Yankee Boy. That’s what the principal at my elementary school called me. I’m not sure he even knew my real name. But he knew I was a fan of the team that just about everyone in New England loves to hate.

Coming from a family of New Yorkers, we brought our baseball allegiance with us when we moved to New Hampshire. It’s a much better place to live, work, and raise a family, but the Yankees still bring us back to our roots. To the place where my great grandfather took his kids to see a guy named Lou Gehrig.

Needless to say, with an interlocking NY on my cap, I stood out from the crowd. Despite the hazing, it’s been a good thing for me personally and professionally. I learned to take an outside perspective and understand different viewpoints. To be open-minded and tolerant. In advertising, it’s an attitude that comes in handy when evaluating a brand and deciding the best way to market to a particular target audience.

Think different? No problem.

I’ve been thinking that way since I was old enough to catch a baseball.