April 21, 2013
New branding efforts for Northwest leads to large fanfare
By David Boyce
Close to 1,000 people filed into Bearcat Arena Saturday afternoon for the highly anticipated unveiling of the Northwest Missouri State athletics logo.
The Paw, developed in 1994, has come to represent excellence at Northwest. It means a lot to past and current student-athletes, fans and residents of Maryville.
Administrators at Northwest felt it was time to modernize The Paw.
“The Paw has evolved,” said athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma.
The Paw is now a white background with a green letter N that is in a unique font that only Northwest can use.
In addition, Northwest changed the look of Bobby Bearcat and secondary logos that include Bearcat eyes and claws.
“We knew we had to move forward on a branding initiative,” said Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski. “It has been a couple of decades since we’ve branded ourselves athletically.
Northwest started the process over 1 ½ years ago. Spearheading the change was former athletic director Wren Baker. Scott Nielson and Nate Davis, who work in the athletic department, helped as did Mitzi Craft, who is the vice president of university relations.
“It has been a process,” said Nielsen, who is associate athletic director of development and external affairs.
“For us it has been tough the last couple of months, especially when we started to seeing the finalized logos.
“We are overwhelmed with the interest and the attendance at this event.”
It was quite a turnout, far more than the 60 football players who voted for a change in 1994, noted Tjeerdsma.
Northwest received input on the new logo from student-athletes and focus groups around town.
Senior Adrienne Cornelius, who runs on the women’s track team, definitely embraces the new look.
In fact, her speech in front of the crowd was so passionate that it would have swayed any high school senior sitting in the stands to come to Northwest.
These were some of her words:
“It is more than changing a symbol that we wear on our jersey or changing something for the sake of change. It is about continuous improvement. It is about striving to be the best we can be in the future. That is what being a Bearcat is all about whether it is on the track, on the field or in the classroom. We have always been taught to strive for improvement.”
“Our new logo is building on that tradition of excellence.”
“When I put on that Bearcat paw I’m telling everybody around me that I belong to the Bearcat family and a community of people who are going to encourage me, support me until I become the best I can be.”
“By changing this logo, we are not changing who we are, but building on our foundation of champions and striving to be the best we can be.”
“I am more than proud to wear the new logo now and for many years to come.”
Vinnie Vaccaro, who graduated from Northwest in 1973, also endorsed the new look.
“I think it is very positive in the sense in that if you stay stagnant that is what your results will be,” Vaccaro said. “I’m agreeing with the coaches that you do have to move forward. Kids today want to see this.”
The new logo might take a day or two to grow on everybody in Bearcat nation, but it is a move Northwest needed to make to stay current.
“We are moving forward,” Tjeerdsma said. “We are going to be on the cutting edge. It is going to help our branding. We are really excited about it.
“I’m 100 percent with it. It is going to be good for Northwest, good for our athletic programs and good for the fans.”
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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