MSU Alum Leading Creative Designs for Gatorade

MSU College of Arts & Letters alumnus Matt Geiger is leading teams of designers for one of the most successful sports drink brands in the world. As the Creative Lead and Brand Designer for Gatorade, Geiger is responsible for those innovative and iconic Gatorade package designs that appear in TV commercials and at local grocery stores in more than 80 countries.

A 2008 MSU graduate with a B.A. in Studio Art, concentration in Graphic Design, and minor in Art History, Geiger has worked at Gatorade for about four years. He currently serves as the Creative Lead for Gatorade Gx, Gatorade Endurance, and the Gatorade Sales Team. He also is a Brand Design Expert on Global Football (soccer), which supports the Gatorade Global Team.

He credits his liberal arts degree from the College of Arts & Letters to his versatility and professional success.

“Having a liberal arts degree helps me to see all sides of a situation. I can understand where the salesperson is coming from; I can understand where the marketing person is coming from," he said. "The sum of the classes that I took exposed me to all perspectives. This helps me have more empathy and really understand what the problem is that the design work is supposed to solve.”

Having a liberal arts degree helps me to see all sides of a situation. I can understand where the salesperson is coming from; I can understand where the marketing person is coming from. The sum of the classes that I took exposed me to all perspectives.

In addition to being able to collaborate and effectively communicate with individuals in other facets of Gatorade, Geiger has close ties to some of his fellow designers as well, including many fellow Michigan State University alumni, particularly MSU Graphic Design graduates, who he works with each day at Gatorade.

“Knowing that you come from the same place, establishes a connection that makes work and business easier since you have a common thread,” Geiger said. “You know what the other person brings to the table because you both have been through the same program and experiences.”

As a Brand Designer and Creative Lead, Geiger generally spends the beginning of the week in meetings reviewing, discussing, and aligning on the status of projects that the internal brand design team is working on. Then on Thursdays and Fridays he usually works on design.

Before Gatorade, Geiger worked at The Marvel Group in Chicago as a Graphic Designer. He also worked at the Lansing State Journal before moving out of state. 

No more than 11 years out of college, Geiger offers this piece of advice to recent and upcoming graduates: “You don’t have to land your dream job right out of school. A job that pays you to design and gives you the chance to cut your teeth is perfect. In my experience, personal projects have gone a long way in the hiring process, especially projects that relate to the work that the company that you are interviewing with is doing.”