Touchdown for Fans: ASU Sun Devil Athletics Team Delivers Excitement and Excellence in Every Message

1/30/2024 RRD

Touchdown for Fans: ASU Sun Devil Athletics Team Delivers Excitement and Excellence in Every Message

RRD’s commercial print support under tight deadlines leads to a decade of impeccable performance across 26 sports

About Arizona State University Sun Devil Athletics

Globally focused Arizona State University has achieved status in both quality and quantity. ASU has been named one of the country’s top-ranked and largest universities — as well as the country’s top innovative university — for eight years straight according to U.S. News and World Report.

Initially founded in 1885 to train teachers, ASU now offers more than 430 undergraduate degree programs and over 590 graduate degree programs. All programs are led by expert faculty and top researchers in first-class facilities. The university has more than 73,000 undergraduate and graduate students, both residential and online. Students hail from all 50 U.S. states and from more than 120 countries.

The faculty includes leaders in every field — Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, National Academy of Engineering members, National Academy of Sciences members, American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, Guggenheim fellows, National Endowment for the Humanities fellows, and Fulbright Program American Scholars.

As part of the Pac-12 conference, ASU’s over 650 athletes compete at a Division 1 level in 26 sports — from sand volleyball to American football. To support and promote these programs, the university produces hundreds of print materials, including game day programs, trading cards, team posters, promotional fliers, and media packets.

A long-standing relationship of success

ASU Sun Devil Athletics traditionally relied on its internal design team to create the many materials that support its sports teams. However, high volumes, programming variations, and frequent tight turnaround times grew to a level that required a supplemental print partner to bring the athletic department’s designs to fruition. It was out of this need that the relationship between Sun Devil Athletics and RRD began more than 20 years ago.

Delivering on intricacies and expectations

As an elite member of the Pac-12 conference, ASU Athletics benefits from numerous high-profile sports sponsorships. Those sponsorships require strict adherence to precise brand standards in print materials, including logo placement, brand guideline adherence, exact color matching, and other use guidelines.

In serving as a Sun Devil Athletics print partner, RRD has become a true steward of the ASU Athletics brand, ensuring successful, continued sponsorships between the university and its partner brands. That lengthy relationship has given RRD immense institutional knowledge, simplifying processes and ensuring a high level of accuracy, regardless of transitions within ASU.

RRD continuing to deliver on these needs will be imperative as Sun Devil Athletics transitions into the Big 12 Conference for the 2024-2025 school year.

Fast-paced offense

The sports marketing world is incredibly fast-paced. Materials supporting football games and other sporting events are produced on a very tight schedule, must include up-to-date statistics, and often require last-minute roster changes.

Meanwhile, the NCAA does not release statistics — which are a mandatory inclusion — until Tuesday mornings. Typically, this gives ASU Athletics and RRD a three-day print turnaround time to meet a Friday game-time deadline. However, having a one-day turnaround time to hit a Wednesday game deadline is not uncommon. In the history of the relationship, RRD has never missed a program deadline.

With print facilities located within miles of the ASU Athletic Department, RRD representatives are able to meet in person within minutes. Through this strategic partnership, ASU and RRD have both proven they have an unwavering commitment to do whatever it takes to successfully deliver programming.

Over time, RRD has honed the print workflow, built historical knowledge, and leaned on mutual respect that enables continued success. Like a kicker that can’t be iced, RRD meets that pace and scores every time, without fail.

“Creating sports marketing material under tight deadlines is a constant challenge, especially with the complexities of 26 different sports teams,” says Brett Wallerstedt, General Manager, Sun Devil Athletics Corporate Partnerships. “With RRD, I know Sun Devil Athletics and our partners are in good hands. Our RRD team comes through for us every time, no matter the time constraint.”

Ongoing Outcomes

  • Efficient proofing cycles
  • Nearly 50 print jobs with multiple versions in a given season (July to May) 125,000 units of collateral created annually, including game day programs, coupon books, team schedule posters, meetings and special event signs, pocket schedules, and autograph cards
  • Materials created to support 26 sports teams
  • Brand compliance across all ASU sports team print materials
  • Sponsorship agreement adherence, supporting existing ASU sponsorships
  • Zero deadlines missed

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