They’re able to think strategically on your behalf. When your partner understands your strategic plan, they’re going to be a lot more successful in designing projects that help you achieve your goals. That’s because they’ll be more likely to ask critical questions (like why you’re doing the project, why a certain message is your priority, and why certain media channels have been selected) or already know the answers to those types of questions. This knowledge translates into work that delivers meaningful impact.

2. They’re more likely to get it right the first time. When you hand a designer or creative agency a random project, they often won’t be aware of what has worked for you in the past or the nuances of your brand. That makes it a lot harder for them to come back to you with something that really resonates with you and your fans or donors. When a designer or firm is familiar with your brand and your strategy, they’re better able to deliver something that meets or exceeds your expectations without needing a lot of edits.

3. Your brand will be more consistent. Even if you’ve used a particular individual or firm before, there will be a gap in their brand familiarity if you only rely on them in a pinch. That increases the risk that they’ll design something that isn’t entirely on brand. Inconsistent messaging disrupts brand momentum and degrades the trust of both your staff and your fans. When your firm or designer is regularly part of conversations about your brand and its evolution, they’re able to help you deliver the right message to the right people through the right channels.

Treating your external designer or creative agency as a strategic partner enables us to do what we do best: discover how to connect the department’s objectives to fans’ needs. It means marketing decisions are made based on the strategic plan and with attention to brand values and positioning, not just on a “how quickly can we get this out there” basis. These practices help to create a stable, trusted brand in the minds of staff, fans and the community.

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