ESPNU Taps Creative “Alumni” Loyalkaspar For "Never Graduate" Brand Package


Last Updated: November 20, 2013 3:55 am GMT
(New York & Los Angeles--November 20, 2013) After capturing the sophisticated yet brash personality behind the eponymous "late-night" sports show marking Olbermann's return to ESPN, entertainment branding agency loyalkaspar was challenged to brand a different type of personality: a network dedicated to an entire culture of college sports fans.

With creative direction led by Mark Lee, loyalkaspar created an entirely new, flexible yet formatted branding system that can be used for any sport, in any season, in any situation. As a whole, the campaign captures the indelible spirit of collegiate competition hosted on ESPNU.

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According to Lee, ESPNU was originally looking to create a series of promos for six different sports using its archive of footage to promote upcoming games. However, during the early collaborative stages, loyalkaspar discovered a greater opportunity to solidify ESPNU's brand identity by activating its "Never Graduate" tagline and creating a brand voice around it that would influence all communication and copywriting.

"We love 'Never Graduate' because it embodies the college sports narrative from a fan's perspective," Lee remarks. "It's a state of mind. Whether you have a son or daughter involved in sports, or you're an alumnus or a die-hard fan, the idea is that we never grow up or lose our love for the game. We never graduate from that passion.”

loyalkaspar further expanded the brand lexicon with complementary phrases around the inclusive quality of “always” and the authenticity of “never.” Together they reinforce the enthusiasm behind the "Never Graduate" tagline and can be used across a variety of promotional media.

With TV rights to the five major college athletic conferences, ESPNU broadcasts the highest level of competition. Airing games that only die-hard fans want to see no matter where they live and no matter who they play, ESPNU's niche complements the premier match-ups that ABC and ESPN's primary cable channel air nationally.

"ESPNU’s content is regional by nature, so we explored ways to nationalize it and make it more brand cohesive through our design, colors, and the entire graphic system – all while maintaining the cultural and regional relevance of the schools featured wherever possible," explains Lee.

Music and sound design provided the third mode of brand communication. loyalkaspar developed an audio mnemonic that had instrumentation and arrangement variations for each sport.

Lee says the greatest challenge was creating a system that would cover all sports, both male and female; moreover, unifying a system that ESPNU could always use to create a consistent, brand-centric promo that reaches the heart of all fans.

"It was exciting to work with ESPN in a whole new capacity by taking these promos and turning them into a brand foundation,” concludes Lee. “They saw the potential in how to use our branding system moving forward and embraced it wholeheartedly."

Client: ESPNU
Project: Brand promos & network IDs
Airdate: November 2013

Entertainment Branding Agency: loyalkaspar/New York, NY
President/Partner: David Herbruck
CCO/Partner: Beat Baudenbacher
Art Director: Mark Lee
Animation: Braden Wheeler
Editorial: Erik van der Wilden
Producer: M. Shane Dolly

Music Company: Kick Music
Composer: Greg Smith

About loyalkaspar:
loyalkaspar is an entertainment branding agency. We connect clients to consumers through strategic insight and creative ingenuity.

For new business inquiries, please contact Robert Blatchford at


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