Freshman has designs on spreading school spirit

Ryan Dell wears a Nisky Baseball hoodie he designed himself. (Rebecca Isenhart/Gazette Reporter)Ryan Dell wears a Nisky Baseball hoodie he designed himself. (Rebecca Isenhart/Gazette Reporter)

Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — Ryan Dell hopes he’ll be able to buy a car soon. And when he achieves that goal, he’ll have Niskayuna students’ and teachers’ school spirit to thank.

Dell, a freshman who lives on Windsor Drive with his parents, his 11-year-old sister Carly, and two friendly pugs, is a baseball player, graphic designer, computer lover and now an entrepreneur too.

After hearing friends on other sports teams, like bowling or track and field, express frustration that most school sports apparel catered to football, baseball and lacrosse, he had an idea to solve a problem that could be described as too much school spirit. His classmates, he thought, already loved the school, but would express their enthusiasm more readily if they could purchase apparel that expressed their interests.

“I know there are some other places where you can buy Niskayuna merchandise, but it’s not all year-round,” Dell said.

So one day, the second baseman and pitcher for Niskayuna freshman baseball, who has plenty of team merchandise of his own, sat down at his computer and began to design.

It wasn’t his first time taking on a creative logo project; he learned some of his Photoshop and graphic design skills for his uncle and later designed the emblem for his father’s business, the Law Firm of Alex Dell.

Even though he had experience with design software, Dell said the work took several days of marathon creating. He worked up 35 options and posted them online, on a print-on-demand website called Zazzle.

Dell said he hasn’t seen anyone walking around the high school wearing his custom-designed lacrosse leggings or toting a Warriors iPhone case, but he’s excited for his ideas to catch on. It’s not just for his benefit (though he is hoping to save up some cash for something with four-wheel drive that can take on the Niskayuna winters). He’s also excited for his creations to lift his friends’ spirits.

“It makes them happy and proud of the sport they play,” he said.

He knows firsthand, because he’s already wearing his baseball branded apparel.

“I like people knowing that I play baseball and I go to Niskayuna,” he said.

In addition to sports team logos, he also came up with an all-school symbol with the Niskayuna “N” in a silver circle and shirts for each elementary and middle school. He attended Rosendale Elementary and Iroquois Middle schools, and said he thinks there’s plenty of school spirit to go around in the younger grades, too. His sister, Carly, goes to Iroquois, and she and her friends are already sporting his designs.

Dell just began the project a few months ago, so he hasn’t done much in the way of advertising yet, but he said his business class has taught him some strategies for spreading ideas.

“You want to have something no one else really has,” he said.


Five questions for Ryan Dell

Q: If you could travel anywhere, but had to stay for a whole year, where would you go?
A: Italy. I really liked it. The views are good and the food’s really good.
Q: If you were a sandwich, what would you be?
A: Turkey with mozzarella and tomato.
Q: If you were an animal what would you be?
A: A dog. I think I’d be a golden retriever.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: I like reading magazines, like Sports Illustrated and computer magazines.
Q: If you won the lottery, what would you do the very first day after you discovered your ticket was the winner?
A: I’d buy a giant house. And I’d probably buy a Ferrari.

About the Author

Rebecca Isenhart
Rebecca Isenhart is the reporter/writer for Your Niskayuna, presented by the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.