New York, N.Y. – Today SME Branding is proud to announce its partnership with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). With the assistance of SME, the SIAC is embarking on a rebranding initiative, which will be SME’s first branding project on behalf of a historically black college and university (HBCU) or athletic conference. Founded in 1913, the SIAC is one of the oldest NCAA conferences in the country. The league is comprised of 13 member institutions spanning across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.
SME brings a strong background in higher education to this project, having worked with several athletic conferences, including the Pac 12 and Big South. “We’re thrilled to partner with a brand as historic as the SIAC. This project awards SME the opportunity to engage passionate audiences and prospective membership with a deeply meaningful story,” said Ed O’Hara SME’s President and Chief Creative Officer.
Recognized as a leader in advancing diversity and inclusion in college sports, the SIAC was the first NCAA conference to have a female football officiating crew which precipitated their unique partnership with the NFL to increase officiating opportunities for minority referees. The SIAC was also the first league (in collaboration with the SWAC) to partner with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to create programming to facilitate coaching development opportunities for current and former NBA players.
This year, the SIAC announced a multi-year agreement with Flo Sports to stream over 50 regular season and championship football and basketball games and is entering year two of its ESPN agreement in connection with an additional football package on ESPN3. The SIAC also was the first NCAA conference to sign a league-wide head-to-toe Nike partnership where all member schools exclusively wear Nike apparel and shoe products.
“The SIAC has a rich history which spans over 100 years.” said Gregory Moore, Commissioner of the SIAC, “We expect SME to help our league create a brand that frames a narrative and unique and special value proposition which we believe the SIAC offers to students, parents, alumni as well as the prospective corporate partners and donors.”
SME, a Learfield company, is a strategic brand development agency based in New York with over 29 years’ legacy in building impactful, customized solutions for the world’s leading sports and entertainment, college sports and higher education brands. SME’s client list includes: Major League Baseball Players Association, Churchill Downs/Kentucky Derby, Big South Conference, US Youth Soccer, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Manhattan College, Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Purdue University Fort Wayne.
About the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
The SIAC is a NCAA athletic conference consisting primarily of historically black colleges and universities with headquarters in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The SIAC includes 13 member institutions (Albany State University, Benedict College, Central State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Paine College, Savannah State University, Spring Hill College, and Tuskegee University), which
are located within a contiguous six-state footprint (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio). The SIAC sponsors seven men’s and six women’s sports and is a proud member of the NCAA Division II. For more information, visit www.thesiac.com.