news-category: Athletics

Gardner-Webb Announces Varsity Partners will Lead Athletics Brand Update

Spangler Stadium center field

Meetings with Campus Stakeholders Begin This Month

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Officials at Gardner-Webb are pleased to announce that Varsity Partners in Charlotte, N.C., has been selected to revitalize the University’s athletic brand. This project encompasses brand development for uniforms, gear, logos and identity material.

“As we elevate our expectations for Runnin’ Bulldog athletics and gain additional national exposure for our teams, it is essential that fans everywhere recognize and respect our brand,” explained GWU President William Downs. “With this new initiative, Gardner-Webb will sharpen its image on the fields of competition, in our merchandizing, and in the media coverage of our student-athletes. With such a rich sports heritage, GWU deserves a fresh, unique, and powerful look…one worthy of our fiercely competitive mascot, the bulldog. From Varsity Partners we will be asking for nothing less than a ‘Wow!’ every time our athletes step out and represent this great university.” 

GWU football team

Varsity Partners has worked with several high-profile clients, such as the University of Georgia, Carnival Cruise Line, celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and the Jay Bilas Skills Camp. The Gardner-Webb project will be led by Varsity Chief Executive Officer and Partner Tim Rebich and Chief Creative Officer Nick Irwin.

“We are excited to work alongside and learn from the Runnin’ Bulldog community,” Rebich asserted. “First and foremost, we want to listen to stakeholders’ experiences, perceptions and interactions with the brand. Brands are a reflection of the people who surround them, so this process and design output are only strengthened by the involvement and input of those who are proud to be Runnin’ Bulldogs.”

Varsity Partners will begin meeting in October with an extensive list of campus stakeholders to understand the GWU brand as it is today and to solicit ideas and suggestions for the future. The Gardner-Webb Athletics staff, including coaches and leadership as well as alumni, Bulldog Club and Board of Trustee members, will all be involved—as will, of course, GWU students.

The Varsity Partners Logo

“We are looking forward to working with Varsity Partners to refresh and embolden our current logos and images,” Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch offered. “Although we value and appreciate our identifying marks that have been used in the past, we look forward to seeing how Runnin’ Bulldog student-athletes, fans, and alumni will be identified in the future.”

After identifying key elements, University traditions and history, Varsity will begin developing materials for Athletics review such as logos, primary and secondary graphics, uniform designs and guidelines, and mascot images.

“We are excited to contract with Varsity Partners to develop a brand that will energize the Runnin’ Bulldogs spirit for athletes and fans,” commented GWU Vice President of Marketing, Richard McDevitt, “This is the first time in more than 25 years that the University has updated the athletic brand.”  

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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