On January 24, nearly 50 students and community members partnered with 10 local nonprofits at CreateAthon, a pro bono 24-hour marketing event held in Allen Hall on the University of Oregon campus.
At this new campus-wide event students worked with Eugene-area firms to develop and produce vital marketing and communication assets for select nonprofits. Projects at the 2020 CreateAthon ranged from website design to rebranding and marketing development.
Perhaps the largest project undertaken this year was a website redesign for the Eugene-Springfield chapter of the NAACP. Brad Smith, a senior studying advertising at the journalism school, took home one of three Top Creatives awards for the project.
"I'm so glad I could participate in the first CreateAthon at the University of Oregon,” Smith said. “It perfectly encompasses the best thing about the School of Journalism and Communication and the Lundquist College of Business: opportunity for students to gain experience with real impact on their community.”
Other participating nonprofits involved in this year’s event include Eugene Ballet, Occupy Medical, and South Lane Mental Health.
A total of 20 nonprofit applications were received this year. From that pool of applicants, 10 were selected by a panel of judges consisting of UO students and local marketing professionals.
Nonprofits can request projects ranging from the creation of logos to digital-marketing campaigns and signage and banners. If approved, the project is then assigned to a talent team based on the range of projects being proposed, as well as the skill sets of the participating students.
Other projects this year included a logo and poster design for the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, the development of a marketing strategy for Hearts for Hospice of Oregon, and a sticker design for the Eugene YMCA, among many others.
“We got to creatively help local nonprofits in need,” said Kaheawai Kaonohi, a senior in advertising with a minor in business. Kaonohi was involved in planning this year’s event.
“We gave students and local community members the opportunity to work with a real client as well as build their portfolio,” he said.
Oregon, part of the national CreateAthon movement, is led by the UO Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club with support from the University of Oregon’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and School of Journalism and Communication.
This was the first CreateAthon held anywhere in the state of Oregon and organizers intend to hold this event annually going forward. Founded in 1997 by Riggs Partners, the national CreateAthon movement has provided more than 1,500 nonprofits with marketing assets developed from volunteer local creative talent.