The University of Louisville announced on Thursday morning that it will place the old-school Dunking Cardinal logo at center court of the KFC Yum! Center for the 2019-20 season.
“No other Louisville logo elicits more affinity across all generations of our fan base than our Dunking Cardinal,” said athletic director Vince Tyra. “After a lot of thought and consideration, we determined that showcasing that was something that would really resonate with our fan base. We are excited about both the men’s and women’s upcoming seasons and can’t wait for our fans to see their new court.”
Prior to an athletic department rebrand in 2001, Louisville had different logos for each sport — whether it was dunking a basketball, kicking a soccer ball or hitting a baseball. But after a little more than a decade with the Bird Head logo as the primary mark (albeit with different variations), the throwback logo crept back into the mix.
The basketball team wore retro uniforms featuring the Dunking Cardinal against Duke in 2015 and 2016, then added a gigantic, 100-foot version to the practice gym. Putting it at center court made for a natural progression.
It’s worth noting the athletic department slightly modified the logo’s facial feathers, eyes and beak to “more closely align with Louisville’s primary brand mark.”
The timing of the new court design works in conjunction with the updated NCAA rules that moved the Division I men’s three-point line back to match the international distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches. Work will begin in mid-August and will be completed prior to the start of the season.
Louisville made four trips to the Final Four and won a pair of national titles while using the “Dunking Cardinal” logo. And given the turmoil surrounding the program in recent years, it make sense for the Cardinals to remind fans of their glory days.
Photo via @LouisvilleMBB on Twitter