A revitalized brand, including a new logo, was introduced today by William & Mary Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge.
While engaging partners on campus and various constituencies in the W&M community, William & Mary Athletics sought a new, bold look to re-energize the brand and logo and align them more closely with the university's brand. The revitalized logo harkens to the use of the W&M in the traditional university colors. The interlocked "W&M" is the most prevalent logo historically for athletics, dating all the way back to 1899. The primary suite of revised logos also features a more aggressive Griffin with the word Tribe.
"Having a strong and recognizable brand is important as we pursue excellence as a department," stated Huge. "While we remain the Tribe, the new logo provides us with a more powerful connection to the university and will allow us to more seamlessly elevate the entire institution's visibility on a national scale."
The new logos will slowly replace the existing logos throughout athletic venues, on apparel and in other inventory over the next year. Along with the new logo, there will be an increased emphasis on consistency in brand presentation across the athletics spectrum.
"I think what's really important is that the William & Mary name is a 325-year-old brand, and it is the strongest name and the strongest identity that the university has," said Justin Schoonmaker, creative director of William & Mary's University Communications unit. "To me, that's the biggest win here. We give the university credit for what athletics is doing, and we lend the athletics program the strength of the university name. It's a two-way win."
While the Tribe script logo will become de-emphasized, William & Mary Athletics remains committed to the nickname Tribe. The Tribe is a significant part of the ethos and culture both on campus and in athletics. It stands for community and a group with common interests. The Tribe was first referenced at W&M to describe its athletics program in the 1920s and became the exclusive nickname in the early 1980s.
The rebranding initiative began a year ago with a committee of athletics administrators and the university design team coming together to develop the athletics brand and bring it more in line with the institution's overall visual identity. Focus groups consisting of athletics' creative team, coaches and staff, student-athletes, alumni and campus constituencies vetted the designs. The process also included the feedback from W&M Athletics' apparel partner, Under Armour.
The new look will be used on the uniforms, gear, stationery and promotional material for all 23 William & Mary sports. Apparel with the new logo will also be available for purchase at the university bookstore and online at TribeShop.com.
William & Mary Athletics enhances the university and the Williamsburg community. They are committed to an outstanding intercollegiate athletics program by forging an environment that demands success with integrity, winning championships, empowering leaders, building a championship culture, elevating the prestige of the university and instilling pride and respect.
Full and simple primary marks:
The Griffin, which was introduced as W&M’s mascot in 2010, is an important representation of the university. The mythological creature features the body of a lion representing the creation by royal charter in London and the head of an eagle, representing the instrumental role W&M played in the American Revolution.
The full and simple primary marks are the main athletics logos. The simple primary mark harkens back to the university and athletics department’s most historically prevalent logo, the W&M. It is available with and without a stroke. The stroke option is recommended for use when the background is unknown or cannot be altered, as it provides background agnostic contrast.
The full primary mark includes the W&M featuring a fierce Griffin with the word Tribe. It draws from the pillars of Athletics; representing William & Mary with the W&M, the Griffin, and the Tribe.
Uniform Word Mark: The William & Mary wordmark and Tribe wordmark are for uniform and team apparel use only. The William & Mary wordmark will primarily be used when "William & Mary" needs to be prominent, such as on away jerseys. The Tribe wordmark will primarily be used when "Tribe" needs to be prominent, such as on home jerseys.
Griffin Illustration: The Griffin illustrations expand upon the original mascot by introducing new ferocity to the logo. The re-energized Griffin represents W&M’s aggressive pursuit of excellence in competition, the classroom and the community.
Why the change?
William & Mary Athletics wanted to bring its brand closer in alignment with that of the university. The department took into account the importance of its nickname, Tribe, and its mascot, the Griffin. The use of the "W&M" in the logo harkens back to Tribe Athletics traditional logos of the past. The "W&M" is the university and athletics department's most prevalent logo historically, dating all the way back to the 19th century.
Is William & Mary still the Tribe?
Yes, William & Mary Athletics is committed to remaining the Tribe. The Tribe is a significant part of the ethos and culture both at the university. The Tribe remains the university's nickname and will remain a vital and visible association with William & Mary Athletics.
The Griffin was introduced as the university's mascot in 2010 and is an important representation of W&M. The Griffin features the body of the lion representing the creation by royal charter in London and the head of an eagle representing the instrumental role W&M played in the American Revolution. It is a strong and vital symbol of the institution and its athletics program. Taking into account the combination of the university name, the nickname and the mascot, the brand suite follows a similar path to the strong athletics brand at the University of Alabama, which pairs the school name with the nickname Crimson Tide and an elephant mascot named 'Big Al.'
What happens to the original Griffin?
The original Griffin announced by President Emeritus Taylor Reveley in 2010 will remain in the athletics visual identity package as the mark of the Kid's Club. In June, the athletics department announced the original Griffin mascot would be named 'Reveley' in honor of W&M's 27th president. Reveley will continue to roam the sidelines to entertain fans at Tribe Athletics events.
Will I still see the Tribe script logo?
The Tribe script logo will remain part of the program's history. The logo will slowly transition out of use as uniforms, facilities and apparel are updated through their natural course of use or replaced as funds allow. It will not be used on new items moving forward.
Why don't we bring back the feathers?
William & Mary discontinued the use of the feathered W&M mark in 2006 due to NCAA regulations. While the university and athletics department's use of the Tribe has featured Native American-styled logos in his history, it has evolved to stand for community. The close-knit environment at William & Mary are hallmarks of both the institution as well as its athletics program. The W&M logo is athletics' most historically relevant mark. Its lineage started as a similar "WM" or "W&M" in the 19th century and continues on in the university's cypher and the new mark of the athletics department.
What was the process behind the creation of the new logo?
The revitalized brand and marks were the product of collaboration between the athletics department and the design team within William & Mary's University Communications unit. The process began a year ago. A committee of administrators and the design team researched and evaluated the direction, before developing a revitalized mark. The brand was vetted by focus groups, including the athletics department’s creative team, coaches, student-athletes, alumni, campus constituencies and W&M Athletics' apparel partner, Under Armour.
When and where will apparel with the new logos be available?
The William & Mary Bookstore, located at 345 Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, will have exclusive logoed shirts available for purchase on Wednesday, July 25. More apparel with the revitalized William & Mary Athletics logos will be available in the coming weeks. Check out the Tribe on social media for updates on newest apparel releases. Follow W&M Athletics on Facebook (@WMTribeAthletics), Twitter (@TribeAthletics), and Instagram (@TribeAthletics).