Whatever industry you’re in, an existential riddle is how to successfully adapt to never-before-seen consumer behaviors and expectations. Campus recreation and wellness in the higher education setting is no different. At NIRSA, we’ve been looking for creative ways to help campus rec departments across North America organize successful sponsorships and endorsements.

Recently, NIRSA has teamed-up with the marketing agency Riddle & Bloom (R&B) to expand opportunities for NIRSA member schools to activate students around recreation and wellness initiatives or products, bringing value to an ever-growing college experience.

Why Riddle & Bloom?

Formerly known as Fluent, Riddle & Bloom is an ideas and access company with a focus on the next generation. Initially a college marketing firm that emerged from exclusive campus partnerships, Riddle & Bloom has developed into a specialized agency with deep consumer expertise and an impressive activation portfolio focused on the highly targeted 14-35 demographic.

NIRSA is also excited about working with Riddle & Bloom to organize dynamic marketing opportunities for NIRSA member institutions because R&B understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing higher education. Riddle & Bloom builds solutions borne of insight, access and expertise; this partnership extends their efforts to build meaningful relationships and connections with this ever-important audience—our future leaders.

Riddle & Bloom has enjoyed unprecedented campus access through added partnerships with two leading student affairs associations—the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS).

Pac-12 Challenge to be sponsored by Staples

Through NIRSA’s evolving partnership with R&B, we’re excited to announce that Staples has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the 2017 PAC-12 Challenge. The PAC-12 Challenge is a week celebrating movement: every university in the PAC 12 Conference will join together during the week of October 23 to celebrate a week-long effort to collectively reach a goal of logging 1.5 million minutes of physical activity.

As presenting sponsor, Staples is helping to support the tech update on the health and fitness tracking software for the challenge participants. A new, mobile friendly, site has been developed for the Fall 2017 Challenge that incorporates a fresh new look and advanced functionality including fitness “badges” that students, faculty, or staff can earn for hours logged.

Staples will also be visible on-site at participating PAC-12 schools, with a table setup showcasing their fashionably organized products. Students that stop by the tables will have an opportunity to enter the raffle to win the entire table of Staples product. And the winning university will receive an exclusive VIP event at their local Staples store.

What’s next for NIRSA members?

Still in the early stages of the partnership, NIRSA and R&B are in an information gathering phase. We’ve worked together to develop a survey designed to provide information about the potential reach of individual campus recreation programs. We invite all NIRSA member schools to participate in this survey.

As we all know, collegiate recreation has a significant influence on health and wellness on college campuses. The survey is just the first step in creating a working database that we can use to customize the way brands interact with NIRSA members and efficiently articulate and maximize the value of campus rec.

  • For more information about this partnership, please contact Adam Pruett, NIRSA Director of Campus Activations.

Laura Bundrick is currently Vice President of University Relations at Riddle & Bloom; she can be reached at laurab@riddleandbloom.com. Adam Pruett is currently NIRSA Director of Campus Activations; he can be reached at adam.pruett@nirsa.org.