PARK CITY, Utah – After expanding its horizons, the Big Sky Conference is changing its look as well.
At a gathering of coaches and media, the league unveiled a new logo Monday that is customized for each school using its colors. Football players from each conference school, including All-American wide receiver Nicholas Edwards of Eastern Washington, were presented to a gathering of athletic directors, coaches, media and others.
“We wanted to be sure that our Big Sky Conference brand was a compelling representation of who we have been, who we are now, and most importantly, who we aspire to be in the future,” Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said at the league’s Summer Kickoff event.
For the past year, the conference has been working with SME Inc. on a rebrand, a process that will continue through 2013-14 when the league celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the 25th anniversary of sponsoring women’s sports.
“I think as branding has become so much more critical in everyone’s ability to market the programs,” EWU Athletic Director Bill Chaves said. “It’s an idea that has emanated down from the larger conferences. It goes with color schemes so much better. … You’d be more apt to use it more.”
This marks the first time the 49-year-old league has undergone a rebranding campaign. The league had used the prior logo since the mid-1990s. The new logo will appear on uniforms, fields and playing courts in each university’s colors.
“I would say artistically, that’s what you’re striving for,” Chaves said.
Fashion-conscious players will also like the new look too, Edwards said: “I love how it’s custom-made to the colors.”
The new logo’s design is intended to symbolize the conference’s breadth from ocean to plains to mountains, especially after the expansion to 13 football-playing members.
“It’s a dream finally came true with the rebranding of the Big Sky Conference,” league Commissioner Doug Fullerton said. “We have a fresh and exciting new logo, new colors and a new league mentality. All of which speaks to the fact that we represent the dreams and aspirations of our alumni, student-athletes, institutions, and communities.”
During a turbulent time in conference realignment, the Big Sky has been able to remain stable, adding schools without losing one. The league still features four charter members – Idaho State, Montana, Montana State and Weber State. Additionally, EWU, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State and Sacramento State remain in the conference. Joining the league this fall are North Dakota and Southern Utah. Cal Poly and UC Davis are also joining this fall, but as football-affiliate members.