There's a new Dawg in town! Gardner-Webb University (GWU) launched a new Runnin' Bulldog logo after a six-month research and interview process. It was revealed to campus, community, alumni and media on Thursday, April 28, 2022.
"Distinctive, fresh, bold, and confident...those were among the qualities that we prioritized when we set out to take our Runnin' Bulldog to the next level," says GWU President William Downs.
The GWU revitalized athletic brand is drawn from historical graphics dating back to before the 1960s and updated with a "fresh, custom look."
"I love the new look!" says Downs. "It's big, it's authentic, it's fierce, and it's got swagger. I can't wait to see our sports venues transformed, our uniforms enlivened, and our new Dawg recognized everywhere we compete."
The last GWU athletic brand update was more than 35 years ago. It had become less distinctive over the years and had been adapted into numerous "clip art" illustrations across the internet - thus the need for the rebrand.
"Loyal fans of the old logo can be assured that the present graphic is not going away, but it is being retired and will be used for 'retro' and 'throwback' promotions," says Downs.
Focus group research and interviews with alumni, faculty, staff, students, student-athletes, trustees and friends were used in the development of the new logo.
Kylee Garrison, a senior student-athlete on the volleyball team from Huntersville, enjoyed participating in the process and was excited about the new brand.
"I am not someone who normally loves change, so I was surprised by how much I liked the new logo," says Garrison, who is dually enrolled in the master of science strength and conditioning program. "I think it matches the vision for updating the campus and progressing towards the future. I look forward to seeing how this starts a chain reaction at GWU and what it looks like to be a Runnin' Bulldog."
The rebrand includes new bulldog logos and new distinctive lettering, as well as color, spirit stripes and other special items.
"These elements will bring a new level of consistency and visibility to expand the GWU brand nationally," says Downs.
L'Mia Littlejohn, a junior exercise science major and member of the basketball team, is from Shelby. The old Runnin' Bulldog logo was all she had ever known, but she believes it was time for the University to have a new look. "I think it is important to rebrand so we stay up to date and current," she says. "The athletes are excited to get new gear."