Professional Branding

Develop Your Brand. Tell Your Story. Grow Your Business.

I've been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I began writing for my high school newspaper, then college and landed a spot with my hometown newspaper. After graduation, my first full-time job was in the marketing department at Northwestern University where I spent 13 years telling stories about thousands of amazing student-athletes and coaches, which resulted in setting season ticket and single-game attendance records in every admission-charging sport. I was hooked on building brands through the creative art of storytelling along with a focused strategic plan, which is what led me here 25 years later. Some highlights through the years include:

Northwestern University Athletic Department

- Won nine national marketing awards in seven years for ticket sales initiatives and in-game enertainment

- Collaborated with sponsors to on creative ideas that garnered earned media attention, including convincing a former Heisman Trophy finalist to paint himself purple on national TV and a head coach to dye her hair purple when we set the attendance record

- Started the Northwestern Athletics page with an aggressive campaign that yielded more than 5,000 Likes in less than three weeks; for reference, ten years later the page only has 32,000 Likes

- Built the pregame fan fest area for football home games, the Wildcat Kids' Club, online auctions, the Sports Marketing Club and the Run for Walk 5K in memory of football coach Randy Walker

National Association for Collegiate Marketing Administrators

- As a board member and advisor for five years, I created an online community for NACMA members to share best practices, network and grow professionally.

- Assisted with the marketing and sponsorship sales plans that resulted in a record number of members and the highest revenue to date

Old Hat Creative

- As the Chief Marketing Office, I created the strategic plan to grow the company from design, video and web services to a full creative agency

- Doubled the revenue every year with first-class customer service, branding expertise and monitoring the trends in the sports and entertainment industries

- Oversaw the marketing and social media efforts to secure 30% of the total clients and 65% of new clients

- Collaborated with over 100 collegiate and professional sports teams to assist with generating revenue and assist with donor relations and fundraising

- Worked with sports organizations of all sizes, including NAIA school Martin Methodist College to develop the social media plan for the James Justice Slam Dunk Campaign for the 5'9 basketball player to help him land a spot in the 2012 State Farm Slam Dunk Contest where he took home the dunking title as the dark-horse entry

NCAA

- Oversaw the marketing and ticket sales efforts that led to a sell-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena for the 2014 Women's Final Four in first-time host city, Nashville

- Led the 2014-15 sales efforts to record the largest attendance at a Women's Final Four since 2010

- Collaborated with a team of over 150 people to put on the first-ever combined Women's Basketball Championship where the Division I, II and III champions were all crowned in Bankers Life Fieldhouse

- Notched back-to-back sellouts in first-time host cities, Dallas in 2017 and Columbus in 2018, with the latter being the largest attendance across the entire Women's Basketball Championship since 2004

- Garnered millions of dollars in earned media through creative ideas, including landing on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays for the inaugural Dribble to Work Day in 2015, which also earned a 2016 NACMA Award and named a finalist for the National Sports Forum's 2016 Sammy Awards

- Created new initiatives to grow the game of women's basketball, including the professional development program Beyond the Baseline, AlumNation, tipoff parties, Finals Fanatics SuperFan Sections, Brand Ambassador Program and the 3v3 Tournament

- Developed the WBB Advancement Program to provide marketing expertise to all 350 schools with special attention on 30 schools selected each year

- Continue to be a featured speaker for sports organizations around the country logging over 40 appearances in the last ten years presenting on marketing and branding

Hitz & Branding

NCAA:

- Continue to run the WBB Advancement Program, including being a consultant for ten of the schools and working on plans to expand the reach to include even more schools in 2019

- Provide marketing advice to all 350 schools via Facebook Live events, blog posts, video calls, webinars and more

- Developed and implemented the first Women's Basketball Workshop at the NACMA Convention

Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference:

- Assisting the commissioner with fundraising efforts, alumni outreach and content creation for the website

Big East Conference

- Featured speaker at the Big East Women's Basketball Summit providing branding advice to increase attendance

Additional Branding Clients

- Developing branding plans for businesses and professionals across multiple industries, including sports, entertainment, psychotherapy and healthcare

- Assisting single men and women in creating their personal branding plans to help them find love

Identifying your brand and then knowing how to tell that authentic story are everything when building a successful company, career and life. I can help you achieve all of these things! Reach out to me at Tracie@HitzAndBranding.com so we can write your story together.