Massachusetts Athletics Branding

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InnervisionsUMASS
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by InnervisionsUMASS » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:48 pm

FightMass19 wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:44 pm UMass Athletics recently sent out an email asking for participation in a survey. A significant part of this survey was regarding branding/logos.

So, if you're not a fan of the Power U, and want to see a superior alternative (i.e Interlocking UM) - then check your email and make your voice heard!
Got it today and took the survey. It's helpful from a branding as well as marketing (i.e. the types of communication you like seeing from them) standpoint.
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by FightMass19 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:13 pm

InnervisionsUMASS wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:48 pm Got it today and took the survey. It's helpful from a branding as well as marketing (i.e. the types of communication you like seeing from them) standpoint.
Agreed. Was very comprehensive and thorough. I hope to see a lot of positive changes made in the near future. I'm also a little surprised that they asked about the logos and branding, considering the administration seems to love the Power U so much.

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by MJatUM » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:19 pm

I also enjoyed writing in UMassHoops.com as one of my "other" places I look at or receive news on UMass Athletics from (I forget the actual wording of the question).

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by McKinney » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:58 pm

x-post from http://www.umasshoops.com/newboard/view ... 19#p466819
McKinney wrote: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:55 pm
gosox22 wrote: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:20 pm I know one of the things Carvel has mentioned is making sure people refer to us as UMass or Massachusetts. He thinks part of the reason we get the "Amherst" slapped at the end is that Lowell is so much better than us at hockey, and that needs to change.
I'm not even a fan of being referred to as "UMass" in a non-colloquial context. Specifically, my rule of thumb is: if you would refer to Washington as UW, Florida as UF, Maryland as UMD, etc. in this context then it's OK to use UMass, otherwise it should be "Massachusetts" (or "Mass." where there are physical constraints, such as how Northwestern is abbreviated to N'western to fit on the ESPN score bug). More generally the "UMass" abbreviation should apply to all university functions with an emphasis on academics, while "Massachusetts" and "Mass." should apply mainly to athletics.

On a similar note, I posted on twitter a few weeks ago my response to the branding survey and the results of some branding research I've started.
McKinney wrote:I don't understand why the "U" is so prominent. Only 10% of national schools (state flagships, major religious institutions, military academies, or major institutions ranked in the top 150 by most publishers) use a "U" (as in university) in their primary branding. If we exclude UMass this number drops to 8%.

However I understand "Massachusetts" is long and would need to be abbreviated to something along the lines of "Mass". Of the 22 FBS programs that abbreviate their brand (ie. University of Mississippi to Ole Miss, University of Alabama-Birmingham to UAB) only 36% are national schools that abbreviate with a U, if we exclude UMass that number drops to 32%.

To say we're in the minority on our use of "U" is an understatement. While I don't have issue with the use of "UMass" in a colloquial sense, we aren't putting our best foot forward when we say "UMass" in an official sense (that includes TV and radio broadcast). This is a similar issue that UC Berkeley faced in the 70s (before they landed officially on "Cal") and I encourage that you research this.

I actually think the logo itself looks "fine" if uninspired. To a degree the use of italics and beveling is not as common as it was in the 2000s so it does give a sense of being outdated, however my major problem with the Power U is the U itself.
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Floyd » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:21 pm

McKinney, the research you do on this board is astounding my man

I gotta say, (and I realize I'll get scewered for this but) I like the grey football unis. Would like to see the grey jerseys with white pants/stripes. Looks great to me
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by McKinney » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:26 pm

Floyd wrote: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:21 pm McKinney, the research you do on this board is astounding my man
Thank'ya Floyd. It's become quite a nice little hobby of mine. :D
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Floyd » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:28 pm

Keep it up. Enjoy reading it
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Crank » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 am

Interesting statistics, however I have a slightly different take on them. From a branding standpoint, isn't uniqueness a positive attribute? I would argue that using UMass branding stands out in a crowd of generically state-named institutions. I see it in much the same way as UCLA, Ole Miss (though corny), etc... are easily recognizable "brands". Similarly how Miami has appropriated "The U" by branding themselves using that only that letter athletically. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer things that stand out rather than following the crowd.

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by m626t » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:15 pm

Growing up and living in the area, it seems it was "Massachusetts", when sports teams were referenced in print and on the airwaves. (I'm ready for the backlash but) I always had the feeling the "UMass" brand was copy catting our friends in Storrs, Ct.
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Crank » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:40 pm

Having grown up in the Berkshires, i don't ever recall it being referred to as Massachusetts by anyone locally; it was always UMass, or for some of the old-timers "U of Mass". I never got the impression that it was copying Storrs state, but that may be a result of knowing UMass first as a kid.

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Old Cage » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:05 pm

For "the greatest coach to ever coach here" (see below), it was usually "Massachusetts" over the decades.
"Jack didn’t have any envy in him," Calipari said. "He was the greatest coach to ever coach here."

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by McKinney » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:02 pm

Crank wrote: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 am Interesting statistics, however I have a slightly different take on them. From a branding standpoint, isn't uniqueness a positive attribute? I would argue that using UMass branding stands out in a crowd of generically state-named institutions. I see it in much the same way as UCLA, Ole Miss (though corny), etc... are easily recognizable "brands". Similarly how Miami has appropriated "The U" by branding themselves using that only that letter athletically. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer things that stand out rather than following the crowd.
I suppose that is one way to interpret it, we're all open to different interpretations. I'll agree that uniqueness sometimes is a positive attribute, but I'd also argue that given that the overwhelming majority of "U" schools are regional we're lumping ourselves with UTEP, FIU, etc. more than UCLA. Now one could also make the argument that any brand can become a household name given enough time and exposure. To use your Miami example: I'd argue Miami was able to establish branding as "The U", not because it was unique, but because their athletics are in the national spotlight. That includes winning 5 football national championships and their membership in the ACC. Also, it's their logo, but I don't think "The U" is Miami's primary and official branding, "Miami" is.
Last edited by McKinney on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by Crank » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:23 pm

I know "The U" isn't their primary branding-I would assume it isn't something official at all. I was referring to the use of the singular letter 'U' as their athletic identity as opposed to the letter 'M'. Every university in the country has "University" in their name, yet Miami took on the 'U' as their identifier. Odd in a vacuum but it turned out to be brilliant from a marketing standpoint. Obviously their athletic success put it over the top but it's a far different approach than anyone else took and is now easily identified as their own.

I also don't think that the use of the U necessarily connotes a regional school identity. What generally sets those schools apart is the oft ridiculed "directional" modifier as opposed to the U. In my view, the addition of U is most often used to qualify that you are referring to the school when the conversation takes place in the same state. For example, I don't think residents of Michigan would say "I go to Michigan" when talking to someone in their state; they would use UM just as someone from Kentucky would refer to them as UK.

The UMass/UConn/UCLA, Ole Miss identifiers simply took such local colloquialisms and used them as the national identity. In my mind it works on two levels-it's both unique and easier shorthand for long(ish) names. Your mileage may vary.

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by MJatUM » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:11 pm

Crank - Miami also has the distinction of another school with the same exact name in Div 1 athletics. So they are almost required to use the U of Miami moniker as seeing Miami itself is almost universally associated with Miami University in Ohio. I'm sure there are other examples as well.

When you look at most state schools, I think the majority of the flagship university uses the state name and system schools use the U.... Texas-UTEP-UTSA / Cal-UCLA / Indiana-IUPUI those ones immediately came to mind. But I suppose you also have UNC which is much more common to see than North Carolina (I think).

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Re: Massachusetts Athletics Branding

Post by McKinney » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:23 pm

MJatUM wrote: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:11 pm Crank - Miami also has the distinction of another school with the same exact name in Div 1 athletics. So they are almost required to use the U of Miami moniker as seeing Miami itself is almost universally associated with Miami University in Ohio. I'm sure there are other examples as well.

When you look at most state schools, I think the majority of the flagship university uses the state name and system schools use the U.... Texas-UTEP-UTSA / Cal-UCLA / Indiana-IUPUI those ones immediately came to mind. But I suppose you also have UNC which is much more common to see than North Carolina (I think).
UNC is kind of a weird one. They use UNC, North Carolina, and Carolina all pretty interchangeably. "Carolina" is probably used the most these days, while "North Carolina" is usually reserved for more formal contexts (not sure if that's a good description, but yeah), and "UNC" if there are physical space requirements, in reference to all university functions, or being used as a local colloquialism. At least that's my understanding of it, and I like to think I have a pretty reasonable grasp of how they do things since I have family in North Carolina and my Dad's a Kenan–Flagler alum.

Other than UMass and UCONN there is only one other state flagship whose primary branding is a "U': LSU. Interestingly, I believe UL-Lafayette has begun referring to themselves as "Louisiana" making them one of only two non-flagships to use their state name (them and Ohio, and I guess three if you count Penn).
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