By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
The Mountain West Conference on Monday unveiled its new logo — part of an intense branding campaign that marks the league’s transition away from Utah, BYU and TCU and to Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii (football only).
The new logo looks like a cube, with a block “M” and block “W.”
Conference officials are calling the logo “The Rock” — and they say it’s a sign of unity and strength for the reshaped conference.
The old logo featured a mountain scene.
“We’re about as much west as we are mountain,” commissioner Craig Thompson said. “We’re going to emphasize both names.”
The new logo will appear on football fields, courts and other playing surfaces; jerseys; and merchandise.
An alternate version includes the words “Mountain West” and will be used extensively while the new logo is being rolled out.
The conference motto is, “This is our time.”
The Mountain West also plans to upgrade its website and advertising and outreach strategies.
The message, Thompson said: “Don’t forget about us. We’re just scratching the surface. … It’s going to be a conference to be reckoned with. You’re going to have to continue to follow us — you’re going to want to follow us — because we’re going to achieve great things.”
The logo has been criticized heavily on Twitter. What do you think?
Boise State president Bob Kustra spoke at the press conference to emphasize the Broncos’ eagerness to join the league July 1. The Mountain West presidents are meeting in San Diego.
Kustra called himself “a broken record.”
“For seven out of the eight years that I’ve served as president, all I’ve talked about is the opportunity to join the Mountain West — and here it is,” he said.
I talked to incoming recruits Jay Ajayi, a running back, and Jeff Worthy, a defensive lineman, last week for a story on the Broncos’ new summer program for freshmen.
Here are a couple tidbits that didn’t make the story:
— Ajayi expects to play this year. “The coaches have already told me if I come in and do what I need to do there’s no reason I shouldn’t be contributing to the team this year, so I’m excited,” he said.
— Worthy, who is one of the top-rated prospects, knows he has long odds to get on the field because the Broncos are loaded on the defensive line. “Not much (room for freshmen),” he said. “Not much. I’ve still got to go up there and show them what I can do — there’s always a chance that I can make even third string. Even if I make that, that’s still an accomplishment for me. … Basically I’m going up there to show the coaches that I can play at the college level.”