Teamwork. Commitment. Sportsmanship. Discipline. Leadership.

These five words are emblematic of University School of Milwaukee's championship-caliber athletic teams and the student athletes who wear the navy, gold, and white of the Wildcats. Today, the wait is over, and a brand-new look for the USM Wildcats begins.

Something Fierce is Here.

Following a month-long tease, the primary logo in the new Wildcats athletics brand was introduced on Friday, May 31, 2024, through the launch video above, as well as through many community email messages, social media posts, and signage around the USM campus.

The new USM Wildcats athletics and spirit brand, set to be introduced in full at the start of the 2024-25 school year, will feature more than a dozen unique primary, secondary, and tertiary marks, along with multiple versions of sport-specific logos. The brand was designed by Rickabaugh Graphics, a nationally renowned firm based in Ohio that has created award-winning brands for professional sports teams, college and universities, K-12 schools, and other sports organizations nationwide.

When I arrived at USM in 2020, one of the first things I noticed was how many different logos and shades of blue were used by our sports teams. For an athletic program with such a storied history of excellence, there were a lot of different looks. I challenged our Athletics and Marketing and Communications offices to think about how we might unify our teams with a strong Wildcats brand unique to our school—something that would also generate pride and enthusiasm.
~ Steve Hancock, head of school

Timeline of Development

The athletic brand development process with Rickabaugh Graphics began in the spring of 2022. The firm was chosen after a thorough vetting of agencies, and an athletic branding committee was formed to oversee the process and work. The school sought input from all members of the community, including students, coaches, faculty and staff, parents (including the USM Wildcats Booster Club), alumni, parents of alumni, and others. The thoughts and feedback from this group—which included direct feedback from nearly 50 individuals who took part in one or more focus group and/or feedback sessions—was critical to the process.

Today is another great day for USM Athletics, For the first time in the school's nearly 60-year history, we will have a comprehensive athletic brand that matches the excellence of our sports teams. I can't wait to see our student athletes—and all of our fans— proudly wearing their new Wildcats gear starting this fall, both at athletic events and out in the community.
~ Tim Williams, director of athletics

A Contemporary Look Rooted in History

The new primary mark features the head of a strong, fierce wildcat, and also intentionally features a balance between the navy, gold, and white colors—an important nod to the well-established athletic colors that came from USM's predecessor schools (Milwaukee Country Day School, Milwaukee Downer Seminary, Milwaukee University School) when the Wildcats nickname was adopted in 1964 following their merger. The new Wildcats lettering is meant to invoke a contemporary, but timeless, athletics feel, with the University School of Milwaukee wording underpinning the mark in a classic, sans serif font. While the white and gold remain the same, the exact navy color was modified slightly to give the brand a more consistent, traditional look. A new, comprehensive visual identity and style guide will be produced and shared to help explain and visualize the brand architecture and rules.

We wanted the new athletic brand to be bold, unique, and refined, something that could help differentiate USM. But most importantly, we wanted to make sure the new marks still felt like USM, and built on the integrity of the historical athletic brand. Even beyond athletics, the Wildcat spirit is such an important part of our school community.  I think our players, coaches, and fans—and really our entire community—will like it a lot, especially when they see all of the new logos and marks for the first time this fall.
~ Tim Eilbes, director of marketing and communications

When and Where Will Items be Available for Purchase?

Elements of the new brand will begin to appear on campus throughout the summer as part of other projects, with the full brand—including a second phase of marks not yet unveiled—rolling out ahead of the start of the 2024–25 school year. Fans should expect to see some elements of the previous athletics brand for a while longer, however. Team uniforms, athletic venue updates, and signage replacements will follow an established multi-year replacement schedule.

The new brand will be featured on temporary signage around campus, including at today's end-of-year Tailgate on the Turf event for families, where student volunteers will be wearing T-shirts with the new primary logo. Merchandise with all of the new brand marks is expected to be available for purchase in mid-August, through both the school store (set to be renamed this summer as the Wildcat Den) and with sport-specific apparel for fall sports' teams sold through the USM Athletics spirit store flash sale (and then also later in the school year for winter and spring sports).

Additional Information