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Great Falls native scores Emmy win by following his passion

Dane Storrusten
Don Storrusten
Posted at 12:02 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 14:02:50-05

GREAT FALLS — Emmy Award winner Dane Storrusten grew up in Great Falls. Now he is an a Senior Creative Director at the NFL in Los Angeles, California, where he lives with his wife Theda and children Ryan, Austin, and Izzy.

Storrusten graduated from CMR High School in 1997. He then went to the Art Institute of Seattle, where he completed a commercial design program in Visual Communications. After graduating in 2000, Storrusten spent the next 15 years working as a professional designer across a variety of mediums and industries including brand strategy, product design, and user experience design.

Storrusten has always had a love for sports and moved to California to start his own design company to focus on just that. His first company was Soulcake, and later Gridiron Labs. The companies became Storrusten’s perfect blend of his professional creative prowess and love for sports. He and his partner began winning awards for their work with various mega-brands in action sports, football, and golf.

“I started my own company called Gridiron Labs and I focused just on football and it was a huge risk. I had spent a lot of my career saying yes to all these different things and doing pretty well. Then I was like nope, we’re just going to focus on this one thing and try to do really really well and it worked,” said Storrusten.

Storrusten’s work caught the attention of the NFL in 2017. Now he has been working a Creative Director for the league for four years to help reshape the NFL’s digital presence and push for a more modern-media strategy.

Great Falls native scores Emmy win by following his passion

Storrusten and his team won a 2020 Sports Emmy Award for his work on the NFL 100 campaign of 2019 - a year-long campaign that spanned television, film, digital media, social media, and event applications at Draft and Super Bowl.

“2019 was the NFL’s 100th anniversary which was a really cool time to be a part of the league because it’s monumental, you only really get to do that once,” said Storrusten.

Dane shares this award with many of his talented teammates across the company and is thrilled for what the next chapter might be.

“You know, an Emmy is way up there, it’s one of the big ones. In my industry, for us, we don’t really have an equivalent to that award. So to be able to get an Emmy for something we’ve done, it just means that our reach was really great,” said Storrusten about what the award means to his team. "I love what I do every day and it doesn’t completely feel like work to me."

Don Storrusten, Dane’s father, always knew his son was talented but is thankful he has found his passion - one Don thinks is pretty cool too.

“Growing up he was really dedicated with whatever he did. Pretty focused, whatever he had to do, he got it done. I’m really proud of him, that’s pretty impressive getting an award like that. I’m bragging on him all the time, I tell everyone he works for the NFL,” said Don about his son.

More than anything, Dane wants young adults growing up in communities like Great Fall to know that following your dreams is worth more than any paycheck. Winning an Emmy may not be your dream but it is totally attainable with consistent work.

“My friends from my hometown are all starting to rally around it and say ‘Wow someone is actually doing the thing they said they wanted to do’. It’s just one of those things that maybe doesn’t happen that often but it’s certainly available to everyone. If someone like me can make a career out of this certainly anyone can. I’m nothing special. The important thing is having fun with what you do and the second it doesn’t become fun, you have to have the will power to change it," he said.