Erwin Center Students Partner on a Digital Project with Vapor Apparel

April 15, 2020

Vapor Apparel, a leader in the sun-protection apparel industry, is partnering with Clemson University students in the Erwin Center for Brand Communications this semester to reach new consumer segments across multiple seasons as the brand launches their new E-commerce platform.

The Erwin Center for Brand Communications students are tasked with creating innovative, digital marketing campaigns for the new Vapor Apparel brand to engage broader audiences. This Brand Communications Capstone course will expose students to a real brand project as they partner with Vapor to increase their brand awareness and drive quality traffic to their new direct-to-consumer site.

For 15 years, Vapor Apparel, led by Clemson Alumni Jackson Burnett and Chris Bernat, has been supplying quality white-label and private-label performance apparel to distributors and brands such as Costa and Mossy Oak. Most recently, Vapor has developed a considerable business selling sun-protection clothing directly to consumers on Amazon and other marketplaces, especially during the summer months. Vapor’s vision is to capitalize on their new brand and positive messaging to gain a broader adoption of their products by consumers.

“The goal of this course is to enable students to build upon the structure of previous brand communications classes, and to effectively work to solve a real client challenge through the creation and pitch of a strategic campaign,” said Katie Hildebrand, Executive Director of the Erwin Center. “This is also a great chance for our alumni to partner with students through hands-on projects for recruiting purposes.”

Throughout the semester, students have worked on a series of project challenges for Vapor Apparel to build a final portfolio of work that reflects their scholarly, creative, and professional areas of interest. For their midterm presentations (pictured below), student teams gathered audience research to develop key insights, social strategy, and initial creative campaign concepts for Vapor Apparel.

Currently, students are incorporating the brand team’s feedback into their final campaign deliverables as they prepare for the final group pitch. Students will showcase their finalized presentations to Vapor Apparel’s brand team and Erwin Center board members at the end of the semester. We look forward to seeing what these talented students develop in the coming weeks.


Erwin Center student teams present mid-term strategy and initial creative campaign concepts to industry professionals.