GREENSBORO — UNCG is still the Spartans, and the school colors remain blue and gold, but a lot else is different.
The university on Tuesday unveiled a new logo that will show up on athletic uniforms, apparel and in the center circle on the floor of the Greensboro Coliseum, where the men’s basketball team plays its home games.
The new logo, also called a spirit mark, features a Spartan’s head above the letters “UNCG.” It replaces the old sports mark that laid the letters “UNCG” across a shield.
“We have a new spirit mark,” Chancellor Frank Gilliam told reporters Tuesday, “and we have a new spirit on campus.”
The university decided last fall to revamp its 14-year-old mark to give UNCG more visibility and capitalize on what Gilliam called the university’s momentum. UNCG celebrated its 125th birthday last year. Enrollment is expected to top 20,000 students when classes start Tuesday. And UNCG is also coming off one of its best sports seasons, when five teams won conference titles and the men’s basketball team went to the NCAA Tournament.
Focus groups of students, student-athletes, alumni and employees who reviewed proposed new spirit marks said they wanted something different — something with more pop, said Tim George, a senior associate athletics director who oversaw the effort.
What they got was a Spartan’s head in profile, with a mask over its face. The old Spartan’s head, introduced in 2004, faces forward and shows a man’s face under the helmet.
The new anonymous look is intentional, George said, because it reflects the gender, racial and age diversity among UNCG’s student body.
“It could be anybody back there,” George said. “Anybody can identify with being a Spartan.”
In its new look, the university embraces its informal nickname of “The G.” The “G” in the main mark now stands out in gold. (The “UNC” letters are in white.) A series of interlocking “G”s run along the ridge of the Spartan’s helmet. One new secondary logo features a golden “G” atop a spear.
UNCG is keeping its school colors of blue, gold and white. But the blue and gold appear richer and a little deeper, and UNCG plans to use gray as an accent color.
Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom that UNCG uses in academic and institutional advertising, still looks the same. But Spiro, the dancing Greek-helmeted mascot, will get a makeover. George said UNCG plans to introduce a new-look Spiro this fall.
UNCG hired Mongoose Sports, a sports logo design firm in Colorado, to come up with the new look. George said the athletics department spent about $30,000 from its own revenues, not from tuition or taxpayer monies, on the effort.
UNCG introduced its new marks to employees Tuesday morning. As faculty and staff members arrived for the annual welcome-back-to-campus luncheon, they got T-shirts and sheets of stickers with the new marks. Outside the cafeteria was a campus shuttle bus painted with the new Spartan’s head. In the campus bookstore, T-shirts and sweatshirts with the new design were already on sale.
“The bookstore is loaded. Everybody come in. Buy yourself some new Spartan gear,” Gilliam said before heading to the faculty-staff luncheon. “It’s going to be the new fashion trend in Greensboro.”