Today, The University of Olivet is unveiling a new visual identity for its athletic programs. Olivet is home to 22 NCAA Division III varsity and six non-NCAA Division III sports and nearly 700 student-athletes who compete in America’s oldest college conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The fresh, modern look will serve as the primary graphic identity for the athletic department as it presses forward with confidence and a winning mindset into the 2017-18 academic year and beyond.
To begin the process of updating The University of Olivet’s Athletics brand identity, alumni, students, faculty and staff were surveyed. A committee of alumni, student-athletes, coaches and faculty worked with a company nationally recognized as an expert in athletics branding, VIP Branding, to develop the modern brand identifiers that stay faithful to the red and white, a staple of the Comets’ look throughout the years. Through the generous support of a partner organization, the creative work was completed without any direct cost to the college.
“This brand refresh captures the spirit, passion and heart of the The University of Olivet Comets,” said Tim Johnston, Olivet’s vice president for admissions and marketing. “Consistency and relevance are essential to any strong brand and the new Comet Athletics graphic identity serves to compliment the overall college branding, which itself has been recently refreshed. The University of Olivet student-athletes will have every reason to be proud when they wear the new design and represent OC Nation.”
Typography and Logo
OC Athletics has its own personality, and so should its typography and logo. While paying tribute to OC’s legacy and tradition of the interlocking “OC,” the new graphic treatment exclusive to The University of Olivet sends a clear message that today’s Comets are positioned for athletic success. The memorable design embodies energy, speed and forward motion — much like a comet in flight. The refreshed brand identifier communicates that the Comets are on the move — OC does not stand still for anyone!
Clyde the Mascot
Clyde’s loyal alumni and fans spoke and OC listened: you love Clyde! Don’t worry—he isn’t going anywhere. Clyde the mascot will continue to serve as the face of the Comets. However, as recommended by many survey respondents, Clyde is undergoing a transformation from a mild-mannered sidekick to a powerful athletic competitor — a real force to be reckoned with! The transformed Clyde will symbolize the evolution of OC Athletics into a powerhouse in the conference. His new costume will be revealed this fall.
A New Gal in Town
Something else we heard while surveying our constituents was the call for a female mascot. So, this fall Clyde will be putting out the welcome mat for a female mascot to join him on the field and court. You can bet she’ll be bold, fast, powerful, tenacious, resilient and empowering. What’s her name? You’ll tell us. Watch for the opportunity to submit names and to cast your vote.
A Cohesive Brand
The new athletic logo, typography and mascot costumes will roll out in stages throughout the coming academic year. Changes in uniforms occur at regularly scheduled intervals and so the new look will be transitioned to every team over time. Eventually, all programs will showcase consistent logos, colors and numerals as dictated by OC Athletics newly developed brand identity guide. The new visual identity guide, developed by VIP Branding, creates a standardized guide for the use of the primary athletics logo, OC lettermark and specific wordmarks for each team. Athletic facilities will be updated with the new brand identity over time and as budgets permit.
From the outset, the rebranding effort was designed to be budget neutral and every effort was made not to redirect precious dollars from already limited athletics operating budgets.
“The rebranding was necessary to match the evolution of not only our sports programs but The University of Olivet itself,” said Ryan Shockey, OC athletic director. “Our goal is to strengthen the recognition of The University of Olivet, our athletic program and give us a consistent identity for our teams. The logo, mascot and other design elements reflect our commitment to today’s student-athletes while maintaining the rich history of Comet Athletics.”