There was no roadmap to guide them to the podium …so they made their own.
Williams Randall, a perfectly good—oh, let’s just go ahead and say it: great—advertising agency, didn’t have much in the way of athletic glory to bask in as it entered the 2023 season of AIGA Indy’s Marketing Agency Summer Kickball League. In fact, it had none. Zip. Zero. Zilch. In 2010, the only other time this millennium the agency made a foray into the world of organized athletics, our softball team served up a big ol’ goose-egg omelet (0-8). Even the experimental cricket game we played that year against ourselves somehow went into the books as a defeat.
But all that was 13 years ago. A recent youth movement in hiring—and the inability of older staff to remember much beyond the previous year’s campaigns—engendered a spirit of cautious optimism as the Williams Randall Choughs* took the field at Arsenal Park. The first couple games, both losses, were a time of trial and error, as the team experimented with different lineups and attendance philosophies.
In the third game, the team finally gelled: someone had left the cap off their styling mousse, and it got all over everyone. Once the mess was finally cleaned up, though, someone glanced at the score and noticed there were more runs for Williams Randall than for its opponent. A quick check of the rulebook revealed that, for the first time since 2000—and possibly ever—a Williams Randall sports team was victorious! Satan lofted a celebratory snowball, and pigs everywhere began filling out the paperwork for their FAA pilot certifications—no easy feat with those hooves.
But the cavalcade of surprises was far from over: when the regular season ended, the team learned their win had earned them a spot in the league’s third-place game—the Choughs had made the playoffs! The accomplishment was in no way diminished by the fact that it was a five-team league.
In the third-place game, Williams Randall faced an opponent, Studio Science …but they also faced a choice. It was the choice all overachieving tourney teams face: play like you’re just happy to be there, or play to win. The Choughs opted for the latter, then replaced the Ts with Ds and used the resulting ladder to climb up onto the tournament podium as winners of the 2023 AIGA Indy Marketing Agency Summer Kickball League bronze medal (well, no actual medals were awarded, and there was no podium in sight, but the metaphorical glory conferred was definitely bronze in color and medal-shaped).
Eventually, the hoopla will die down, and we’ll get back to being the first-ballot Hall of Fame ad agency we’ve always been. Until then, though, please join us in congratulating Ashley, Will, Sammy, David**, Caysi, John, Jordan, Catie, Joey, Lindsay, Nick, Rachel, Nadia, Annalise, Lizzy, Gerry and Sarah, our third-in-the-standings, first-in-our-hearts Williams Randall Choughs!
*A chough (CH•uf) is a small black bird native to Eurasia and North Africa, a relative of the crow. It was on the family crest of Charlie Williams, our company’s founder, and inspired the agency’s original 1979 logo.
**Special “Ironman” honors go to Executive Creative Director David Stanton. At the time of this writing, David was still wearing the splint on his ring finger from when he tore a tendon fielding a fly ball in the first game of the season. Regardless, David played the rest of the season, a veritable Electrolux of the outfield who vacuumed up every ball that came his way.