Smash Bros Community Work

Video gaming is one of my passions, and the TN Smash Bros community is very important to me. I try to provide my skills for them in any way I can. I'm responsible for a lot of graphics and videos that are representative of our scene.

TN Top 30 Rankings Writeups:

We have a database that tracks player's wins and losses that determined Tennessee's top 30 players using the ELO ranking system. A few of the our community members wrote a blurb for every one of these players to create a snapshot of what our scene looks like to an outsider. It's been the most comprehensive project we've done, and I was tasked with creating the images. All the blog articles are hosted here on my website.

TN Power Rankings banners:

I often create the banners for our Middle TN Smash Facebook page that ranks our best players along with the characters they play. I was feeling unusually wholesome and used a lot of vibrant colors and characters. It fits our reputation of being rowdy. This was for our Winter 2017 rankings.

Here's our banner from Fall 2018.

Scenic City Tournament Banner:

Here's another banner that was used on a Facebook event page. It ended up being a 105 person tournament in Chattanooga. I traced some character models in Illustrator and gave them a flat gradient. I also made a quick badge style logo and put it all in front of the Chattanooga cityscape.

Spring 2017 PR Combo video:

Similar to the Power Rankings banner, I made a video highlighting some of the cooler moment from TN's best players at the time. A combo video is a monument to your region's skill, and is a nostalgic throwback to the early days of video gaming on Youtube. I made the graphics and did all the editing. (I'm also #5 in the video!)

Fall 2018 Combo Video

And here's the video for Fall 2018.

Robert Schuller Ministries

Robert A Schuller is a pastor from California and is one of our clients. I was in charge of designing one of his websites: drschuller.org. 

I created the new banner logo myself, along with other logos for his Vital Living series on his Facebook page.

Since early August, I have been responsible for making 5 Vital Living Daily videos (1-1.5 min each), along with 5 social media images every week for their Facebook page. Many being bible quotes or quotes from one of his books.

I'm also responsible for maintaining their website, and cross-posting 5 blog articles a day to the page.

World Changers with Jamie Osborne

I was the producer for World Changers with Jamie Osborne on BizTV and Biz Talk Radio from November to February. I produced 10 episodes. World Changers is an hour long show that showcases business owners that have succeeded by helping others in some way. I have done all of the filming, editing, and graphics work for every episode so far, using stock footage to supplement a large portion of our B-roll.

World Changers airs every at Saturday 3PM EST on BizTV.

Sunday at Sunnybrook

I have been producing the show Sunday at Sunnybrook on Youtoo America since early October. I have created all of the graphics and done all of the editing for every episode so far. This includes the show logo, the open, and even some of the per inquiry commercials shown on TV.

Shown at 10AM EST on Youtoo America, along with Sunnybrook Church's Facebook and Youtube pages.  Videography done by Tim Flannagan.

Sunday at Sunnybrook Promo Vid

Sunday at Sunnybrook Youtube Channel

Tan 2000 Ads

Here's another client within the Tri-Cities region of TN. This tanning business was under new ownership, and all of their stores were marketing deals for their grand re-opening. My first order of business was to create Facebook ads for the weekend of the event. We came up with the design for the "Perfect 10 Weekend" and designed creative separately for college aged men and women, and one more for the older population.

Along with creating digital ads, I also got to make billboard ads that I actually got to see while driving around town. It was the first time I'd seen my work in the real world, and it was honestly pretty exciting. It was my first time doing any sort of co-op advertising as well.

After the grand re-opening, I ended up doing a few social media posts for them to advertise for prom and Easter special before they decided they were spending more than they wanted to on us.

We also ended up doing a few radio ads which ran for a week before the grand re-opening. I don't really know how to properly show those, but they sound like a typical radio ad; nothing too special. Like the billboards though, hearing something I created on the radio gave a sense of legitimacy previously unknown to me.

Overall, Tan 2000 was a fun client. They often didn't know what they wanted, and that resulted in a lot of back and forth emails. It did allow me to test my creative and design skills though, which is my favorite part of what I do.

Red Rooster Scratch Goodness

A Bristol, VA southern Appalachian style restaurant needed some new branding and better social media presence. They were close to going out of business and so we offered our services for free until they got back on their feet and we got more busy with other projects. Our first order of business was to update their logo and branding to something more modern.

We changed them from Red Rooster Market and Deli to Red Rooster Scratch Goodness. We also gave more emphasis to their bakery on social media and tried to appeal to a younger audience.

Old Logo

New Logo

At the time of our help, it was nearing Christmas time so we helped plan events that would help bring in customers. We came up with Christmas and New Year's menus that I designed. I made fliers for them to hand out at the Bristol Christmas parade, and we made them gift cards so they could make some quick money as they were close to going under. The fliers were most successful at helping them gain customers, and the month of December was good for them.

Gift Certificates

Holiday Menu

Fliers

New Year's Menu

Going back to their social media branding, I made them a new profile picture and banner for their Facebook page using assets from the new logo.

To improve their social media engagement, I made several quick and dirty memes to give them content throughout the entire month. I ended up making about 25 of them in all, with varying degrees of quality. Still, they served their purpose and the engagement on their page increased significantly for being a small local restaurant.

Lastly, I shot and edited a minute long Christmas video for them to upload to their page.

 

Recommendations Report – The Score of Murfreesboro

Most of The Score’s problems come from not having specific goals in mind when making posts. This leads to inconsistency when trying to communicate with their followers. Random quirky posts can be alright as long as there are consistent posts that have a goal in mind as well. Finding a balance between advertising and interacting with their fans is an important factor here.

Facebook

As surprisingly often as The Score posts, they’re not very consistently spaced. Sometimes they post 3 times in a day and sometimes they have a drought of posts for a week. The first suggestion I would make is to keep a consistent schedule that can be kept up with by whoever runs their social media. A Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule would be easy to keep up with and would be consistent for readers. It would also be beneficial to make a post every Saturday highlighting the upcoming events happening at their store. Along with this, followers who take the time to post a meaningful comment should always be replied to

Types of posts they would make would be split between building hype upcoming games or hardware, media involving their store, and special discounts or sales. Those three types of posts would be evenly posted on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule with each topic being assigned to the same day every time. This allows followers of the page to know what to expect on certain days and allows them to cherry pick the information that they want to see.

Posting about upcoming games is important because it builds a desire to play that game, and playing multiplayer games in a social setting is very exciting for some people. News on MOBAs, MMOs, and shooters will build interest for the game, and customers may be willing to test the new game at a LAN center before they commit to buying it. It’s a strategy that doesn’t see immediate results but it’s important to continuously show support for popular games because the desire to play those games is why people go to The Score in the first place.

Any media showing off the greatness of what happens in the LAN center should be shared to encourage others to join in. This would include pictures, videos, and possible interviews/quotes from the gamers at their events. Pictures and videos could show the excitement in the room that only happens when dozens of people see something exciting in a video game. For example, at the end of a tournament, the winners could give an interview that is mostly related to what happened in their games, and at the end of the interview, ask how much they enjoyed the venue. Both positive and negative replies will be helpful to the store and will give video content for the Facebook page in exchange for publicity to those players. The more effort that is put into caring for these players, the better the content will be, and will encourage other gamers to come in and experience The Score’s atmosphere in person.

Specialty discounts build a lot of interest for coming into the store to play with others also utilizing that discount. Lesser holidays would have themes for their discounts that would last throughout a week, an example being a discount for couples in the same week as Valentine’s Day. Besides holiday specials, there would also be promotion to more basic deals like playing specific games for a discounted price. There would be a Halo day, a Call of Duty Day, League of Legends Day etc. that would rotate throughout the month.

Twitter

The Twitter account should be similar to Facebook, in that the types of tweets that are made will resemble the Facebook posts. They will relay the same information in a different manor by using different graphics or wording. They’re allowed to be more laid back in what days they are tweeted, but they should always be relevant to current happenings, and they shouldn’t share the same content with what is being posted on the Facebook page that day.

Twitter overall is allowed more leniency because of its low character limit and the assumption that most of its users are on mobile when they read tweets. This means that there should be less links to events than Facebook, and more text based content with the occasional image or short video as well. This allows users to read content fast without having to leave Twitter to read information on another site. Keep it simple and short.

One thing that Twitter does better than Facebook is contests, which could be used to their advantage. Doing a giveaway on twitter can give surprising publicity for little effort; just say that everyone who retweets is in a drawing for a game, controller, or a system. The amount of retweets gathered from people wanting free merchandise reaches a lot of people, and some may be interested enough to give your profile a look at. Doing these contests consistently every month will encourage people to follow the account and get updates on future posts.

Website

The Score’s website needs a bit of touchup but it has the right basis to work off of. To continue to update the website, it needs to react to what is and what isn’t effective and act appropriately while also optimizing it to give the right information in the right places.

As of right now, the forums section is dead and doesn’t need to be there anymore, which defeats the purpose of having an account so that can go too unless the account is reworked. The Location and Hours tab can all be put on the home page.  The EBAY tab is weird but if they actually get significant business through EBAY then it might be worth keeping. A big recommended change would be to make a banner that cycles through relevant information instead of static boxes for people to click.

Best Practices Report – The Score of Murfreesboro

The Score of Murfreesboro is a local video game store and LAN center. LAN centers are not hugely popular business models, and the majority of them lie outside of the U.S., making best practices for this type of organization hard to find.On the opposite side of the spectrum, the game store industry is fairly competitive with many good local game stores to study best practices from.

LAN Center Best Practices

The idea of a LAN center, or internet café, currently has strong roots in Asian culture. There are over 100,000 LAN centers in Asia with only hundreds in America. The large difference in numbers shows how much LAN centers in America could grow if they followed the same path of Asia. Obviously, the same rules won’t apply completely, but the concepts on how they market their product is similar.

A very popular strategy in Korea is for the LAN centers to team up with game developers and offer rewards to players for playing from that LAN center. This obviously helps both parties by encouraging gamers to play that game more, and giving an incentive to go to the LAN center to play it. This would be popular among gamers who play MMOs or online games with micro transactions.

Partnership Benefits

Partnerships like this need to be shared on social media from both parties often to remind users that they can get rewards for playing at the LAN center of choice. Before choosing a game developer to team up with, it’s useful to look at what games your audience is playing currently to know what the popular choices currently are. The downside to this is finding a game company to partner with would be very difficult for a small LAN center and would need a lot of promoting to lead an increase in regular customers.

The other way Asian LAN centers have become so widespread is focus on the social aspect. They are advertised as a place to go to relax and have fun with people you may or may not know. It may be because gaming is a much more accepted in Asia, but the majority of them have been to a LAN center to socialize with their friends after school or work. This is the one thing that LAN centers in America can take advantage of.

With the death of split screen and co-op games, seeing your gaming friends face to face is a much rarer occurrence. Offering deals to people who come in groups or couples that come in encourages gamers to leave their home to play games in a social environment.

Game Store Best Practices

Unlike LAN centers, local game stores are popular in America, and because of this, their social media is concerned with out valuing their competitors. Gamestop is by far the most popular game store and for a good reason. With the need for having physical copies of games declining, Gamestop stands strong and shows why having game stores is still important to the industry. They do a lot of interesting things to attract visitors by having a bunch of different promotions happing all at the same time.

Gamestop puts a lot of emphasis on having a rewards system for returning customers. This requires either having an account or card to track purchases, and special rewards are offered on social media.  They even had a promotion with Shell, which seems like an unlikely pairing, but everyone needs gas and it’s another incentive to get a rewards card.

Gamestop Partnership

The Shell example is pretty extreme but having a simple punch card would be efficient at bringing in return customers, especially for LAN players at the score. The downside of this is the incredible amount of work needed to be put into a complex reward system. That’s why a punch card would be easy for a small business to implement and still be effective.

Gamestop also has great interaction with their followers. They ask their fans to caption photos and frequently reply to people in the comments section. They also follow new game releases very carefully and build hype for them in order to feel a connection with their game fans and encourage them to buy the game from their stores. This type of interactivity has no downsides except for the time used to write to individual people, which is well worth the time investment.

Gamestop Drop Downs

Gamestop’s website is top of the line in terms of easy use. The tabs are all well organized to what the consumer is looking for and has information on more products than just their games. Using you’re account to buy online counts towards the rewards system and the most popular items are on display on the front page, encouraging customers to take a peek. They also make sure to advertise their specific deals for ordering from their store. In general, it’s everything a game store’s site should look like with a simple design with a lot of information for the viewer to take in.

Upfront Analysis – The Score of Murfreesboro

The Sore of Murfreesboro is a venue that advertises itself as a video game shop, an electronic repair shop, and a LAN center. This is a business model that requires some serious customer loyalty to stay afloat, although this is true of all local businesses. The fact that this store is still around after two and a half years with such unconventional business model shows that they must have a respectable fan base.

The appeal of The Score is to bring gamers together to sit side by side and play together like in the good old days of gaming. I think if that aspect was used as a marketing campaign then they could have great success with their social media. They currently have a much different way of interacting with their fans through social media however, and it’s worth looking at to see if the formula should be changed.

The Score’s media presence consists of very active Twitter and Facebook accounts along with their own website and somewhat of a YouTube channel.

Twitter

The Score’s twitter account has 1,352 followers, which is respectable for a business that is currently restricted to one city. The account does a good job of posting daily relevant content that is interesting to their target audience: gamers.

The Score Tweets

The real problem lies within how they advertise their brand through Twitter, that is, almost not at all. Most of the tweets and retweets from their account are related to things that are important to the gaming world, but not particularly important to The Score’s business. Examples include speculation on new gaming systems, links to streams/ videos, and retweets of nerdy gamer stuff. When you do finally see something related to their actual store it’s usually a single picture of an event going on there with a little bit of information.

They often have gaming tournaments at their venue and is one of the primary reasons why a lot of the people I know even go to The Score, but yet they rarely advertise them on social media before they happen. I think it’s important to constantly advertise their events that they run, because it’s the most fun and unique thing about their venue.

Instead of having a still picture showing the event, posted the day after it happened, show videos capturing the atmosphere of the room, encouraging people to come to the next event. And of course advertise the event as much as possible before it happens. Even if everybody doesn’t want to go to the Halo tournament, maybe they want to go to the gaming lock in.

They also do a fair amount of interaction with their followers if they’re tweeted at.

Facebook

The Facebook page is very similar to the Twitter in that it’s mostly things that are unrelated to the actual business, although it has a little more content overall. They recently advertised discounts for LAN players if they had an “I Voted” sticker, which I think is a great idea to use deals like this that people can only take advantage of if they follow their social media.

The Score Facebook Post

They post very consistently, pretty much daily except for a few missed days. They definitely keep competitive and casual gamers in mind when making their posts or sharing content, which is important to keep both sides of the audience. Here they finally put a decent amount of advertising into one of their upcoming tournaments, to build hype and remind people to register.

If you compare their likes on regular posts which range from about 1-20 to their post advertising their halo tournament which was 50, it should be obvious that they should be pushing their content more. They take a lot time and venue space to create these events for people and I think they would benefit a lot from putting time into marketing them as well.

There’s unfortunately not much interactivity between the people running the page and the people following the page because the fans rarely comment. Their only sign of seeing whether or not people are enjoying the content is by pure likes.

YouTube

Their YouTube channel simply houses the two 30 second online ads that they have made. They’re quirky but obviously pretty low budget. Obviously they could gain more publicity by making a very creative ad that builds a lot of interest for the store, but that can be time and money consuming. There’s also no guarantee that the online ad is going to go over that well unless they have some professional helping them, which again could end up being costly.

The Score Youtube

Website

Their actual personal site is pretty barebones. It tells you the general idea of what The Score does but fails to convey the actual feeling of what it feels like to be there. It’s obviously one of the lesser used forms of media they use to interact with their customers; information is outdated, the design rarely changes, and it really doesn’t make you want to go visit The Score in person.

The different clickable links they have are Home, Tournaments and Events, Forums, EBAY, Parties, Repair, Location and Hours, and Register.

The Home page is alright. Tournaments and Events finally has what I want to be on every social media platform, the specific event dates and links to the event pages. There’s also a calendar function that seems like it needs fixing. The Forums are basically a lost cause as there hasn’t been a new thread in months.

EBAY goes to their EBAY account which doesn’t look to have too much activity but might net them some sales. Parties is an excellent page which shows a lot of useful pricing information. Repair gives some information on why they’re qualified to repair electronics and gives an email. Location and Hours could be on the home page and the only reason to register is to use their forums. Overall the site needs an overhaul but it does give very useful information.

5 Promotion Strategies – The Score of Murfreesboro

I watched a bunch of videos for ideas on how to help promote my client’s business. There are some really creative people out there. I’ll link the videos that gave me the ideas, if not for your sake, at least it gives me a catalog.

My client is the Score of Murfreesboro, a local game shop that is also a LAN center.

The Score Logo

1. Pleasure, relief, and entertainment ads. The LAN center is the most popular part of the business and promoting these aspects of the store would show the calm atmosphere off. Inspiration 

2. Original, Powerful, Innovative social media stunt. I don’t have a specific idea for a new social media stunt because that is obviously hard to think of on the spot. Given time however, a creative enough stunt could bring in new publicity. Inspiration

3. Create and promote a partnership with a specific resturant. Food and drinks are not allowed at the LAN so obviously you have to leave to eat when you get hungry.  Partering up with specific eateries and offering discounts could create more publicity between the two stores. Inspiration

4. Use a creative ad in school newspapers to advertise an event. Same as the social media stunt in that I don’t have a specific plan, but MTSU’s canpus is about 5 minutes away from the LAN and it could have a big impact on the gamers on campus.  Inspiration

5. Create content and amplify word of mouth. The Score has events with <100 people semi regularly, but they don’t promote them well. I think bringing in photographers or videographers to create content showcasing these events and sharing them on social media. Inspiration