Creative Design Academy at Nike: Registration Now Open!

Summer Creative Design Academy Registration Now Open!

Creative Design Academy at Nike’s World HQ in Beaverton, Oregon
June 28th, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 3:15 PM

The creative design academy at Nike is open to the FIRST 70 high school or college STUDENTS who register.  To register, please complete and return your release form and registration fee (please download forms below) and mail to:

Sports Career Consulting, LLC
Attn: Summer Design Academy
236 NW Evensong Place
Portland, OR 97229

Download the RELEASE FORM by clicking here.

Click here for pictures from previous academy events at Nike.

Click here for a brief video clip from a previous design academy.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  JUNE 19TH (or until registration is full)!

Believe to Achieve

We are excited to re-post a blog entry from two years ago featuring one of my favorite people, Mr. Howard “H” White, in the lead up to our 9th Annual “Believe to Achieve” conference.  The event is hosted by the Jordan Brand on campus at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon and will take place on November 8th.  Sports Career Consulting is proud and honored to again partner with “H” to offer this amazing opportunity for high school business and marketing students.

“H” is a long time industry exec with an amazing track record of success at Nike, Inc. and the Jordan Brand.  In addition to all his accomplishments in business and in life, “H” has mentored and inspired many people over the years (myself included).  To hear more of his stories (and he has a lot of them), I highly recommend picking up a copy of his book, “Believe to Achieve:  See the Invisible, Do the Impossible”. Click here to purchase your copy on 

Life’s Simple Lessons
By Howard “H” White, Vice President, Jordan Brand

I’m the Vice President for the Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc., and a graduate of the University of Maryland where I played basketball. I’m from Hampton, Virginia and was an All-American in High School even though I didn’t start playing basketball until the 9th grade. That was when I switched schools to attend a pretty much all white junior high school. I’d left an all black school to attend it. I was following a girl there and it was the only reason that I went to the school. That in itself isn’t a big deal but will give you some context as to why I’ve become the person that I’ve become. There are a lot of people that fancy the idea of becoming an executive at a major company. Being a VP at Nike and the Jordan Brand has been the experience of a lifetime. I was always a decent student. People always ask me what I studied in school. What direction should they take to get to my position or a position like mine? Most people want to be a big wig or a big shot at a fun company. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years with famous athletes that most think are great. I’ve mentored the likes of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Deion Sanders, Moses Malone, Cynthia Cooper, Tiger Woods and many others. How did I get here?  Stick around and let me share a few simple life lessons…

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Five Keys to the Game

In all my interaction over the years with students, whether it was during my time with the Portland Trail Blazers or events hosted by Sports Career Consulting (SCC), the question I get asked most frequently is focused on what steps are necessary for pursuing a career in sports. It is a great question to be sure, and obviously one that many students would like to see answered. It is not, however, one that is answered easily, nor is it one with any “correct” answer or a magical solution. The good news is that there are several key pieces of advice anyone interested in a career in sports should be aware of and we’ll share them in today’s blog post. Rest assured that this is not any complex formula by any stretch, but one that I can assure you is paramount to breaking into the industry. Here are our five keys to the game…

Five Keys to the Game

Key #1: Be Passionate

Regardless of which career path you choose (sports, entertainment or otherwise), find something you can be passionate about. Passion is one of the primary, underlying characteristics shared by the majority of people who find success in their chosen field. Take Kobe Bryant for example…one could argue that very few have played the game of basketball with more passion. It is that passion that drives Kobe to be one of the best (if not the best) basketball player in the world today.

Do not think for a second, however, that you need to be a professional athlete to be passionate about something. Consider Phil Knight, founder of Nike, who used his passion for running to fuel a passion for developing (and later selling) the perfect running shoe. His passion turned into a multi-billion dollar global brand. Knight’s passion was one of the key ingredients in the recipe for Nike’s success.  In fact, it was recently announced that Phil Knight will be inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame!

SCC has managed a number of events focused on careers in sports and entertainment which afforded me the luxury of hearing from many prominent industry professionals. One pearl of wisdom that was repeated over and over again is this: Find a job doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! In other words, find a way to channel your passions and funnel them into an energy that will translate to success in whatever career path you choose.

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Twitter (and other social media platforms) have a unique ability to manufacture “holidays”, finding reasons to celebrate something just about every day.  With today being Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it is only fitting that “DrSeussDay” is currently trending on Twitter.  Perhaps not coincidentally, #WednesdayWisdom” is also trending.

I love this.  If you think about it, Dr. Seuss should be credited with the creation of the first “motivational poster” through his illustrations and wisdom shared in his books.  Today provides a seamless and fun opportunity for teams to create motivational messaging to share with their fan base.  An inspirational post is more powerful than traditional content in the sense that it creates an emotional connection to the brand.  Tying a message to something as simple as #DrSeussDay and #WednesdayWisdom creates an authentic and organic means for reaching fans of all ages.

Surprisingly, few teams have jumped on the opportunity thus far.  A quick scan of my timeline shows a limited number of posts with #DrSeuss hashtags.  Considering how many teams participate in anything from #NationalToastDay to #LEAPDAY, it seems a bit surprising that more teams haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity today’s “holiday” provides.

That said, here are a few examples of how the sports business business world is taking a moment to pay tribute to the great Dr. Seuss.  If you think about it, Dr. Seuss is actually the originator of the “motivational poster” we see so often in sports through the illustrations and wisdom shared through his books.

The Carolina Panthers’ mascot is all in on #DrSeussDay!

Dartmouth Hockey took a moment to recognize Dr. Seuss as one of the school’s most influential alumni.

The Houston Astros posted a motivational image for fans.  This seems like a slam dunk idea for any team today.

The Houston Texans posted a vine with a player hopping out of the tunnel to start a game with a reference to a Seuss classic, “Hop on Pop.”  Adding visuals like vines and gifs can create an even stronger emotional connection with fans.

This image was posted on NBA on TNT’s Twitter account with the caption “Starring Splash 1 and Splash 2” in tribute to the Golden State Warriors’ “Splash Brothers.” Pretty clever.
Creating content worth sharing through social channels is always a challenge.  Creativity can be key when trying to capture the attention of fans so kudos to those who have jumped on the #DrSeussDay train today.

SCC’s Keys to the Game: A PERFECT Example

Thanks to Nick Fischer, a student at Los Banos High School in California, for his willingness to share his experience with us at the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and to Joe Barcellos, the Athletics Director at LBHS, for sharing…nice job guys!

For those of you who have ever heard me present, you know how much I emphasize the importance of gaining experience.  Of my five “keys to the game“, this may be the most important.  Today’s blog post shares an example of one student who has heeded that advice and enjoyed a one-in-a-lifetime moment by volunteering to work at a major sporting event.

“Pebble Beach 2014” by Nick Fischer

The idea of meeting an athlete such as Aaron Rodgers was only just a dream. The dream was turning into a reality when Coach Siemiller was contacted by the director of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM. We were selected out of 13 schools to be standard bearers for the golf tournament. A standard bearer is pretty much a walking scoreboard, and changes the score after every hole. Our spot as one of the 13 schools wasn’t locked in yet. We were on the waiting list. 3 agonizing weeks later, Coach Siemiller received the good news that we made the list. Coach Siemiller, 5 teammates, and myself were headed to Montterey. We stayed at  a hotel called the Sandcastle Inn in Seaside. Arriving at our hotel at about 8 o’clock P.M. on Wednesday. Knowing we had a long four days ahead of us. The first day we had to be at our tent at 5:30 A.M. With our hotel being approximately 20 minutes away, 4:30 A.M. was the time to leave Thursday morning. Phone alarm clocks nowadays, you can’t trust them. Mine and a fellow teammate’s alarms didn’t go off. With only 10 minutes to get ready, we hustled into our golf clothes and khakis. No harm, no foul as we made it in time for our meeting at Pebble Beach.

The Pro-Am consists of 3 courses; Monterrey Peninsula, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach. Celebrities such as Tom Brady, Don Cheadle, Ray Romano, Aaron Rodgers, Wayne Gretzky, Jake Owen, and Peyton Manning were going to be there. Picking groups was similar to a draft. Teams coaches would pick out of a hat to determine the order. Our lowest pick was #5 and since I was the only senior on the team I got that pick. As the “draft” started, I saw my first choice, Tom Brady, go off the board. My pick was up and without any hesitation I picked the Aaron Rodgers and Jerry Kelly group. Also in the group was Rory Sabbatini and Blake MyCoskie, the creator of Toms. With a tee time at 9:45 A.M. I had almost 3 hours to wait until we went out. A few of my teammates had stars like Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, and Ray Romano. They went out earlier than I did so I was by myself in the standard bearers tent. My worst nightmare came true, there was a rain delay. In my head I was thinking “will I get to meet Aaron Rodgers?” After an additional 2 hours, play resumed. Back on track it was only an hour away til my tee time. Waiting patiently it was time to go, my walking scorer came to pick me up. It was finally time to meet Super Bowl 45 MVP, Aaron Rodgers. First I met Jerry Kelly and his caddy, then Rory Sabbatini, and Blake MyCoskie.

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Summer Design Academy: A Student Perspective

Today’s featured post comes courtesy of Dylan Warrington, one of the attendees of our Summer Design Academy at Nike.  Dylan just graduated from high school and traveled all the way from Boise to join us at the academy and was kind of enough to spend some time sharing his experience on our blog.  Great post Dylan, love your line at the end “Cast and recast until you reel in what you came for.”  Keep following that mantra and I’m sure it will pay dividends…good luck next year at Boise State and keep in touch!

My name is Dylan Warrington and I was one of the students that participated in the Nike Design Camp! I’m 18, from Idaho, and just graduated high school and will be attending Boise State University! I intend to pursue Kinesiology and/or Graphic Design while on campus as I would like to either be an apparel designer or become a fitness instructor. I know that either of these will be useful going into the Nike industry. I decided to attend the camp because I love to draw and that’s basically what I did all throughout high school. It’s a great escape for me!

My experience on campus was AMAZING to say the least. I’ve never seen or heard of a company that’s so broad, diverse, and beautiful. It’s a work of art, and that’s not just the architecture I’m talking about. Every person I met was so willing to help me out and make an effort to get me to think about my future and where I want to be. I couldn’t have had a better experience. Plus, the carnival on campus, that I only attended for a short time, was incredibly fun and they had Death Cab For Cutie play! Who else does that just for their employees?!

What I learned most during my time at Nike was that you never know what opportunities could be thrown at you on a regular daily basis. Networking and showing passion in what you love to do and want to do are key to your success in life. Not only that but you must always have a hunger for learning, you can’t know everything. Most importantly, just get some experience under your belt. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good or bad experience. You WILL learn from them as long as you show the drive to pursue them! Just as you should with your dreams. Finally, what I learned from a book I received as a prize, I learned to make goals for yourself. Write it, or them, down somewhere and reflect on it everyday. Think about what you can do better to help yourself achieve greatness. That’s what I believe Nike is all about. Striving to achieve what others didn’t make an effort to do.

This experience has shown me what it takes to make a brighter future for myself. Just throw yourself out there. Life, in a way, is much like fishing. You cast yourself out hoping to get a bite but some times that doesn’t always happen. So you reel yourself back in, brush up on your skills, get a little better every day and MAKE AN EFFORT. Cast and recast until you reel in what you came for. Only then will you know what it really feels like to achieve your own greatness.

Again, thank you so much for the opportunity even though I didn’t win. It’s revealed doors that I never thought I’d have the chance of opening.


Dylan Richard Warrington

Summer Design Academy: A Student Perspective

Today’s featured post comes courtesy of Brian LaManna, one of the attendees of our Summer Design Academy at Nike.  Brian is a high school student who traveled all the way from the Chicago area to join us at the academy and was kind of enough to spend some time sharing his experience on our blog.  Nice job Brian.  I look forward to seeing you again down the road and am excited to see where your career takes you…keep chasing your dreams!

I decided to attend the Nike Creative Design Academy because I saw it as a once in a lifetime experience. Nike is one of the most influential companies in the world and the opportunity to learn from them was too much to pass up. I plan to study marketing in college, but I’ve always had a huge recreational interest in shoes. Travelling from Chicago to Oregon I understood wouldn’t be easy, but I knew I would have no regrets attending. I was right.

The Nike campus felt like a vacation spot. The scenery was beautiful, the buildings were state of the art, and the employees were incredibly friendly people. The culture at Nike is something only one attending can fully understand. The designers we met inspired us with their self-made success stories of how they ended up at Nike Inc.

The Design Academy did a tremendous job reviewing many of their previous created shoes, and the steps it took in putting them on the shelf. We learned that shoes are so much more than just looks as they are all designed with inspiration to tell a story in one way or another. With the creation of the shoes, we learned that there are two different main jobs in the creation. The sketch artist draws the shoe in pencil, and the color graphic designer comes up with not only the color scheme, but he or she makes sure the manufacturer turns the piece of paper into the top selling shoe they envision. After we were done hearing from designers and touring the campus, we sketched our own shoes with something that inspired us on our trip and later we presented to the group.

My once in a lifetime experience to Nike Headquarters will be one that is never forgotten. I was inspired along my trip to be open to ideas and always do something in life that you love and are passionate about. The importance of networking was reinforced as well, and my first step in following that advice will to keep in contact with the designers and Chris Lindauer at Sports Career Consulting, who I thank so much for making this opportunity possible.

Brian's sketch from the design workshop at the academy

Summer Student Design Academy at Nike!

The summer design academy at Nike is open to the FIRST 65 STUDENTS who register.  To register, please complete and return your release form, application form and registration fee (downloads forms below) and mail to:

Sports Career Consulting, LLC
Attn: Summer Design Academy
236 NW Evensong Place
Portland, OR 97229


Download the RELEASE FORM by clicking here.

Download the APPLICATION FORM by clicking here.

Download a flyer with general information about the event here.

We look forward to meeting the future of the shoe and apparel design industry at the academy!

Student Logo Design Contest Winner!

Congrats to Rachel Lustenring at Arlington High School in NY for winning our first annual logo design competition. Nice job Rachel! In her words, here was the inspiration behind the design: “I changed the design to this because I wanted to create a design that united everyone into one Admiral. I did that by taking each logo from the middle schools and the anchor to represent the high school and combined them in to one.”

Thanks to Henry Ammann for helping design the brackets along the way as well…good job Henry!

Student Logo Contest – The Elite Eight

In our latest sports marketing competition, we asked students at our member schools to redesign their school athletics logo as part of a hypothetical rebranding / brand extension effort. Here are the “elite eight” finalists and we are now voting to see which four students and their designs will be advancing to the Final Four.  Voting ends on Thursday evening.

The winning student will receive a prize consistent with his or her ideal area of study and career goals (in other words an art student will receive something different from a marketing student…we will be offering the winner a selection of prizes to choose from but it will be a significant prize!) The TOP THREE designs will win a t-shirt featuring their design AND SCC will help to coordinate an interview, skype call, google hangout, phone call, job shadow or something along those lines with a sports or entertainment property in their local area in their ideal field of study so please be ready to vote…there is a lot on the line for our participants!








Many thanks also to Henry Ammann at Tigard High School in Oregon for lending his creative expertise to the project!