American Athletic Conference Name Unveiled


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April 3, 2013

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By Andy Seeley
UCFAthletics.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -- The current Big East Conference has announced that it will be renamed the American Athletic Conference and will rebrand as such across all platforms, associations and media at the conclusion of the 2012-13 sports seasons.  The announcement was made today by Commissioner Mike Aresco after unanimous approval by the Conference’s Board of Directors.

“We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names,” said Aresco.  “Versions that included the word ‘American’ led every list.  American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.

“We engaged our fans through social media and focus groups in multiple cities, and we conducted extensive quantitative research,” Aresco added. “We also received terrific input from our partners at ESPN and CBS Sports. Our name is a nod to tradition, but at the same time makes clear our determination to be a Conference with national impact and appeal. The American Athletic Conference will represent core American values of optimism, energy, growth and innovation. We have a broad geographical footprint that represents unity as well as diversity.”

“Today’s announcement is a big piece to the puzzle, as we move forward into our new conference," said UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. "We engaged in a very thorough process which included some serious branding professionals and I would like to commend Mike Aresco and his staff for leading a very methodical and thoughtful process. We received a great deal of feedback from various constituencies including our media partners and the word American always rose to the top. Now that we have a name it is up to us, the membership, to build the brand. A brand is a promise and UCF looks forward to doing its part in building the American Athletic Conference brand."

“Our exciting new name is the result of a thorough process that has energized our Conference,” said Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida and Chair of the Executive Committee. “The American Athletic Conference brand will embody the values of competition and sportsmanship that our student-athletes have always exemplified.”

“The American Athletic Conference is a brand that suggests a national scope and quality membership,” said Burke Magnus, Senior Vice President, College Sports Programming, ESPN. “It is an exciting time for the new conference and ESPN looks forward to our future together.”

“We congratulate the American Athletic Conference on the selection of a terrific new name for college sports,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “We look forward to partnering with The American as they introduce their new brand and increase their presence as a conference going forward.”

Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the American Athletic Conference will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015.    With 12 football schools in the fold by 2015, it will play a football championship game.

A full set of marks for the American Athletic Conference will be presented in the coming weeks.

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