We launched a campaign, starting in 2019, to revamp the marketing strategy for Southern Illinois University's Marching Salukis on campus and in the community. The ensemble is made up of nearly 200 musicians from across disciplines at the university and the group is known for its iconic look.
Through a mix of visually-driven marketing materials, documentation of both university-affiliated/external partner-led events, and an enhanced social media presence, we have been able to enhance the band's in-person and digital audience engagement, helping the Marching Salukis gain further visibility with strategic partners while increasing capital campaign contributions and supporting our membership.
Print Marketing Materials
Below you will see a sample of the 11x17 posters we created for the group to be distributed in the community and among high schools throughout the state and region featuring members of the band.
The Marching Salukis' annual capital campaign efforts are vital to the group's success and allow for members to have an accessible collegiate marching band experience, as well as assisting in annual operational costs. The COVID-19 pandemic had the band incur additional expenses, so an additional push was focused on social media to drive support.
Since the implementation of visual graphic materials and a digital/social media strategy, in part, individual supporters have increased substantially – total campaign support increased over 100% between FY19-20 and FY20-21. During the 2020-2021 campaign, the band received nearly $12,000 from more than 135 donors.
Each of the member's portraits, showcasing about two dozen members in all, were posted to our digital platforms with biographical information to showcase the breadth of our their backgrounds and experiences.
The digital material below was used to announce the final tally for donations raised during the 2020-2021 SIU "Day of Giving" as well as allowing Marching Salukis members, friends, and family to show their support on Facebook.
The "Game Day" Presence
The Marching Salukis' "Game Day" presence was one of the top priorities given as it is the environment where the ensemble receives most of its viewership. In planning for that, we created an introduction video to play as the band is entering the field, as well as custom social media loops and graphics to post on each game day and create further audience interaction within affiliated social media accounts.
The following graphics were used to highlight our graduating students this season. While normally they would be recognized on the field, the COVID-19 pandemic had us pivot to a digital presentation on our scoreboard.
Strategic/External Communications and Photo Resources
Aside from providing internal communication components for the band, we engage with alumni, local media, and other strategic partners to publicly elevate the presence of the band and their endeavors. Below, you will find media clippings and other collateral where the Marching Salukis appeared during our time working with the group.
A documentary project showcasing the ensemble's 2019-2020 season was published in "The Southern Illinoisan," Carbondale's local newspaper with roughly 12,000 Sunday circulation, 2.8 million page views, and more than 720,000 unique visitors. The same project was shared through Halftime Magazine, was featured on Adobe's "Spark" social media platforms, and was made into a limited-run hardcover book.
Another project we tackled during our time with the Marching Salukis was photographing athletic band events including band camp, new student convocation, alumni outreach events, community events, and much more. In addition, we created digital libraries of all images captured and edited for member and partner access.
We continue working with the Marching Salukis and the SIU School of Music in this endeavor. Please stay tuned for further updates and new materials. If you would like to see more imagery from the Marching Arts, please visit the appropriate page under "Portfolio."