Faced with dwindling recruitment numbers, WWU Men’s rowing team needed a way to increase enrollment.
Through a discovery process with WWU Rowing we knew that if we were going to motivate people to join the team, we first had to understand two things. 1) who our audience was and 2) what motivates them. Through conversations with athletes we uncovered an insight that ended up proving crucial to the development of the film.
The best athletes on the team had joined the team because they wanted to prove to themselves they could accomplish what few could. With this insight, we realized that if we wanted people to join the team, we had to provoke potential athletes to rise to the challenge and seek to overcome their own internal demons. This insight informed the rest of the creative process. We wrote a script that captured the grit of the sport, added a little Nike inspiration, some sweat, and trusted that qualified candidates would rise to the challenge if we provoked them.
The film was distributed through a digital release and used at student club fairs for 2019. In 2020 the team saw a 96% increase in enrollment.
Writer Lucas Johnson
Director Cole Heilborn
Assistant Director Dennis Minor
Cinematographer/DP Chris Swoboda
Assistant Camera Sam Giffin
Field Audio Rory Reshovsky
Sound Designer Colton Jackson
Colorist Anthony Fiorillo
Grip Keaton Urling-Ehinger
Photography Jake Warren
Voice Over Rob Ricotta