Over winter break, the Capital Performance Center underwent some modest but much needed modifications. These simple changes were necessary and long overdue.
In a statement released by Capital’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Department in July 2020, they announced that a change would be made to the university’s mascot and nickname. They noted that the athletic department and student athletes would be the most affected by this decision. Yet, two years have passed and one of the most trafficked areas by students and faculty has yet to see the rebranding efforts that the rest of the campus saw.
Darrell Bailey, newly appointed athletic director, saw a need for change and began new projects within the Cap Center to update outdated banners and bare walls that did not accurately reflect the spirit of the Comets.
A few immediate changes can be noticed when one first walks into the Cap Center. The welcome desk now has a welcome sign, in comparison to the bare white desk formerly in its place. The overhead banner that still dawned the Crusader logo and, “We Love Game Days” has now been replaced by a sign that reads “Pride of the Purple” and the new Comet logo.
These two pieces were prioritized because they are the areas with the most foot traffic. Bailey said, “That is our welcome area. When people come into our facility, I want them to see the Comets. That new look sets the tone for what we are trying to establish.”
By establishing the Comets, not just in name, but by culture as well, many fear that the significant and historic Crusader legacy will be diminished. However, this is not the goal of the project, or a reflection of the mindset amongst student athletes. This new generation of students are Capital Comets, not Crusaders, and we must unify behind our name to build our own values and traditions.
Student athletes have been receptive to the new features, particularly the wall that was painted with logos of the other Ohio Athletic Conference schools in the track and field arena.
“I think that all the logos were a nice addition so everyone can see the OAC schools that we compete against,” said Claire Larger, a first-year student who runs track and field for the university.
Immanuel Lane, a member of the football team, said, “I felt like the banners brought a new light to the Cap Center.”
The process of rebranding the Cap Center is ongoing. Continuing to modernize facilities around campus are expected to help with recruiting efforts and increase the vibrancy and enjoyability for visitors because people want to see what is new, and the new is exciting. Students, staff and community members can contribute to these initiatives by supporting the Comets on social media, checking our athletics website and advertising the university in daily conversation.
It is the hope of Bailey and others that the university comes into its true identity by distinguishing itself from other schools. Branding will elevate the university’s culture and, as Bailey says, “…make Capital a destination, not just a location.”