University of Kentucky Issues Branding RFP

University of Kentucky Issues Branding RFP

The University of Kentucky Athletics Department is seeking a multimedia and marketing agency to perform various services to drive awareness and support for its role in UK’s capital campaign, Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign. This request is intended to establish a relationship with a partner that can help share the goals and purpose of UK Athletics’ capital campaign through a variety of means, including video production, web design, content creation, advertising and direct communications with current and prospective donors.

Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign is a historic university-wide $2.1 billion campaign for the future of the University of Kentucky and our Commonwealth focused on student success, addressing critical areas of investment, and involving all units and programs. In this campaign, UK Athletics is focused on providing student-athletes with the resources and best-in-class facilities necessary to succeed in competition, in the classroom, and in life. The four pillars of UK Athletics’ part in Kentucky Can are:

Tradition: Reimagining Memorial Coliseum and turning the tradition-rich facility into a state-of-the-art home for UK’s volleyball, women’s basketball and gymnastics teams while preserving and building on its tradition through the recognition of fallen heroes and the construction of a new Hall of Fame.

Facilities: Providing the resources necessary for UK’s 22 varsity teams to compete on an elite level

Student-Athlete Experience: Cultivating a new generation of leaders for our world by creating a transformative experience for nearly 500 student-athletes that challenges and enables them to grow athletically, academically and as human beings

Scholarships: Protecting the opportunity student-athletes have to pursue an education at a world-class university

The successful agency will show an ability to develop a deep understanding of the goals of this campaign and keen insights into how those goals can be showcased in a way that is compelling to current and prospective donors.



UK Athletics manages its fundraising efforts in-house through the K Fund, the fundraising arm of UK Athletics, and other internal resources. That work has been supplemented by occasional projects with outside agencies. Considering the scope of this campaign, UK Athletics must expand the scope of its fundraising work. It has been concluded that the most effective way to accomplish this is by partnering with an agency.

UK Athletics’ fundraising efforts have historically been associated with the phrase Invest In Blue. That will not go away, but UK Athletics is adopting the university-wide campaign theme of Kentucky Can. However, due to the differences in UK Athletics’ mission and goals compared to other colleges and units, UK Athletics will need to differentiate itself.

The university has set a goal to raise $2.1 billion. UK Athletics is responsible for nearly a quarter ($520 million) of that overall goal. Approximately $280 million was raised during the quiet phase of the campaign, leaving approximately $240 million to rise by the year 2022.

Since his arrival, President Eli Capilouto has set forth an ambitious agenda to extend and enhance our role as Kentucky’s land-grant and flagship Research University. By focusing on infrastructure growth and improvement; creating opportunities for innovative teaching, learning, and academic excellence; fostering a robust research and creative scholarship enterprise; providing life-saving subspecialty care; empowering communities through service and outreach; and encouraging a transparent and shared dialogue about institutional priorities; the University of Kentucky will ensure a new century of promise for the people we impact.

Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK’s campus now covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 30,000 students and approximately 14,500 employees, including more than 2,300   full-time faculties. The UK is one of a small number of universities in the United States that has programs in agriculture, engineering, a full complement of health colleges including medicine and pharmacy, law and fine arts on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration. The state’s flagship university consists of 17 academic and professional colleges where students can choose from more than 200 majors and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The colleges are Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; Communication and Information; Dentistry; Design; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Graduate School; Health Sciences; Law; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; and Social Work. These colleges are supported by a modern research library system.

Research at the University of Kentucky is a dynamic enterprise encompassing both traditional scholarship and emerging technologies, and UK’s research faculty, staff, and students are establishing the UK as one of the nation’s most prolific public research universities. UK’s research enterprise attracted $285 million in research grants and contracts from out-of-state sources, which generated a $580 million impact on the Kentucky economy. Included in this portfolio is $153 million in federal awards from the National Institutes of Health, non-NIH grants from the   Department Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and NASA, among others. The National Science Foundation ranks UK’s research enterprise 44th among public institutions.

UK’s agenda remains committed to accelerating the University’s movement toward academic excellence in all areas and gain worldwide recognition for its outstanding academic programs, its commitment to students, its investment in pioneering research and discovery, its success in building a diverse community and its engagement with the larger society. It is all part of the University’s fulfilment of our promise to Kentucky to position our state as a leader in American prosperity.


Due Date

12/06/2018 by 3 p.m. Eastern Time


Naomi Emmons

Purchasing Division

University of Kentucky

322 Peterson Service Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0005

Phone: (859) 257-1555

Fax: (859) 257-1951



Agencies worth considering include Makovsky PR and Alison Brod PR.

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