A lot of the
major colleges and professional teams change their logos from time
to time for that reason. Our current athletic marks have been in
use for more than 10 years. Apparel manufacturers are excited about
adding a new eagle to our merchandise, and I think our fans and
supporters will be also."
excited about the new look for Southern Miss athletics, and it will
have a very positive effect on our student-athletes and fans,"
said Jeff Bower, Southern Miss head football coach.
principal owner of RARE Designs in Hattiesburg and a Southern Miss
graduate, developed the logo and said the new identity represents
the strength, pride and passion of what it means to be a Southern
Miss Golden Eagle.
positioning was to create a classic athletic identity inspired by
a strong tradition modernized to reflect the Southern Miss spirit
of perseverance and achievement," he said. "Bold. Clean.
A second development
in the process was the issue of color, said Giannini. For the past
couple of years, the athletic teams used a color named "Vegas
Gold" on uniforms, but it was a hard color to duplicate in
apparel. "We've been able to change to a different gold that
we can use university-wide," Giannini said.
you'll end up seeing a whole lot more people wearing gold,"
Bower agreed, saying, "The new golden eagle will be a powerful
mark, and the consistency of color will add a lot of gold in the
stadium at future games."
years of having two gold colors that were acceptable for university
merchandise, printing, signage and athletic uniforms, we are pleased
to be transitioning into one gold color for both the university
and athletics," said Lisa Mader, director of marketing and
we've got now is a more distinctive and consistent look for our
athletic teams," said Giannini. "That's one of the things
we wanted to do in our branding, to be more consistent with what
the university is doing in the ongoing branding for the university."
had so many different variations of marks in the past, and that's
made it hard to have a solid identity," said Gene Fitts, university
collegiate licensing specialist. "The new mark is a very progressive
look. I'm excited."
he believes interest in the new look will spill over to consumers
who will want to buy items with the new appearance. "In return,
that will have a big impact on the university from royalties, which
ultimately go back to the athletic program," said Fitts, predicting
products carrying the new look will be available by early summer.
Process: Much more than merchandising
new eagle identity was an intense process that RARE Design and the
Southern Miss Athletics Department conducted in several stages for
nearly a year. The process included a great deal of research, the
use of focus groups, defining and refining the look, and finally,
completing the look with accompanying typefaces and supporting marks,
began with extensive research, where RARE looked at the history
of the Athletics Department and university. Next, they looked at
color stories, graphic directions and the extension of possible
logos into supporting graphics. Those ideas were then tested in
focus groups. Findings from the focus groups led to changes in images
that stood out among others from the focus groups came from Coach
Jeff Bower, who said, "Character; heart; courage
what Southern Miss football is all about."
we had to capture those words in our brand," said Richardson.
"Athletic identities mean so much more to so many more people.
You've got the passion of the students, fans and alumni, the representation
of the history of the university, the vision of the Athletic Department
and, not least, the authenticity of the athletes and game to represent,"
new graphics and color play a huge role in licensing and marketing
university athletics, Richardson said he believes they are relevant
in representing athletic ideals. "Too often, team identity
design focuses on the marketing aspect of the game rather than the
team, athletes and sports themselves," he said. "People
don't rally behind a logo. They rally behind the ideas that logo
should represent in a clear, concise way. An identity is not about
creating a graphic; it's understanding the story that makes Southern
Miss athletics unique."
Rodney and his team at RARE have done with the Southern Miss athletic
brand works hand-in-hand with what we are doing to establish a brand
for the entire university," said Danny Mitchell, president
and CEO of GodwinGroup, the oldest and largest marketing and public
relations firm in the Southeast. GodwinGroup designed the theme
for the 2003 athletic season, "Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime,"
and currently is working with the university to develop a university-wide
brand for the institution.
what we've captured in the design represents the strength, pride
and passion of what it means to be a Southern Miss Golden Eagle,"
said Giannini. "The results certainly encapsulate the words
used by our focus group members courage, strength, pride
to describe the traits of our athletes."
is a creative consortium of marketing, advertising and design expertise.
RARE has created campaigns for professional athletic teams, major
colleges and corporations, including Nike, Adidas, the Houston Texans
and Home Depot.
above to download
-- A new golden eagle in a new color has landed in the athletic roost
at The University of Southern Mississippi and will soon be emblazoned
on items from uniforms to programs to merchandise. The new athletic
mark and new gold color, unveiled Wednesday by Southern Miss athletic
officials and President Shelby F. Thames during a news conference,
is an eagle head with a sleek, more modern, fierce look. It will be
used as the primary mark for the Southern Miss athletic teams and
will debut on uniforms beginning with the 2003 football season. The
new golden eagle, which will be used on all athletic uniforms, publications,
merchandise and marketing materials, will replace other marks previously
used. A sleeker, more modernized form of the attack eagle will be
unveiled next year. "We are thrilled with the outcome,"
said Richard Giannini, Southern Miss athletic director. "This
new mark is truly our own and provides us with a distinctive look.
Any time you add a new mark to your organization, people get excited
an audio clip of Dr. Thames
and Richard Giannini