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Austin Peay State University Athletics unveils new logos, visual identity series

 

Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University athletics unveiled its new visual identity series and brand marks at a press conference, Tuesday, in the Dunn Center.

The series, which includes an updated primary logo, focused heavily on a new Governor Peay logo along with a fresh word mark heightened by a contemporary font.

“Our brand is not just about the mark,” APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe said. “It’s about defining who we are first and foremost. But we also defined a strategic plan for how we are going to get there.

“We are very excited about our new visual identity. This is something that is important for the future of APSU athletics. These new marks strengthen the APSU brand and will factor in everything from marketing to recruiting.”

The press conference opened with APSU athletics utilizing its Dunn Center video boards for a short production that introduced the new athletics logos and emphasized APSU athletics core values…excellence, tradition, integrity, opportunity and community.

APSU President Tim Hall addresses the audience

APSU President Tim Hall addresses the audience

APSU President Tim Hall was the first to speak to the crowd. APSU’s outgoing leader has supervised multiple nationally recognized academic initiatives and beamed about the athletics department’s new brand initiative.

“No institution stays great by staying still,” Hall said. “You move forward or you decline.”

APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe

APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe

Hall was followed by van der Merwe, who emphasized APSU’s “Culture of Excellence” and said the new assertive Governor Peay logo “does not represent a single person.It represents a campus that needs to rally behind an identity and be very proud of that identity.”

The current brand initiative began shortly after van der Merwe was named APSU athletics director in June 2013. APSU assembled a committee of university staff members, local businessmen and alumni to spearhead an effort to enhance the visual identity of APSU Athletics. Joe Bosack and Co., based out of Pottsville, Pa., was hired to create a look that represented the school’s vision.

The company presented multiple initial concepts—six AP logos, seven Governor Peay logos and five word marks, which was narrowed to three finalists. At that point, APSU Athletics met with constituency groups including Governors Club members, campus leaders, students, student-athletes, coaches, staff, season-ticket holders and donors to seek feedback.

Jada Stotts, a junior volleyball player and President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC); Chris Tablack, APSU student government senator; Britney Campbell, Legends Bank vice-president of marketing and Governors Club president;  and Jeff Bibb, BLF Marketing Managing Partner and APSU Athletics Hall of Fame director;

Jada Stotts, a junior volleyball player and President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC); Chris Tablack, APSU student government senator; Britney Campbell, Legends Bank vice-president of marketing and Governors Club president; and Jeff Bibb, BLF Marketing Managing Partner and APSU Athletics Hall of Fame director;

Some of those constituencies were represented at press conference end. Questions were directed to a panel of Jeff Bibb, BLF Marketing Managing Partner and APSU Athletics Hall of Fame director; Britney Campbell, Legends Bank vice-president of marketing and Governors Club president; Jada Stotts, a junior volleyball player and President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), and Chris Tablack, APSU student government senator.

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers with her APSU Governor's T-Shirt

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers with her APSU Governor’s T-Shirt

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers took a moment to speak with Clarksville Online after the ceremony, “I’m really proud of the new identity, President Hall, and all of the people who worked on this logo. I’m also proud to see Austin Peay continue to move forward. This for the athletic program is wonderful because it shows a certain amount of assertiveness and aggression which is certainly what you need in your athletic events. The logo is very up-to-date and speaks that were moving for that were pushing upward and onwards, and I think that’s very important for the University.”

Jeff Bibb from BLF Marketing was really excited about the new logo, “I feel a great sense of accomplishment and optimism thinking about the part the committee played in the new logo and branding program, it is in my estimation is so on the mark. This is good and can really help push the visibility of Austin Peay State University and the athletic program to a much higher level. I think the fans are going to love it! I think it will also be instrumental as we appeal to a whole new generation of fans, and I think in this new design that we have something will be relevant to the younger folks.”

APSU athletics gave away t-shirts with the new Governor Peay brand at the press conference. The Ann Ross Bookstore featured a display of new items, including a tailgate tent, at the press conference. After the press conference the bookstore was flooded with new merchandise seekers.

Meanwhile, merchandise featuring the new identity is expect to show up at area retailers during the summer.  All university athletic squads will be outfitted with the new marks beginning in Fall 2014.

The complete rollout, including fields, courts and more, will take approximately four years to complete.


Branding initiatives move APSU into new era

With great change comes great opportunity.

APSU Governor's A glance at Austin Peay State University shows a campus on the rise – Tennessee’s fastest growing university. A closer look at the Athletics Department reveals a similar situation bolstered by a multi-million dollar renovation in progress at Governors Stadium along with new video boards in the Dunn Center all presenting a great opportunity.

In order to capitalize on growth and increase brand recognition, the need to develop an innovative and cohesive athletics brand identity became paramount. As Austin Peay Athletics has evolved, has had the need for consistency across all sports to include logo marks and typography. The strength in consistency lies in the ability to better distinguish the history and traditions unique to Austin Peay, while also representing its strategic vision moving forward.

The Governor icon, which pays homage to former Tennessee governor and university namesake Austin Peay, has evolved over the years from a jovial, round-headed gentleman in the 1940s and 50s to a mustachioed, dignified character in the 1980s.

The ‘new Gov’ is a modernized, forward-facing gentleman with a stern look, meant to represent a stronger, sleeker upgrade while keeping the base trappings of Austin Peay’s iconic figure.

“The updated brand components – of which the new Governor mascot emblem is the most significant piece – has been carefully developed with the fan experience in mind,” said Jeff Bibb, of BLF Marketing. “Austin Peay alumni and fans can look forward to purchasing visually striking and boldly branded apparel to show their passion and support the University’s athletics program.”

The red coat, top hat, monocle and classic necktie take on symbolic meaning long found within the Governors Club infrastructure. Those four symbols represent the organization’s donation levels, giving the department’s valued donors a personal connection with the Govs’ new appearance.

APSU LogoThe ‘AP’ mark – which has been a university-wide symbol since 1977 – also is getting a sleeker look. Slight adjustments will greatly increase the University’s marketability through merchandising.

“The AP logo is one of the most recognizable brand marks in the OVC,” said Mike O’Malley, an APSU Governors Club board member, equipped with branding experience. O’Malley served eight years on the Wendy’s National Advertising Board, including one year as President. He most recently worked on the update and enhancements of the Wendy’s logo and brand marks.

“Any changes or adjustments made had to be well thought out. These changes may be subtle, but they create a cleaner, more readable mark that will work better in all uses.”

The new marks are designed to appeal to a younger generation while maintaining the logo’s sophisticated look, and will be adopted by the university as well.

“Austin Peay has sustained a culture of excellence in the classroom, in competition, and in our community because of outstanding people and leadership,” said Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe.   “We are going to build on this solid foundation with a set of initiatives that will help to invite and engage our community to experience the great things happening at this University.  I invite you come to campus to see how this University is growing and flourishing.”

APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe

APSU Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe

The arrival of van der Merwe as Austin Peay director of athletics has sparked a renewed focus on the athletic department’s brand. It’s an all-encompassing endeavor incorporating the department’s core values of excellence, tradition, integrity, opportunity and community, along with new branding marks and typography to make the Austin Peay brand more identifiable.

While the marks were designed by nationally-recognized design firm Joe Bosack and Co., which has created sports logos for Mississippi State, Boise State, UNLV, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, the concepts were home grown.

For approximately seven months, a committee of Austin Peay staff, students, student-athletes and alumni, along with local business and community leaders worked to develop an image that represents the mission and core values on which the department stands. The concepts were brought before a number of diverse focus groups that included Austin Peay’s Staff and Faculty Senates, the President’s Cabinet, Student Government Association, Governors Club and individual athletics teams.

“Developing an innovative and consistent brand identity for APSU Athletics though its logos and marks was no easy task to take,” said Kevin Carter (’77), a member of the Governors football 1977 OVC Championship team. “The process had to build on the history and traditions of Austin Peay athletics, while representing its mission and core values. van der Merwe and his staff did an outstanding job of including all stakeholders in the process. The end result is a number of marks that meets the needs and expectations of those stakeholders.”

“This new identity represents a lot of positive change that will quickly transform the way our students, alumni and community engage this campus,” said SGA President Mike Rainier. “This something we can all be proud of.”

A customized typography for use across the athletics department will also be included in the new redesign. The combinations will be used with the updated Governors and ‘AP’ logo, in addition to specific identities for various team sports, the Governors Club and the Peay!Nuts student fan club. LetsGoPeay.com will change servers in June, with an updated website layout and new video integration among the new features visitors to the site can expect.

Merchandise featuring the new identity will begin showing up at area retailers during the summer. All university athletic squads will be outfitted with the new marks beginning in Fall 2014.

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