ECU creates integrated creative services department for athletics

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The formation of an integrated creative services department and the promotion of Greg Pierce to provide external relations leadership highlight the latest restructuring directives announced Tuesday by East Carolina University Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert.

Pirate Creative was launched as an effort to strategically spearhead the development and optimization of digital and social media platforms for the department’s 18 sport programs.

In addition to providing oversight of Pirate Creative and existing ECU marketing, media relations and video units, Pierce will also be responsible for the alignment of all external relations activities as the department works closely to capitalize on new and existing revenue streams.

Pierce initially joined the East Carolina Athletics staff in 2002 as a football video coordinator and worked in a variety of roles during his 20 years within the department. After earning a promotion to director status after his arrival, he was elevated to assistant athletics director before assuming associate AD for video services and now associate AD for external relations titles in 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, Pierce developed the ESPN+ production team for the department and oversaw the completion of a state-of-the-art control room. In the first year with the ESPN+ streaming platform as part of the American Athletic Conference’s television agreement, Pierce and his team produced 93 broadcasts over a six-month span.

“Greg is passionate about East Carolina University and the Pirates,” Gilbert said. “He is a smart and talented leader who is well-respected in our department. His leadership throughout the first year of our ESPN+ broadcasts was outstanding and he has built a model for sustained success. I know he is excited about this opportunity and understands the work we have ahead of us as we continue to evolve with the changing times of college athletics.”

Pirate Creative will be led by Jarrett Ozimek, who has spent the last two-plus years as director of creative media for the ECU football program. He will continue to focus on football creative designs and videos, while also working to integrate all the athletics department’s creative processes. Houston McCullough, hired in in 2019 as the Pirates’ first-ever, full-time content manager, will move to the new creative services unit to collaborate with Ozimek on content initiatives.

“The way of promoting our teams and student-athletes is changing at a rapid pace and this is the right time to create one centralized area for digital and social media platforms,” Gilbert said. “Jarrett has been exceptional in his role the last two years with football. He will continue to produce all football-related materials and the creation of this department will allow additional staff to assist not only football but all our 18 sports. We have an opportunity to streamline our processes and build a great team of individuals who have knowledge and expertise in graphic design and social media.

“These individuals like Jarrett and Houston play a major role in telling the stories of our programs and incredible student-athletes. Social media and visual content are critical in this day of age and it impacts recruiting, fundraising, branding and our overall message. We are fortunate to have a fan base that is invested in ECU Athletics and it’s our job to ensure they feel a part of our family.”

A native of Greenville, Ozimek earned his bachelor’s degree from Campbell University in sport management in 2016 before following with a M.B.A in 2018. He performed a variety of roles with the Camels’ athletics department during his time in Buies Creek. He spent three years as the video and graphics coordinator for the football program, and as an undergraduate, he worked on the athletics digital media team.

ECU Athletics is accepting applicants for a creative content manager who will be a part of the creative services department with an emphasis on graphic design.

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