University of Michigan Athletic Department

Creating a culture, helping build a new home.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department is more than merely sports and experiences. It is a business. A movement. A tribe. And a religion. Through surveys, focus groups, visioning exercises, and intense engagement, we helped them define and institutionalize emotion, passion, and direction in an authentic and lasting manner.

Calling upon a community.

Engaging with their entire community of athletes, coaches, staff, donors, sponsors, partners, and beyond, we acted as a conduit to unearth what it meant to be Michigan.

Capturing a culture.

To understand the Michigan culture, we had to define boundaries. What is Michigan? What isn’t? Whereas this was once a “gut feeling” among those who lived the brand, it had never been clearly and succinctly defined. Rules had never been applied. And the emotion and deep history of the brand had never been properly written in stone. Our mission was making certain there were no longer gray areas: only distinct Maize and Blue.

Building a new home.

As part of our work, we created a campaign to help reach out and raise funds to help bring the program to the next level. The goal? Raise $350 million. The result? Mission accomplished. The new athletic campus is currently being constructed in multiple areas around South Campus.