Old Hat Creative named Tracie Hitz the Director of Business Development effective February 1, 2010 and she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer the following year. She left her post as associate athletic director after almost 13 years in the Sales and Marketing Department at Northwestern University to join the Old Hat Creative team. During her tenure at NU, she was part of a team that set records for season tickets and single-game attendance in every admission-charging sport, as well as won nine national marketing awards in seven years.
Since starting at NU as the Marketing Assistant in 1997, she contributed to the creation of several initiatives that continue to build to this day, including the Wildcat Kids’ Club, Women’s Sports Weekend, the Sports Marketing Club, the Randy Walker 5K Walk and the Women’s Reunion Weekend for former student-athletes. Through the years, she kept up with the changing technology from being part of the creation of NUsports.com to producing the gameday content on the videoboard in Ryan Field. In 2008, she worked with Coach Fitzgerald to become one of the first college coaches to have a Facebook page and in 2009 she led the charge to get 5,000 Facebook fans for the Northwestern Athletics page in less than three weeks (NU only had 800 in the first three months leading up to that). She also created a web video series with super back Mark Woodsum called What Wouldn’t Woody Do?, which chronicled Woodsum’s adventures off the field during his final year at Northwestern in an attempt to bridge the gap between the students and the student-athletes on campus.
Since 2000, she has been an active member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA), which included being a presenter at the national convention, the Big Ten Conference representative and a mentor for women at other institutions. She was named to the NACMA Board of Directors in June 2008 where she served on the Public Relations Committee and the Convention Planning Committee. She continued to serve on the Convention Planning Committee in 2009 and was named the chair of the Board Development Committee. When her term ended in 2010, Kurt Esser, Senior Associate Athletic Director at New Mexico asked her to be his advisor during his one-year term as the NACMA President. The following year, the incoming NACMA President, Jamie DiLoreto, Associate Athletic Director at Boston College asked her to stay on for his term in 2011. She was then asked for a third straight year to advise the NACMA President when Greg Herring, Assistant Athletic Director at Northern Illinois University requested she stay on for his term, which he is currently serving.
Since 2007, she has been a teaching assistant, guest lecturer and thesis advisor for the Northwestern University Master’s of Sports Administration program. She's also a frequent panelist for sports symposiums and conventions throughout the country and is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
For a few years while at NU she also worked gamedays in the Stadium Suites Department for the Chicago Bears and in the Marketing Department at the Chicago Fire.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication (Journalism) from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri in 1997 and her master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University in 2003. At Truman State, she worked in the Sports Information Office where she assisted with media relations for soccer and track. While in college, she spent her summers as a sports writer for the Peoria Journal Star, which is the local newspaper near her hometown of Kickapoo, Illinois. At the Journal Star, she covered local sporting events, including baseball, basketball, golf, bowling and motor sports.