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A new look for the Corsairs

More than forty years after a Corsair was selected as the Athletic Department logo, a new, updated version has been unveiled.

The UMass Dartmouth Corsair finally has a new look.

More than forty years after a Corsair was selected as the Athletic Department logo, a new, updated version has been unveiled.

Designed by Out of the Box Creative (, a New Bedford, MA advertising agency specializing in branding and marketing, in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth officials, the new logo will adorn campus apparel and appear at Athletic Department and other campus venues starting this Fall.

"It is important for an athletic department to have a recognizable brand and I think that's exactly what our new logo does for us," said UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day, who spearheaded the new logo's development.  "I am thrilled with the outcome and the fact that we had so much support from several campus departments at the design and approval stage. We have some exciting plans for this fall to merchandise, market and brand the new logo with our campus and the local community."

The new Corsair features an original design of a pirate with a long beard draped over the initials UMD while continuing to use the university's colors of blue and gold. According to the designers, the new logo was designed to represent "a worthy adversary and a wall of strength that cannot be scaled...a force to be reckoned with.''

"We approached the new UMass Dartmouth Corsair identity with the goal of creating a strong and unique identity," said Out of the Box Creative (OTBC) Vice President of Business Development Mark Kelliher.  "Numerous considerations were taken into account and were driven by research of sports logo identities in the U.S; Europe and Latin America."

The Corsair logo dates back to December, 1966 when Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute President Joseph Driscoll announced the selection of a Corsair as SMTI's athletic logo. A Corsair is defined as a pirate, especially formerly of the Barbary Coast, or a fast ship used for piracy.  Images of a Corsair mascot appear in pirate costumes as early as the 1967 SMTI yearbook.

Since the initial adoption of the Corsair logo, several varieties of the logo have been used by the athletic department and campus, but none were ever officially sanctioned by the university.  

Upon his arrival on campus last fall, Day began moving the process along for the design and implementation of the new logo. Day praised campus Creative Director Rachel Cocroft for her work on the project along with the support of Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Dr. Jean Kim and Chancellor Jean MacCormack.

OTBC developed more than 30 renderings before arriving on the final version. Early versions were reviewed by focus groups, especially 18-23 year old demographic groups, for their appeal to college-aged students. Some slight alterations were incorporated into the final version of the Corsair based on that input.

Although the entire student body won't get its first look at the new logo until they return to campus in the fall, some members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), one of the groups that got an early look at new logos during the design phase, have given their approval.

"I like the logo because it integrates the Corsair image with the UMD campus initials," said Morgan Bozarth, a recently graduated member of the Corsairs' equestrian team and a SAAC member.  "Also, the expression of the Corsair is fierce, which is a nice change from the current one. Overall, the logo looks competitive and confrontational, which is a good for any sports team."

The new logo will be prominent on the main floor of the Tripp Athletic Center, home court for the UMass Dartmouth men's and women's basketball teams as well as the Corsair volleyball team.  

"I think the new logo looks great," said Men's Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Brian Baptiste.  "We had to have the gym floor completely resurfaced recently because of some rules changes in basketball so the timing of the new logo was perfect. The new logo is right in the middle of the main court in the Tripp Center and you can't miss it."

"A student contest will be held during the upcoming fall semester to choose a name for the new Corsair," said Day.

Author:  "Jim Mullins"
Date:  25-Jun-2008
Department:   Athletics

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