Membership Changes Compel Mountain West Conference To Unveil New Logo, Slogan
The Mountain West Conference yesterday "unveiled its new logo -- the block, purple-and-gray letters 'MW' inside a cube -- and announced a branding initiative with the slogan, 'This is our time,'" according to Chadd Cripe of the IDAHO STATESMAN. Changes to the conference's membership are "reflected in the new logo, which drops the mountain scene that was prominent in the old logo." The MWC "wanted to de-emphasize the mountains because of schools like Fresno State, Hawaii, San Diego State and UNLV." MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson said that the conference "didn't consider a name change." But he said, "We're about as much west as we are mountain. We're going to emphasize both names." Cripe notes the logo, which the league is calling "The Rock," is the "beginning of a rebranding effort that will include a revamped website and promotional campaign" (IDAHO STATESMAN, 6/7). The AP's Bernie Wilson noted the logo "has a 3-D look to it, and doesn't include the word 'conference.'" It "looks the same right-side up or upside down." It is "supposed to be strong and bold," and Thompson said that the MWC "wanted to have some fun with it and make it different." Wilson noted the "This is our time" slogan follows the conference's previous slogan, "Above the rest" (AP, 6/6). Thompson said that a rebranding was "necessary because the league is recasting its identity with a spate of membership changes this year and next." Boise State will join the MWC on July 1. Utah is leaving for the Pac-12 and BYU will go independent in football and join the West Coast Conference in other sports. Next year, TCU leaves for the Big East and Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii will join the MWC from the WAC (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/7).
MIXED REVIEWS: CBSSPORTS.com's Jerry Hinnen wrote he is "not sure what's wrong" with the new logo, "other than the fact the conference has decided to give the logo its own nickname, 'The Rock.'" Hinnen: "It's eye-catching, it's simple, it's pleasingly symmetric/geometric" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the "boxy new Nintendo 64-esque logo is fine but not a huge improvement." The "This is our time" slogan is "generic and ill-timed" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/6). In Salt Lake City, Scott Pierce wrote the logo "looks an awful lot" like the current logo for the BBC's "Doctor Who" (SLTRIB.com, 6/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Graham Watson wrote the logo was "supremely underwhelming especially for the $250,000 the conference spent on it" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/6). In Hawaii, Ferd Lewis writes, "Why, with a mountain as your motif, would you choose block letters suggestive of urban concrete?" Univ. of Hawaii art professor Anne Bush said, "It builds a big box and, I think, the colors are outdated" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 6/7).