Lake Nona High School Athletic Director Aaron Crawford, CMAA, has found the perfect solution for branding his high profile Florida facility. Using a creative combination of windscreen, banners, and graphics he has promoted his school’s teams, logo, and spirit throughout the campus in a way that reaches into his community.
“We set out to upgrade our facility with some very specific goals in mind,” Crawford said. “When updating our football stadium we went with pre-fabricated aluminum bleachers because custom bleachers weren’t a smart use of our funds. Then we strategically employed high quality windscreen and graphics to gain a custom look for our field while accomplishing our need for security and to fulfill our desire to standardize our image through consistent branding.”
Crawford had inherited inferior windscreen products that demonstrated the importance of doing things right the first time. After six months the colors had faded and the windscreen looked tattered.
“Because we were extremely committed to our branding concept,” Crawford explained, “having our true school colors was important. I knew I had to find a company that offered quality products I could trust. I didn’t want to have to replace all our work in another six months. I did some research and found Ball Fabrics, Inc., right here in my home state. I’m a difficult guy to please. I have high expectations. I knew what I wanted. But everyone from Ball Fabrics more than met my expectations. They understood my vision and showed me how I could accomplish our goals.”
Crawford removed all the inferior, faded windscreen and replaced it with a calculated mixture of PrivaScreen where he needed more complete visual blockage, and ExtremeScreen where he needed enhanced durability and wind resistance. He commissioned a 552’ fence mural for the back of the stadium, which is a point of first contact for visitors.
“Successful branding is the right mixture of several elements,” Crawford added. “With the exception of people actually attending a school event, most people in our community experience our athletic complex while driving by. We wanted to make a statement that would impact the entire community, so we unified our entire campus using graphics and windscreen. The colors and messages were carried over into our uniforms to build that consistent brand identity.”
Over a four-year period Crawford implemented his plan one field at a time, one fence at a time, checking off one goal after another. Working closely with Ball Fabrics, he first completed the football stadium upgrade. Making use of Ball Fabrics’ professional graphics department, Crawford learned that he could depend on the company’s UV coating to keep his colors sharp and true.
“After two years,” he confirmed, “our graphics are still the exact hue of navy blue and gray. With the amount of money we have invested, we want to ensure it lasts as long as possible.”
Durability is one reason Crawford chose to use ExtremeScreen around the baseball and softball fields. He appreciates the 7 year warranty backing the product as well as the clean, finished look. And, unlike any other windscreen, it stays on the fence and virtually eliminates the headache associated with wind maintenance.
“Our custom graphics pieces really pop against the clean background we get from ExtremeScreen,” he emphasized. “And I know this windscreen will continue to look great for 5-7 years, maximizing our investment.”
Most recently, Crawford has extended the unifying combination of windscreen and graphics to the school’s tennis courts and outdoor basketball courts primarily used by physical education students. His goal has been to extend the same clean look and security, complimented by school colors and logo, to every part of the school grounds.
He is currently preparing to employ the same successful visual formula, windscreen and graphics, for a large practice complex being built on neighboring grounds, as well as a strategic Wall of Fame to showcase some of the school’s college signees.
“Now, when people drive by our school, they see a unified athletic complex,” he said with satisfaction. “They can’t miss our bright school colors, our lion’s head logo, and our iconic interlocking LN initials. The clean, cohesive, professional look communicates that we are a force to be reckoned with, that we do things right. People can be proud they are in Lion Country!”
He offered some final advice to other athletic directors.
“There are so many competing products it can be difficult to make a sound choice for windscreen. Partnering with Ball Fabrics has removed all the guess work. Working with them I checked off all my wants and my needs. They provided the expertise that answered my questions, and quality products built to last. I will not consider any options other than Ball Fabrics, because of the excellent customer service and product I have received consistently over our four-year relationship.”