Five years ago, Florida State University Women’s Basketball Coach Sue Semrau recognized that she had all the ingredients to build an elite basketball program but one: National-caliber branding to set the team apart and inspire the imagination of the nation’s top high school recruits.
So she engaged a top regional branding firm, Sachs Media Group, to capture what makes the program so special – a rare move for a women’s collegiate team. The result was a stunning photographic portrayal of the team that could rival those of any professional men’s sport.
This month, that campaign won national recognition, edging out competition from more than 40,000 entrants with a national Silver ADDY award for best visual photography.
“To me, what sets FSU Women’s Basketball apart is our emphasis on the whole person. We’re not just building great athletes, we’re nurturing successful young women who will go on to make their mark in the world,” said Coach Semrau. “The branding supports that by capturing the players in all their dimensions as powerful competitors and beautiful young women.”
The FSU Women’s Basketball program has enjoyed sustained success on the recruiting trail and on the court. This year, the team made it to the Elite Eight and was ACC Championship Runner-Up. Coach Semrau was named ACC, AP and WBCA National Coach of the Year. The team has made 10 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 11 years. In the past five years, FSU Women’s Basketball has been in the Sweet Sixteen three times and the Elite Eight twice, and was ACC regular season champions. Last year, the team had the 7th ranked recruiting class nationwide.
“These photo sessions celebrate the players and make them feel like stars,” said Michelle Ubben, partner and chief operating officer of Sachs Media Group, “We want potential recruits to look at these photographs and say, ‘I want to see myself in that picture.’”
Now in its 20th year, Sachs Media is the Southeast’s leading independent integrated marketing and communications firm. This award marks the firm’s first national ADDY win, building on a strong record of acclaim for its branding and communications work, including state and regional ADDYs, regional Emmy Awards and national Bulldog Reporter and Gracie awards. For more information on Sachs Media Group, please visit sachsmedia.com.
Photographer: David Barfield. Art Director: Erin Pace