Founded in 1798 as one of the nation’s first city-owned, public universities, the University of Louisville (UofL) is a vital ecosystem that creates thriving futures for students, the community and society. As one of only 69 universities in the United States to earn recognition by the Carnegie Foundation as both a Research 1 and a Community Engaged university, we impact lives in areas of student success and research and innovation, while our dynamic connection with our local and global communities provides unparalleled opportunity for students and citizens both. The university serves as an engine that powers Metro Louisville and the commonwealth and as a classroom for UofL’s more than 23,000 students, who benefit from partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and a wide range of community service opportunities. Through the university’s approach to education, innovation and connection Cardinals make impacts that make a difference.

In January 2022, the university launched the “Here & Beyond” campaign, the culmination of a multi-year effort to evolve the UofL brand’s graphic and editorial identities, as well as increase awareness of the university with a robust advertising presence. This was the first such comprehensive campaign developed in more than a decade and the university will maintain the brand strategy, standards, campaign visuals and identity established for at least the initial two-year term of this contract.

At UofL, the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) serves the entire university, however most schools, colleges and units maintain marketing and communication staffs. OCM is responsible for setting and protecting the university’s brand. Individual schools, colleges and units are required to work within the brand strategies and standards set by OCM to inform promotion of their respective areas but are responsible for individual projects and initiatives.

Current needs 

UofL is seeking multiple marketing agencies to perform various advertising, creative, production, promotional and strategic marketing services for the University of Louisville, its schools, colleges, units and departments. The purpose of this Request for Proposal is to develop a direct relationship with agencies that will uphold and share the university’s unified strategic messaging and branding efforts through implementation, execution, production and delivery of requested work to its diverse target audiences. Agencies will be selected based upon qualifications and relevant prior experience, quality and creativity of work, ability to provide all needs requested adequately and efficiently, and competitive pricing that considers varying budget models across UofL’s schools, colleges, units and departments. 

During the contract period, project areas of focus may include, but are not limited to: implementation and execution of current branding, advancement/fundraising, reputation management, market research, student recruitment and student retention. Target audiences may include, but are not limited to: current students, faculty and staff employees, alumni, community members, prospective students, parents of prospective students, prospective and current donors.

The selected firms shall be marketing partners that support the University of Louisville Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) and schools and units in the following categories: (a) full marketing services – to include marketing research, strategic marketing planning, media buying and trafficking, digital marketing, and creative services including graphic design, videography, photography, advertising, long-form writing, etc.; (b) digital marketing services – to include projects involving web/mobile/social development and creative services, SEO/PPC management, social media, content and email marketing; and (c) video services – to include projects involving the concepting, filming, editing and post-production of videos.

Firms may respond to any or all categories of the RFP; each category will be considered individually and granted as such. If you want to be considered for all categories, you should respond to all categories. One or more firms may be selected for each category. Each selected marketing partner will have a separate contract with the University of Louisville for their respective services.

Scope of services:

At minimum, any agency/firm awarded a contract shall perform the following services:

• Superior account management and customer service, to include project management as requested

• Assist UofL, its schools and units in implementation and execution of marketing initiatives and communication opportunities

• Notify appropriate personnel in the Office of Communications & Marketing (OCM) prior to initiation of any projects with the university’s other schools, colleges, units and departments

• Report, both at specified intervals and as needed, to OCM on projects for OCM and across the university’s schools, colleges, units and departments

• Ensure separate billing/invoicing procedures for projects by school, college, unit or department but engage in regular reporting of contract spend to OCM

• Work with OCM to ensure any work is compliant with university standards, policies and legal requirements.

• Work with OCM to ensure any work is compliant with university brand strategy and visual messaging standards and ongoing brand marketing campaign.

• Deliver to OCM all original drafts and work, source code, content, video, audio, photos or other media, whether used in the project or not, within two (2) weeks of project completion. All work is for-hire and therefore the property of the University of Louisville.

In addition, at minimum, any agency/firm awarded a contract in the full-service category shall perform the following services as needed:

• Strategic communications planning

• Implementation and execution of current brand campaign

• Implementation and execution of advertising services

• Development of marketing initiatives

• Production services for schools and units to include videography, digital marketing, graphic design, web design, photography, writing

• Implementation and coordination of public opinion/market research at both the university and school/unit levels

• Media buying, negotiation and placement

• Coordination with print vendors following University and state guidelines. See “Additional Information” re: print requirements.

In addition, at minimum, any agency/firm awarded a contract in the digital marketing services category shall perform the following services as needed:

• Execution of established digital creative strategy, which may include but is not limited to: development of campaign concepts, creative services for web, social and mobile and campaign tracking and optimization

• Placement, management and analysis of its digital advertising activities, including SEO and PPC strategies

• Strategies for and implementation of social media, email and content marketing

• Coordination with other vendors working with the university on web development and implementation projects

In addition, at minimum, any agency/firm awarded a contract in the video services category shall perform the following services as needed:

• Creative strategy and development, which may include but is not limited to, development of concepts that convey the university’s strategic messaging points; videography; audio sourcing, recording and mixing; video editing; postproduction; final preparation for broadcast and digital distribution of television; any other video marketing; virtual event hosting or recording; and technology support related to video

EMAIL, OR MAIL PROPOSALS TO: Name: Carisa Robertson Department Name: Department of Contract Administration

Address: University of Louisville, Service Complex, Suite 103


Due Date:

3/18/22 5 p.m. (EST)

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