For the Love of the Game
Joshua Echo-Hawk is one of several George Fox alumni
to turn his passion for sports into a career
By Jeremy Lloyd
Joshua Echo-Hawk weaves his way through the back corridors of Autzen Stadium, emerges through a little-used side door and pauses to soak in the strangely tranquil scene before making his way down to the field.
“This is my favorite part of the day,” says the George Fox alumnus, looking out over the empty seats and vast field of green artificial turf, “coming into a stadium in the morning, knowing how crazy it’s going to be later, and how quiet it is right now. It’s the calm before the storm.”
The storm he’s referring to is the annual Civil War game between the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers. Within a matter of hours, upwards of 59,000 ravenous college football fans will transform the stadium into an eardrum-pounding mosh pit of face-painted, sign-waving humanity.
And it’s up to Echo-Hawk’s company, Graystone Media, to keep them entertained – especially when the action on the field hits a lull.
“Today we’re handling game presentation for Autzen Stadium. . . .” he explains. “So when fans see highlight videos, instant replays and all the different elements like advertising, our company has put all that together.”
“The equipment has changed.It’s gotten bigger, better and badder, but we all have this initial love of the business, and we learned it in Newberg.”
On this particular day, Graystone Media’s handiwork will be showcased on a massive 33-by-85-foot high-definition LED scoreboard known affectionately as “DuckVision.” But that’s just an appetizer to the all-you-can-eat buffet of creative and production services that the company offers, ranging from the management of live television broadcasts to motion graphics and branding packages for NBA, MLB, NHL and major college teams across the country.
So the next time you catch a game at the Rose Garden or Jeld-Wen Field, feel free to brag to the person sitting next to you. After all, the managing partner of the company that makes those high-tech motion graphics you see on the big screen is a George Fox graduate.
Just don’t forget to add this little nugget: Echo-Hawk (’94) is only one of five former Bruins working with Graystone Media. There’s also director Dan Hyatt (’87), cameraman Jeremy Brown (’95), instant replay operator Steve Radford (’88) and statistician Bryan Williford (’03).
Why has Echo-Hawk chosen to staff his company with such a high percentage of George Fox graduates? It’s simple, really – they represent the best the industry has to offer.
“We work really hard to stand out from the crowd, to be very elite,” he says. “We want to be the S.W.A.T. team of what we do. You have to make good choices when you do that; you have to sacrifice and you have to have standards.”
And as it turns out, Echo-Hawk kept on finding those qualities in people who got their start in the same place.
“The equipment has changed,” he says. “It’s gotten bigger, better and badder, but we all have this initial love of the business, and we learned it in Newberg.”
One of his early influences in Newberg was ironically Hyatt, who was director of the video center and a professor at George Fox in the early ’90s when Echo-Hawk was a student. A few years later, “I accidently landed a crazy job that I didn’t know how to do, so I called Dan,” he admits. The rest is history.
“Josh was very talented, very creative, and I knew that he was going to do really well,” recalls Hyatt, “but I had no idea that someday he was going to hire me. It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
When the game begins, Hyatt is undoubtedly the maestro, conducting a seamless symphony of camera angles, video replays and motion graphics packages from a TV truck parked outside the stadium.
“When Dan’s directing the show, he’s massaging the crowd, he’s got that energy right in his hands . . . ” grins Echo-Hawk. “He can make the crowd get loud at key moments on a third down or a goal-line stand . . . It’s the best feeling in the world.”
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” adds Hyatt. “I’m an adrenaline junkie anyway, so to be able to be around that atmosphere and experience that every week is pretty awesome.”
At the end of the day, Hyatt – a longtime Oregon football fan – would get his fair share of thrills as the Ducks rolled the Beavers 49-21. The convincing win ensured Oregon a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and later a Rose Bowl berth, both of which led to big-money contracts for Graystone Media. But for Echo-Hawk, it’s the love of the game that keeps him coming back for more. And sharing the experience with his George Fox crew makes it all the more special.
“There aren’t many of us who get to work in this business, and for even a few of us to be from George Fox and working together on a regular basis in such a cool environment, it’s very special . . . ” he says. “It’s very fun to have a few of us that we kind of nod to each other and go, ‘back in the day.’”