University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

New Facility’s Branding Meets Notre Dame’s Standard of Excellence.

Coach & AD Apr/May 2018

The University of Notre Dame Athletics strives to do everything according to their guiding principles, their five pillars: excellence, education, faith, tradition and community. This means that in everything they do, they search for inspiration and the utmost version of who and what they are.

This also goes for facilities. 

After Notre Dame built a brand new, stunning softball facility, they quickly realize that they needed it to represent the brand identity that Notre Dame has nurtured over the years. They searched for an appropriate vendor, not really knowing what would work best or what they wanted visually, but knowing they wanted it to have a big impact.

Lizzy Ristano, Associate Softball Coach, lead the charge. She knew departments generally used different vendors on a project-by-project basis. She knew she wanted the softball field’s branding to have a huge impact and show opponents who they are right off the bat. She received an email from BigSigns; the projects shown in the email struck her as being something special. She reached out to them for a bid & design.

The product that was presented was the best of all the bids Ristano received. On-deck circles showcase their leprechaun logo. A long sign stretches across the back of the outfield. It reads “Notre Dame Fighting Irish.” It met UND’s needs aesthetically; their designs were perfect. Their pricing was good, too.

“‘Fighting Irish’ really means something to us,” said Ristano, “it shows visiting opponents who we are. It’s an intimidating factor. At Notre Dame, we try to do things at a really high level. We had this beautiful, brand-new stadium, and bringing it up a notch was very important. This sign reminds us of who we are.” 

We asked Ristano why they ultimately chose BigSigns for this project. She said that their portfolio was attractive, that the quality was excellent, and that the pricing was very good for the quality of the finished product.

Now, Ristano and her players are having fun with the signs. She uses the letters on the sign as a teaching point in guiding her players to precisely place their hits. They each represent a different, fixed angle at which players can aim when batting. This is the excellence her players strive for. While aiming for a pocket in the outfield is a good goal, that pocket can change. These letters are a fixed target for players to use. 

This Spring, they will be playing Fighting Irish BINGO throughout the season with the large sign stretching across the back of the outfield. Each letter is a square on a BINGO card. In order to cross off a letter, a player has to hit it on the sign during batting practice -- which is not easy. This type of precision is what Notre Dame is about. Excellence in all: even in practice.

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