GREENSBORO, N.C. -- What started out as an internet search for fresh ideas has turned into a ticket to some of the ACC's most exciting upcoming 50th Anniversary events, not to mention a place in the conference's history books for T.J. Harley.
Harley needed some ideas back in the summer of 2001 for some t-shirt designs he was planning for Clemson's 20th anniversary celebration of the school's 1981 football national championship. At the time, Harley was working as a student at one of Clemson's downtown t-shirt stores, Tigertown Graphics.
The search took him to TheACC.com for what he thought would be a search for some different logo ideas. Harley had no idea the ACC was looking for some ideas of its own.
In May of 2001, the ACC announced a contest that gave current students, faculty, and staff members at all nine member institutions the opportunity to submit ideas for the conference's 50th anniversary logo.
"Some of the most creative minds in the country reside on our campuses, and we'd love to have their quality of work represent our conference in this important celebration," stated ACC Commissioner John Swofford at the time of the contest's announcement.
For Harley the contest meant another opportunity to display his talents, but there was one problem, his discovery of the contest was almost too late.
"I noticed that the contest deadline was the next day so I immediately stopped working on the Clemson shirt and spent the next couple hours working on a design for the ACC," Harley recalled.
Those couple of hours turned out to produce the ACC's 50th Anniversary logo.
The logo will represent the conference's expansive marketing efforts to promote the ACC's 50th Anniversary celebration.
Founded in 1953, the ACC will begin celebrating its 50th Anniversary in July at the conference's annual football kickoff. The kickoff will be just that for the ACC as the 2002-03 academic year will be full of anniversary events, including the 50th Anniversary Gala at the Greensboro Coliseum in March of 2003.
For his efforts, Harley will receive two tickets to the Gala as well as tickets to the 2003 ACC men's and women's basketball tournaments.
The vast nature of the 50th Anniversary celebration will expose Harley's work through several mediums, including newspaper, television, internet, souvenir and apparel items. The exposure won't stop there though. As part of the celebration, the ACC has a historical book and video in the works.
Harley's design potential hasn't gone unnoticed. The recent graphics communications graduate has secured a job with Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) which is based in Atlanta. CLC is the nation's leading collegiate licensing and marketing representative for more than 180 universities, bowl games, conferences, the NCAA and the Heisman Trophy.
"I am responsible for almost all of the design work that we do in-house. I will be designing signage, posters, logos, and lots of other things that I am really looking forward to. I hope that this job will give me a chance to get my work out to the masses," described an excited Harley.
With the ACC's 50th Anniversary logo under his belt Harley's ticket to the masses is already in his hand.
Thanks to Brett Sowell from TheACC.com for allowing us to reprint this article