THE INSIDE PITCH 2021- February Edition
Tanner Carrillo-Zazueta
Having grown up immersed in sports, I knew that the passion I felt day in and day out was something I wanted to be surrounded with every day of my career. But the sports industry is one of the hardest industries to break into due to the ever-growing demand and the limited supply of positions within each organization. Due to mentorship and the chance that someone took on me, I was able to get my feet wet and begin my career in the industry at Yankee Stadium.

Since my time at Yankee Stadium, I have had the great opportunity to experience nearly all facets of the sports industry - the agency side, the team side, the governing-body side, and the food and beverage side - and further my education having obtained a Master's in Business Administration degree. Despite the fact that each role has been different throughout my career, they have helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity of how everything comes together within the sports industry and how all parties work together in order to maximize value, regardless the product on the field or the brand name. Throughout my short-lived career, I have had the opportunities to work with Legends, Wasserman, Fox Sports, the Baltimore Orioles, Levy Restaurants, and now the National Football League.

It's an honor to stand here today and know that my past experiences have shaped who I am today and provided for me the opportunity to really excel in this industry. As a current employee of the National Football League, I know I would have never gotten to this point if it wasn't for mentorship and the chance that someone took on me to make my dreams a reality. And down the line moving forward, I can't wait to give someone else the opportunity to live out their dream and continue to inspire for generations to come.' A lot of people have something unique and powerful to offer, but they just need the help getting the opportunity to prove it. Love what TPGF is doing and would love to help out/‘Pay it Forward’ down the line.
Chynna Fry
Half time. Purdue was up just four points after Indiana rallied from a slow start. I turned my attention away from the TV and toward my phone and casual conversation with my family as commercials started to roll. That’s when I heard a familiar voice – my own: “We are Purdue.”

It was the start of a commercial that I filmed for Purdue University while I was still a student there five years ago. The ad alludes to experiences that many Purdue students across the decades have probably enjoyed: attending Grand Prix, The Bug Bowl, walking past the statue of Neil Armstrong, sledding on Slayter Hill with trays nabbed from the dining hall. Of course, not all of us share these exact memories. A lot of students never make it to Grand Prix and by the time I started classes at Purdue in 2012, they had stopped using trays in the dining halls entirely. (The rumor was that too many had been stolen during the winter months). But even alumni who didn’t participate in any of the referenced activities might still feel a swell of pride and rush of memories and a connection to their young-adult selves.

For the next few hours, my family and I fielded texts from friends and family from all around the state of Indiana, from Florida, from Texas, from California. They came so quickly that my dad had to turn his phone on silent. Messages came in from strangers, all with something really nice to say.

This, I think, is one of the beautiful things about both arts and sports entertainment. They have an incredible and unique ability to more deeply connect us to our communities and to ourselves. An old beloved sports rivalry gave thousands of us a reason to sit down for a night and rally for our team and to celebrate with each other. Then a 60 second ad reminded us of our college days and the mentors, friendships, and community that we found along the way.

Moments like these make me especially excited to be an actor and to be pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. It was amazing and humbling to be part of something with which people connected so positively. Of course, like many others, it also made me very proud to be a Purdue graduate.


Coral Bender
The Perfect Game Foundation is about so much more than sport- it is about inspiring young people to follow their passions and providing the mentorship necessary to help turn those passions into careers. I am fortunate enough to have benefited greatly from the support of the Foundation and the continued mentorship it provides.

Recently I made a career shift. Throughout my time working in academia with a focus on sports I realized I had a true passion for helping others (namely students) get their start in the industry. Over time, I saw an opportunity for me to make an impact on higher education at a broader level by focusing on academic assessment. After receiving my PhD at Alabama I taught Sports Communication there and now have been in my new role as Associate Director for Academic Assessment at Louisiana State University since November 2020 and am enjoying every minute of it.
R. Ethan Braden
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Purdue University
R. Ethan Braden serves as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Purdue University. Ranked the #5 most innovative school in America by US News and World Report, Ethan leads a marketing and communications community of more than 300 individuals in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap by passionately positioning, promoting and preserving the precious Purdue University brand worldwide. 
Prior to Purdue University, Ethan worked for Eli Lilly & Company where he served in a variety of senior marketing and sales leadership roles in the U.S. and globally, managing some of Lilly’s and the pharmaceutical industry’s most successful, life-changing brands. 

Ethan earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Spanish from Willamette University (Salem, OR). Ethan lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with his Boilermaker wife, Betsy, their son, Benjamin, and their daughter, Margaret.

Celebrating Purdue again, and again, and again, marketing team earns top higher ed honor
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In April 2020, Purdue University Marketing and Communications took its newly launched brand and applied it to a vast new and vital initiative — Protect Purdue — aligning students, faculty and staff across the West Lafayette campus in planning for and helping implement the return to on-campus instruction for the fall semester.

The persistent pursuit of telling and staying true to the Purdue story, amid what could have been a chaotic and brand-busting year, helped attract Purdue’s largest freshman class in its history and has earned Purdue’s Marketing and Communications team the American Marketing Association Foundation’s Higher Education Marketing Team of the Year award.

Announced and presented during the AMA’s annual conference, this year held virtually, on Thursday (Nov. 19), the award completed a sweep of top AMA honors for Purdue. R. Ethan Braden, senior vice president of marketing and communications, also was named the 2020 Higher Education Marketer of the Year by the AMA.

The team was honored for its work in creating and living its evolved brand platform, known as The Persistent Pursuit of the Next Giant Leap, focusing on consistent and compelling messaging and storytelling with a sharper focus on digital engagement and external understanding. After a year of research and feedback, Purdue launched the new brand in January 2020, based on a unique and unifying essence of Persistent Innovation Together, and including a visual identity that, for the first time, aligns the entire campus in look and feel, including Purdue Athletics.