After two years, Bulls brand making its mark

When USF unveiled its new logo two years ago, Associate Athletic Director Tom Veit expected it to do well in its first year. What he didn’t expect, though, was that it would do even better in its second year.

From July 1, 2004 to July 1, 2005, revenue from merchandise sales is on track to equal about $2.5 million, up from $2.2 million the previous year, Veit said.

“The logo has surpassed our expectations,” said Veit, who spearheaded the hunt for a new logo. “We expected it to fall off a little after the first year, but it didn’t. It’s a very good sign.”

Sales have also been boosted by USF’s allegiance with the College Licensing Company, which, among other things, assists in making USF merchandise available at more locations, something USF had trouble with in the past.

Sales have been so successful that USF ranked 50th in the nation in merchandise sold in the first quarter of this year. Before the introduction of the new logo, USF didn’t rank in the top 100.

“Our strategy is to own the Tampa Bay area,” Veit said. “The strength and quality of the logo has definitely helped in doing that.”

The logo — the letter U with bullhorns — was created by The Silverman Group, a company in Connecticut that has designed logos for college and professional teams. The company’s work includes the insignias of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the University of Richmond, among others. The company also designed the new Big East logo, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Marc Jacobson, president of The Silverman Group, says USF’s logo has been successful because it has mass appeal.

“I think we developed a modern-looking logo that people gravitate toward,” he said. “It’s a very appealing mark.”

USF’s previous logo, a side profile of a brahman bull, was losing momentum, Veit said. In its last few years, sales of USF merchandise totalled less than $100,000.

Also, Veit said, it lacked the appeal of the current logo.

“With the old logo, nobody said ‘I want to wear that, that’s cool.'”

The entrance into the Big East this season should keep the sales steady, Veit said.

“It’s definitely going to help,” he said.