Alumni Spotlight - July 2023
Lodewijk "LB" Bloemzaad '19
Lodewijk Bloemzaad was born and raised near Leiden, the Netherlands. Growing up playing soccer, LB, as he’s known, knew he wanted to continue playing soccer in college. After getting noticed by US colleges through his highlight tapes, he was able to travel to Florida with a soccer travel team. Having been in touch since LB was just 15 years old, former Oregon Tech Owls Men’s Soccer Coach Matt Munhall met LB there. When it was time to decide on his college plans, LB had offers from Oregon Tech, and Warner University and Southeastern University in Florida. Having never visited the West Coast of the United States and intrigued by the ability to live in a rural area, surrounded by nature, unlike the city he grew up in, LB decided to take a chance on Oregon. LB also knew from a young age that he was interested in pursuing marketing as a career, so the fact that Oregon Tech offered a marketing degree was another selling point. As LB explained, “I consciously made the decision that If I was going to leave for a new experience for four years, it might as well be completely different and completely out of my comfort zone.”
LB appreciated having an instant group of friends when he started college because of the Owls soccer team and all the support from the Athletics department. He also enjoyed life in Klamath Falls, being immersed in nature, the slower pace of life in Southern Oregon, and the hospitality. In addition to his passion for soccer, LB made a difference with his student employment position on campus. Originally called the Diversity Center, LB worked for that office, helping host various cultural events throughout the year in celebration of the different groups on campus. The goal was to spread awareness of the varying cultures, celebrate holidays, and create an inclusive space for all students. He eventually became the Student Director of that space and helped transform it into The Treehouse in the College Union building.
LB has always enjoyed traveling, satisfying his curiosity to visit new places. He incorporated his interest in traveling to his work on campus by hosting two student trips, one to Vancouver, Canada during his junior year, and a trip to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico during his senior year. Teaching fellow students how to travel on a budget and how to navigate international cities was something LB fondly remembers about his Oregon Tech experience.
After graduating in 2019, LB went back home to the Netherlands. His first job with his degree was in a consultancy role, as a Business Development Manager for SUBtracers BV, a firm that represents tech companies. After almost two years, LB landed his current position as a Global Coordinator at DDB, a worldwide advertising agency. LB’s main client is the iconic restaurant brand McDonald’s, where he works on marketing strategies from Bogota, Colombia to Sydney, Australia, to Baku, Azerbaijan. His day-to-day responsibilities include account services (helping regional and global clients lead their teams for McDonald’s), consulting with local DDB in various countries to assist with marketing strategy and advertising campaigns, and being proactive with creative solutions for specific markets.
Recently, McDonald’s needed DDB’s help in improving their brand perception, specifically to become a more attractive employer in their European markets. LB and his team at DDB came up with a strategy to help McDonald’s improve their employer branding. The “McDrip” campaign involved helping McDonald’s attract young employees by appealing to their sense of style and commitment to sustainability. By working with Jimi Vain, an up-and-coming fashion designer from Finland who’s head of the eponymous VAIN label, LB’s team completely redefined the image of the McDonald’s uniform by launching a high-end fashion line only available to McDonald’s employees. The new line consists of 13 outfits made of 100% upcycled McDonald’s uniforms. The clever and innovative promotion included a fashion show from a Helsinki McDonald’s restaurant that was streamed on Tik Tok, guerilla-style posters throughout the city of Helsinki, and social media content optimized for organic sharing. As a result, the fashion line and campaign went viral on both social and traditional media, reaching a total of 220 million people across the globe and earning features in media outlets such as Vogue, Hypebeast, Financial Times, and CNN. Besides building the global McDonald’s brand, the local recruitment push was such an amazing success that job applications increased by 63% and employer image improved substantially. The McDrip project earned Lodewijk many accolades, including three Cannes Lions awards at the 70th International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France. Some marketing professionals work their entire careers pursuing a coveted Cannes Lion. LB and his teams earned a Silver Lion for Design, a Bronze Lion in the Social & Influencer category, and a Bronze Lion for Brand Experience & Activation. Learn more about the McDrip campaign at: https://www.lbbonline.com/work/85991
Outside of the office, LB continues to fuel his passion for soccer both as a player, playing for local club LSVV’70 the Netherlands, and as the co-founder of Phocus Soccer (www.phocussoccer.com). With Phocus Soccer, LB teamed up with two professional youth soccer coaches to host soccer camps and educate coaches around the world. In the summer of 2021, Phocus Soccer organized a month of youth soccer camps in Ghana, educated four cohorts of Ghanaian youth coaches, and set up a charity project that saw 730 soccer balls be donated to the campers from the communities of Kisseman and Kpoviadzi. Then, in the summer of 2022, they hosted a camp for 170 children in collaboration with Oregon Futbol Academy (OFA) in Grants Pass and educated a dozen more of their coaches. OFA is run by fellow Oregon Tech soccer alumni Trinidad Flores-Gonzalez, and LB will be in Oregon for the 2023 camp with OFA in July of 2023.
Besides making great strides in the world of marketing, playing soccer, and impacting the lives of young soccer players around the world, LB also continues his personal travels as an urban adventurer with his girlfriend. Whether he is crossing the globe visiting new countries, or just taking the time to explore his hometowns of Leiden and Amsterdam, LB also enjoys cycling, cooking international cuisine, and attending concerts.
LB’s advice to current and future students of Oregon Tech is to not take the first job that comes along after college. He suggests, “Definitely take the time to find a good fit for you and work on stuff you’re passionate and inherently curious about.” We are so proud of the work LB is doing in his field and of his ability to be a respected voice in marketing at such a young age. We know he will continue to do owl-mazing things in the future on a global level.
~Becky Burkeen, Director of Alumni Relations