What Do People Think of the Charlotte 49ers Rebrand?

Sep 21, 2019; Clemson, SC, USA; Charlotte 49ers running back Aaron McAllister (5) carries the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte 49ers have reached a new era.

Following a historic athletics year at UNCC––the football team had their first winning season in program history at 7-6, and the basketball team went 16-13, their first winning season since 2013-14. Athletic Director Mike Hill started the rebranding project in the spring of 2019, and the 49ers released it in a live stream on their YouTube channel on June 23, where it was subsequently viewed by almost 10,000 people, many of them both current Charlotte students and alumni.

So, what did people think about it?

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. For starters, the launch video was poorly received, as there was a lot of buildup to the release, and it made the release of the logos less exciting as people lost interest. Then there was the logo itself. It was a crisp, less cartoony, and bolder compared to the one that was in service for the past decade, and people were not happy. The top comment, written by a user named Warpotato, read “I feel bad for the coaches who are most likely contractually obligated to speak positively about a crappy logo.”

Warpotato was not the only person who disliked the new logo, however. Out of the 15 comments on the YouTube video, only two seemed to be positive. Additionally, a few people raised a particular question in the comments; why can UNCC rebrand during a pandemic, but not lower tuition and improve education? According to YouTube user Lazybonez, UNCC had received a $230 million endowment, and then allegedly subsequently ignored student government when they displayed a survey about their schedule.

This logo was also enough for one fan to say he would sell his tickets for the upcoming football season. YouTube user Tree Brand called the logo “too bland” and stated that he would sell his football tickets as a result.

That being said, the apparel adorned by the new logos still sold. 704shop.com, which sells three t-shirts with the new logos, is nearly sold out of all products, although it’s unclear how much they had in stock, to begin with.

If there is a positive spin, it’s that the new logos allow for redesigned uniforms for 49ers athletics. The live stream which revealed the new logo also devoted the last minute of the video to show off new uniforms for football, basketball, and soccer. While the logo was generally disliked, a gold football jersey with white and green accents was well received by the live chat replay on the right side of the screen.

However, the rebrand is not finished yet. In the Charlotte Observer article, AD Hill said that due to the current pandemic, they will wait until next year to replace the surface of the artificial football field; meaning the old logo will remain on the field for the 2020 season. However, the basketball court is going to be finished this summer, and it will have the “C” logo in its center.

Overall, the revealing of a new era at UNCC was very disappointing. The majority of UNCC students and alumni much preferred the old logo, and some students were questioning why the 49ers would rebrand during a pandemic. However, things could improve. The set of logos could grow on people, and the new uniform combinations could improve how the logos look. The rebranding may have had a bad start, but it may eventually become a staple of the UNCC 49ers.

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