The Cal State East Bay Pioneers plan to unveil a new logo at the home opener basketball game Friday, as the women’s team takes on Western Washington at 7 p.m. Starting fall quarter, Cal State East Bay joined the California Collegiate Athletic Association and is awaiting official acceptance to the NCAA Division II rankings with a goal of upgrading the level and visibility of the competition for its athletics programs, said Dawn Ellerbe, assistant athletics director for marketing and promotions.
“With the added exposure Cal State East Bay hopes to achieve with the move to DII and membership in the CCAA, developing a new logo was important to unify the teams, coaches and athletic administration,” Ellerbe said.
Ellerbe noted that fans can look forward to a great game day atmosphere leading up to the home opener and future athletic contests.
“There will be sign making stations, fun games and prizes and special promotions for most home sporting events,” she said.
The home opener women’s basketball contest, for instance, will feature games and contest for students, and the first 200 Pioneer fans to arrive will receive a souvenir key chain boasting the new logo.
Development of the logo came about through a collaborative process, combining creative ideas from the Cal State East Bay student body, the Pioneers Athletics department and University Art Director Jesse Cantley.
The first step two years ago was to decide if the Athletics program would keep the name “Pioneers.” University officers reviewed more than 50 names before deciding to stick with the Pioneers.
“After much consideration, we decided that our mission as an academic leader and influential member of this community, we would remain the Pioneers and build on the traditions of California State University, East Bay,” Pioneer Athletics Director De Angelis said.
Next, the athletic department turned to students for inspiration. During the spring, Pioneer Athletics held a contest inviting students to submit ideas for a new logo design.
“Our student competition produced some great design elements that became the foundation of the logo ideas we brought to the graphic designer,” De Angelis said.
Once a design concept was developed, it was up to Cantley to tweak it for the Pioneers.
"Our goal was to create a logo that captured the look-feel of a CSUEB sports program that is moving forward into an exciting and challenging new division,” Cantley said. “I worked with talented and well-respected illustrator Chris Gall on the final version and developed a type treatment that conveys an athletic program on the move."
The focus of the athletic department as its teams continue the transition to full Division II status is to integrate members of the campus and the community of the East Bay into all sporting events, De Angelis said.
“Our goal is to create a ‘communiversity’ on campus with our students, student athletes, faculty staff and the community of the East Bay, where we continue to put teams on the playing field that our supporters can be proud of,” she said. “We want the level of our athletic achievements to match those of the academic achievement of Cal State East Bay.”
An elevation in division, membership in the CCAA, and a new logo, present a chance for the athletes and facilities on campus to move to the next level, said Marissa Parry Assistant Athletics Director for Events and Facilities.
“It is an exciting time to be a Pioneer,” Parry said. “Our facilities will continue to see major and minor improvements in the coming years. We want our coaches, student-athletes, staff, alumni, fans and visitors to be proud of our facilities, and we look forward to hosting Division II contests and championships as well as attracting other professional and exhibition competitions to the East Bay campus.”
Student athletes who got a sneak peak at the new logo at the annual Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Welcome Back picnic expressed their approval for a design that will unite teams in every sport at CSUEB.
“The new logo shows that the school is behind us,” said Andrea Rodriguez, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team. “We are here to represent, and we are together on this, so the other teams better watch out.”
“Having a new logo is great,” agreed Head Women’s Basketball Coach Toni West. “It’s a visual that solidifies the move to the CCAA and shows how serious we are about growing California State University, East Bay not only in athletics but as an institution. I proudly look forward to wearing the logo and having people recognize the Pioneer basketball program as we represent Cal State East Bay.”
For more information, visit www.csueastbay.edu/athletics or follow the Pioneers on Facebook and Twitter.