In a much-hyped press conference on Tuesday, the University of Calgary Athletics Department unveiled a two-pronged attack on the apathetic student body and public. Teaming with the Calgary Herald, the department revealed new jerseys as well as a revamped web page. After casting aside my initial disappointment at not seeing Rex (our official mascot for those not well-versed in Dinos sports) tripping over some wires and falling on his face, I quickly grew fond of the new uniforms. I was even more enthusiastic when I found out that the university was not spending my tuition on them.
"The new Dinos uniforms and much of the upcoming promotions are being made possible by the Calgary Herald partnership with the U of C," said U of C President Terry White.
"The Dinos have had a long tradition of winning. In the late '80s, we were the force to be reckoned with, and with that came the 'Rule the World' campaign that we have used for about five years," explained U of C Athletic Director Don Wilson. "But because of a number of factors, the tide has shifted somewhat. We felt it was time for change. We needed a new look, and a new campaign."
This new look and campaign includes the shortening of the name 'Dinosaurs' to simply 'Dinos' (which has been the common name for the teams for a great many years), a new logo, and a new campaign slogan, "Go Big."
"Go big means three things: big time, big fun and big value," said Wilson.
Calgary-based Fieldstone Communications designed the uniforms, which feature a claw mark, the official university coat of arms, and the official university colors. Supplying the uniforms is the Forzani Group (also Calgary-based).
The Dinos' web page which was hard to find and poorly managed in the past, has also been revamped.
"We have partnered with Digital Matter and developed a comprehensive and exciting web page," said Wilson. The page can be found at <<www.godinos.com>>.
With the increase in funds to the university from the corporate sector, the athletic program is hoping to boost its identity on the local and national level.
"It's taken a long time to bring this (particular deal) to fruition. We had a problem, and that was we needed an identity." Wilson explained. "The nice thing is that the Calgary Herald has stepped up and gave us the funds to be able to do it that way."
"As the U of C builds its institutional identity, it will be looking to community leaders like the Herald who understand the importance of branding the university and its identity," said White.
The Dinos' new starting quarterback Lincoln Blumell likes the new uniforms.
"They're really nice," said Blu-mell. "It's nice wearing pro-fit uniforms. If you feel good you'll play good. So its nice to have these new uniforms to really boost the team."
The only team not to receive new uniforms this year is the hockey squad. Coach Tim Bothwell was quick to point out that the team didn't get shafted.
"We just got new uniforms two years ago, we don't actually need them," said Bothwell. "Logistically they are more of a problem, we have to match socks to the sweaters. The design they would probably want on the socks is the claw; it would be very, very expensive and/or technically difficult"
The hockey Dinos will wait a year and see what kind of opportunities reveal themselves for incorporating the team into the new Dino look.
All in all, the look is enthusiastic to the upcoming year, and for years to come. U of C Athletics hopes to increase the typically dismal turnout for sporting events with their new attitude and campaign.
"We want more students at our games. The reality is we wouldn't be here without the students," said Wilson. "It's not the day-to-day playing on the field, it's the intangible pride that is associated with athletics. I hope they take advantage of it by going to the games. We're working very hard to make it attractive to them."