Bringing futbol to football country might sound odd at first—until you check the numbers. For many years, Birmingham has been among the highest TV audiences for men’s and women’s U.S. soccer matches.

That’s why the United Soccer League (USL) targeted the Magic City for a 2019 league expansion. However, bringing a brand new professional team to a city focused on college athletics would take a calculated approach. We worked with the USL and the newly minted executives of the Birmingham team for a Phase I rollout that would include preliminary brand identity, video assets, social media channels, and a full PR campaign to build excitement within the city and aid in selling tickets and securing sponsorships.

Our first big measure of success was the announcement itself. Centered around a press conference and launch party at Good People Brewing Company featuring USL execs, city of Birmingham officials, and more, our PR team delivered a calculated ad value of $34,391 and 36,054,722 total potential impressions behind the strength of 50+ media hits. On social media, utilizing both paid and organic tactics, we captured over 460,000 impressions on announcement day.

Additionally, by week’s end, brand new social accounts for USL2BHM across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram had amassed 2,700 total fans. This combination of PR and media tactics ultimately resulted in more than 200 individual ticket reservations for the 2019 season in 24 hours.

Now that the city has already begun to rally around the new team, we’ll be working on further branding and implementation leading up to the team’s debut match in March of 2019.

As part of the successful IN Campaign for the Birmingham CVB, we had an idea: take the incredibly popular IN Guide, featuring over 270 of the city’s most locally loved, locally owned spots (and now in its 5th print edition) and turn it into an app. Turns out, it’s an idea that locals and tourists alike loved as much as we did.

A category five hurricane, two seasons of drought and a full summer season of closed waterways due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill hit Alabama’s seafood industry hard. Concerns of safety and upward price-pressures were causing business to dry up, putting numerous fishermen out of business and pinching fleets, personnel and profits for everybody. The industry needed to create new demand for Gulf product, plain and simple.

Big’s strategy was to shorten the distance between consumers and the hardworking folks of Alabama’s seafood industry, the group that research told us people found most trustworthy. Doing this not only helped insert Alabama Gulf Seafood into the buy local conversation, it fostered a genuine sense of pride in the product for everyone in the Yellowhammer State. It also created a brand that embraced the hotness of the South in a way that would make even the most ardent Yankee yearn for golden fried shrimp.

Alabama Gulf Seafood | BIG Communications
Alabama Gulf Seafood | BIG Communications

While the creative was picking up awards (like Best of Show at the District 7 Addy awards against major national campaigns), the brand continued to pick up incredibly valuable partnerships. We got up with 2012 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Billy Reid to make a line of Alabama Gulf Seafood merchandise benefiting the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, both in 2012 and again in 2014.

We partnered with the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores for two years running to feature fresh, Alabama-sourced seafood in the only air-conditioned tent on site to serve artists and VIPs from all around the world. In 2014, we expanded our Hangout partnership to feature the Alabama Gulf Seafood courtyard at the BMI stage. We passed out branded shirts backstage that ended up on the cover the Alabama Shakes iTunes sessions album. We joined forces with nationally recognized chefs Frank Stitt, Chris Hastings, John Currence, and Wesley True to make sure there was no stone left unturned when it came to making Alabama Gulf Seafood a household name.