UAlbany Great Danes Unveil Refreshed Athletic Identity

The State University of New York at Albany unveiled a refreshed athletic identity on Wednesday morning that includes a realistic depiction of a Great Dane as the primary logo.

“This new brand identity truly exemplifies our culture of developing our student-athletes into Great Leaders, Great Champions and Great Danes,” athletic director Mark Benson said a press release. “The addition of a strong and recognizable brand is an essential step in that continued success.”

UAlbany’s previous primary logo was a two-toned “A” with vertically arched lettering across the front spelling out “UAlbany.” It has been replaced with a gray, front-facing Great Dane with purple shading and a gold collar. The dog’s ears are tall and tightly cropped, which give it an intimidating look. 

The new primary logo is a significant change from the cartoon version of Damien, the school mascot, that has been used as an alternate mark since 2001. That logo, which received a small update to the tag on its collar in 2008, has also been retired in favor of the state outline of New York, with a star denoting the capital city.

The new brand identity is the result of a five-year partnership with Under Armour, BSN Sports and VIP Branding.

“We use a collaborative approach that updates, reinvigorates and breathes life back into existing branding,” VIP Branding vice president Helen Price said in the aforementioned release. “We re-imagine and create something new while paying homage to your past, where alumni can pass the torch to a new generation with a powerful brand that embodies traditions as it forges new paths. It is part of our business culture, as is our belief, that a strong brand not only ignites excitement, but also generates exposure and increases support.”

The new logos were set to make their on-field debut this fall, but UAlbany – in conjunction with the America East Conference and Colonial Athletic Conference in which it competes – has postponed all athletic competitions until the spring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“To say the last few months have been difficult is an understatement,” Benson said. “But during this time of uncertainty, we truly hope today’s announcement will give our fans something to look forward to when we’re able to get back and compete safely.”

Photos courtesy of the State University of New York at Albany.