INDIANAPOLIS – After months of research, design and membership feedback, the new Division II “Make It Yours” brand is set to launch.
Kansas City marketing firm Blacktop Creative has been working on the final steps of the Division II brand enhancement since the NCAA Convention in January, where more than 500 Division II athletes and administrators voted in favor of the slogan “Make It Yours” to replace the previous slogan, “I Chose Division II.” Once the wording was decided, Blacktop focused on the rest of the creative branding elements, including fonts, colors and photo treatments.
The firm, retained by Division II governance staff, presented multiple designs to Division II committees and councils – including the Presidents Council, Management Council and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee – and their feedback played a prominent role in the design process. The groups narrowed the division’s logo options to two. Then in May, nearly 1,200 people in Division II – a third of whom were current student-athletes – provided feedback on the logos via a survey. Seventy-nine percent of respondents voted in favor of the new mark.
In addition to Division II “Make It Yours” marks, the brand will also allow schools to customize monikers and signage specific to their campus.
A marketing plan for Division II schools, which will provide guidance and ideas for rolling out the new logo, is expected to be finalized Aug. 1.
At the start of September, the new purchasing website featuring “Make It Yours” products will open. Schools will also receive a launch tool kit that will include a brand book, a USB flash drive containing ready-to-use logo templates, and other “Make It Yours” gear.
As the division prepares to embark on the first year of the brand rollout, leaders hope Division II student-athletes and administrators will take ownership and pride in the new logo, and that key external audiences such as high school athletes, parents and coaches will gain a better, more positive understanding of Division II.
“From start to finish, Division II student-athletes have played a prominent role in the development and design of this brand enhancement process,” said Josh Looney, associate director of Division II. “The ‘Make It Yours’ campaign will bring the Division II environment to life, highlighting the unique opportunities and collegiate experience Division II provides.”