The story of BlueFuego
The story of BlueFuego, Inc. starts on September 13, 2007 at a Starbucks in Indianapolis, IN. Brad J Ward and Joe Gaylor met for the first time and started talking about the need for a company in higher ed that understood the changing landscape of recruitment and marketing and wasn’t stuck on traditional, stale methods. They discussed a company that helped institutions with marketing effectively and more cost-efficiently than the current options available to institutions, and without the inflated agency overhead.
They met several more times in 2008 and kept in touch through the social web. Both couldn’t stop thinking about the ‘what if’ of a company dedicated to helping institutions with the social web and using it to meet their goals, without the typical fluff.
After nearly a year of discussion about the company, they decided it was time to light the higher ed world on fire, and BlueFuego was ignited in December 2008.
BlueFuego provides colleges and universities the help they need to effectively utilize web-based tools for admissions, marketing, yielding and more. Their dedication to this industry, along with their tried and tested experiences and knowledge in higher education, will benefit any institution.
Since 2009, BlueFuego has worked with nearly 75 universities. Our current client list has been with us an average of 5 years, speaking to the quality of work we produce in a budget-friendly manner!
The people behind the magic
Brad has spent a decade in higher ed marketing. Prior to BlueFuego, Ward was the Electronic Communication Coordinator at Butler University and a Marketing/Recruitment Specialist at University of Illinois Springfield. A marketer at heart with a deep understanding of the web, Brad has devoted his career to helping colleges and universities meet marketing/recruitment goals.
Brad works directly with clients to identify marketing opportunities and orchestrate strategy and implementation. He has spoken around the globe at over 75 higher ed conferences and workshops, including Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and Australia.
Joe is the data and analysis junkie of BlueFuego. His research on social marketing is unmatched and unprecedented in the higher ed industry. By manually looking at nearly 2,000,000 posts to determine what works best, you can be sure that he has recommendations backed by data every time.
Joe has a decade of experience in higher education from his other business, http://www.fjgaylor.com, a premier higher education photography firm.
You might think Vanilla Ice coined the term “If you got a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” It was actually Matt. There’s one thing we guarantee you’ll hear him say at every meeting: “I don’t see why not!” If you have an idea, Matt will make it happen, and better than you imagined it. Matt puts ideas to screen and creates the interactive elements to complement BlueFuego’s strategy and marketing initiatives. He joined BlueFuego in 2011 and has quickly built his skills and expertise to match any project’s needs.
Justin Mertes is a swiss-army knife of digital content. With a Digital Media Art and Business degree, he combines the fresh and witty nature of the creative field with the ROI, segmentation, and strategy of the business world. In other words, he'll SWOT your f/stop and find the 4 P's of your CMYK.
Justin has spent the last five years working in higher education on both the Admissions and Marketing side. He has been nationally recognized for his videography, photography, and social media content. He previously worked at a BlueFuego client, so he's been a part of the Fuego Fam before joining the team!
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... just Andrew flying by! Our Chief Flight Officer is taking his skills to the skies to provide incredible aerial content to universities. This military brat bounced from North Carolina to Japan to California to Georgia before landing in Illinois in 1997. He's been living the small town life ever since, but flying is his passion. He joined BlueFuego in 2016 to extend our aerial division and take colleges to new heights.