UMass Unveils New Athletics Marks

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AMHERST, Mass. - A new, vibrant and contemporary family of logos and word marks, along with a customized font package for the University of Massachusetts’ 23-sport intercollegiate athletics program were publicly introduced during a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Boston’s historic Fenway Park.

“Today marks the culmination of a sixth-month process that builds upon the well-established spirit and tradition of UMass and the Minuteman,” Massachusetts Athletic Director Ian McCaw said. “At the same time, this new visual identity system is contemporary, inclusive, fashionable and exciting.

“We look forward to these marks being well received by students, alumni, friends and citizens of the Commonwealth. We believe that this new logo identity system will be long-lasting and continue to foster pride in our programs.”

The new identity program for UMass Athletics was created by the nationally-recognized Phoenix Design Works of New York City and includes the following components:

  • A primary mark that features both a logo (the new-look Minuteman) and word mark (UMass);
  • Sports-specific logos that incorporate both UMass and Massachusetts word marks;
  • Secondary marks;
  • A customized font package;
  • A style manual on proper logo and word mark usage by internal and external constituencies.
The primary mark being unveiled today replaces the script UMass logo that has been utilized by the department for more than a decade, while the Minuteman icon has received a face-lift for the first time since being introduced as the school’s new mascot in 1972. In addition, the department will continue to use maroon (PMS color 201) and white as its official colors, while utilizing the PMS color cool grey three and black as accent colors in many of the logos and marks being released today.

“This identity system captures the rich tradition, unique characteristics and strong appeal of UMass Athletics,” McCaw said. “We appreciate the opportunity afforded us today by the Boston Red Sox, and are grateful for their generosity in hosting this event.

“I’d also like to thank the department’s logo committee, the focus group participants and the Phoenix Design Works staff for their dedication and valuable input in developing a very strong visual identity program. As this has unfolded, we heard from our students, alumni and many friends around the nation, which made for a very healthy and spirited discussion about the department’s current logos and marks.”

A review of all UMass Athletics word marks, logos and color schemes currently being used by the department began last winter with McCaw’s appointment of an internal committee comprised of athletic staff and members of the University community. In February, Phoenix Design Works was selected by the department to provide the creative materials for the new identity system.

The internal committee, working with Phoenix Design Works, met several times throughout the spring to develop the new logos and marks. As part of the committee’s process, other potential mascots were discussed, along with a new-look Minuteman. On May 14, the department announced that the Minuteman would continue to serve as the department’s mascot, and over the next two months Phoenix put the finishing touches on the logos, marks and fonts being unveiled today.

Following the University’s mid-May announcement that the Minuteman would be retained as the University’s athletic mascot, UMass alum W. Greg Rothman (Class of 1989) showed his support for the Minuteman by donating $10,000 to the department. Rothman, a Political Science major at UMass, currently resides in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his wife, Carolyn Akke Uilkema. The Rothman’s financial donation covered the initial cost of the project.

As part of UMass’ new logo identity program, merchandise featuring the logos may be purchased by fans and alumni through the department’s Web site, www.umassathletics.com, or on campus at the University Bookstore. In addition, Twins Enterprise, a manufacturer and retailer located at 19 Yawkey Way in Boston and owned and operated by UMass graduates, will have some hats with the new logo available for purchase beginning after 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The department’s Web site went live with the new logos and word marks at the same time Wednesday’s press conference began, and fans who had signed up to receive a sneak preview of the marks received them via E-mail earlier Wednesday.

The unveiling of the new athletics identifiers is the second in a series of revenue enhancement strategies announced by the athletic department this summer, following last week’s move to bring all facets of the radio network in-house.

“Releasing a new family of athletic marks and logos will afford the University with an opportunity to enhance revenues through licensing royalties,” McCaw said. “With increased merchandise sales and licensing royalties, we expect the department to surpass the break even point by September.”

Athletic teams were known as the Aggies and Statesmen in the early years, and were called the Redmen until the early 1970s. In the spring of 1972, a group of Native Americans from New York wrote a letter to the UMass administration asking if it was aware of the defamatory connotations of the word Redmen and if it could be curtailed. The student senate, through a poll of the student body, came up with several options for a new nickname, including the Minutemen. The name has an historical and patriotic relationship with the Commonwealth. Women’s athletic teams became know as the Minutewomen.

The new UMass primary mark is included with this release. The primary and secondary logos are also available on the UMass Web site (www.umassathletics.com).

For further information, please contact Nick Joos in the UMass Media Relations Office.