Jul 26, 2021

The Washington Wizards Invite HZ to Be Keynote Speakers at the Marcus Graham Project

Giving back by helping others move forward.

Dallas-based non-profit the Marcus Graham Project aims to widen the talent pipeline for diverse applicants looking to break into the marketing world. And its recent four-day Sports Marketing Workshop—held in collaboration with the Washington Wizards, an HZ client—allowed a dynamic group of 20 DMV students and professionals to gain the exposure and access to help further their career interests in the industry. Our involvement came through an invitation from the Wizards, who asked us to be one of the keynote speakers because of the excellent relationship we have with them. As we’ve worked to deliver new and exciting Wizards creative, our relationship has grown in mutual trust, respect, and friendship and so we jumped at the chance to participate. 

Photo credit: Washington Wizards

We put together a presentation about HZ as a whole—how we work, how work is created—with an emphasis on our sports clients, especially our 2021 season campaign for the Wizards. Justine Song, Jordan Ankerbrandt, and Jamie Barmak represented HZ at the event, presenting and discussing our work and fielding questions from the talented group of attendees. The enthusiasm and energy of the participants was infectious during the Q&A session as they asked questions about the industry, how campaigns are put together, and how to get their foot in the door.

Photo credit: Washington Wizards

At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees were split into teams and given an assignment to create a multi-platform marketing campaign for a partnership between the Wizards and iconic local restaurant chain, Ben’s Chili Bowl, the event’s main sponsor. Jordan represented HZ on a panel of judges who chose the winning campaign, earning the participants the opportunity to interview with Monumental Sports, owners of the Wizards. And one standout participant from the event was chosen to attend the Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 Fall Bootcamp in Dallas.

Photo credit: Washington Wizards

No matter where we are in our careers, each of us at HZ realizes that we didn’t get here on our own, that it was the result of many people who guided us and lent a helping hand. And yes, like Jamie noted afterward, we felt a little bit like celebrities and were flattered to be asked to speak. But events like this help move our industry forward, and help us build stronger communities, and that’s something we’re honored to be a part of.

Interested in learning about a career at HZ? Check out our open positions.