SBD/May 31, 2013/Colleges

American Athletic Conference Unveils New Logo; League Offices To Stay In Providence

The American Athletic Conference's "long-awaited logo was unveiled Thursday and the graphic was hardly a surprise -- a blue A highlighted with a red star in the middle, a symbol to match the league's patriotic name," according to Paul Doyle of the HARTFORD COURANT. The league's horizontal mark "features the word 'American' in blue lettering, with a red star dotted over the 'i' and the words 'Athletic Conference' in a smaller font below." The design was created by LeslieAnne Wade and MadCreek Advertising in Upper Montclair, N.J. AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said, "We think it's a bold, simple and elegant design that is aspirational in nature with the star. We think it's a unique design. ... We think it captures our vision, our identity." Meanwhile, Aresco said that a decision on the host sites of the conference's basketball tournaments "could come within two weeks" (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/31). SPORTING NEWS' Roger Kuznia reported the AAC "figures to do one-year deals to judge performance of a tournament site's effectiveness before considering longer-term deals." Aresco said that the conference's tournament championship game "will be played on the Saturday prior to Selection Sunday, but the precise evening time slot is still to be determined." The tournament will be "televised Wednesday-Saturday on ESPN." Aresco said, "We retain our NCAA qualifier as a core conference" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/30). Meanwhile, Aresco said of possible conference expansion, "At this point, we have no plans to expand. We haven't really been talking about it. But as a commissioner once said, 'You are always alert.' But at this point, we don't have any plans" (PHILLY.com, 5/30).

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: In Providence, Kevin McNamara notes the league's office building on Park Row West has been sold for $13.2M, but the sale "does not effect plans to keep the league headquartered" in the city. Aresco: "We have no immediate plans to move. The building's sale has no impact on us. We have a lease in Providence. At this point we have a good and stable staff and will just continue to do our work" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 5/31). ESPN.com's Andy Katz writes Aresco "pulled off a shrewd but intelligent move" when he made sure the AAC offices stayed in Providence. The majority of the staffers are "family people and didn't want to leave" the area. If the league office were to move, the staff "might be more apt to look elsewhere or be plucked away by the new Big East." But that "hasn't happened," and the AAC has the "same people running its operation." The league is "taking care of its business" (ESPN.com, 5/31). 
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