The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Athletics Department will be sporting an exciting new look beginning in the upcoming academic year. The refreshed identity was created with the culture and tradition of the Virgin Islands in mind.
Having joined the UVI community in 2020, the new Athletic Director, Dr. Jerel Drew said his goal is to “establish a culture of athletic academic excellence and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) compliance.”
“I hope to create a new athletic vision that reflects and embodies UVI's heritage and history as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU),” he said. “After consulting with the various constituents of the University, there was a consensus that there was a need to improve and raise the Athletic Department’s image to a competitive standard with other universities.”
The bold new design reflects the Buccaneers’ history and spirit and the commitment to represent and celebrate those roots and the University of the Virgin Islands. Virgin Islands history is depicted by a buccaneers’ ship and a sugar mill while the culture is evidenced by a moko jumbie and a steel pan.
Throughout several rounds of redesigns, the University’s President Dr. David Hall, the student body, local alumni, the Office of Institutional Advancement, and the student government associations were involved.
“The Student Government Association of the Orville E. Kean Campus is excited to have been a part of the University’s rebranding initiative. We are looking forward to seeing all the innovative changes in physical form,” Mary-Alice Prosper, 2020 SGA president said.
The new logo will be showcased and incorporated on the forthcoming revamped athletics website, social media, apparel, merchandise, publications, uniforms, and throughout the athletic facilities on both the Orville E. Kean and Albert A. Sheen Campuses.
“We are very excited about the great work that Phoenix Design has done with our athletic branding,” said Dr. Drew. “We are looking forward to an exciting relaunch of our athletic department for the fall.”
The logo redesign was a result of a collaboration between the University of the Virgin Islands and Phoenix Design Works. Since the company’s inception in 1998, Phoenix Design Works has created branding and advertising programs for schools such as fellow HBCUs Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State Hampton, Lincoln, North Carolina A&T, Norfolk State, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as Division I programs like Alabama, Arkansas, Brown, ETSU, Harvard, Houston, Loyola, Sacred Heart, Ole Miss, Temple, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Troy, and the University of Washington.
Phoenix Design Works also lists professional sports organizations such as the Astros, Blue Jays, Marlins, Reds, Rockies, Sonics as clients. They have worked with several conferences and organizations such as the CIAA, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Coca-Cola, Disney, Major League Soccer, and the Super Bowl
Founded in 1962 and the only Historically Black College and University in the Caribbean, UVI joined the NAIA as a member, starting in the 2016-17 season. The 2021-22 season will represent the Buccaneers’ 15th year of intercollegiate athletics. Currently, UVI sponsors men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s track and field, cheerleading, and eSports.