THE WORLD OF WEB DESIGN

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evolution

I entered the world of web design by default. A Journalism & English major with a shrinking interest in current events and a growing disdain for poverty, I sold my creative soul to corporate America for a retirement plan, paid vacation and the occasional barbaric rush of cubicle warfare.

I was a copywriter, a butcher of the English language, grinding prime cut prose into chuck for the masses. Branding, call outs, call to action, proof points, tag lines, I wrote the words behind the smiling faces on brochures for everything from timeshares to proper hand washing techniques. I began to view the world in 150 words or less. Life had become a series of tag lines, marginalized and boxed into bite sized chunks, no knife, no fork, no thinking required.

It was easy, it was mundane, it was boring. I had a no sense that what I was doing was ever correct because like any assembly line, productivity was the objective. Keep it short, keep it simple, make it snappy. I had become skilled in the art of compartmentalizing and organizing what would otherwise appear to be gibberish and one day I was asked to expand those skills to content writing. This was my first foray into the world wide web.

1_0_How_the_World_Wide_Web_Works

So vast, so unchartered (keep in mind this was 2003), I was in the wilderness with a set of skills I equated to a set of sticks to rub together for survival. Up until this point I used the internet for reference, music and directions. It never occurred to me there were real people writing online. I guess I assumed it was all scanned printed material managed by gnomes.

I had no computer skills outside of Microsoft Office and HTML code was an esoteric language invented by the Aztecs. I started off using text fields (WYSIWYG editors) to upload my content. One day the graphic designer in the office asked me to add some photos and a banner I had written copy for to the header. Seeing my tagline in bold digital splendor sparked a creative volt that had been dormant since my first slice of office birthday cake.

I was interested again, engaged. Here was a medium that combined my new skill in organizing words as calls to actions and quick bits of information within an art form. Organizing blocks of content as shapes rather than simply paragraphs. I learned to utilize HTML and CSS as tools rather than a language. Once I understood how to use these tools to organize the world of web design was illuminated. I was hooked. Here was a way to communicate to the masses with creativity, a way to organize ideas through an ever expanding digital world.

web

I went back to school for graphic and web design and found that the years I spent copywriting were integral to organizing web content. As time went on email newsletters, blogs, and social media became the new communication. Its hard to know where a job will lead. What skill is important and what is a menial task. But as long as your world remains large and there is an eagerness to explore it, there will always be a new possibilities.

Snapchat Vibe

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Snapchat-Icon

Most people’s social media experience is limited to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but odds are you have at least heard of the popular smartphone app Snapchat, with over 100 million daily users and 400 million “snaps” made per day. Snapchat is a social media application that allows you to send photos or videos to your friends and family. The app also lets you video chat with friends who happen to be on at the same time as you. It’s a convenient way to instantly connect with people who are probably closer to you than the 500+ friends you have on Facebook. This is because Snapchat friends can only be added through a user’s address book or through an exchange of usernames.

In an effort to become more profitable, Snapchat has recently began to allow big-name brands like People Magazine and Food Network to advertise on their platform. While there have been many complaints about Snapchat’s controversial $750K fee charged to companies looking to buy ad space, everyone agrees that the popular app among teenagers is gaining more and more headway each day. That being said, many major companies are disgruntled with the fact that-like the users’ snaps-their ads will disappear within 24 hours. Additionally, Snapchat mostly targets teenagers and young adults whose income level might not necessarily appeal to big businesses. With these thoughts in mind many companies may choose not to do advertising on Snapchat.

However, many brands still choose to market themselves on snapchat because of the great advertising opportunities the app affords them. Advertising a new product or rebranding an image on Snapchat has been proven to help a company’s profits in the long run. This was the case for McDonalds who recently promoted their “Love is Endless” animated commercial to Snapchat in an attempt to revive its reputation after a reported decline in global sales.

Another example of a brand effectively using Snapchat is Audi’s innovative idea to live “snap” Superbowl XLVIII. Audi strategically collaborated with the Onion to interact with the Millennial demographic. By Audi live snapping the game, the brand was able to bring awareness to their brand while garnering more than 5,500 new followers on Snapchat.

 

Snapchat’s decision to only solicit top-name brands like McDonalds or CNN demonstrates to the “category leaders” that the app’s audience numbers are attractive enough to be on the same playing field as other social media game-changers like Twitter or Facebook. Even with all this success, as with any other global giant, they are bound to run into some pitfalls. A short time ago, Snapchat came under fire after a minor’s nude selfie was dispersed to students at a high school in Chicago. Her boyfriend’s decision to screenshot the image before sending it to his friends revealed the “dark side” of Snapchat. Back in 2011, when the app had first launched, many parents questioned the application’s intended uses. Was it just another social media platform or was it a device that would make “sexting” that much easier? The answer is up to the user. Snapchat can be used for both good and evil, but it is important to remember the consequences associated with the latter.

There are many ways that local businesses can use Snapchat to market their businesses. Although Snapchat is rumored to be “anti-native” advertising, local advertisers can find useful ways to build their brand in a way that’s relevant to users. Companies just need to come up with a creative and dynamic way to get consumers interacting with them on Snapchat. One example of this is Louisiana State University’s radio station, KLSU, who has encouraged listeners to “snap” their song requests to the station.

Our prediction for Snapchat is that eventually users will be viewing “click-through” ads generated in a way that is similar to Youtube’s sponsored commercials. That way, small businesses will be able to market themselves in a way that is both cost-effective and profitable. We’ll be looking forward to see what happens next with the app that has everyone “snapping”.

 

SEO Building Blocks

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Consistency is the key to success in conducting SEO for businesses, both local and national. In order for your business to succeed in SEO, you must be consistent in the multiple building blocks of digital marketing. Overall, in the early stages of SEO, there are five basic building blocks to follow. Emphasizing and mastering these building blocks will provide a basic guideline and establish a consistent online presence for your business.

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Building Blocks:


k eywords:

Keywords are the most important aspect of establishing your online presence because they allow your business to consistently appear in the appropriate areas of focus. Keywords remain important anywhere from web development to brand awareness. When creating advertisements, you can target your desired consumers via page titles, meta-descriptions, and title/alt image tags.

c ategory:

Along with relative keywords, you must also establish a category for your business. This is easier said than done. This shouldn’t be one of the  broad categories that people use to describe certain products or services; it needs to be tied into the keywords that will optimize search results. Identify a category of business for tools such as Google Places, and use that category to find keywords that will help synchronize consistency and optimization.

l ocation:

The physical location of your business should appear online first and foremost so customers can locate you in person.  But you must also make sure that the addresses of your location(s) are consistently placed online across all third party search engines and websites. Your business can lose out on potential customers if directories feature incorrect location information.

l2 istings:

Referral website listings for a company are crucial to the “networking” aspect of your company and getting your company’s product or service through related sites. The more popular the referral websites, the better opportunity your company has for brand awareness. When establishing an online presence, your company must attach itself to more established sites to better build your online reputation.

i nteraction:

Lastly, once you’ve established your company’s online presence through keywords and listings, you must engage in social interaction. Social interaction is important for the early stages of optimization because of the consumer experience. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, looking for personalized relationships with not only family and friends, but also with businesses. In the beginning, your responsibility is to reach and out and respond to your customers.

Taking Tips from the Experts: Make Your YouTube Legendary

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I know we’re a little late on the game, but the team at Velocity Agency would like to formally wish Youtube a happy anniversary! While Youtube is now well into its tenth year (It shares its birthday with Valentine’s Day), the site has yet to blow out the candles on its celebration. This past week Google continued the festivities and released a comprehensive list of the best Youtube videos, ever.

Over the past ten years, viewers have been unknowingly taking part in a vote for the most memorable and groundbreaking ads of the decade. Millions of views, paired with the opinions of industry experts, have helped to identify the “Top Ads from the First 10 Years of Youtube”. Aside from their remarkable ingenuity, these videos represent a transformation in the world of advertising. Youtube ads have allowed consumers to experience a new level of authenticity, amusement, and most importantly- engagement. Unlike traditional one-sided marketing, consumers are now capable of engaging and responding with their interests and opinions. Consumers are seeing what they want to see. Consumers are actually enjoying ads.

So how can you join the trend and have your consumers pressing replay?

  1. Give yourself some extra time. Advertisements are no longer limited to thirty second clips. Take the time to let your viewer get to know you and your story.
  2. Be epic. Don’t think like an advertiser, think like a filmmaker. Allow yourself room for some creativity and drama. Viewers share content that makes them feel something.
  3. Get people excited. Whether it be for a new product or an upcoming event, publish your ads right before the promotion and keep them running throughout. Not only will consumers be aware early on, the ad will remain relevant for longer.

So watch one of the below videos, get inspired, and start a conversation with your customers. You never know, maybe you’ll be on the list in 2025.



Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/a-decade-of-youtube-ads.html

Top 10 Principles of Great Agency Design

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1
Details Details Details
Pay attention. Take notes. Understand the scope of the project. Ask many questions. The more you know about the project the better the design will reflect the message.


2
Take Criticism as a Challenge
When a project receives constructive criticism it is an opportunity to make it even better. There is always room for improvement and nothing is perfect.


3
Fonts are our friends
Remember that the font is part of the design and treat it that way. The words in the design are not an afterthought but are equal and part of graphic. Take command of your typeface.


4
Stay technically current
New tools, applications and technologies are coming out every day. Stay current. Learn and grow as much as humanly possible.


5
Don’t have a “Style” 
Each client is unique so your creative needs to be unique. Custom design and ideas are so important for every project. Quality is key.


6
Share 
Knowledge is power. Share technical knowledge and ideas. The stronger each team member is, the stronger the team.


7
Know the trends
Be aware of the trends but don’t be “trendy.” Stay informed on what is popular and know what to use and what to avoid.


8
Just say NO
Say no to bad design or a bad idea even if it comes from the client. Being bold and confident in your creative conviction is a valuable asset.


9
Walk away
It was a great idea in theory but it wouldn’t come together. Ideas need to be concise and clear. If the message isn’t coming through, no matter how cool, the idea needs to be put away. But put it on a shelf, if it truly is cool. It might be perfect for something else.


10
HAVE FUN
If you are not having fun, then what is the point.

 

The Influence of Social Media in Sports Marketing

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Social media has an enormous impact in the sports marketing industry. If athletes aren’t connected and tuned in, they’re not even in the game. All sports have extremely loyal fan bases. Most fans have participated in competition within their preferred sport, whether youth, collegiate, corporate, intermural, or through other avenues. This is why fans support the sports industry. It offers a relatable experience.

Most professional athletes get to live a lifestyle the average fan can only dream about. They are participating in something they love and are given the physical ability to showcase their talents on a grand stage. Most fans will never get the chance to physically interact with their favorite player or sports team, so they use their support as a means to interact and relate to each other. Social media provides an outlet and opportunity for fans and athletes to digitally connect and interact with each other at any time.

Social media can be utilized from many different angles. Not only is it useful for player-fan communication, but for promotions, endorsements, and joint ventures, etc. There are numerous partnership opportunities with companies who are searching for a professional athlete with relatable attributes to become a brand ambassador. Athletes should embrace their celebrity status by strategically making their brand relevant through leveraging their personal highlights and benefits.

For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer (soccer player) for the Spanish club, Real Madrid. Ronaldo is one of the world’s most renowned Federation International de Football Association (“FIFA”) players. This isn’t just because of his spectacular play and accumulated accolades, but his shocking 33.1 million Twitter followers and 106 million Facebook page likes. His team of strategist are the real deal. They found a niche that relates to the fans and networks, which catapulted him into a super brand. Ronaldo has created his own clothing line and has racked up endorsement deals with Nike, Herbalife, Clear, Novo Banco and more.

Social Media has innovatively revolutionized sports marketing. Every athlete, no matter how popular, should utilize and benefit from the advances of sports marketing in social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are just a few of the unique platforms at their disposal. It is imperative to let the world genuinely but respectfully, get an understanding of who you are as a brand. People want to know you. Give your audience insight. Do so correctly and the possibilities are endless.

Thinking Outside The (Tinder) Box

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unnamedUnless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve certainly heard about the popular dating app, Tinder, by now. The app currently hosts over 1.6 Billion user profiles with more than 50 million of those users spending at least 1 hour a day on the app, to complete roughly 1 billion swipes per day. It’s no wonder that Tinder is working hard to launch its paid advertising features.

While paid advertising is still limited and not openly available as of yet, its easy to imagine the value of strategically targeted advertising for such actively engaged users.  The app itself has already encroached into popular media with  numerous references to “swiping right” in advertising or even fun commercials such as this one from Franks Red Hot Sauce:

or the hilarious “Girls React To Tinder Lines” from MeUndies.

Tinder Launched it’s first official paid video ad last month with Bud Light’s Whatever USA video promotion, yet it wasn’t the first we’ve seen of advertising on Tinder. This year alone has seen major campaigns from The Mindy Show, Ex Machina, a fun date night out with the Atlanta Hawks for “Swipe Right Night”, a failed attempt from Gap’s “Pants Partyand my favorite… a date with Dominoes for singles home alone on Valentines Day.

It was no surprise to see the app used so heavily at South By SouthWest this year as touring musicians often use it as a way to connect with people in various cities and invite them out to their shows. It was only a matter of time until a musician launched a single on the platform like Jason Derulo did earlier this year with his video “Want to Want Me” which appeared to many as a Tinder “booty call” fantasy that enticed more than 1.1 million viewers to  swipe right and view his new video in only three days.  I have to admit that a part of me is sad to see the organic interactivity of the app overrun by paid players with dollars as there is something to be said for making a personal connection in the digital age.

While there is no doubt big brands are storming the gates, Tinder has proven itself to be a wonderful organizing tool for activist groups and non-profit organizations. The app was initially utilized by these organizations in 2013 and 14 as a new, free way to reach people. From hilarious interactions with “Nurse Nicole” who simply wanted to discuss men’s health issues during the “Matches for Mens Health” campaign, to human rights campaigns from Amnesty International and the Immigrant Council of Ireland that helped raise awareness about abuse and human trafficking, these groups were able to engage thousands of users directly with their causes.  In the case of  Operation “The Blind Date” profiles of 100 missing people were created and 23 were found using the app and my favorite “Puppy Love” an effort from Social Tees Animal rescue in New York that had over 1500 potential animal placements in only 24 hours.

Tinder has also proven itself to be a remarkable research tool for organizations, universities and marketing agencies across the country that have run all sorts of experiments to see what reactions people have to everything they can think of; including smoking, beards, dating trends, cultural sensitivity and more.

It will be interesting to see if non-profit organizations, educators, artists, activist or even small business owners will be able to compete with the new advertising initiatives Tinder will be offering. Tinder is already cracking down on “unauthorized” app usage that violates the apps “terms and conditions” clause. Yet, we won’t have to wait much longer to see what targeted pricing looks like.Rumor has it that general advertising options for the public may be available as early as August 2015.

Top 5 HOTTEST HOLES

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IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!

The 2015 SINKHOLE de Mayo’s “HOTTEST HOLES OF 2015 results ARE FINALLY HERE… and VELOCITY AGENCY has exclusively been given the results.

We know you’re on the edge of your seats so without further adieu, here are your HOTTEST HOLES OF 2015:

5. DIRTY SANCHEZ.
Jose “Dirty” Sanchez made the cut this year with his devil-may-care attitude, laid-back style and reputation for getting down-n-dirty.

Dirty Sanchez 1 Dirty Sanchez 2

 

4. LOS POLLOS HERMANOS.
These “Chicken Brothers” first came on the scene when we met them on the hit AMC series Breaking Bad. After both characters were aptly killed off, the REAL brothers turned their attention toward their first & second loves: music & running the streets. It’s no surprise these bad-boy heart throbs made it on our list at #4.

Esse's

 

3. THE DESPERADOS
¡Ay Caramba! Senor Pablo & Senorita Juanita “Sassy” Gonzales, were a shoe-in at #3. Desperate for permanent citizenship after touring America on a work visa as professional salsa dancers, this red hot couple were recently awarded Green cards! When they’re not throwing wild fiestas, the Gonzales’ are known for their colorful lifestyle as Swingers.
¡MUY CALIENTE!

Pablo & Sass

 

2. DONKEYXOTE.
He’s an ANIMAL. Literally. This guy doesn’t know the meaning of “moderation,” and bravely (drunkenly) goes further past “the line” than any Ass has gone before. Donkeyxote secures the #2 hot spot because he has literally set himself on fire thanks to a combination of passing out with a lit cigarette, attempting slight of hand after telling bar patrons he’s an amateur magician and reenacting scenes from his favorite movie, Scarface.
Happy Trails.

Donkey

 

AND AT LAST…. THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR… THE #1 HOTTEST HOLE OF 2015 IS…

1. THE RIM JOB.
This beloved hole was unanimously named #1 because ultimately… The Rim Job is just so darn great at bringing people together! Sure it’s a little salty… but they say it’s best to swallow life with a grain of salt.
HERE’S TO YOU, RIM JOB… for always bringing the heat, no matter the hole.

Rim Job
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Why I Use ApplePay (And Why You Should Too)

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Mobile payments are a disaster.

You’re much better off using cash than attempting to use any current service. Particularly PayPal. Don’t even get me started. How embarrassing.

ApplePay velocity agency new orleans advertising digital marketing

 

Why?

Before October of last year, I had tried different forms of mobile payments, which left me with a bittersweet aftertaste. While the idea of paying with your mobile device seemed novel and exciting at the time, the shortcomings and frustrations of the available technology drove me nuts.

Here I was, sitting in line at a Dollar General, growing more anxious as I got closer to the register. I had a new debit card and all my available funds were sitting on my PayPal account, which is a must for online payments. PayPal had worked out deals with some brick and mortar retailers so users could pay with the service at the register, by simply checking in and entering a code at the terminal. A few days earlier, I had made a successful payment at a Chinese restaurant, after showing the employee how to properly accept the transaction. Back at Dollar General, it was my turn, and as the cashier checked out my forty dollars worth of toiletries and snacks, I was ready to pay. After three unsuccessful attempts, I gave up and my friend offered to pay for the items.

PayPal had let me down. After calling customer service they explained this was a “routine security account lock-out,” which prevents users from making payments if the activity seems suspicious. But why did the payment go through at the mom-and-pops Chinese restaurant but got rejected at a business with actual PayPayl support? Mind boggling. Next move? Wait the three-day period for my funds to be transferred to my bank account.

As I drove back home, I asked myself how can companies release such products? Why does it have to be the way it is? Is every tech company missing the obvious?

 

What If?

It was early September, Apple had just announced ApplePay during the iPhone 6 event and like many, I was unimpressed. My previous experiences with mobile payments made me skeptical about trying them out again. A few months later I was up for a phone upgrade so I snatched a shiny brand-new iPhone 6.As I set up my new device, I was asked to use my iTunes-stored credit card for ApplePay, which I did. That was it. That was the whole set up. I was starting to believe again. This was the first time in a long time that signing up for a new service seemed so intuitive, so painless. What if Apple had gotten it right?

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, explained during the keynote that ApplePay works with any contactless payment terminal, so I set out to find one. Luckily, these types of terminals are already very common, so a short walk to Walgreen’s granted me the opportunity to try it out. This time I did not ask the cashier if they accepted my payment method and decided to trust Eddy blindly, which made me anxious while I waited in line. As I placed my phone over the terminal holding the TouchID (more on that later), my payment was accepted. Apple had done it right and I was back into mobile payments.

What if someone had designed a payment system from the ground up to be secure and easy to use? A short five months later, Tim Cook had this to say about ApplePay: “We have designed Apple Pay purposely so that we don’t know where you buy something, how much you pay for it, what you bought.”

 

How?

Let’s make something clear: Apple did not introduce any new technologies to power ApplePay, so why did others fail? Apple solved the problem by tackling three main problems: ease of use, security, and compatibility.

When you approach a register and place your iPhone close to it, the system automatically prompts the ApplePay screen. There’s no finding an app, there’s no checking-in, your iPhone just “knows” when to act. If you’ve never used ApplePay, you might be wondering if there’s an extra authentication step, which brings me to security.

Every iPhone since the 5s has built-in TouchID, an easy and secure way to unlock your phone with your fingerprint. TouchID stores secure data in a secure-element in your phone, which is not accessible from any other app. ApplePay stores a device account number created from your credit card, so merchants never have access to your real identity.

Finally, since ApplePay uses technology compatible with thousands of payment terminals, it is already available at many retail stores across the country.

Apple’s biggest opportunity lies in the next iteration of the iPhone, as it will be the second generation to use ApplePay. Also, the payment service is being integrated with other apps, to make the process of checking-out at online stores even faster and more secure.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Sports Fans Overtake Digital Media

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Following the release of a Nielsen report on sports and the media, we’ve uncovered the most fascinating facts about last year’s viewership. Nielsen is already calling 2014 the year of Digital Viewing, as fans of every sport turned online to follow their favorite teams.

sports media consumption velocity agency new orleans

The first big story comes from the year’s biggest enabler: the smartphone. Back in 2010, smartphone usage was at an impressive 30%, which meant almost a third of the U.S. was using one. In 2014, however, penetration increased to a staggering 75%. Smartphone market penetration showed us how crazy we are about our teams, from following Twitter updates to watching whole games online.

In October of last year alone, fans consumed over 7 billion minutes of sports content digitally. An ever-growing base of 72 million sports-watchers are taking over the digital media world.

The rise of sports apps also influenced our exuberant media consumption. Most of today’s sports apps include a blend of personalized content from our favorite teams and athletes, which means increased interaction. Verizon even offers exclusive live games as part of their partnership with the NFL. The top-ranked apps include ESPN Sports Center, MLB At Bat, and Team Stream.

Another big contributor was our sports culture obsession with Fantasy Football (heck, there’s even a show about it). Yes, grown adults pretending to own imaginary teams (many of whom work here) drove media consumption up. In 2014, fantasy leagues exploded with a yearly growth of 484% on desktop and 847% on mobile.

Let’s not forget about the World Cup. Every four years, more Americans become enamored with a sport they usually don’t care about. Whether you call it soccer or fútbol, it remains the most watched event around the world. U.S. viewership increased with the increasing success of the U.S. and Mexican teams, which are the most followed in the nation. The Brazil World Cup also helped establish Univision as the de-facto soccer network, streaming countless matches on their website free-of-charge.

Even one of the most mocked sporting events in America had a good year. The winter Olympics showed a healthy 208% increase in hours consumed from 2010.

As the U.S. sports audience grew in 2014, so did its cultural mix. The NBA was at the forefront of this multi-cultural shift, showing what’s in store for other sports in the coming years. A ten-year comparison showed an increase in viewership of 62% in the African-American demographic and a 57% increase for Asian-Americans. Although Hispanic and White fans also watched more minutes, their gains were modest at 14% and 13% respectively.

The biggest winner, however, was College Football. With the introduction of the new playoff format, both semi-final and final games became the most watched programs in cable TV history. The NCAA also aired 97 games with an audience larger than 2.5 million, along with record viewership of bowl games. This unprecedented viewership increase wouldn’t have been possible without the underdog story of Ohio State, which upset Alabama and defeated Oregon in the National Title game.

2014 was an exciting year for sports, and we hope this year holds up to the new precedent. As fans continue to increase consumption across different media platforms, there is an increasing opportunity for brands to connect with them.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.