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What I've Learned So Far... D.J. Nivens

The time that I’ve been a part of our PEG team has not only flown by - but has been an absolute honor to share an office overlooking Downtown Akron with this team. When I arrived here, I made a career pivot that has afforded me the opportunity to learn a new industry, get back to my “roots,” and grow both personally and professionally.

With so much yet to learn in this vast and evolving industry and organization, these are a few of my biggest takeaways… Let’s call them the “3 C’s”!


There won’t be anything too earth-shattering here, but one of the most important parts of managing projects, understanding how to help our clients the most, and keeping our incredible team moving forward is communication.

Communication is such a vital part of the success of our team and to our clients. Ensuring that what I know is what our team knows and vice versa is paramount. At any given time, multiple projects are happening simultaneously. And understanding that the left hand is holding a boom mic for an interview and the right hand is operating a haze machine for a hockey intro video…keeps us all on the same page. And we always are!

In my role specifically, making sure that I communicate to our team what our client has envisioned and learning how we can best accomplish it makes for a smooth process. Alternatively, being able to communicate different checkpoints or milestones to our clients and partners allows for full transparency and an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!


Being such a huge fan of the PEG team for years before being able to be a part of it, I have always been blown away by the creative, edgy, mind-blowing, and beautiful projects they have taken on. And now I get a front row seat. From fun sports projects like helping The Cleveland Browns introduce “The Dawg Pound Captain,” and helping The Coachella Valley Firebirds introduce themselves to The AHL, to helping our Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank help those in need, and helping JOANN communicate to their entire workforce - each project has shown me just how creative our team can be.

Every project has the opportunity for each member of our team to showcase why they’re the “creative” type and why they’re such an integral piece of the puzzle. Whether it’s taking the time to learn about the newest exciting After Effects, Cinema4D, or InDesign plug-ins, or engineering a new interesting way to illuminate a player or other talent with a Titan Tube. It’s truly amazing to be around.


I have learned and witnessed first-hand how incredibly important it is for our team and our clients to collaborate as much as possible. Our ability to collaborate together to create something interesting and engaging is one of our best attributes. Oftentimes a dialogue with a possible client starts with: “Well, I had an idea…but I’m not sure how to actually do it.” And that’s where our team of experts and visionaries comes in.

Being able to take any idea, create something bigger than our new friend could have ever imagined, or even thought was possible, is what really makes our team thrive and stand-out. And in the end, the smile on the face of the fan attending their first ever game, employee learning about the company’s exciting new plans, a volunteer seeing how they’re really making a difference, or maybe even a community member hearing about important city updates – that’s what keeps our team going.

One of my favorite parts of our process is getting our team in our conference room and being able to say “Okay everyone, go crazy! What kind of fun ideas does everyone have?” And then we get to stand back, watch the light bulbs above their heads turn on, and the real excitement begins.

These months may have flown by - but if it's any indication as to what the future holds for myself and this team, watch out! The ability to come together, achieve success, create mind-blowing content, and make dreams a reality is what we do best. If it was even possible to say that I’ve learned only one single thing, it would be that surrounding yourself with like-minded people who strive for perfection, settle for extraordinary, and care about their teammates and the people they help is what everyone should want to be a part of!

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