UC Merced Unveils New Athletics Logo

Go Bobcats!MERCED - The University of California, Merced, is sporting a new look. Well, at least its athletics teams are. Campus officials today (Oct. 14) unveiled a brand-new athletics logo that marks a definite move toward competition-minded branding. Photos of the unveiling can be found on the campus Facebook page.

The UC Merced Golden Bobcat's makeover includes a fiercer look and piercing blue eyes - showcasing the university's trademark colors of blue and gold. Though the university will have a handful of variations on the logo for multiple uses, the primary mark, which features the bobcat leaping over a shield with the words "UC Merced Bobcats Athletics" emblazoned in front, will be the most commonly used version.

"In light of our initiative to create a divisional intercollegiate athletics program, we wanted a sportier image," said David Dunham, director of recreation and athleticsfor UC Merced. "Our new Golden Bobcat is definitely leaner and meaner than his predecessor."

The new logo design was created by Phoenix Design Works of New York City with direction from a committee of university officials and students.

"Creating athletics logos is what Phoenix does best," Dunham said. "They have exceeded our expectations and provided us with a logo that is guaranteed to stand the test of time."

That "test of time" is scheduled to begin almost immediately with volleyball players being among the first to don uniforms with the new Golden Bobcat logo. Other student-athletes have received T-shirts with the university's new logo to help them show their school spirit.

"To me, the new logo represents what the founding generation of UC Merced has forged here," said Francesca Devlin, a university senior who sat on the logo selection committee. "Our students are competitive in academics and daily life - just like our Golden Bobcat."

Beginning today, Oct. 14, branded merchandise featuring the new logo is on sale at the campus bookstore.

"Right now, we're just focused on T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, but more items - including a plush bobcat - are on their way," said Kevin Storms, bookstore manager.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which was convened in July, is working with consultants to create a strategic athletics plan. The plan is expected to be completed by January 2009.

The commission, which includes Los Angeles Galaxy coach Cobi Jones, and other UC Merced representatives and community supporters, is charged with offering guidance to the consulting team as it drafts its proposal for UC Merced's future athletics program.

The consultants, Cedric Dempsey and Ted Leland, both have a long history in collegiate athletics. Dempsey served as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1994 to 2003, and Leland was athletic director of Stanford University from 1991 to 2005. Both Dempsey and Leland will be at this afternoon's town hall meeting, which will give the campus community and general public an opportunity to hear more about the process of creating a strategic athletics plan. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the California Room.

Branded merchandise can be purchased through the university bookstore online at bookstore.ucmerced.edu.

Tonya Luiz
UC Merced Office of Communications

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