Brand Development for UNCW Sports Logos

Sammy the Seahawk has been an important aspect of school spirit at UNCW. The logo has changed four times since the opening which was in 1947. The Seahawk is part of the school’s brand, and is seen in multiple locations throughout the campus. We have a statue of it in front of Warwick and in front of Hoggard Hall. When students graduate, they typically take graduation pictures with the Seahawk in front of Hoggard Hall. It is an aspect of school spirit that is engraved into all of the students from day one.

Have you ever gone a day at UNCW and not seen someone wearing the school’s logo? The answer is that you probably have not. People here take pride in supporting the school and being proud to be a Seahawk. Over time, the logo has changed, and that is a great thing to do because everything is constantly evolving. As time changes, people change, and it is important for an organization to see that and incorporate it into their marketing strategy. The pictures below show the four sports logos UNCW has created.


1977-1985                                                              1986-1991




1992-2014                                                         2015-Present

It is important for a brand to engage their community. UNCW as a brand does this by creating a logo that connects to the students. When the logo changed in 2015, there was a split in who liked it and who did not. Students were use to the previous logo and felt a connection with it which is why they might have felt uneasy about the new logo. Freshman who started school this year only know this logo; therefore, they feel a connection with it because to them, it is the only representation of UNCW they have known.

While logos change over time, the image should not matter. What’s more important is what it represents. If UNCW continues to be a strong community of students, then the logo will continue to make a connection no matter the changes.





Groom, S. A. (2008). Integrated Marketing Communication: Anticipating the ‘Age of Engage’ Communication Research and Trends, 27(4), 14-15.


-Jenny Anguisaca

15 thoughts on “Brand Development for UNCW Sports Logos

  1. I think this is the most logical explanation of the logo issue I have heard yet. For the last year, people have been arguing over which logo is better and why this new logo is good/bad. What people fail to realize is that it is all personal preference, which is a beautiful thing because if we all had the same thoughts and feelings about everything we would live in one boring world! But you bring up an argument which I have failed to think about until now. Being from Wilmington and growing up going to UNCW basketball games, I associated the old logo to some of my fondest childhood memories. The old logo represented family time shared, community togetherness, and enjoyable experiences that I will never forget. However, to new students at UNCW who are not from here, the old logo is just that to them, a logo. To them, it is a meaningless picture. However, the new logo represents their brand new school which has become apart of their identity.The new logo represents their memories they are creating on a daily basis. So, I applaud you for bringing new insight to this argument because I personally believe this is an argument that people from both sides can understand and respect.

  2. It is important to have a strong community, and having the right logo can really make or break that. I think UNCW is still in the process of finding it’s footing and creating the right logo to appeal to all the faculty and students. For example, look at the evolution of UNC or NC State’s logos. They change but still keep the same atmosphere or feel without branching off completely left field and doing something completely different. This is also why their clothing and other merchandise is top quality while UNCW is sort of all over the place in fashion/style. Looking at the UNCW images in this post, each logo throughout the years is vastly different from the other, and that make it looks like UNCW doesn’t entirely know how it wants to accurately represent its school. I have faith they will find a design and feel that works on all levels, but as of now we might still be in the experimental phase.

    • UNCW has made drastic changes to the logo over the years but I think it is good to try something new. Even though change is necessary, I agree that we should keep in mind that people tend to like consistency.

  3. I think it’s great to that as the UNCW brand evolves, so does the logo. I think it is a way to keep the brand more modern with the younger generation yet classic enough to keep the connection with the Alumni. If the logo would have remained the same since 1947 it would have looked outdated and people would have associated the idea of outdated to the UNCW brand itself.

  4. I remember when the new school logo came out in 2015. Many of my friends did not like the new design. Others were shocked when they heard how much money the school had spent on the rebranding. Personally, I liked the new image. The new logo, “the fighting seahawk,” was better branding for our sports teams. The next year, our basketball team made it all the way to the state championship. Perhaps that logo helped bring them there.

    • Many people I knew also felt the same way about the logo. Although there was a lot of dislike for the new logo, it is important to accept change because it is impossible for everything to stay the same.

  5. UNCW absolutely does a great job at providing us with some awesome merchandise. I was absolutely one of the students who, at first, wasn’t too privy of the new logo. It has really grown on me. Partially because I, in fact, am a Seahawk and have to love my school no matter what! But also because the clothes are just so comfortable. It was an interesting connection to think about the Freshman this year and them having no connection with the old logo. How they would never even know how awesome it was but that our new logo is a new beginning! We have to all come together and be supportive of our new logo.

  6. I really liked this blog, for one reason I love sports. The logo the school has chosen to represent their brand is very important. I think UNCW needed to change logos to keep up with the modernization you see in other schools logos. Even though their logo changes aren’t as drastic as this one, they are still working to keep the brand fresh.

  7. I love that we have this aspect about our school, that we take pride in what our brand is. While I like the new logo, I do wish that the school would use the other logos as well. It makes sense to have a “main” logo, but I would like to see use of the old school ones more.

  8. I really enjoyed this post because it was very short sweet and to the point. I agree that people like change and ideas are constantly changing and evolving. I also think that there are people that don’t like change and they tend to wear the same logo they preferred, which keeps it interesting as your walking around campus seeing all the different types of logos. I think the best point you make here In the end is that the actual logo we look at is not what’s the most important, what’s important is what that logo stands for. UNCW students represent that logo because they are proud of their school and want to support it. Great post!

  9. I found this blog appealing due to my love of just about any sport. I remember when UNCW decided to change the logo, many of the graduates and some current students did not find the fighting seahawk appealing. I think that this appeals to our sports teams, and gives a little more school spirit!

  10. I think its great that the logo has evolved over time. If we had stuck with the original logo we would feel outdated among our colleagues at other universities. Over time everything changes and with that so do brands and their logos. UNCW is doing an awesome job at keeping up with the changing times in a slow steady rate!

  11. I like that you talked about the different logos UNCW had while stating that although the logo changed a number of times the brand loyalty and the logo representation stay the same not because people are loyal to the Seahawks but because of the community associated with it.

  12. I think this was a well written article. I think the new UNCW logo is fresh, new and perfect for the sports organizations to build better programs. I know see the new logo on every students shirt, hoodies and hats. It may sound crazy but just by having a better logo and color scheme, athletic organizations can reach better recruits because the new logo is new and modern. Go Seahawks!

  13. I can understand some peoples uneasiness when it comes the new logo. I personally was used to the old one and had to keep an open mind when I heard it was changing. Nevertheless, I am a fan of the new logo as the older one was in need of change. As time progresses a brand must progress with it, and a company or organization who does this stays relevant.

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