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Boise State University

A university's best
comes out of the blue.

Campaign Results

Digital impressions across multiple platforms
Lift in brand awareness
Out of home ad impressions across Idaho
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For Boise State, innovation is a way of life. From life-changing research to Bronco athletics to the thousands of exceptional graduates released into the world every spring, the University generates more than $1.2 billion annually into the state's economy — benefiting the lives of nearly 2 million Idaho residents.

Innovation is also part of the Bronco legacy. In 1986, they installed blue turf in Alberstons Stadium—the first university to use any color other than green on their football field. 20 years later, with their backs against the wall, the underdog Broncos flipped the script — on their own terms — and took home the Fiesta Bowl trophy.

The Challenge

The Opportunity

Boise State wanted to extend that bold innovation beyond athletics. They started with a marketing campaign called “This is Blue Turf Thinking.” A great concept that builds on the institution’s legacy of innovation—but is still centered on athletics. And Boise State’s innovation is so much bigger than any one sports team, discipline, or person.

They were also combatting misperceptions about their institution—namely that Boise State is not for the people of Idaho. This couldn’t be further from the truth—so they partnered with SimpsonScarborough to help develop an approach to storytelling that’s as bold as their institutional aspirations.

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The Insight

We started by asking the Boise State community what Blue Turf Thinking means to them. They came back with answers that showed Blue Turf Thinking clearly had meaning outside of football and was closely associated with innovation. The idea had legs...

It just needed a bigger voice.

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We were so pleased with the excellent work of SimpsonScarborough, their desire to truly understand through in-depth research where we had been and where we were headed, and the work they produced. I am so proud to share the work they did to tell our story. Their excellence as a premiere national agency specializing in higher education allowed us to create research-driven storytelling, film a new national spot, and launch our first-ever brand-level paid media campaign.

-Dr. Marlene Tromp, President
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We have had an amazing experience working with the SimpsonScarborough team from day one, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Our campaign's success is largely due to the research-driven approach that gleaned insights from our audiences and drove creative and brand strategy. The agency’s expertise in media planning resulted in high-level engagement from our target audience, increasing lead generation and conversions. Our work has a direct and positive impact on our university community and across our state.

-Lauren Griswold, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
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