Marketing grad finds success with the Charlotte Hornets
Aaron Dewey Marketing/Visual Communication
What made you choose Findlay?
My high school graduating class was over 1,000 students, so I was looking for a university that offered a smaller student-teacher ratio which I felt lent itself to a more opportune learning environment.
How did you select your major at Findlay?
I’ve always been creative, and I knew I wanted to find a way to combine that creativity in business in some capacity, but it wasn’t until I took an advertising class at Findlay that I knew I wanted to focus on visual communications which eventually led to graphic design.
What gave you the most inspiration at UF?
I drew a lot of inspiration from my instructors. With a strong aspiration to find a creative position in pro sports upon graduation, I leaned heavily on their advice and guidance — most importantly how to build a winning design portfolio that would get noticed.
What is it that you do in your position?
As a Graphic Designer with the Charlotte Hornets Sports & Entertainment, I work as part of an award-winning internal creative team. I create and help manage the design and production of print and web-related graphics for the Charlotte Hornets. Everything from hard stock game tickets, posters and apparel to large scale wall graphics and banners outside the arena and around the city of Charlotte. I also help produce many of the web graphics and animations seen on hornets.com. Recently, our team played an instrumental role in the re-branding of the Hornets return to Charlotte.
What advice do you have for students?
Make the most of your time in school and never settle for less than you want or where you want to be.
Did you do any internships while you here?
Yes, I interned at Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative as a member of their marketing/design department where I had the opportunity to help redesign and update company literature (brochures/website). The experience was invaluable.
How you got your job with the Cavaliers and what led you to be working for the Hornets?
I saw a graphic designer position with the Cavaliers open up in Fall of 2006 and I told myself – I’m going to get
this. I knew I was a great interviewer, so I needed to do something above and beyond so I could get that chance to talk with them. I decided to design several Cavs-related print pieces and show them what I was capable of. I created an entire Game Program, a Billboard, a game ticket and sent it directly to the Cavs Art Director. Two days later, I received a call from the Cavs about coming in for an interview. They were impressed with my passion for designing in sports and the drive I had to join their organization. About a week later, they made me and offer.
I worked for the Cavs for 5 seasons (2006-2011) with some very talented designers. I grew considerably in terms of my design and web skills, but I also learned what it mean to be a true brand ambassador. At the Cavs I really learned to appreciate the fast pace of designing in professional sports and I think its a skill I can take with me wherever I go.
A design position with the Charlotte Bobcats opened up in late 2011 and I saw it as a great opportunity to grow into a Senior Design role and a chance to get away from the harsh Cleveland winters. So my family and I made the move in December 2011. Charlotte has been great. Its a beautiful city and we love living here. Having the opportunity to help rebrand the Bobcats in 2012-13 and bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte in 2014 has been very rewarding experience.