Brand Strategy: Following the NFL Playbook

The NFL is an $8 billion sports entertainment industry with over 185 million American customers … even with changing technology and constant controversies, how does the NFL brand stay so successful?

nfl - american flag

1st Down: Know Your Core Audience – As American As Apple Pie
The NFL sweats red, white & blue …they have strategically aligned themselves with partnerships like United Way, where for over 35 years owners, players and staff have been working to “strengthen America’s communities”.  After 9/11, the NFL made the conscious decision to cancel all games, losing millions, but that small act of humility stayed true to the brand they wanted to portray. Since then, troop support has become ubiquitous with NFL games from military flyovers to actual pregame shows recorded from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. In addition, the largest sponsors of the NFL are some of America’s most iconic brands: Pepsi, Papa Johns, Visa, General Motors and Anheuser-Busch (soda, pizza, money, cars and beer … nothing more American).  More so, the NFL practically owns Thanksgiving (arguably the most american holiday…) with its annual doubleheader, keeping guys out of the kitchen for over 90 years. Read more of this post

Burlington Antique Show

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Mark your calendar! October 20 will be the last opportunity of the current season for the Burlington Antique Show. If you haven’t been, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday morning, with a cup of coffee in hand. One of the most interesting things that I have seen there in a while was this rickshaw (pictured). I love that some of the vendors use simple principles of visual merchandising to elevate their product offering, by creating vignettes, or capturing your attention through use of form, color, or symmetry of arrangements.



Welcome Back PAVE 3D Student Design Winners

Globalshop PAVE Design ChallengeThe Fall marks the beginning of a new school year and the welcoming of our Fall Semester student co-ops.  We recently welcomed back Catherine Murray, Micah Washington, and Yuan Zeng who spent the previous Spring Semester with us and helped us with our FRCH booth at GlobalShop 2013 in Chicago, the largest annual visual merchandising trade show and conference for the retail design industry.   The three University of Cincinnati DAAP Interior Design students were invited to attend GlobalShop as Finalists of the PAVE 3D Student Design Challenge sponsored by Van Stry Design.  While in Chicago, Catherine and Micah’s design received an Honorable Mention while Yuan’s design took First Place.  We are excited to welcome (and welcome back) ALL of our student co-ops from the University of Cincinnati DAAP Program, which was recently named the third best design school in the world by Business Insider!  What follows are some of Cat, Micah, and Yuan’s thoughts about the GlobalShop experience through their eyes.  Read more of this post

Field & Stream Field Trip


Last week Field and Stream, the latest and greatest outdoor store, had their GRAND opening! A team of about ten, including graphic and interior designers, and architects drove up to Cranberry, PA to check out the new store and celebrate the big moment at the soft opening. It was a great opportunity for everyone to see all the hard work come to life and to be a part of something new.

It didn’t take long for the excitement to build around the store. With news crews and Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty making an appearance on opening day, Field and Stream became pretty popular pretty quickly… including a wedding inside the store! Take a peak of the space that FRCH designed that not only includes some beautiful architecture and graphics, but an extensive amount of taxidermy and a whole new perspective of the outdoor world! Read more of this post

Greetings from the French Riviera!

While this is not exactly how I spent my summer vacation, a recent business trip to the south of France, most notably Marseilles, San Tropez, Cannes, and Antibes (tough ride, I know!), has proven to be a cache of inspiration. But what fascinates me most here are not the typical over-the-top-expensive, lux designer salons (and we saw plenty of those, too), but what retailers and restaurateurs were able to achieve in extremely small, unconventional spaces with amazing results. In most instances, bigger rarely meant better. Tiny alleyways became the most romantic and energetic bars and dining rooms.

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How Did You Spend Your Time Off?

Hats Off to FRCH Design Worldwide!  In order to show appreciation and celebrate our hard work, FRCH rewarded all of us with a wonderful surprise:  an additional day off after the July 4 Holiday. The catch?  We were asked to document our day to share with the rest of the firm.  This was a day to be inspired, to recharge our spirits and share our stories.  Check out these slices of inspiration that represent all of those that make FRCH great!

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Raise The Roof

On a recent visit to San Francisco for the SEGD Conference: Above The Fog, I had the luxury of staying at the Fairmont Hotel, a historic hotel in the heart of the city sitting atop Nob Hill, which happened to be the site of this years conference. While the opulent public space was something to behold, there was one detail that was a significant stand-out for me, which combined my love for craft beer and a trend we’ve been tracking in the hospitality and food & beverage industries. Read more of this post

1968 Revisited: Tech Blasts Off

Apollo 8In keeping with our theme this year of looking back at the year FRCH was founded and the evolution that has occurred since, I recently did a little research to learn more about what happened that year in addition to the well-known cultural and social changes that occurred.  Anyone who works with me would tell you I am NOT an expert in technology.  However, I am a believer in studying the past in order to better understand the present and the future – and in my research I quickly discovered that 1968 was a year that brought many advances in technology that continue to shape our lives today.  In those 12 months, while the country experienced social revolution, turmoil and great tragedy, some amazing advances in technology occurred at the same time.  Let the history lesson begin!

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The New Era of Super Hero Films

CF_hero1Hollywood is nothing if not predictable when it comes to bringing us a re-launch, sequel, franchise or “reboot” of a story that will be box-office-safe. There have been plenty of super hero “flicks” (calling them films seems inappropriate) that turn comic book stories into jokes, feature costumes that look like they were purchased at a convenience store, and set designs that may or may not have been a school’s craft project. However, studios are now bringing us a new and powerful era of super hero films that do more than deserve our attention, they demand it. Read more of this post

How to Build a Faux Steam Locomotive Part 1.5

RoundhouseMy post today is a continuation of the series I began last month about the process for building a ridable backyard faux steam locomotive.  Here are a few select details that will help finish off the boiler assembly for the locomotive.  The Lantern is an iconic feature of any steam locomotive and requires the proper style and proportion.

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