Mason Alumnus Shines at NFL

Mason Alumnus Shines at NFL

By Rachel Newdorf

The NFL Honors–the NFL’s first award show–will air this Saturday at 9 p.m., with a George Mason University alumnus tied to the project.

Khoi Phan, the designer of the awards show, worked along with art director Mollie Wilkie, project manager Andrew Conde and creative director Shandon Melvin to make this project become a reality.

Speaking about the project, Khoi describes what a “blessing” it was to work with “such a wonderful team.” He’s “proud” to see the project come together as well as having an “amazing advantage” being associated with such a prestigious organization such as the NFL.

Khoi,  26, has worked with the NFL on numerous other projects, such as Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime ads, as well as Super Bowl XLVI programs and the NFL Military Appreciation Week 2011 program.

Khoi’s national debut this Saturday didn’t come easy. After graduating from George Mason in 2009 with a BFA in Graphic Design, Khoi and a friend, after a two year sabbatical, moved to New York City with “zero years of professional experience” and “just a few internships” which eventually led to designing for Macy’s and other “small jobs designing websites for musicians, photographers and art galleries.”

When Khoi’s “bank account hit $50,” he decided to move home to Fairfax, where he grew up.

” I was extremely disappointed and frustrated,” he says.

But he didn’t give up. Working for his family’s professional soccer academy, HP Elite & Beyond, Khoi rebranded the company resulting in an increase in client base just over a few months.

With his success with his family’s business, Khoi set his sights on creating “Vintage Futbol,” a lifestyle-clothing brand marketed to “soccer specific organizations” and that provided kids with “an identity away from the traditional Nike/Adidas” brands. One investor and three months later, Khoi landed a job at an advertising agency in Rockville, Md. While in Maryland, Khoi worked with various high profile clients, such as Brooks Brothers, VW, the Washington Redskins as well as the Washington Capitals, just to name a few.

Finally, after four months working on Vintage Futbol, on July 7, 2011 Khoi successfully launched the brand and immediately had more than 7,000 visitors to his website, 900 plus Facebook fans and more than 300 followers on Twitter.

Just days after launching Vintage Futbol, Khoi got a call from a representative in the NFL asking if he was interested in working for them up in New York City. As Khoi described his new job, he said that he found himself “relocating to New York City working for one of the largest sports organizations in the world. The NFL, the big time.”

Working on such a big project hasn’t hit the up-and-coming designer yet. Khoi has been with the NFL for almost seven months, and while working on multiple projects simultaneously, the fact that the NFL Honors will be broadcast worldwide still hasn’t registered with him yet. While he is excited, Khoi is still getting everything ready for the big premier and will be happy with the result when the project is done.

With the NFL Honors premiering this Saturday, Khoi has a lot to be thankful for. He attributes a huge part of his inspiration to his friend, Allie Coates who has been there for him through his journey. He does however, not contribute any of his success to luck. “Nothing in life is about chance or luck,” Khoi says. “Every opportunity is created, and with a positive resilient attitude, you can achieve anything you want.”

For more information about Khoi Phan or if you want to check out his blog, go to