A Slam-Dunk Sporting Experience

Case Study 5.13

The Mount Finds a Creative Solution for Basketball Games

Mount St. Mary’s University is a private, liberal arts Catholic university in Emmitsburg, Md. The Mount offers more than 70 majors, minors, concentrations, and special programs for traditional undergraduate students and 20 adult undergraduate and graduate-level programs. The Mount also has a strong athletic program that inspires students to work together through teamwork. The Mountaineers compete in Division I athletics, premier and club, and intramural sports.

The Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted collegiate sports across the country. As the Mount athletics team prepared for its 2020-2021 basketball season, adherence to safety protocols took center stage in the planning process. Knowing that in-person fan attendance would be greatly impacted, the Mount athletics team needed an efficient solution that would fill the void of empty seats, while still creating an inspiring atmosphere as fans would now be viewing the games via live-streams.  

the mount girls basketball team during game
msmu girls basketball game

The Solution

After a site visit and in-person, socially-distanced meeting, the Mount’s athletics managers and the Graphcom team collaboratively agreed that producing large graphics to cover the seats would be the best option for budget and timeline. Graphcom and the Mount precisely measured the spaces to be covered and discussed budget and how sponsorship could help impact the cost. With a newfound sense of positivity, both teams got to work.

msmu seat covers
White sponsor logos were printed on Mount St. Mary’s blue vinyl tarps with grommets so that they could easily hang on empty bleachers. Each panel alternated between Mount St. Mary’s primary athletic logo and ‘M’ logomark to add visual interest.

The Results

The graphics were large and bold. Graphcom printed 10 12’ x 14’ vinyl tarps with grommets strategically placed to easily hang on the empty bleachers. Each tarp was printed in solid blue to match the Mount’s branded colors, and sponsor logos were reversed to appear white. The tarps and sponsor brandmarks are clearly visible when each home game is live-streamed and viewed by dedicated Mountaineer fans. Thanks to the 10 sponsors, the Mount was able to cover the cost of the production.

 

What’s Next?

The Mount athletics department plans to build an indoor hitting facility and team room for baseball. The 6,500-square-foot hitting facility will include a 5,400-square-foot synthetically turfed space with three hitting chutes and two pitching chutes. There will be retractable netting to open the space for defensive drills. The building will also house team meeting spaces and coaches’ offices with graphics applied to mimic those of the baseball stadium for brand and message consistency.

“They look great, and we were surprised we were able to make a project like this happen. Thank you so much for your help.”

Bobby Rudd

Associate Director of Athletic Development and Fan Experience, Mount St. Mary's University

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