How to Create an Emotional Connection - Iowa State Athletics

Athletics have a way of connecting people, of creating a universal link that extends well beyond a football field or a basketball court. Focusing in on this intangible connection, we at Applied Art & Technology created an athletics spot that appealed to viewers on an emotional level.

Iowa State Athletics | 2019 Women's Basketball from Applied Art & Technology on Vimeo.


In the fall of 2019, the Applied Art Team partnered with Iowa State Athletics to produce a spot promoting the upcoming women’s basketball season. The overall goal was to generate excitement for the team and, ultimately, sell season tickets. To accomplish this, we pivoted away from the obvious (and generic) highlight reel approach and, instead, crafted a quiet, intimate story that could connect with viewers on an emotional level.


That story would be one of inspiration. We centered our concept on universal connection, on athletes’ uncanny ability to inspire others they may never even meet. Taking ISU basketball star player Kristin Scott as our subject, we outlined a concept that paired Scott’s shooting drills with that of a young girl.


Location scouting photos for the 2019 ISU women's basketball shoot.


Inspired by a popular Derrick Rose commercial that incorporated a Tupac Shakur poem, we drafted a voice-over narration that Scott would recite as a poetic, inner monologue.


In terms of editing, our team used match cuts to create a visual parallel between our star player and the aspiring youth. This parallel also created a juxtaposition, foregrounding the two players’ similarities against remarkably different backdrops: one, a state-of-the-art practice gym and the other, a cracked and worn public court.


Regardless of setting, the connection between the two players remained the video’s true focus, as our final shot/reverse shot features Scott walking past the young girl’s practice court, sharing a fleeting but meaningful glance. 


See above to watch the full video.


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