A reference to roots within the Artwork & Design Division led a trio of graphic design alumni to showcase its work on one of many largest levels in sports activities and leisure.
Derek Kunze ’16, Otto Setiajita ’18 and Julien Saliba ’19 – three of the 4 movement graphic designers for Boston-based on-line sports activities betting platform DraftKings – all performed a task in advertising and marketing their firm through the 2023 Tremendous Bowl.
Creating the graphics for a star-studded industrial that includes Kevin Hart, David Ortiz, Tony Hawk, Ludacris and others was a particular expertise in his profession with DraftKings, Kunze says.
“Within the context of the Tremendous Bowl, it’s a small placement, however it’s nonetheless an important feeling nonetheless,” he says.
The industrial aired within the first quarter of the Tremendous Bowl, which drew in 113 million viewers.
The workforce created a movement graphic that includes Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles helmets dealing with the Tremendous Bowl emblem, a pop-up textual content bubble and authorized disclaimers for the 30-second commercial.
With sports activities betting now legalized in Massachusetts, Kunze says the industrial will likely be a catalyst for the corporate’s advertising and marketing methods.
“It was actually thrilling for me to be part of the workforce that was working with this expertise, however that second additionally will get to blow up outwards into the remainder of our advertising and marketing campaigns,” he says.
Kunze started working at DraftKings in February 2018 as a graphic designer. As the corporate grew into a pacesetter in its trade, so did alternatives for fellow River Hawks to affix the design workforce. Setiajita landed a job with the corporate in August 2018, and Saliba was employed the next summer season.
Saliba says his alternative to work at DraftKings got here by assembly Kunze and Setiajita throughout a networking occasion for artwork college students and alumni earlier than he graduated.
“That was just about how I bought my foot within the door right here – understanding Derek and Otto and being related formally by (Assoc. Educating Prof.) Regina Milan’s advice,” he says. “From there, it was whether or not or not (DraftKings) was an excellent match, which it was.”
Saliba transferred from UMass Amherst, the place he studied mechanical engineering, however mentioned he discovered robust help from the Artwork & Design Division as soon as he modified his main at UMass Lowell. He added a focus in animation and interactive media alongside the best way.
“My expertise at UML is just about the rationale I am right here right now,” he says. “The (professors) made such an enormous distinction. I am very grateful that the selection I made again then paid off and I ended up in a spot the place I am glad.”
Whereas all three are informal sports activities followers, additionally they had expertise in sports activities advertising and marketing earlier than working for DraftKings. Every accomplished graphic design internships on the Campus Recreation Middle as undergraduates.
For Setiajita, the visible components are his prime precedence for his work, whatever the sport.
“I like esports and video video games much more, however the parallel (between) the artwork and graphics and the way it all comes collectively is there, and that’s what my inspiration for the work is,” he says.
The trio has navigated the challenges of a worldwide shutdown of sports activities through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and, extra not too long ago, an elevated workload attributable to rising demand.
Throughout worrying occasions, such because the weeks main as much as the Tremendous Bowl, they’ve been in a position to depend on one another each personally and professionally.
“It helps rather a lot to have a workforce like that,” Saliba says. “You don’t need to have gone to high school with them, however we’ve got that basis, and having that bond is a big assist.”