James Braam and Shawn Sanem Discuss Designing Branded Campus Recreation Facilities
Director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment James Braam and Senior Graphic Design Specialist Shawn Sanem spoke with Athletic Business about designing branded experiences for campus recreation facilities.
“In the expanding marketplace of recreational fitness, branding becomes an important part of an entity’s business vision and vision of self. How can you get consumers to not only identify your brand, but identify with your brand? Branding is more than just a marketing strategy; it’s a celebration of space and identity that culminates in an immersive experience for the end user.”
“At Utah State University, the recreation department took things a step further by integrating their brand identity into the very walls of the Aggie Recreation Center. James Braam, senior vice president and director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment at HOK, emphasizes his team’s holistic planning approach, and the responsibility team members felt to produce an integrated design that responds not only to the context of the campus, but also to the larger context of the region.”
The visioning process for the ARC involved university leadership, campus recreation staff and students coming together as a team to create a cohesive brand identity that is consistent across the building concept, interior spaces and graphic design. At the outset of the visioning process, we coordinated a wilderness retreat with students and university staff. Between paddleboarding and team hikes in the mountains, the artistic vision for the ARC coalesced into a celebration of Utah State’s active lifestyle. “The retreat allowed us to immerse ourselves in the climate, in the region and in the experience,” Braam says.