The scripted “Loyola” logo is making its way from the jerseys to the Gentile Arena court. Loyola’s athletics department announced the nearly-completed new floor in Gentile Arena June 11.
The new design includes the maroon scripted “Loyola” font at center court, as well as a watermark of the Chicago city flag spanning the length of the court.
Austin Hansen, Loyola’s director of video, spearheaded the design process. A rebrand for Gentile’s floor had been in the works for more than a year and several different design options were presented, according to Hansen.
“There were 20 designs that were a full court design that we [looked at],” Hansen said. “All of the coaches saw them, they made comments and we’d go back to revise.”
Hansen said the basketball and volleyball coaches at Loyola had a big say in the design process. He added if the coaches didn’t like something in a design, it wouldn’t be in the final product.
“It got down to a final three designs which were all pretty similar for the most part,” Hansen said. “[The coaches] knew they wanted the stars, they knew they wanted the script logo and they knew what color they wanted for the main part of the wood.”
Working with those three features, Hansen said he played around with different colors and fonts until he came up with a final product approved by all the coaches.
Loyola’s director of marketing, Brian Day, also helped with the decision-making process. Day said the last time Loyola updated its court was in 2011, and it had taken some wear and tear over the past eight years. He also said the old court no longer aligned with Loyola’s “brand” — Loyola’s athletic teams have been using the scripted “Loyola” logo on jerseys. Also, official apparel sold by Loyola often includes the scripted font as well as an emphasis on Chicago.
“We were no longer using some of the logos and fonts that were on that court,” Day said. “We definitely wanted to match it and align it with our existing brand and the script logo that’s on the center now has become very much part of our identity.”
Aside from the cosmetic changes to the court, the NCAA announced the three-point line will be moved back by more than a foot starting next season. The previous distance across the arc was 20 feet, 9 inches. The new distance will be 22 feet, 1 and three-quarter inches, which is the distance used in international basketball.
The new court will be the biggest change to Gentile Arena over the summer. However, Day said the WiFi in the arena will be better and Hansen added the Athletics Department is working on the technological behind-the-scenes aspect of the arena. Day also said there should be less wear and tear toward this new court with the new Alfie Norville Practice Facility set to be completed before the fall semester starts.
“We did the big reveal [on Tuesday] through emails and on social media, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Day said. “That’s pretty rare when you have a really big design change like that.”
Loyola students will be able to get their first glance at the new court when the women’s volleyball season opens up Sept. 5 against Stephen F. Austin University.