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‘Tampa Bay’ to be added to USF’s name

Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 00:11

USF affiliates are working on a logo change that would make the University's name more homey.

University spokesman Michael Hoad said the new logo will read "University of South Florida Tampa Bay."

The National Reputation Task Force, a group of USF affiliates who brainstorm branding methods, will impose an initiative for the University's logo to gain national recognition. The rebranding will begin in January.

Hoad said the task force is focusing on branding and design more than a formal name change for the University.

"Nobody really wants to completely change the name, but it becomes clear we have to identify where we are in some way," he said. "(‘Tampa Bay') doesn't change the name, it's just attached to the name."

He said all the sports team names in the region, such as baseball, hockey and football, are associated with Tampa Bay, and recently the St. Petersburg Times announced its change in name to the Tampa Bay Times beginning in January.

"It's just a way of getting past the confusion that people have when they read ‘South Florida,'" Hoad said.

When the University was founded in 1956, he said, there were not many schools or places south of Tampa.

"Ever since the University was founded, people have been debating (that) the words ‘South Florida' don't accurately describe where we are," he said.

The task force will first focus on national advertising and eventually will add the title on the University's official website.

Hoad said ‘Tampa Bay' will not change everything at the University, including letterhead and apparel at the bookstore, since the addition is not a formal mandate.

"It's not like we are going to the Board of Trustees and asking for a new name," he said. "The reason we can't formally change the name is there's been billions of dollars in construction on this campus for the last 10 years. The name's the way it is."

Student body president Matt Diaz, a senior majoring in political science and philosophy and member of the task force, said the name of the University gives people the wrong impression.

"You think of the University of South Florida and you think Miami, obviously, south Florida," he said.

For branding purposes, Diaz said the addition to the logo would allow people to know exactly where the University is located.

Diaz said his only worry is its impact on the "entire USF family."

"It may be a detriment because the USF brand that students and alumni for the past 50 years will have lost (is) the brand that connected them to this institution in the first place," he said. "I think we are going to be just fine — the University understands the importance of (the brand.)"

Hoad said because it is not a formal change, other USF campuses such as USF St. Petersburg can decide if they want to use the logo, even though they already have another geographic location associated with their names.

Hoad conducted a survey two years ago asking presidents, provosts and admissions officers at several Florida universities if they had national recognition problems.

He said the answer was yes.

"You need a scorecard to figure out who's who in Florida because all the universities have very difficult names to figure out where they are," Hoad said.

He said other university's administrators who provided feedback said, "We can't tell USF from FSU… we can't tell FIU from FAU."

Hoad said the University needs this addition since the geographic confusion is a significant problem.

The task force is working on other ways to achieve national recognition for USF other than attaching "Tampa Bay" to the name.

Another idea is to create the slogan "USF is Tampa Bay." This would be similar to "Bulls Country," which would only affect the local community, Hoad said.

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Sat Dec 3 2011 17:54
Why was time and money spent to come up with this idiotic idea? You don't build a brand by renaming yourself. You take whatever traditions and reputation you have and build upon that. Guess what - we aren't in Tampa Bay either. That's a body of water.

As an alumnus of the University of South Florida, I don't really care whether people think we are in south Florida or not. There are plenty of schools where most people don't even know what town they are in. Ask the average person where Brown, the Coast Guard Academy, even Duke, Yale, Cal Tech, MIT, University of Oklahoma, Indiana State, and others are and they probably couldn't tell you.

What matters is that people know "University of South Florida". We want to increase our standing in the minds of others, not deliberately make them think that we are some regional campus of the University of South Florida. People will then be asking where the main campus is.

I hope the task force is thanked for their participation, and then that the entire idea is scrapped. I would actually consider withholding future contributions to the school if they were to change the name.

Thu Dec 1 2011 19:53
How embarrassing. I'm working so hard to earn my degree and graduate on time- for University of South Florida Tampa Bay? That's not only too long and too ugly, but it makes us lose prestige. It sounds like a technical school. If USFTB wants to up their reputation, they should try harder and do reputable things!!
Thu Dec 1 2011 14:56
I'm trying to come up with a joke about us being a satellite campus of the University of San Francisco - but I got nothin'


Thu Dec 1 2011 14:41
As an Alumni, and a donator to the school, I would like to know who I would need to contact to have the person who came up with this idea fired!

This is awful.

Thu Dec 1 2011 14:06
The more I think about this, the dumber it sounds.
Thu Dec 1 2011 10:05
Are you kidding me....this is absolutely ridiculous..and unnecessary! The school doesn't need any name change, logo change, mascot change, color change...NOTHING it is fine the way it is, a name change would make the school sound cheap and not like a respectable university!
Thu Dec 1 2011 10:00
DCW - your degree is from USF and you managed to get a job in the Northeast? Amazing. LOL.
Thu Dec 1 2011 08:54
OBSURD....Maybe SOUTH FLORIDA should better their national reputation so people won't debate where they are located they WILL JUST KNOW! You don't see UF changing their name to include gainesville and this is because everyone in America know where it is contemplate that University officials
Wed Nov 30 2011 23:27
Wed Nov 30 2011 21:40
This is truly embarrassing. I'm an alum in the Northeast and I'm always fighting the stigma of being a state school in the south AND being a directional school. Now I have to defend being a directional southern state directional school branch campus? I knew I made a mistake.
Wed Nov 30 2011 20:42
Using the slogan USF is Tampa Bay is better. Don't add the words.
Wed Nov 30 2011 20:41
This is an absolutely TERRIBLE IDEA! I understand the hassle of having to explain that USF is in Tampa, but changing the name to this makes our system look unprofessinal and negates any positive branding thus far. If you want to associate the location better don't add more words, try using a better image.
Wed Nov 30 2011 19:36
Wed Nov 30 2011 17:08
HELL NO! WE ARE USF. FIND US. people know university of florida and florida state. FIND US!
That's just bull
Wed Nov 30 2011 16:29
Oh, great. Instead of people thinking the university is in the Miami area, they'll now think it's a satellite campus of a university that's located in the Miami area. This is an improvement???
Wed Nov 30 2011 16:29
Worst idea ive ever heard.
Wed Nov 30 2011 14:46
That schools a joke regardless what people call it
Wed Nov 30 2011 08:20
"...The National Reputation Task Force..."

LOL. Now there's proof right there that we have one too many boards, committees, commissions, councils, associations, alliances, etc.

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