Mountain West Begins New Football Season With “At The Peak” Campaign

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This Saturday, the University of Hawai‘i will play host to Arizona marking the 21st season of Mountain West Conference football. The league comes off it’s 20th Anniversary year with a number of new branding elements as part of the “At The Peak” campaign developed in conjunction with Old Hat. With new leadership at many of the league’s 12 member institutions, a refresh of the Conference’s branding elements made sense.

“As a league, we’ve always tried to be innovative and look for ways to improve,” says Mountain West Conference Deputy Commissioner Bret Gilliland. “We saw this as a way to further elevate our brand and then it tied into our efforts in terms of engaging with our membership.”

SEE MORE: Eastern Michigan University Looks To Local Fans For Brand Reset

Old Hat began the project with an effort to understand how the league was perceived by fans as well as administrators within the member institutions. They conducted a number of reviews with the schools, surveyed season ticket holders, and had in-person meetings with the league’s athletic directors to really get a sense of what makes the Mountain West what it is. 

Among Old Hat’s findings were a few notable common themes amongst stakeholders for all of the membership. The first was the beautiful landscapes of each location. This element sets these universities apart from most of the other collegiate institutions in the country. Part of the campaign then became to incorporate photos and graphic design templates that highlight those landscapes. Each school also offers students opportunities to compete and learn at the highest level. Thus, “At The Peak” was created.

“The natural default for folks is to think about mountain peaks,” Gilliland extends. “But then we extend that to any number of other peaks that help define what this conference is: the peak of a graduation cap, the peak of a championship trophy, the peak of iconic buildings on these campuses. That’s the thinking behind this.”

The graphic and video materials produced will be distributed on social media throughout the year as well as on broadcasts of athletic events. Fans will also be able to see advertisements for their schools in billboards and other physical collateral throughout the towns and at local airports welcoming them to the Mountain West.

SEE MORE: UMKC Rebrands For More Local Appeal

In addition to all the research and data analysis, Old Hat created the assets for the campaign as well as crafting a full digital media strategy, traditional media strategy, and consulting on the execution. As the 2019 season kicks off, Gilliland credits much of the optimism surrounding the new campaign to Old Hat and their hard work.

“Old Hat was incredibly helpful,” he says. “They did a very nice job. We were very intentional about the selection of an agency to bring into the fold with this and we were happy with how they immersed themselves in identifying what assets make the Mountain West unique.”

Read the full case study from Old Hat here.