Case Study  |  Michigan State University

Who Will? Spartans Will.

The Challenge

Known more for its reputation of being a national sports powerhouse than that of a world-class research and academic leader, Michigan State University sought to change its image. Their goal? Improve their competitive advantage in attracting top caliber faculty and students as well as better positioning them for top research grants.

  • The Solution

    After conducting extensive research with faculty, students and alumni, key characteristics of the brand emerged. MSU’s people shared a rare blend of tenacity, openness and passion. They worked in a unique culture of openness and collaboration. And their bold purpose — to make an extraordinary difference in the world — enabled them to tackle the world’s toughest challenges smarter, better and faster than other universities. So using the theme, Spartans Will, BVK created the most iconic and engaging branding campaign the university has ever seen, aimed at connecting MSU’s passion for changing people’s lives, and solving problems across the globe with the school’s beloved Spartan helmet. The campaign, which included TV, radio, targeted airport signage, magazine, digital and social media, as well as a mobile app was an instant smash hit.

    The Results of Facebook Post of 1st TV Spot







    Video Views


    The launch of the campaign set off a social media frenzy in the first week alone. The Spartan Selfie app that launched a month later continued the Spartan craze with over 15,000 downloads in the first month, as Spartan alumni, parents and students posted thousands of photos of themselves showing their Spartan pride for those who work for the uncommon good in common ways.

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