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Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

Launching a namesake foundation with as much passion as the man behind the organization.

Situation

How do you honor the legacy of a man who was not only an NFL game changer but a community life changer? You build something to last. When Ralph Wilson’s namesake foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation (RCWJF), was established, it needed a brand that could accomplish several things: maintain a focus on its grantees and the work they’re doing; highlight the two areas the foundation would impact—Detroit, where he grew up and Buffalo, where the Bills reside—and be timeless and classic, just like Ralph.

Solution

Understanding the man behind the foundation was key to creating a brand that would live up to Ralph’s expectations. By conducting research with the board of trustees, including Ralph Wilson’s widow, Mary Wilson, we learned that RCWJF is unique in that it’s a 20-year grant, because Ralph wanted his foundation to have an immediate impact and felt that improvement comes best when you build on the strong foundation that is already in place. We got to work and created a logo that would stand the test of time, complemented by the tagline “Making a difference together” to pay off RCWJF’s collaborative mission. In addition to creating a stationery package, brochure and website for the foundation, we created a PR and social media strategy that highlighted their mission of providing grants to foundations/organizations—not individuals—in four focus areas and helped ensure they would receive the right kind of grant requests. We also created a social media content calendar to create ongoing buzz and keep the foundation’s momentum going after the website launch.

Results

With the new brand as credible and strong as Ralph himself, RCWJF has been able to secure 267 Facebook page likes and reached over 4,600 people with more than 2,000 engagements in the month since the brand launch. In addition, the foundation has also gathered a strong Twitter following, with 204 followers, 2,484 earned impressions and an estimated 10-15 engagements per post.