OGDEN -- Weber State Athletics Director Jerry Bovee hopes his department's new logo is one cool 'cat he'll see walking around downtown on hats, T-shirts, polos, sweaters and backpacks.
WSU released its updated Wildcats athletics logo on Friday, a branding effort that will bring a new look to its uniforms, marketing and facilities.
The shield is gone. The primary logo is an updated version of the vintage wildcat head, with sharper lines, a three-dimensional look highlighted in gray and a darker shade of purple above a Weber State wordmark. Secondary logos include the wildcat with outstretched claws, Weber State and WSU wordmarks and the claw alone.
It isn't a complete overhaul or revamping of Weber State's athletic identity, Bovee says, just a refresh.
"Everyone seemed to like the 'cat; we just kind of narrowed our focus to upgrading it so it can be used in a lot of different cases," Bovee said.
"There was a lot of confusion about what the brand really was. When you walked into the bookstore, you could buy something with the athletic mark and the shield or you could buy the sideways 'cat (a logo produced by the bookstore). We just talked about being a little more singular and having a mark that showed up everywhere," Bovee said, in particular, a logo that could be reversed out against a dark background and one that is useful in an online setting as well as print.
Another 'cat will be updated soon as well: Weber State is in the planning stages of designing a new Waldo mascot with the company that is responsible for producing the Utah Jazz's Bear mascot.
WSU also has a goal of resurfacing and repainting the floor at the Dee Events Center prior to basketball season, Bovee said, though the plans have not been finalized pending scheduling of the building for the length of time necessary to do the job.
Bovee said the discussion about changing the logo began out of conversations about the design of the new turf field installed at Stewart Stadium prior to the 2011 season.
There was talk of making a "W" the primary mark to place at midfield, but "we just could never come to consensus on how that would go, based on the formal mark of the university, so at some point in the process we just left that on the back burner," he said. "We didn't want to create the confusion with the 'W' that had occurred over time with the 'cat.
"I think at some point in the near future we'll pick up that discussion again and look at options for the 'W.' I think our coaches would like that as an option at some point, whether it's on apparel, whether it's on uniforms, whether it's on a helmet. We've got to come to terms with that at some point, but it's going to take awhile. We need to let the dust settle down."
The turf was eventually produced with a Weber State wordmark at midfield. Weber State University's academic logo, a purple shield with a "W" mark, remains unchanged.
For the athletics department, the secondary logos will also play a role -- maybe even a high profile role on the football uniforms, Bovee said.
"We'll use the claw. We may end up with the claw on the helmet. We're still looking at designs for what will be on the helmet. Our coaches like the claw, so it will show up," Bovee said. "A lot of our players like the claw; I don't know if we'll end up with that, but it's an option.
"Ultimately, down the road, I'd love to see a W on the side of that helmet, but that's a battle for the coming years."
Bovee said the athletics department will work with downtown merchants to provide the new Weber State gear. He also expects the university to open a satellite campus bookstore downtown in the next six months where Weber State apparel can be sold.
Making the logo more marketable was a primary focus of the redesign. Weber State club teams will also be allowed to use the new logo.
"Any time you make a change or adjustment, you're going to have those that are going to say, 'we don't like it' or 'it's too cartoonish,' " Bovee said, "but ultimately, we think we've got something that will be appealing on apparel and digitally."