FORT WAYNE, Ind. - IPFW Director of Athletics Kelley Hartley Huttonhas announced the immediate implementation of "Fort Wayne" as the brand name for the university's athletic department. This transition only affects the athletic department's branding efforts. The university's IPFW academic brand remains unchanged.
"The Fort Wayne Athletics identity builds a stronger tie to our community and elevates our brand beyond northeast Indiana," Hartley Hutton said. "IPFW is an extraordinary university in an extraordinary city. After careful study and some compelling research results, it became clear that this is the right move for us. This branding initiative also addresses consistency issues, including those by the national media and other institutions, which have arisen since 2012. This shift also strongly appeals to the student-athletes we recruit, as well as the coaches and staff."
In 2012, The Summit League Council of Presidents Strategic Framework outlined a plan to promote metropolitan campuses with their geographic names in order to build local identification and visibility for their communities. Since that time, The Summit League office and its member institutions have referred to IPFW Athletics as Fort Wayne in schedules, rankings, broadcasts, etc.
Some Mastodon teams have already been using Fort Wayne on uniforms since this recommendation, but the use has been limited and resulted in some confusion. Outside of northeast Indiana, there is also considerable confusion about the "IPFW" acronym, with misnomers being common—even among those involved in Division I athletics. In 2015 Asher Agency was contracted to complete case study work and research toward making a recommendation to the University. Asher's report was in favor of implementing "Fort Wayne" as the brand name for the athletic department.
Through this transition, the athletic department will now effectively begin to grow the Fort Wayne Mastodons brand beyond Northeast Indiana while providing a stronger connection to the community. The rebranding will also align the athletic department within the Summit League and its member institutions' references.