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American Heroes NFL Charities

shut up and play through the pain


INTRODUCTION Pride. Guts. Glory. These are just a few of the words that describe the prestige of being part of the NFL. Blood, sweat, tears: They’re just a part of the game. Pain and sacrifice are inevitable for every player. Every man has his day where he’ll have to shut up and play through the pain, which he’ll take like a man. Except for concussions. Concussions not only hinder players in the short term, but have longlasting effects as well. Concussion lead to CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a horrifying progressive degenerative brain disease accompanied by aggression, depression, memory loss and dementia. Its effects are so devastating that several professional players have committed suicide to donate their brains to medical research in order to bring attention to the cause. NFL American Heroes addresses this cause, known as the Concussion Crisis, and responds to allegations that the NFL would rather pimp their players’ for profit at the expense of their health.


players have four years or less to make enough money for himself and his family to live on for the rest of their lives.


Contents 3. Style

1. Research

3.1 Logo standards 3.2 Logo Guidelines 3.3 Color Palette

1.1 Company Research 1.2 Personas 1.3 Creative Brief

3.4 Typography

4. Media

2. Process

4.1 Documentary 4.2 Website 4.3 Mobile App 4.4 Music Single 4.5 Twitter Auction 4.6 Charity Game

2.1 Design Research 2.2 Moodboards 2.3 Logo


1.RESEARCH 1.1 Company 1.2 crisis 1.3 Personas 1.4 swot 1.5 brief


1.1 Company As the most popular sports franchise in America, the NFL (National Football League) is a premiere brand that generates billions of dollars in annual revenues. But it comes at a cost: the long-term physical, mental and emotional health of its players, and by extension, their families. Comprised of 32 member teams split evenly between 2 conferences, each with 4 divisions, the NFL has always been an impassioned sport that channels excitement in fans, players and everyone within the organization.


1.1 Company Despite early popularity, the NFL was not officially recognized as a major sports organization until the 1950s, most specifically during the 1958 Super Bowl. The NFL’s popularity increased through the 1960s and merged into its current version in 1970. NFL kicks off with pre-season in August, official season in September and playoffs through December and January. The season ends with the Super Bowl, which is held in late January or early February. The Super Bowl is one of the world’s most popular sports events, and generates $150 million for the city it hosts, not to mention approximately $4 million for each 30 second commercial on TV.


1.2 crisis Football is fast-paced contact sport that thrives on hard hits and tackles. Everyone knows this. What everyone doesn’t know, however, is how these hits affect players. Hard hits to the head can result in long term health problems for football players. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease linked to an occurrence of repetitive head injuries. Football players who’ve experienced several concussions are at risk for CTE and its long term effects, which include dementia, memory loss, agression, and depression. CTE causes development of abnormal Tau proteins in the brain, which are linked to a player experiencing progressive mental deterioration.


1.2 crisis As suicides, depression and other mental changes related to hard hits and CTE come to light in former professional football players, there’s been growing concern over player safety during football games. Former players allege the NFL has been long aware of the health risks of hard hits during gameplay, yet persist to place profit over player safety. As a result, players participate uninformed, and are even encouraged to “shut up and play through the pain” for the sake of maintaining their active status on the rosters and helping their team win. Former NFL suicides allegedly related to the NFL “Concussion Crisis” include Junior Seau and Ray Easterling, both of whom were confirmed to have CTE in their autopsies.


1.3 personas Average Player Active 3.5 seasons $1.1 million salary/reg. season Does he play an offensive position? Yes? He’s 3x more likely to get a concussion


1.3 Personas

Average fans Name: Joe Smith Dallas, TX Electrical Contractor $65,000 yr. Married 6 years 1 child Bachelor’s degree

Name: Hector Soto Miami, FL IT Specialist $95,000 yr. Single 0 Children Some College


1.4 SWot


1.5 brief

NFL Charities Brand Tenets

Teamwork, Innovation, Community

Campaign Objective Increase brand awareness of NFL Charities by focusing on its support of medical research designed to further investigate the risks of CTE and head injuries sustained by US military veterans and NFL players, both of whom are deemed “American Heroes” throughout the American community.

Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Evolve NFL brand by demonstrationg the organization’s patriotic commitment to American medical research, thereby supporting the nation’s future health and prosperity. Increase brand engagement 10% in 5 years.

Proposed Deliverables: NFL Charities rebrand (includes logo), marketing campaign & integrated strategy, NFL documentary supported by media single, mobile app and multimedia asset design.


2. Design 2.1 research 2.2 moodboards 2.3 logo



2.1 research Research has demonstrated that when it comes to NFL players and support for this issue, largely there is none. There’s a prevailing attitude that NFL players sustain head injuries as simple hazards of duty. Part of tying the campaign together in a manner that brings the issue to life and strikes empathy for players requires that NFL Charities partners with another agency who commands the respect of the public. The US military is the most selfless and patriotic organization in the eyes of the American people. CTE and its effects deeply plague this community as well, especially when members have served in dangerous battle zones.


2.1 research As both the NFL and the US military are two institutions highly regarded by the public - and especially children - the campaign is titled American Heroes.


2.2 moodboards Kids Play Safe Kids look up to their parents and role models. Let’s teach them not to play rough with each other, because playing football (and other sports) safely allows them to have fun without hurting anybody. And it makes their hero proud.


2.2 moodboards Vintage American Heroes Manliness, civility, hardihood and resilience... respecting your fellow comrade in sport and on the battlefield. You are the man your favorite athlete’s favorite athlete looks up to.


2.2 moodboards Seattle Swag Inspired by Nike’s innovative, high-energy redesign of the Seattle Seahawks. You’ve got the body of a god and you’re as fast as lightning... but by ignoring severe head trauma in order to perform, you’re only going to destroy your legacy in the long run.


2.2 moodboards American Heroes Classic, nostalgic, and all-American, we’re banding together as a unit to support our heroes on the battlefield, representing our city, our state and our nation as a whole.


2.3 Logo Early Logo Sketches NFL Charities needs a clearly distinct logo that relates to the parent NFL brand while still distinct. Early inspiration was taken from design research into two competitive sports organizations: the NBA and MLB. Both logos use red and blue with negative whitespace to create what are two of today’s most iconic and longstanding sports logo designs.


2.3 Logo Logo Iterations The original NFL Charities logo is a simple button using the old NFL logo. The initial redesign for this logo was a tilted dog tag with a football helmet. However, the final logo redesign uses an even horizontal placement of the football helmet and the official NFL colors for an evenly balanced look with timeless presence and pure stability. It looks towards the future with a steady state of mind.


3. Style 3.1 standards 3.2 colors 3.3 typography 3.4 brand voice



3.1 standards The old NFL Charities logo used to be a simple round design that somewhat emulates buttons seen on denim jeans.


The new logo for this particular campaign is refeshed with an active appearance. This new design is one that denotes action, movement. It also infers upward mobility drawn on development and actions of those who served in the past to support positive causes in NFL and military history.



3.1 standards The logo is designed specifically for the American Heroes campaign. However, it can easily be applied to all of the NFL Charities campaigns and overall site design after this campaign is completed. The logo is to be no more than 1 inch wide and maintain an appropiate space margin on all sides. The single color rendering of the logo is only to be used when full color is not available for media design and usage. This logo’s opacity may be adjusted for watermark purposes. Logo is not to have any other color or gradient adjustments.


3.2 colors


3.2 colors The campaign is called American Heroes, an obvious nod to our patriotic pride to American citizens serving and entertaining the country. To honor the patriotic essence of both the US military, its veterans, the NFL and its past and present players, the American Heroes color palette is red, white and blue. Red, white and blue are the colors of the US flag, the official colors of the NFL, and reflect the blood, sweat and tears of our men, drenched with honor and courage, that represent the essence of what both these organizations stand for: teamwork, American pride and community.


3.3 typography Endzone Sans Condensed is the official font of the NFL, however, it’s narrow design is not easy to read.


To add a fresh look to the NFL Charities brand campaign, traditional NFL colors are maintained, but the distinction will be made in terms of font selection.

Endzone Sans

Archive is a clear font with strong linear character, yet unique design touches that are fresh, modern and masculine. Helvetica provides clear, easy to read text for the font. It’s neutral, clean design works well both in digital and print formats. Endzone Sans Condensed is used in sparing and mostly decorative application. Together, these fonts give a crisp, modern feel to the campaign. They’re stylish, no-nonsense and manly, speaking to the masculine man of today.


abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz


Helvetica ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890

3.4 Brand voice The NFL brand speaks in a straightforward manner that pulls no punches, yet maintains a high level of energy and excitement for the audience. American Heroes copy will directly reflect the candid yet appealing voice established by the NFL brand. Maintaining consistent language allows effortless absorption of the overall campaign messaging. This also reinforces the American Heroes campaign, and the NFL Charities brand to the parent NFL brand. Because the NFL and the military are patriotic, family friendly brands, all media created directly from the parent brand will be written in good taste. Inappropriate and obscene language and expressions are expressly prohibited from brand use, including media deliverables.


4.Media 4.1 documentary 4.2 hero bowl 4.3 website 4.4 single 4.5 twitauction 4.6 commercial


4.1 Documentary Blood on the Field is the focal point of the ampaign. The documentary will be produced with the use of traditional footage from NFL games, interviews with NFL players and medical staff, and also contain interactions with US military officials regarding the Concussion crisis. The goal is to create a moving piece that captivates the real essence of the effects CTE has on players and military - our American Heroes - as they serve our country.


4.2 hero bowl Hero Bowl will be the first NFL Charities bowl of its kind. Designed to entertain the public, the game also raise awareness of CTE, its relationship to concussions and NFL player health. Hero Bowl will also highlight the NFL’s unity and partnership with the military to support medical research for innovations for improved head safety on both the battlefield and football field.


4.3 website is the official website for the overall NFL American Heroes campaign. Website features links for visitors to learn more about the documentary, engage on the blog and download the mobile app.


4.4 Music single Contracting a hot music artist with high mainstream appeal and an edge is important to pulling the campaign together. T.I. is an artist versatile enough to work with everyone from young country artist Taylor Swift to hip hop heavyweights like Jay-Z. TI also has a family-friendly reality show on VH1. An episode for this series can highlight the creative development of the single and spread awareness to viewers who buy the single to support the artist, increasing campaign success.


4.5 twitauction The NFL Charities Celebrity Twitter auction is designed to engage celebrity athletes and their fans. Fans and NFL players unite to raise money for NFL Charities as it supports medical research into CTE, head injuries and long-term brain damage. Not only will this event raise money, but it will bring attention to the DVD, as auction bidders win the chance to enter for a trip to the red carpet gala and premiere of the DVD.


4.6 commercial The American Heroes commercial will highlight the concussion crisis exploration through the DVD and the upcoming Hero Bowl game. Viewers will be encouraged to stay tuned for the game, which will feature some of the NFL’s top all-stars and donate some of the proceeds from ticket sales to the NFL Charities’ American Heroes campaign.





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