Akron Zips Breakthroo Campaign

Designing this marketing campaign for the University of Akron women's basketball team gave us the opportunity to create modern marketing pieces, across a variety of platforms.


  • Develop a memorable and cohesive marketing campaign that could be translated across a variety of platforms
  • Increase attendance and support of the team
  • Design pieces that would stand out and get noticed
  • Create a style for the campaign that could be implemented not only in the pieces that we created, but also on additional pieces created by the university’s internal staff
  • Give the program a unique campaign that would set it apart from the look and style of other programs in the university’s Athletic Department


  • Photo shoot
  • Video shoot
  • Poster design
  • Magnet schedule design
  • Schedule card design
  • Billboard design
  • Campus banner design
  • Intro video
  • Custom video board animations
  • Newspaper ads
  • Group ticket flyers



We worked with Akron’s Athletic Department to develop a campaign that would not only give the women’s basketball program’s marketing pieces a unique look throughout the 2013-14 season, but also convey a to-the-point message of their goal. In 2013, the program captured the MAC East Championship, and in 2014 had a goal to break through and earn their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

The Athletic Department also had a department-wide slogan, “Fear The Roo,” that they wanted to incorporate into the campaign.  The University chose “Breakthroo” as their slogan and we developed a concept that used the theme of breaking through the different mediums of advertising where the pieces would be displayed.


The Athletic Department's slogan of "Fear The Roo" was the foundation for the marketing campaign's slogan, "Breakthroo."



Having great photos and video would be essential to bringing this campaign to life. Our team did a video and photo shoot at James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, OH to capture the players posing for photos for the different campaign pieces, and captured footage for their intro video, which we would also be creating.

Before the day of the shoot, we created outlines of all the different shots we would need, planned out a schedule to work around the availability of the student-athletes and communicated with the university’s Athletic Department to ensure that everything would go seamlessly on the day of the shoot.

It was imperative that everything stay on schedule on the shoot day, so our team set up our equipment in advance, specifically to capture the all needed angles. We also had separate locations for the intro video shots, as that would be one of the most complex pieces to create. We worked with the student-athletes to share our vision and get them to bring that vision to life in front of the cameras.

The shoot was a big success and put us in a great position to create the pieces exactly how we envisioned them.

Focussing On The Zips

Jeffrey, our Camera Operator, was very serious about capturing the perfect shot.



POSTERS, MAGNETS & CARDS: We created these pieces showing the student-athletes breaking through the respective mediums, tying in the campaign’s slogan. These were created to showcase the full season schedule so fans would have easy access to game information.

BILLBOARDS: For the billboard design, we adapted the style from the other pieces, highlighting the full season schedule, and translated it into a template highlighting the team’s next home game. This eye-catching design would appear on digital billboards throughout northeast Ohio.

BANNERS: The posters and magnet schedules were geared towards putting game information into the hands and homes of fans, but the Zips also wanted that information displayed as a constant reminder to students on campus. To accomplish that, we took the theme of the campaign and made it into a massive banner to display on the UA campus. This stayed up throughout the season so students were walking by a reminder of the upcoming games on a daily basis.

MISCELLANEOUS DESIGN ELEMENTS: As in all multi-faceted campaigns, little details and consistency are key. To help ensure that the “Breakthroo” campaign maintained a consistent look and feel, we also created various pieces, from newspaper ads to group ticket flyers, all of which reinforced the style and messaging.

Bringing A Poster To Life

Creation of the poster was done in InDesign and Photoshop.



Using the footage that we captured at the video shoot, we created the intro video for the 2013-14 season. Keeping with the theme of breaking through the medium that each piece was being displayed on, this video showed the players breaking through glass, as if they were breaking through the James A. Rhodes Arena video screens.

This video ran not only before home games at James A. Rhodes Arena, but also was shared on the web and social media to further spread awareness of the season and the campaign.


The campaign was a success and received positive feedback from not only fans, but also members of Akron’s Athletic Department and the student-athletes themselves.

2013-14 Intro Video

This video played on the video boards at James A. Rhodes Arena before each Zips home game.

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