“You scroll through your phone and you are going to see thousands of these today from around the country. 300 schools putting out content to promote their new signees, what can you do that’s going to catch somebody’s eye and get them to stop and watch a 30-second video rather than just continue to scroll by?” – Taylor Bryan, Assistant AD for Football External, Baylor University
“We wanted to do something different, something exciting and something fun for signing day. We had a lot of ideas on our idea board. Everybody shot their ideas at us, and it was just honing in on something we thought was fun, exciting, and something we thought no one else would do; that’s how Legos came in.” – Bo Savage Director of Creative Media, Kansas State
Scrolling through twitter on signing day had many folks doing a double-take. Baylor’s 2020 football team will be made up of weight training muppet style puppets while opponents of Kansas State will be facing off against the tried and true iron men of the toy world, Legos. The creative teams for the universities took a big chance, and it paid off in national news coverage and fantastic fan feedback.
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) December 18, 2019
“We were fortunate; not only did it catch our fans’ eyes and other people’s fans, but it also caught national media attention, which made the numbers skyrocket. It’s just been great,” Bryan from Baylor told CollegeAD.
The news was much the same from Kansas State.
“We built off the building blocks, no pun intended, of Coach Klieman’s first year, something new here a new tradition,” explains Kenny Lannou the Executive Associate AD for Communications at Kansas State. “Also, who doesn’t like Legos? It’s something that relates to all ages. It’s broad-based and it’s fun.”
Fun seems to be exactly what the creative teams at K-State and Baylor were having when these ideas came to the surface. Both Bryan and Lannou said their creative teams deserve full credit for the eye-catching designs.
“We have a tremendous team; we have a dedicated football creative team that works day in and day out with our football staff. They are the ones responsible for this; they get full credit for this blowing up and becoming huge today,” said Bryan.
“We had a collaborative effort. We have a group that meets and works regularly throughout football season from a creative standpoint. It kind of pulled together all of the communications, social media, video, football creative, and football video crew together,” said Lannou.
It was clear from the videos and graphics that a ton of work went into the puppet and Lego designs. Kansas State details were added to every helmet and jersey. Lannou told CollegeAD it was an 8-week process that started with an idea board and ended with a new image for a new team.
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) December 18, 2019
“Finishing up Coach Klieman’s first year, from a social standpoint, from an access, and a creative standpoint, we’ve done a lot more here in the last year than I think we ever have, and fans have really accepted it. With content, the more you make the more people crave.”
On the Baylor side of things, it was also a 2-month process to create the puppets that involved pre-recorded audio and a lot of creative juices flowing all the way back to October.
“The first step in this whole process, we did something when the schedule came out back in October. It really got a lot of traction; it was Bob Ross themed. That was really the first time we stepped out and said we are going to do something totally outside the box. It went really well and gave us some confidence and realized our fan base was receptive to something that was not the norm.”
The time, energy, and effort seemed to have been worth it. Baylor and Kansas State may have ended up with the two most talked about Signing Days in the Twittersphere.
This story first appeared in The NightCap, CollegeAD’s evening newsletter. The NightCap delivers the day’s college athletics news in simple bullet points, giving you what you need to know in just a few lines. Get The NightCap today.