It’s a bold departure, one meant to help establish a culture of pride at the university, spearheaded by Concordia’s sports teams.
In the week leading to the September 4 game, the Department of Recreation and Athletics teased students, staff and fans with flyers, posters and videos on social media about the historic rebranding. And there is much more to come in the next few weeks.
“I’m pumped!” says Patrick Boivin, Concordia’s director of Recreation and Athletics, who kickstarted the rebranding project in 2014. “We don’t want to overwhelm people, so the soft rollout will continue during the next football games, and then when our basketball and hockey seasons start. Everything will be launched by Homecoming weekend, September 24-27.”
A survey of athletes indicated change was necessary. “They felt isolated on their own in individual team settings,” Boivin says. “The Stingers had been around for 40 years, and a lot of athletes didn’t feel an attachment to the brand and also questioned the relevance of the logo. When I started getting this feedback, I realized what the real story was: In sports marketing you have to revert back to engaging people and fans, especially those on the front lines — the athletes. To get back to that point, we had to figure out who we were and what we stood for, and that had never really been fundamentally researched and established.”
After securing approval from the university last year, Boivin reached out to four advertising agencies. “We ended up choosing Cossette because those involved at the agency had athletic backgrounds from various universities, including Concordia. They saw a creative opportunity that went beyond a logo change. They pitched a holistic approach that will breathe new life into the Concordia Stingers brand.”