GREENVILLE, S.C. — A new playing surface was not the only thing Furman University unveiled during its first home football game Saturday against Presbyterian College. The school also rolled out a logo of the Paladin mascot.
The new image made its debut during halftime when a huge banner of the logo was unfurled on the field. The Furman Marching band provided theme music, and dozens of Furman athletes came onto the field for the unveiling.
The new Paladin logo is the work of Robert Bradford, a 2013 Furman graduate. An art major and Greenville native, Bradford was commissioned last fall to develop the logo. Working with Furman art professor Ross McClain and the university's Department of Marketing and Public Relations, Bradford says he wanted the image to reflect power, strength and intimidation.
"I am not the biggest sports fan so I was a bit apprehensive about getting involved when professor McClain asked me," said Bradford, who is now a graphic artist with the Erwin Penland advertising agency in Greenville. "But now I am really glad I did and am very grateful for the opportunity."
School officials say the new Paladin logo will not replace the school's iconic Diamond "F" logo, but serve as a complimentary image. The Diamond "F" has been the school's primary sports logo since 1973.
"The new Paladin logo complements the Diamond 'F'," said Furman associate athletic director Mike Arnold. "People feel passionately about the Diamond 'F' and we will keep it. The new Paladin logo is edgy and vibrant, and it is something people can get excited about."
Arnold said secondary logos adorn university apparel, appear on athletic courts and are widely embraced by fans and alumni. In particular, he said, they appeal to younger fans and alumni. An on-campus naming contest is being held to name the knight, and a moniker should be selected later this year. The mascot will eventually appear at athletic contests and other university events.