The unveiling of a new center-court logo on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Center Omaha may have been the beginning of a university-wide rebranding movement for Creighton.
University president, Fr. Timothy Lannon, S.J., confirmed Creighton's plans to update the school's image extended beyond the athletic department. The university expedited the facelift of the athletic brand in order to complete it by time basketball season started. The new logo, a strong-eyed blue jay tucked inside a crisp, block letter "C," now serves as the decoration at the center of the Jays' home court. Fr. Lannon approves of the logo, which was designed by Cory and Craig Whitlock of Mongoose Graphics.
"It just strikes me as so action driven, and also so determined and bold and assertive" the university president said. "I like the shades of the color. I find it very dynamic."
The tougher demeanor is just what the Mongoose designers were going for.
"We start with the real, anamorphic layout of the bird. That's where we try to start, and then we try to combine that with the features of Creighton athletes, right: aggression, determination and energy," said Craig Whitlock. "There's a few areas we can do that. We can put that look in the eye to try to add a little bit of that fierce determination."
The final product was the result of a weeding-out process that lasted nearly six months and started with around 50 sketches of the bird head. Whitlock says they've spent so much time on the project his niece has started telling classmates her father designs blue jays for a living. Both Bluejay coaches and players are pleased with the logo that will represent them from now on.
"I love it. I absolutely love it. Obviously, we looked at a lot of them. A lot of them came across my desk to take a peek at. This one jumped out from the first time," said head basketball coach, Greg McDermott. "I think it captures what we were hoping to capture. Hopefully it will identify us nationally because obviously we've got a lot of different little logos going on at our university right now."
"I love it," senior shooting guard Jahenns Manigat added. "It's a little different from what I'm used to my last few years here, but you know I'm all for it."
Although associate athletic director Mark Burgers has fielded suggestions on new logos on a yearly basis throughout his time at Creighton, the time to act didn't make sense until the change in conference affiliation.
"It was probably spurned by the move to the Big East," Burgers said courtside. "We kind of evaluated everything we did, why we do it. Operations, policies, procedures and as a part of that, our marketing and rebranding was a big factor in that."
Burgers then brought in Mongoose Graphics, the group he worked with in his time at South Dakota State when the Jackrabbits rebranded. The Whitlock brothers truly enjoy these types of projects. They get some much satisfaction from helping the schools they don't mind returning what they were paid in interesting fashion.
"We don't do many of these. This is just something we love. We try to do about one or two a year and most universities are struggling with funding, always trying to move on with buildings and all that type of stuff," Whitlock said. "We really, really like this and really enjoy doing it and so we feel like that is something we can help the university with. Then we are happy to take that and donate it back as a scholarship."
Burgers added that the money is going into the "Billy Bluejay" scholarship. Creighton's mascot, Billy, is also getting a new look. He has apparently been hitting the weights and is getting ready to debut his new look sometime around the start of basketball season. The Whitlock brothers have worked with the designers of the Billy's new get up to make sure it closely resembles their logo.
The University's image renovation is not yet complete, but it's off to an exciting start.
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