ALBANY — UAlbany’s athletic programs are getting a makeover.
Wednesday morning, the UAlbany athletic department rolled out its new logos as part of a “refreshed brand identity” that prominently features a new, more angular look for Damien, the school’s Great Dane mascot.
The redesign helps solve what had been a bit of inconsistency with Damien’s look, between the brown look of the mascot costume and the gold Great Dane in the school’s old logo.
“We had kind of two different looks going on with Damien, and we wanted to have one cohesive, refreshed brand,” UAlbany athletic director Mark Benson said in a phone interview Wednesday. “That was a lot of the driving force behind that.”
In seeking input from the university community — including athletes, student affairs, the alumni network, marketing and communications — Benson and assistant athletic director for marketing Griffith Hunter said a number of words kept popping up that people wanted to see in a redesign.
“We were able to kind of use that terminology to kind of help move forward with what we were looking for,” Hunter said.
“We took all those attributes that people said they wanted to see and really put them through the design,” Benson said.
The idea for a redesign had been kicked around for a while, but the process got a jump-start in July 2019, when UAlbany inked a five-year deal with Under Armour through BSN Sports. That deal allowed UAlbany to work on the redesigned logos with VIP Branding.
The new look was debuted to the public Wednesday morning, but Benson said that he’s gotten enthusiastic responses from those within the university who got an early look at it — especially UAlbany’s student-athletes.
“By far, the best, loudest reaction we got was from our student-athletes,” Benson said. “They immediately took to it and were very excited about it.”
All UAlbany programs will have at least one uniform featuring the redesigned Damien head logo, Benson said.
It will take a little while for UAlbany’s teams to sport their new looks. The school announced last Friday the postponement of its fall sports season, with the intention to play those sports next spring — though athletes will have the new look on some of their practice gear when they return to practice.
“Unfortunately, we’re still in unprecedented times and we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to have these logos on uniforms,” Hunter said, “but I think today was — amidst a lot of the current news — hopefully a positive kind of shot in the arm for our community, and just a way to galvanize and bring together our community to give them something to look forward to once we got back to sports.”
Reach Adam Shinder at [email protected] or @Adam_Shinder on Twitter.