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University at Buffalo branding effort takes to the field

By Jay Tokasz | Buffalo News Staff Reporter
on June 20, 2016 – 11:27 AM

The giant “New York” that stretched more than 30 yards across the turf field of University at Buffalo Stadium is history.

In its place will be new synthetic turf that features the UB interlocking logo at midfield and “Buffalo” emblazoned in the end zones of the stadium on the North Campus in Amherst.

The change, expected to be complete in August, will be the most tangible sign yet of a new universitywide branding effort that was launched in April. The campaign moves away from a controversial “New York Bulls” initiative that featured “New York” more prominently than “Buffalo” on the uniforms of student-athletes and on playing fields and courts.

That strategy was aimed at highlighting UB as the largest and most prominent public university in New York – in the same vein as other high-profile state universities, such as Michigan or Ohio State. But critics derided it as confusing and dismissive of UB’s tradition in intercollegiate athletics.

Crews from A-Turf, a Western New York-based company, last week began rolling away the old turf, which was installed in 2013. It ultimately will be reused on the North Campus in Kunz Stadium, where students who use the stadium for intramural sports and recreation have long complained of poor field conditions. “There was an opportunity for us to take care of multiple priorities,” said UB Athletic Director Allen Greene.

The university is spending $770,000 on the improvements to both stadiums. In addition, the basketball court in Alumni Arena on the North Campus will be refinished to feature the interlocking UB logo at center court, along with a new tag line, “New York’s Public Powerhouse,” on the sidelines. The cost of the arena project is $16,900.

Greene said that the New York-centric branding for athletics “was the right thing to do at the time” but now that the university as a whole has developed a consistent branding strategy, it was best for athletics to be part of it.

The new football field, a rendering of which is viewable at http://bit.ly/28JzXWG, will feature alternating light and dark green stripes, blue end zones with “Buffalo” in white capital letters and a Bull spirit mark and Mid-American Conference logo at the 25-yard lines.

University officials expect the field to be ready in time for football training camp, which begins the first week in August.

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Imprinting of logo at top sports venues to reaffirm identity | On a schedule for completion in August, synthetic turf is being replaced at University at Buffalo Stadium on North Campus in Amherst, where UB interlocking logo will be at midfield and “Buffalo” in end zones. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

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