Rebranding Bradley Athletics
Visit bradley.edu/go/ht-athleticbranding to view more branding elements.
When Dr. Michael Cross arrived on the Hilltop in 2010 as director of athletics, it didn’t take him long to recognize the need to make athletic rebranding a high priority. “If you walked through the department right now and asked the coaches to pull out five pieces of apparel from their closets, we would have — no exaggeration — 30 to 40 different logos and looks across 15 teams,” Cross said. “Our overall branding, as it is related to Bradley Athletics, was inconsistent. Now, we have completed the rebranding process, and it’s an exciting opportunity to clearly represent Bradley Athletics in a very consistent manner.”
On August 17, the athletic department unveiled its new brand marks, with a focus on retaining a sense of the University’s athletic history and recognizing its traditions. “We have strong brand equity in the name ‘Bradley,’” Cross said, “and we are moving from ‘BU’ to focus on the letter ‘B.’”
The new brand is gradually being incorporated onto the uniforms of Bradley’s 15 Division I men’s and women’s sports teams. All teams are wearing the new design on their warmups and practice gear.
Cross stressed that this is not an institutional brand. Although the University brand and the athletic brand will complement each other, the University brand will have a different look. Athletics is focusing on the “B,” incorporating a “shield” graphic, and adding the word “Bradley” as a wordmark. “It is distinctive and clean, representing Bradley’s long and storied athletic history,” Cross added.
Under the leadership of Cross and Susan Andrews, associate vice president for marketing, a committee of students, faculty, staff, and alumni worked with the Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co., a southeastern Pennsylvania firm specializing in athletic brand identity development across all visual platforms.
Unveiling the new athletic brand
Following months of committee work, Bosack designed a font unique to Bradley’s athletic department: the primary logo features a red and white letter “B” set inside a white shield above the word “BRADLEY” (top); secondary logos include just the shield and “B” combo, sports-specific wordmarks (above, left), as well as the “B” alone (above, right). All the marks have specific alterations for use on light and dark backgrounds.
“A style guide was developed for the new athletic brand identity system to provide guidance and ensure consistency for Bradley teams and fans alike,” Andrews said. The implementation and monitoring of the athletic brand is the responsibility of Andrews; Heidi Wegmueller, assistant athletic director for external affairs; and the Licensing Resource Group.
– Karen Crowley Metzinger, MA ’97
Some of the world’s most respected companies are aligned with Bradley Athletics. The department is proud of the partnerships providing yearlong support of Bradley’s 15 Division l men’s and women’s sports and appreciates the companies helping the University accomplish one of its missions: to provide every student-athlete the opportunity for both a distinctive education and a championship experience. For information on the levels of corporate partnerships, call Heidi Wegmueller at 309-677-2633.