As part of the Southeastern Conference’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the conference will spotlight former student-athletes that have gone on to successful careers outside of athletics.
Sarah Frazer Hollis began her collegiate career in 2010 as a walk-on for the Kentucky softball team. Sarah shares her story and her thoughts on Title IX with us, in her own words in today’s spotlight.
I was always drawn towards the art world – photography, film making, and graphic design – but was not sure how to make a career out of it. With the help of my sister, who was a journalism major at UK, and the fabulous people at CATS, I switched my major from Kinesiology to Integrated Strategic Communications with a minor in Art.
In May 2014, I graduated from Kentucky as an Academic All-American, the softball team was headed to the world series for the first time in school history, and I had been accepted into the Chicago Portfolio School.
Over the next year, I took classes introducing me to the power of storytelling, how to create a 360-brand campaign, and how to leave this program with a portfolio that would ultimately land me an art director job in the advertising industry.
In October 2015, I landed my first job. From my first day at FCB Chicago until my last day in January 2021, I produced a lot of work. I worked on campaigns with some of the NFL’s most valuable players, like Doug Baldwin, Emmanuel Sanders, Stefon Diggs, and Tyler Lockett. I helped people feel more confident on airplanes, I reimagined what incontinence feels like and what a female aerospace engineer looks like, and I produced work for products that will take mankind out of this planet and onto new ones.
During the global pandemic, I created a daily story time in partnership with the Chicago Public Library. Millions of children around the world lost access to libraries and the books they love. ‘Live from The Library’ was created and with the help from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Common, John C. Riley, Jane Lynch, and the Obama’s, children were read books virtually. The celebrity reader I was most starstruck by was Jennie Finch. It’s hard to put into words how cool it was to have one of my softball role models be a part of this campaign I made!
Over five years, I grew from a Junior Art Director to a Senior Art Director. I gained experience concepting big ideas for some of the world’s biggest brands, and earned several advertising awards, including a bronze Telly award, a D&AD Wood Pencil, One Show Gold Pencil, and several merits from the top advertising award shows. The work I created over those five years helped FCB to be named “Top Creative Agency in North America” in 2021.
Since October 2020, I have been living in Austria with my husband and animals, where I am now a freelance Art Director working with various agencies on local and international brands, such as Red Bull and McDonald’s. I also have made the time to pursue my other passions of photography and filmmaking by documenting our European adventures every week on our blog, www.thepackmama.co.
The benefits I received through sports carried over into my professional career, where I continue to build my self-esteem and focus on setting new goals while having the discipline to achieve them.
Although I was born 20 years after Title IX was passed, and the idea of not being able to play never crossed my mind growing up, I felt Title IX’s impact throughout my college career. From walking onto the softball team and graduating with a scholarship, to witnessing our field transform into one of the top facilities in the country, this would not have been possible without the passing of Title IX. I competed at the highest level and my team knocked home runs out of the ballpark due to the many women before us knocking down the barrier to do so.
Because of Title IX, I was free to play.
Because of the University of Kentucky, I was able to play.