Radford University wants to emphasize that it is in Radford.
So the school unveiled new athletic logos Friday, with the primary logo now including the word “Radford.” The old logo consisted of “RU” above the word “Highlanders.”
Athletic director Robert Lineburg said the branding campaign was not simply a way to get students and graduates to buy new Radford apparel.
“That’ll be a byproduct of it. Some royalties will increase, but that was not the driving force,” Lineburg said. “The driving force was to look back at our past and develop a brand that’s very identifiable for Radford University. With our coaches, they felt like the ‘Radford’ was very important because when they got out of the region, the ‘RU’ was a little less identifiable on a national basis. Now when we kind of leave the region, that ‘Radford’ logo will be very prominent.”
The new primary logo includes the word “Radford” at the top, with the letter “R” in the center and a shield with a tartan background.
“That was a big part of the heritage of the university, that Scottish tartan piece,” Lineburg said. “We heard that from our alumni, that incorporating the tartan back into it was important.”
Lineburg said the university paid a Pennsylvania firm $25,000 to come up with the new logos.
The word “Highlanders” has been dropped from the athletic logos because neither “Highlanders” nor “RU” is unique to Radford University. But the teams will still be known as the Highlanders, and the word “Highlanders” could still be used on uniforms, signs or courts.
The word “Radford” is not on any of the three secondary logos. One secondary logo features the “R” shield with the tartan background, while another just has the letter “R.” Another secondary logo features the face of a Highlander character.
The secondary logos will be used on the back of an athlete’s jersey or on the side of an athlete’s pants.