The life and times of the Syracuse logo

Over the years, Syracuse University's changing logo reflects a desire to find a brand that will stand out from the rest.

If you don’t like the weather in Syracuse, just wait a few minutes for it to change. Some might argue the same could be said about the Syracuse University logo.

“Most professional and college teams have some kind of history of logo evolution,” said Marc Donabella, Associate Director of athletics and of marketing at Syracuse University.

POLL: Vote for your favorite new SU logo concept

“There are many factors that affect marketing trends and as technology and the way consumers view your logo evolve, so must the brand,” he added.

Indeed, the logo has evolved. For anyone who has walked the campus of Syracuse, it’s not uncommon to see different versions of the school’s logo on apparel, walls and photos.

Former Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel pointed out that at one time, there were roughly 20 different versions of the SU logo that appeared on different pieces of merchandise.  

In 2004, Nike decided to present Syracuse with an interlocking SU logo, and while many thought the logo accurately represented the Syracuse culture, others thought it looked a little too familiar.

According to Donabella, some felt the logo closely resembled the Saint John’s university logo. It was used for less than one year, and soon the school decided to completely use the block “S” logo.

The classic block “S” logo is the most prevalent. “The block ‘S’ allows us to respect the past and represent the future,” said SU Athletic Director Daryl Gross in an interview about Syracuse branding. “It represents not only the University and its athletics programs, but the entire Syracuse community.”

All logo aspects aside, the most recent efforts at enhancing the Syracuse brand revolve around slogans. Across the state of New York, Syracuse athletic advertisements are frequently accompanied by the slogan, “New York's College Team.”

It’s part of Gross’ vision to market Syracuse throughout the state of New York. It’s an ongoing effort, just one more addition to the Syracuse brand history — one that the school hopes will pay big dividends.


I'm a Syracuse grad living in

I'm a Syracuse grad living in Florida since 1979.  I prefer the old circa 1997 logo.  The SU in the background with SYRACUSE on a banner in the foreground.  There was no ambiguity.  It was clearly identified as being "Syracuse University".  I like it better than any logo we ever had.  I'd like to see it revived!

No more concepts - stick with the existing logo!

I'm an SU grad living in the Detroit area for the past 18 yrs.  In that time, SU has undergone at least 4 logo changes while The University of Michigan ( a University with a stronger brand) has remained unchanged.  We must get better at managing SU's brand. Brand management requires stability. Keep our logo unchanged!  

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