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Sun Belt Conference Partners With SME for Branding Initiative

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Sun Belt Conference Partners With SME for Branding Initiative



The Sun Belt Conference announced today that it has partnered with SME Branding, Inc. to conduct a branding and repositioning study for the conference.

“Our partnerships with SME represents an important step as the Sun Belt Conference looks towards the future,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson.  “Throughout the last several years we have seen significant changes in collegiate athletics and the Sun Belt has positioned itself well in terms of conference membership moving forward.  The changes that have taken place allow us to reflect on what the future holds for our conference and its member institutions.  Enhancing the identity and positioning of our brand is one of the fundamental goals of the Sun Belt at this time.  This will be a very exciting project as we prepare for the addition of our new members and the beginning of a new era for the Sun Belt Conference. ”

At the Sun Belt Conference’s annual Spring Meetings in May 2012 the league identified that the Sun Belt must expand its national brand recognition and undergo a complete brand enhancement study.  It was determined that, if the league’s goal is to complete at the highest level of collegiate athletics, the conference and its member institutions must be prepared to do so from a marketing and brand identity standpoint.

''In my estimation the competitive position of the Sun Belt exceeds its 'brand,’” Sun Belt Conference President and Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. said in an email to the Associated Press in August. ''This will change very soon. When its brand matches reality, the Sun Belt will equal or exceed several non-AQ (automatic qualifier) conferences it sought to emulate just a few years ago.''

The goal of the rebranding process is to successfully re-position the Sun Belt Conference by providing baseline market insights and developing a deep, actionable understanding of the internal and external perceptions of the conference through a multi-tiered process initiating with in-depth research.

From this initial research the branding process will establish a unique and differentiated positioning, key primary and secondary messages, a powerful new brand identity, an integrated brand strategy, as well as a brand unveiling, rollout and engagement plan for the conference.

The results will provide a foundation for an increase in overall conference awareness, esteem and buy-in among key constituents – students, student athletes, fans, faculty & staff, administrators, alumni, donors, trustees, partners, sponsors, businesses, the media, as well as local, regional and national communities.

Ed O’Hara, Senior Partner, SME Branding adds “We are extremely excited about our new brand building partnership with the Sun Belt Conference.  This is a milestone moment for the conference as it heads into a bright future of growth and relevance.  We look forward to helping realize Commissioner Benson’s bold new brand vision and helping raise the competitive bar not only among peer conferences, but across the entire national collegiate athletics landscape – “Why not the Sun Belt?!”

Representatives of SME will be in attendance at the Sun Belt Conference’s Fall Meetings in October at which time the plan and the scope of the project will be shared with the league’s chief executive officers, athletics directors, faculty athletics representatives and senior woman administrators.

The project will begin in September and take approximately six months to complete.
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Re: Sun Belt Conference Partners With SME for Branding Initiative

'In my estimation the competitive position of the Sun Belt exceeds its 'brand,’” Sun Belt Conference President and Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. said in an email to the Associated Press in August. ''This will change very soon. When its brand matches reality, the Sun Belt will equal or exceed several non-AQ (automatic qualifier) conferences it sought to emulate just a few years ago.''

How bout them apples??

;D
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Re: Sun Belt Conference Partners With SME for Branding Initiative

So are they looking at expanding the conference, or merging?
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Re: Sun Belt Conference Partners With SME for Branding Initiative

You guys should definitely read this article:

Next Step for the Sun Belt.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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