Conference USA Launches New Brand Identity Program

May 23, 2000

CHICAGO - Conference USA has developed a Brand Identity Program, featuring a family of new marks, as part of a comprehensive marketing and promotional plan, Commissioner Mike Slive announced today.

The branding system was developed in cooperation with SME Power Branding of New York, a premier sports-oriented brand marketing company. The league's interest in enhancing its brand nationally was coupled with its development and growth on and off the playing field.

"Conference USA's achievements have solidified our identity and the direction we are taking for the future," said Commissioner Slive. "It is an appropriate time for us to translate that into a comprehensive brand building program, including the creation of new marks. We are extremely pleased with how this program will represent our league, as well as complement our enhanced marketing and promotional efforts."

The evolution of the league's brand identity was designed to reinforce the conference's athletic and national emergence. The urban, progressive, and bold nature of the brand is reflected in the new marks.

"Our challenge was to create brand strategies and a brand identity system that helped more effectively convey Conference USA's prominence as one of the major athletic conferences in the nation," said Greg Economou, co-President of SME Power Branding. "The stronger the brand equity of the conference, the more each individual institution will benefit. Together we have created that platform for success."

The marks are designated as the Corporate Mark, the Branding Mark and the Cross Branding Mark.

The Corporate Mark, the cornerstone of the brand, represents the continuous forward movement and energy of the league. The 12 stars of the original mark have evolved into one star, symbolizing the unity of its members.

The Branding Mark, derived from the Corporate Mark, represents the acronym of the conference's name, C-USA.

The Cross Branding Mark, the first of its kind for a major collegiate athletic conference, provides C-USA the opportunity to develop cross-marketing, cross-licensing and cross-merchandising programs with its member institutions and corporate partners. It will also provide a foundation for creating sport-specific and championship marks.

"The opportunity to join the Conference USA mark with its member universities' marks in this coordinated program will allow each property to gain value from association with one another," said Pat Battle, President of The Collegiate Licensing Company. "We're excited that Conference USA has had the foresight to include this component in its identity strategy."

Conference USA members include Army, Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, East Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Saint Louis, South Florida, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulane and UAB.

As part of the Brand Identity Program, Conference USA has developed several collateral pieces to promote the new marks, including logo slicks, a CD-ROM and Usage Brochure. The marks are also available to download (www.jpattonsports.com/clc/c-usa/) from the league's website at c-usasports.com.

For more information regarding the Brand Identity Program, please contact Erika Amstadt Hirschfield at the conference office.

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