By Guest Blogger Hunter Lees
As a student at ACU, I’ve had the unique opportunity not many college students get to experience. I’m a senior in the Ad/PR department. I keep busy working at Morris+Mitchell, the student-run Ad/PR agency as well as playing Wide Receiver for ACU football.
Recently, our school made history as it brought ACU football back to campus. The excitement could be felt in the air as fans, students, and alumni experienced this momentous event. All ACU sports are now played on campus. This hasn't happened since November 27, 1958! This is something that has boosted morale not only for ACU athletics but for the university as a whole.
One highlight of the new stadium has been the marketing associated with the event. While the branding doesn’t change year to year, there are new marketing campaigns each season. The name for the campaign for the 2017-2018 sports season is “This is Home,” a theme which encompasses the feeling of so many athletes as we are able to compete on campus for the first time in our college careers.
The marketing team ensured a cohesive look and message to its audience. Marketing also chose to highlight former athletes in the design of the new stadium. Giant murals of ACU football legends line the home side of the stadium, which gives the area a unique feel. The inside of the stadium was also carefully decorated with posters placed throughout the different levels honoring specific ACU football greats and their respective positions. Continuity is key to a great marketing campaign and the ACU team attended to every detail accordingly.
Fortunately, I have been able to experience the student/athlete dichotomy. While guests can see most stadium details, the locker room is reserved for players and coaches. The locker room is an intimate place for players and this new facility is the nicest I’ve experienced in my sports career. This locker room impresses players who have transferred from larger universities such as Cal Berkley and The University of Arkansas. There are so many unique details, from the walls being covered in players from the 30’s and 40’s, to recent NFL player like Daniel Manning having his own area designated in honor of his number 11 jersey.
The stadium is a wonderfully built structure but the hard work and thoughtfulness of the ACU marketing and graphic design team have really set the facility apart. I think I can safely say that the entire 2017 ACU Football team feels like the sky is the limit with what we can accomplish during this special Wildcat opening season.