JSU Athletics, PHIT branding director land Visit Jackson Hometown Hero Awards

Jackson State University walked away with two awards at the Visit Jackson 30th annual Hometown Hero and S.U.M.I.T.T. award recipients in a ceremony on Friday at the Two Mississippi Museums.

JSU Athletics 2022 football season snagged the Hometown Hero Event of the Year award. According to Visit Jackson officials, two back-to-back football weekends, homecoming and the BoomBox Classic, drew an estimated $13 million.

The JSU Tigers posted a 23-3 record over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and posting consecutive undefeated conference seasons.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said JSU Vice President/Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson. “I’ve always believed and have expressed this often – as Jackson State University goes, so does Jackson, Mississippi. We share this award with our campus and the community. Their support of Jackson State Football was the energy behind our student-athletes on-field success as we went undefeated at home for the second straight year and won our second consecutive SWAC Championship.”

JSU’s Branding and Marketing Director for Public Health Informatics & Technology (PHIT), Brad Franklin, walked away with the Visit Jackson Hometown Hero Award for Festival & Event Organizer for Jackson Indie Music (JIM) Week.

A JSU alum, Franklin is the founder and executive director of JIM Week, a 7-day music festival in Jackson, Mississippi, that has been dubbed the fastest-growing music festival in the southeast. He is also one of the founders of both the Jackson Black Business Expo and Juneteenth on Farish.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers for your passions. Jackson is one of my passions. While I do not consider myself a “hero” per se, I love my hometown and will always fight for it.”

At JSU, Franklin handles the branding & strategic planning, market positioning, and social media promotion for the PHIT program. He is also the president of Ourglass Media Group, a full-service branding, entertainment consulting, and artist management company.

Jackson State’s Margaret Walker Center was nominated for Attraction of the Year.