A multi-year effort to unify the Baylor brand across all facets of the University culminated in the launch of the Baylor United campaign, revealing a rebranding of the Baylor Athletics programs and a new University Brand Mark.
Both the athletics and University brand are anchored with an updated interlocking BU mark.
Athletics also rolled out a new bear logo and consistent green and gold color schemes across all the teams.
The iconic interlocking BU logo, a longstanding mark for the University, will serve as the sole institutional mark, replacing the silhouetted Judge Baylor statue and Pat Neff Hall mark used by the University since 2008.
The interlocking BU received minor adjustments, adding smooth outer edges and an inner chisel that resembles a bear claw. The preferred use will be a single-color mark of either green, gold or white.
Jason Cook, Baylor vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer, spearheaded the institutional mark transition, uniting the athletics and University under the same mark.
“Baylor is fortunate in that we already have a strong brand identity with the interlocking BU — a design that was used within the University nearly 100 years ago prior to its presence in athletics in the 1950s,” Cook said.
Now joined with the updated interlocking BU, the Baylor University wordmark received minor updates to create a familiar look and feel that represents the strong tradition and rich history of the University.
The athletics rebranding is the result of the department’s administration pursuing a long-term partnership with Nike, a commitment that will include updates to uniforms, athletic gear, stadium signage, premium items, spirit wear, social media and all marketing assets surrounding the brand identity.
Mack B. Rhoades IV, Baylor vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, led efforts for Baylor athletics.
“In everything we do as a department, we strive to be elite,” Rhoades said. “Our partnership with Nike is one way to ensure that we equip all 19 sport programs and more than 500 student-athletes with elite gear and apparel.”
A recommitment to the signature colors of Baylor Green and University Gold will bring all intercollegiate sport programs under a consistent styling and limit alternative color schemes to enhance the strength of the brand.
The uniform combinations will come from four color groups: green, gold, white and dark steel gray.
After almost 15 years in its current design, the bear logo used by Baylor Athletics also received a redesign, serving as the secondary identifying mark for the department. Pulling from previous variations of the bear logo, the refreshed mark creates a more powerful, modern look. Adding more intensity to the eyes and widening the open mouth of the bear signifies the strength, valor and pride of the sport programs.
If one thing is consistent, it is the variety of bears that Baylor fans and teams have used since 1914 — the year the bear became the University’s rallying symbol.
The simplified design of the new bear, introduced April 15, means it can be easily used across many applications, from TV to print to apparel and beyond.
A handful of the previous bears have gained various levels of recognition.
Popularly known as Sailor Bear (though some point out the ‘hat’ was meant to resemble a freshman beanie or slime cap of that era) came about in the 1950s or so. It was created for use by any college or university using a bear as a mascot. Sailor Bear is licensed by Baylor as part of its vintage collection.
Of the many versions of the Growling Bear, the bear head seemed to be the most commonly used. Its difficulty to reproduce cleanly on clothing and related items likely kept it from being widely adopted.
More recent bear designs have earned nicknames like Fuzzy Green Bear and Brown Bear, with the latter used 2005-19.
The consistent use of brand marks and colors is a cornerstone of the University’s Baylor United rollout. Consistency in the
University identity icons conveys the brand more clearly and amplifies its potential impact.
A Brand Guide along with licensing guidelines were developed and placed online to help those on campus who create materials and communications as well as vendors who produce apparel and other items follow the Brand Standards. The guides also assure that all efforts are focused on building momentum for the University.