The first thing you realize when talking to Pat Combs is that you know his voice from somewhere.
For Nebraska football fans, that somewhere is probably Memorial Stadium on game days. For others, it’s been on a radio commercial playing in their car.
Combs, the owner of Combs Communication along with his wife Laura, is the stadium announcer for Husker football as well as a familiar voice on radio and television ads.
But his business is much more than that.
Combs Communication just opened at its new location in Gretna, the old American National Bank building on Enterprise Drive.
“If you have a small business and you need some help with your marketing, we help,” Combs said. “We’re an agency, we’re creative services, we do advertising strategy, we do marketing strategy, we do creative writing. It could be digital, it could be web. If somebody needs to do a billboard campaign or a radio or TV campaign, we can do it.”
Combs has been running the business out of his home in Gretna for a number of years before deciding to take over the new location just off Highway 370.
“We’ve got another piece of property in Gretna we were going to build on,” Combs said. “I like Gretna, it’s booming. But I kept driving by this building and thinking, ‘What a shame.’ Gretna’s such a neat, vibrant little town and this building was rotting, literally. Over a couple of months, we negotiated a deal where my wife and I bought it and decided to rehab it. It’s a great location, it’s a neat little building and we’re proud of bringing it back to life. Plus, it really fit our needs well.”
But when you buy an old bank, you still have to find a use for some of its features. The old vault, for instance, became a recording studio and the drive-through is being converted to a covered patio.
“When I walked in the building for the first time, I had the vision,” Combs said. “I saw the offices and I saw the conference room, then that vault room stumped me a little bit until I recognized it’s perfect for a recording studio. It was the perfect size. It’s too small for an office, but it’s too big for a closet. We did some sound proofing, I still need to do some more, but it works out great.”
Now that they’re in a permanent, bricks-and-mortar location, Combs said he’ll be bringing a lot of clients into Gretna. He works with several businesses in Omaha and Lincoln. Many of those doors have been opened because of his voice work with the University of Nebraska and the Husker football team.
“The Husker thing has really been a good thing for us opening doors to business,” Combs said. “It’s a little easier to get into a business when people recognize that you’re the voice of the stadium. I take that pretty seriously. I try to be a good ambassador for the University. My relationship with them is really important and strong.”
And now that a few Gretna faces are on the football team with fullback Andy Janovich, tight end Jared Blum and recruit Mick Stoltenberg, it makes game day even a touch more exciting for Combs.
“I love when I can announce a hometown kid, it’s pretty cool,” he said. “We’ll be here a while, this is a good fit. I love what’s going on with the city. It’s just a vibrant little place.”