We probably all grew up in a town or city that had a yearly festival that defined the community. Citizens looked forward to it, the media covered it extensively, and city resources were fully devoted to its success. Ironically enough, with many of these events, a great deal of excitement is generated from something other than what takes place directly on the streets. It all centers on one question…
What is the t-shirt going to look like this year?!
Yes, yes, yes. With established, annual events there is always anticipation surrounding the t-shirt. Growing up in Spokane, the color/design of the Bloomsday (a 7 mile community run held in May) t-shirt was always a major secret until the first person crossed the finish line. Once the shirt was out, it received either the approval or critique of thousands of participants.
Well, #CCUSocialMedia isn’t an annual event. Rather, it is 24/7/365 machine that doesn’t take a day off, let alone 364 of them. However, with that said, we still release an annual t-shirt.
As I discussed last year, I arrived at Coastal Carolina University with the intention of building its social media program to function as a brand. Out of the myriad of things needed to fully establish #CCUSocialMedia, a creative t-shirt was on the list (down toward the bottom of course). Once some of the more pressing issues of building a social media presence were taken care of, I gleefully turned my attention to creating something that students would want to wear.
Recently, we revealed our 2019-20 #CCUSocialMedia t-shirt. The fourth incarnation of the garment, this year’s version was made to not only win favor with our students but also to play a major role in this summer’s social media campaign––but more on the latter objective in a future blog post. Tonight, I just wanted to touch base on the creation of the shirt as a means to showcase our brand and to appeal to our audience.
I asked my social media specialist, Anthony Bowser, for ideas on this year’s design. As someone who recently graduated from college, he has a better idea than me about what university undergrads will actually walk outside in. He suggested I incorporate the South Carolina state outline somehow. I took his advice and came up with a concept that combined state pride with one of the most popular social media buzzwords floating around.
Taking liberty to describe the #CCUSocialMedia program as a major influencer in South Carolina, I envisioned a t-shirt that depicted a flurry of social media activity in the easternmost part of the state––you know, right where Conway is? Anthony and I presented this concept to Ron Walker, one of our talented graphic designers, and he created something that exceeded what I had drawn in my head.
Ron took all the elements we requested and made an awesome design. The outline of the state of South Carolina fills the front part of the t-shirt with the words Top #Influencer written inside. A CCU pin marker designates Conway. Social media icons and reaction buttons stem from the pin and dance inside and outside the outline. The shirt conveys that CCU is a top influencer along with the person wearing it.
The back of the shirt is our social media logo, solidifying the apparel’s branding.
As I mentioned, this year’s shirt is much more than a trendy item for students. Although we will be giving out a ton of these things to Chanticleers currently enrolled at CCU, there is a greater purpose for their use (more on that later). Thanks to Ron and Anthony for collaborating on this project, I appreciate the creativity! Stay tuned, pretty soon these shirts will be literally everywhere in South Carolina. Don’t Blink.