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  • Broncos to Dodgers
  • Featured Story

  • Broncos to Dodgers

    Alumna designs for professional sports franchises

    Working for a professional sports team seems to be a natural fit for Sadie Thomas, and graphic design is what she does best. Three years after graduating from MSUM, she is the graphic design coordinator for one of the longest-standing sports franchises in the country, the Los Angeles Dodgers.  

    Being a graphic design coordinator for the L.A. Dodgers means showcasing a well-known and respected brand through visual art, a task that means doing more than ordinary work.

    When Thomas joined the Dodgers it wasn’t the first time she had done graphic design for a professional sports team. She had multiple experiences to draw from. Thomas’ career began with a graphic design internship with the Houston Astros. “I was part of the summer 2009 intern class and learned the duties and responsibilities required of an in-house designer with a professional sports team,” Thomas said.

    In March 2010, the Denver Broncos hired Thomas as a graphic design assistant. She applied the skills and techniques she learned in Houston to her new position. Success followed her in Denver within the Broncos franchise.

    “After a few months in Denver, I was promoted to a full-time designer, and then in January 2011 I was promoted to head designer,” Thomas said.

    A little over a year later, Thomas was hired as the coordinator of graphic design for the Dodgers. Thomas packed her bags and headed to sunny California looking forward to new experiences and challenges.

    “Adjusting to my new position was very easy. Many of my projects and responsibilities are the same or very similar to those I had at the Broncos and Astros, so I just needed to adjust to a new team and organization,” Thomas said. “I felt very comfortable knowing how to do the projects because of my previous experiences so I focused on learning and understanding the standards and operations of the Dodgers’ organization.”

    Thomas’ work depends on multiple factors that go along with baseball. “My daily projects fluctuate depending on if there are home games, upcoming events and whether it’s during the season or off-season,” Thomas said.  

    Her primary responsibilities are ads and publications, but she works on everything from logos to photo mockups. Thomas said her favorite part of her job is, “Having the opportunity to create graphics that represent the integrity, commitment and history of the team and Dodgers organization in ways that provide a visual connection for fans locally and world-wide.”

    While at MSUM, Thomas’ experiences in and out of the classroom helped prepare her for her career. The professors’ expectations from their students to create high-quality designs for every assignment taught her how to work under pressure.  

    “Learning and studying the essential design elements and principles has created a great base for me to apply in all my designs,” Thomas said. “I feel that my understanding of graphic design, as well as other art forms, has helped me to effectively create designs in an incredibly fast-paced environment.”

    Al Sheets, professor in the Art & Design Department, remembers having Thomas as a student. He describes her as dedicated, focused, creative and hard working. “She was well liked and respected in class. She was not afraid to go back and rework her projects to take them to higher levels of success.”

    She appreciated the small class sizes at MSUM because it “allowed a more personable relationship with the faculty.”

    One of her favorite memories from MSUM did not take place in the classroom but on a graphic design field trip to Minneapolis. Thomas and her classmates visited design studios to see how they operate and talked with professionals in the field. They also went to a Twins game. Two of her favorite things in one trip: graphic design and sports.

    “Her senior show was a fictional sports stadium. Even then she showcased her love of sports and graphic design,” Sheets said.

    Thomas grew up in Parkston, S.D., watching and playing sports, and she competed in four sports while in high school. She never imagined back then that she’d end up working for such a prestigious sports franchise.

    For Thomas, her dream job isn’t just a dream. She lives it when she gets up and goes to work in the Dodgers’ stadium.