Tools of the Trade: Jason Corbin from Big Communications

By Kyle O'Brien 

Tools of the Trade is an AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps people perform at their top form, from a favorite drafting table to the best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

Next up is Jason Corbin, director of creative development at Big Communications in Birmingham, Alabama

Jason Corbin tosses his Leather Head Lemon Ball to inspire ideas.


What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?

I carry around a Leather Head Lemon Ball in my work bag. It’s essentially a softer, more premium baseball—a classic baseball inspired by the original lemon peel style baseball from the early 19th Century.

Wherever I am working it goes with me. At home, at the office, or on the road—that little leather bound and perfectly stitched ball is by my side, all of the work time. Naturally, it reminds me of baseball, a game that requires discipline, creativity, strategy, and more importantly, teamwork to win. All things that play a critical role in the success of any business, be it a creative agency or family farm.

It also serves as a reminder for me to let loose, throw big ideas around and to have fun, knowing that whether I hit a home run or strike out, there will be another chance to step up to the plate. Swing, batter, batter, swing!

Why is it your favorite?

It’s a stress reliever in a way, almost like an adult fidget-gadget—a well worn, leather stress ball. I can squeeze it, toss it up and down while on a call, and even bounce it off of walls when I’m thinking about ideas in my head.

It also reminds me of my dad, there’s something about it that screams the 1980s, a time where I grew up going to Toledo Mud Hens games with my dad and watching the Chicago Cubs on the television (WGN-TV for the win). I miss those days, I miss my Dad, but he inspired and pushed me to find happiness and success in both sports and my career.

And yep, like I said, you can take this ball anywhere. My son and I have even played catch with it just to see how it would take to and react from being thrown as a curveball, a two-seam fastball and even a knuckleball.

How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time?

No real big, wild story here. I found it sitting in an old closet bin at an agency I worked at years ago. Someone discarded and left it behind, and so it became mine.

How does it help you be successful?

It helps me to relax and focus. It also reminds me to not get too caught up in some of the frustrations, pressures, and demands the business of creative advertising comes with. Advertising is no game per se, but it should be fun just like playing baseball is.

Does it have sentimental value?

Not yet, but I do hope to one day toss it to my son and let him hold on to it for a while. Make it a pass down tradition. “Keep your eye on the ball, kid.”

Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral? Why or why not?

I believe so. If I could somehow convince the entire Chicago Cubs starting line-up to let my son pitch to them using the ball, that could get some TikTok views, perhaps. Especially if he strikes one or more of them out. #DreamOn.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.