UA Unveils New Athletics Branding Marks


Akron, 0hio, July 1, 2002 The University of Akron today unveiled a new branding identification package for its Department of Athletics.

The re-branding incorporates a sleek, determined kangaroo into the Department of Athletics' set of identifying marks, a custom font style, a set of revised and new word marks and a return to the metallic gold color scheme to give UA Athletics a distinctive new look.

The re-branding process began in November 2001, and was paid for by private funds generated through the Zips Athletics External Relations Office.

The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. of Pipersville, Pa., created the revised look. Other Bosack Design clients include the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.

Mike Thomas, UA director of athletics, says that having a professional, polished look is very important for the Zips Athletics:

Our new look is innovative and respectful. The goal was to create a new, unified look for our Department, Thomas says.

The new look for UA Athletics includes a pair of primary marks, secondary applications focusing on a solo kangaroo, and several variable marks that use various elements of the primary and secondary sets.

The University of Akron previously did not include the kangaroo mascot, but used the Script ZIPS and Moving A as identification marks for its sports teams.

The new marks provide numerous options for uniform design and for merchandising efforts, and specific image looks will be adapted for each of the 18 sports teams at the University.

Each UA sports team now will have a primary mark featuring the word Akron and the team's sport, and a second mark featuring the word ZIPS and the applicable sport. These marks also are available to each team with a Kangaroo as part of the mark or as a stand-alone, word-only look.

The main look for the Department of Athletics is the primary mark that will include the text The University of Akron, the image of a hopping kangaroo, and the athletics color set of metallic gold and Akron blue. An alternate version has the text Akron along with the word ZIPS.

Mike Waddell, assistant athletic director for external relations, says the new look combines the best of UA's sporting past with the optimism and energy for the future of Zips Athletics.

If you look through our archival images you will find athletic marks that feature several of the elements incorporated in these new designs. We think we have captured our Zips Athletics history in a visual marriage with key elements for the future in our new branding set.

These new marks combine the best of yesterday and the best of today, Waddell says.

UA's popular mascot Zippy also has received an updated look for print applications.

The new print presentation of Zippy is a more accurate portrayal of the popular mascot that makes numerous appearances at many University events. The new print version of Zippy will be widely used in UA Athletics programs, including programs for children, such as the Giant Eagle/Zips Kids Club and the Giant Eagle Family Sports Clinics.

Zippy the Kangaroo was officially declared The University of Akron's mascot on May 1, 1953. The selection of the kangaroo was selected as an animal that is fast, agile and powerful with undying determination all the necessary qualities of an athlete. These same adjectives remain appropriate today when describing the academic and athletic mission of The University of Akron.

Zippy is one of our most beloved images at The University of Akron, Thomas says.

In the recent past there were two looks for Zippy, the mascot at the games and the cartoon, or printed, application. Now, we have consolidated our mascot's looks to provide a clear vision of this mascot who is very popular with folks young and old, Thomas adds.

The return to the metallic gold athletics color scheme for Zips Athletics will reacquaint UA athletes and fans alike with the historical shade of gold used prior to the 1995-96 athletic seasons. Team uniforms will incorporate this color change according to established replacement timelines.

Cara Hrabusa, licensing and merchandising manager for UA Athletics, says the University is hoping that the change in looks for UA Athletics will prove to be popular with fans.

Our focus groups have shown that this new mark set and color palette are suited for each other and will be welcomed by our supporters and, just as importantly, by the casual sports fan looking for appealing merchandise, she adds.

A new line of apparel now is available to Zips fans at the Online Store, featuring items from Adidas, the official apparel partner to UA Athletics. This merchandise can be ordered online at or by calling 888-99-AKRON.

UA athletic teams were nicknamed the Zippers in 1925 after a campus-wide contest was held. Former Athletic Director Kenneth Red Cochrane officially shortened the nickname for UA Athletics teams to the Zips in 1950., the internet site for UA Athletics, will launch a revised design on July 18, 2002.