NIRSA Assembly

Creative Excellence Awards

Collegiate recreation students and professionals are among the most innovative marketers of events and programs on college and university campuses.

We have all seen (or helped to create) fun and effective campaigns promoting recreational sports, fitness, facilities, and programs.

The NIRSA Creative Excellence Awards recognize NIRSA Members’ outstanding accomplishments in marketing. Honor the exceptional efforts of your marketing team by submitting an application for the NIRSA Creative Excellence Awards.

Presented each year at the Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Exposition, NIRSA’s Creative Excellence Awards recognize innovative approaches to marketing, media, and design.

In addition to receiving a beautiful laser-etched, spire award, the winners also have their respective campaigns displayed on the NIRSA website.

Applications are due on November 1, 2019.


To be eligible for nomination, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be current NIRSA Institutional, Professional, or Student Member (freelance or consultant work may be entered in the appropriate division through the member institution for which it was produced).
  • Entries must have been printed, produced, or published within the fiscal year
    July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.
  • Each item may be entered into only one category (exception: an item may be entered into the Comprehensive Publications Program category as well as one other category).
  • Applicants may not serve on the panel of judges.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria vary for each of the nine categories.
Entries must be submitted into one of nine possible categories:

This category is for brochures or publications that cover a thorough and wide variety of programming within your department. This category also covers publications that promote specific facilities within the department. Typical entries include program guides, magazines, annual reports, building-brochures, grand opening materials or publications highlighting facility expansions.
An Integrated Marketing Campaign is judged similarly to an advertising campaign. Three or more separate pieces united with a common look, feel, or message are required. Most often, campaigns will utilize multiple media including print, web, t-shirts, and promotional items or giveaways. Some past successful entries include a departmental branding effort, a “Fit It In” campaign to promote exercise and well-being, and a facility grand opening campaign.
This category is for the promotion of your department or programs via social media platforms. There are no specific content or platform guidelines, but entries must describe how content was modified for each platform while working together to create a unifying message, and include analytics such as engagement.
This category is for publications that promote a specific program within your department. Typical entries include camp registration forms, fitness or intramural sports brochures, or membership grabbers. This category also includes special event programming.
Includes any major signage you have in your indoor or outdoor facilities, or elsewhere for promoting events you coordinate. Typical entries in this category are permanent building signage, decorative art, or banners. If available installation photos along with final display would be helpful to see.
This category is for videos or other audiovisual presentations that promote your department or programs in some way. Also includes radio commercials.
This group is for functional websites. Sites can be for your department or for a specific event, but must be working and navigable in multiple browsers.
This category is for students to put forward their most creative print publications. There are no specific guidelines as to content; work may include information on facilities, programming, or services. Submissions can range from multi-page publications to signage (fliers, posters, etc.) Entries in this category will be judged only against other students.
This category is for students to put forward their most creative digital presentations. This can include blogs, social networking, interactive message boards, web site, audiovisual (web casting), videos, etc. Entries in this category will be judged only against other students.

Entry Fee & Payment Information

Entry fee for Institutional, Professional and Student Members: $60 per entry

  • You can pay for your entries online using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover credit cards. A link to for payment can be found at the bottom of the application. Applications are not considered complete until payment is received.
  • If you wish to pay with a credit card via telephone or by check, please contact our Billing Coordinator at 541-766-8211 after submitting your application.

Previous Recipients

For More Info

Contact NIRSA Membership Services Manager, Megan Granholm, or Creative Excellence Awards Committee Chair, Alicia Fodera.