Ithaca College Athletics is getting a new look: one that will finally be shared by all of its teams. After a year-long process that sought to unify all of the college’s teams under one brand, a three-person committee led by Susan Bassett, director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports, presented the new logo on Aug. 20.
The new logo features the same blue and gold color scheme used by all the college’s teams and features a similar design to the college’s logo. The athletics logo introduces a much sharper and bolder font than the college’s primary logo. Bassett said the logo will be featured on the football team’s helmets and as part of a new uniform for the women’s soccer team this season.
Additionally, she said she is exploring ways to quickly implement the logo on as many teams’ jerseys as possible, but acknowledged that each individual team’s jersey cycle could delay the process by as much as three years.
“We have a uniform replacement plan where every three years, teams get new uniforms, so that will happen gradually,” Bassett said. “Financially, we want to be respectful and thoughtful about how we go forward with that, but if there is a way we can expedite it, we’ll certainly try. Right now, my expectation is that it’ll take two to three years to get there.”
As part of the implementation, the athletics department launched a redesigned website aimed at encompassing athletics as well as recreational activities. Most notably, the website features the new logo branded as “Ithaca Athletics.” This differs from the previous website, which used the old logo with the “Ithaca Bombers” brand. Additionally, the official address of the Ithaca Athletics webpage is now athletics.ithaca.edu instead of bombers.ithaca.edu.
Despite the difference in diction, Bassett said the new phrasing does not suggest that the athletics program would be distancing itself from the Bombers nickname.
“Athletics is a more inclusive term,” Bassett said. “We wanted the website to say that, but if you notice in the video, there’s ‘Bombers’ everywhere. Anywhere there’s a scoreboard or signage, it’s going to say ‘Ithaca Bombers.’”
Earlier in the nearly year-long process that Bassett; Joe Gladziszewski, associate director of athletic communications; and Rachel Reuben, the college’s former associate vice president of marketing communications, led, Reuben told The Ithacan she wanted the name of the college to feature more than its nickname. Though Reuben left the college in July, the committee had already reached a decision on the new logo and was beginning to implement it.
The committee solicited feedback from focus groups composed of current and former student-athletes, coaches and the Anomaly Marketing Firm.
The new look will be featured on athletic apparel available to students at the Bookstore, but it will simply be one of many apparel designs that can be purchased. Rick Watson, director of college stores, said he wanted to have merchandise ready to display in time for the announcement but could not file the request in time. As a result, merchandise featuring the new logo will not be available until next month. Watson said the new apparel will be primarily, but not exclusively, athletics based.
“The main focus is the athletic identity,” Watson said. “We’re still going to use the college logos that aren’t specific to athletics, so it’ll be a mixture of all of it.”
While the general student population will have to wait to wear apparel with the new logo, the women’s soccer team, as a result of its uniform cycle, will be the first team to have a completely new uniform for its upcoming season. According to head coach Mindy Quigg, the uniform features the new logo as well as a design scheme emblematic of the new philosophies based on the power of unity that the rebrand is trying to illustrate.
The football team and its staff sported some of the new apparel at practice this week. They will also be affected by the rebrand, as their helmets will sport a new font. Senior wide receiver Joel Lynch was initially concerned by the fact that the rebrand would buck tradition.
“My first thought was ‘Is coach Welch OK with it?’ ’Cause I know he’s all about tradition,” Lynch said. “He was OK with it, so the whole team was OK with it, and I’m OK with it. I like it. It looks good. I get the meaning of it.”
Lynch added that the principle idea of unifying all of the teams under one logo was something that he would not have initially thought of when he was younger, but now it appeals to him.
Gladziszewski said the logo, which will be displayed atop each scoreboard and be prominently posted throughout campus, captures that idea.
“I think the real sentiment has been that [the teams] want to have a unified department,” Gladziszewski said. “What the logo shows is togetherness, so no matter what sport it is, you’re all part of the same thing: You’re part of Ithaca College.”