SBD/June 1, 2011/Media

Big Ten Network Rebrands Itself As BTN, Introduces New Logo

The Big Ten Network yesterday announced a rebranding of the net as BTN, along with a new logo and web domain of BTN.com. The logo allows for multiple applications, including creating school-specific BTN logos. It also incorporates some design elements from the previous logo, including the star, and is similar to the conference's new logo. BTN President Mark Silverman in a statement said, "These changes are a logical step in our evolution, and give us an umbrella under which we can launch other businesses across digital platforms during our next phase of growth and development." The first of these ventures will be unveiled this month (BTN). In Detroit, Mark Snyder reported Silverman this week "will roll out a campaign to embrace 'BTN,' the commonly referred acronym for the network." Silverman: "Most of the people in the conference already call it BTN. It happened on its own. We now want to be able to reflect that on air. It will become more integrated, having something with the BTN for shorthand, a logo more competitively where it speaks to our viewers with a wink. We get it, we're BTN." Snyder noted Silverman "doesn't seem threatened" by the "various high-pried conference network deals announced in the past few years." Silverman: "I don't think it's affected us. We're watching to see how things play out. But we really haven't seen any kind of impact. We're still growing rapidly, ad sales grew another 30% last year. The early football sales are strong this year" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/29).

LOSING COUNT
: In San Antonio, Brent Zwerneman noted starting this summer, the Big Ten will have 12 members and the Big 12 will have 10, but "based mainly upon brand loyalty, both conferences intend to keep their numerically challenged monikers." The Big 12, "after hiring a consulting firm to explore other options, announced last week it intends to keep its name." Big 12 Associate Commissioner for Communications Bob Burda: "There's been a lot of success with the Big 12 brand -- we've won national titles with that name. It just seemed based on the equity that's been built to this point, it was in our best interest to keep the name and logo as is moving forward." Baylor AD Ian McCaw said the decision to keep the name was a "wise decision." McCaw: "We did some internal surveys and had a branding consultant work with us. The Big 12 has such great equity and credibility, and it means so much to people in this part of the country, that a change really wouldn't have served us well." However, McCaw said, "That probably wasn't the best thought-out idea in the world, attaching a number to a conference name" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/29).
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