Fish SPU

A Rebranding Takes Flight

Branding, Creative & Content, Research & Analytics


In March 2022, the Saint Peter’s University Peacocks men’s basketball team completed the greatest Cinderella run in NCAA tournament history. The international spotlight shined bright, momentum was building, and the world wanted to know moreYes& Lipman Hearne’s challenge was to harness that momentum into a university rebranding effort that distanced itself from the “scrappy underdog” perception to something more accurate 


Much of what the world fell in love with during the tournament wasn’t limited to Saint Peter’s athletics. The team’s appreciation of their collective success, commitment to hard work and community, and their sense of optimism and pride–even when finding themselves in the unexpected limelight–are characteristic of Saint Peter’s community as a whole. Crafting a brand in which the basketball team’s success is emblematic of the opportunities found throughout all areas of the campus places the NCAA momentum into a larger, more meaningful—and more enduring—narrative.


What Saint Peter’s needed was a brand storyA big idea that reflects the people that make this university special: When Peacocks fly, they lift up everybody. Our foundational brand work and the urban campus location inspired the campaign: the world needs more Peacocks. Like the culture at Saint Peter’s, the visual design is student-centered, highlighting the spark, strength, and diversity of individual Peacocks

The “&”

Beyond articulating the foundational story and building the dynamic new visual vocabulary for the campaign, Yes& Lipman Hearne had the opportunity to shoot custom photography and video on campus, capturing Saint Peter’s Peacocks in all of their glory. The campaign creative assets have been deployed across media channels and brought to life in digital, social, and outofhome contexts

the Results

While the “Flutie Effect”–resulting in bumps in applications and yield–has been documented as a result of March Madness runs, Saint Peter’s recent results have far surpassed any estimates. With investment in the brand campaign ongoing, we expect the momentum to continue to build.   


yield on out of state applicants (fall 2022) 



increase in applications (fall 2023) 


year high enrollment (fall 2023)