Every once-and-a-while I get these million dollar ideas.

These ideas are so good I could take them to a bank and they'd start handing me money. But since I'm a nice guy (and don't know the proper channels to make ideas happen) these ideas usually get written down on a sticky note where they'll live with the other little ideas, grow old and become obsolete.

Add another one to the list: I was thinking up a new idea while I wasn't watching the NBA playoffs—specifically game five of the OKC-Memphis series. As a pretty diehard Thunder fan I would have been watching the game had it not been removed from national broadcasts and only offered on local programming. That's a problem for me, the fan in Utah, would doesn't prefer to watch Miami sleep its way to a round one victory. 

So I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if there was a streaming service with no blackouts or region locks that could show us the sports we want to see for a reasonable monthly cost?" Steve, my dog and the only person ... animal I talk to told me it was a great idea.

ESPN has something like this with ESPN3. At least the way I see it when I load the app using my Xbox. But the selection is limited to the sports that are pretty cool and relevant but not cool and relevant enough to appear on cable TV. So, yeah, no Thunder-Memphis. 

I'm sure it would create a lot of heat with competition, too. Think about how Time Warner Cable and Comcast throttle Netflix bandwidth.

Also, I just googled "sports netflix" to see if I wrote this blog for no reason. Turns out Netflix turned down the opportunity to stream sports. 

So there you have it—a million dollar idea. Born out the fact that I didn't get to watch game five and I'll always be mad about that.

If anyone makes this happen just send me a royalty check or something for my intellectual property. Or some tickets to the Thunder game. 

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!

This past weekend, I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. (Not really, but go with me here.) You see, this past weekend Norman and it's surrounding areas were full of super awesome music and I had to pick which awesome music to enjoy. SO HARD. The last weekend of April always marks Norman Music Festival. This is always super fun, great for people watching and hearing lots of local talent, and it's right here in Norman, all for free. Down in Dallas, the local alternative radio station (102.1 The Edge) was having their 24th annual Edgefest - 14 bands, 2 stages, 1 full day of constant live music. And up in Tulsa, one of my favorite bands was playing - HAIM, who I liked from the moment I heard their first EP but fell in love with when they KILLED IT on stage last summer at Gentlemen of the Road in Guthrie. You can see my dilemma. So, what's a girl to do? I weighed my options. HAIM, while I really, really do LOVE them with all my heart, was only one band (and an opener, I guess) so I decided to cross them off my list. So NMF or Edgefest? I've been to NMF before and always have a blast, but I've never been to Edgefest even though I grew up in Dallas, loving and listening to The Edge all the time. So when some of my best friends hit me up last week, telling me they had an extra ticket to Edgefest, I decided to make the trip down.

This year's lineup was a little softer (as in music, not talent) than previous years:  Smallpools, MS MR, Bear Hands, Switchfoot, J Roddy Walston & The Business, The Neighborhood, KONGOS, Grouplove, Chvrches, Bastille, New Politics, The Avett Brothers, Cage the Elephant and Beck. Obviously, as with any festival/multi-band lineup, I didn't know all the bands, but I knew most and the rest could be filled with bathroom breaks, beer runs and t-shirt buying. The concert was at Toyota Park in Frisco, where FC Dallas plays, which was actually an awesome venue. The best part was that you could hear the bands from anywhere in the stadium, so even if you were grabbing some food, beer, water, whatever, you were still enjoying great music. 

On to the bands! While every single band was fantastic, a couple definitely stuck out for me. I'd say Bastille was probably the best for playing the crowd really well. The lead singer even took off into the fans for one song, walking through the standing crowd on the field and right up the aisle next to our seats, which was pretty awesome. Another band that played the crowd well was The Neighborhood. I was really excited to see them, but kind of disappointed by their sound, which was more of an equipment thing than the band's playing ability. During the last song, the lead singer told everyone he wanted to crowd surf all they way back to a certain tent and even though the song finished before he made it, he did eventually get there. They also played a new song that was really awesome and now I can't wait for their next album. Another band I love and have actually seen before was Grouplove. Those guys and gal really know how to put on a show. They pretty much have a party on stage while still playing great music. I love seeing them live. My favorite part was when they covered Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" (I actually think they do it better than her, but don't tell Queen Bey I said that). Finally, I'm going to put Switchfoot into this group of standouts. They were one of my favorite bands in early high school and they played a few songs from back then, so I could just be biased. But the lead singer did go out into the crowd a lot and even took someone's sunglasses during a song but made sure to return them at the end. What a nice guy!

This does not mean any of the other bands were bad. I'd like to say Cage the Elephant was a standout, but we decided to go into the standing crowd for their set and I of course ended up behind some 6'+ giant-man. So while they sounded great, for all I know, it could've been a cover band since I couldn't see a thing. There were only two things that were kind of annoying. Some of the earlier bands were complaining about how hot it was... It was in the 70s and breezy. Which is a FANTASTIC day in North Texas in late April. So, you hush. Also, when we were down in the crowd for Cage the Elephant, a TON of fans were crowd surfing from the back to the front. Having to turn back every 5 seconds to make sure you weren't kicked in the head or about to be crushed was really annoying and not to mention dangerous. Luckily, I got out of there with only a crinked neck after one unexpected surfer landed on me awkwardly. But overall, it was a super fun day. I didn't get sunburnt (unlike many, MANY bright pink people in attendance), I didn't pass out drunk/dehydrated (like a few poor souls we saw) and the music was great. 10/10 would go again.

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