Role: Art Director, Designer, Account Manager, Project Manager, Photographer
Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, Premiere
Scope: Social Media Profiles, Paid Digital Ads, Paid Social Media Ads, Social Media Content, Digital Photography, Additional Art Direction
Goal: Drive ticket sales and increase social media presence
The Outback Bowl is a college football post-season bowl game held annually on New Year's Day with over 35 years of tradition. They have a long-standing tagline of "Football in Paradise" to promote the temperate Tampa Bay climate in January to appeal to the target demographics of Big Ten and SEC-affiliated college fanbases located further north.
The brand requirements were limited to the continued use of the Outback Bowl logo that shows the relationship with the title sponsor—Outback Steakhouse—and incorporating the maroon and yellow brand colors. The logo is heavily featured due to national brand recognition and combines with maroon-colored main text to achieve this.
A bokeh blue background invokes clear skies and ocean water to let viewers imagine their version of a Florida paradise as the base of the "Football in Paradise" look. That is framed with sand and palm trees to complete the scene. Photography and logos for associated teams are isolated atop this background to keep football at the forefront. Additionally, a Lightroom filter adjusts blues to match the bokeh's hue, slightly saturates the brand maroons and yellows, and dims the green of football fields to fade the background and lets the subjects stand out.
The deliverables for this project started as only digital assets for paid advertising, web, and social media. The client thought the look hit their vision so closely that they requested art direction assistance to adapt the whole gamut of design deliverables to this look.
- Social Graphics: Graphics, animations, and videos were created for profiles, organic posts, events, and paid social ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Digital: Graphics for paid digital ads involved two stages. The first was general, branded ads that ran before teams were selected. The second focused on the matchup of Auburn and Minnesota.
- Photography: Photos for the game itself and all associated events adhere to established shot lists and photo styles. Lightroom filters applied in processing bring images from different shooters even closer together. An established mobile design process allowed photos to be processed and pushed out as social media content almost instantaneously.
- Live Social Content: Direction given to a team of social content creators kept video content relevant to the target demographic and visually on-brand.
- Print, Out-of-Home & Experiential: Assets and art direction to external, contracted vendors rounded out a comprehensive visual identity for the Outback Bowl's gameday experience.
This season-long campaign led to over $22,000 in ticket sales revenue. The campaign's social media reach increased year over year by 1-million impressions. The bowl's social media presence increased by 22% from the start of the season through game day, and it was the 4th most followed among all college football bowl games.