UMKC’s athletic department is now officially known as Kansas City Athletics.
For the department, the name change was about sending a message to Kansas Citians that UMKC is their team.
“It is all about evoking emotion with our alumni, fans, students and stakeholders,” said Athletics Director Dr. Brandon Martin. “It is a way to really bring Kansas City together and inspire Kansas City and to show Kansas City Athletics is for real.”
Kansas City Athletics wanted to connect with the community with a new and enhanced visual identity, releasing a new Roo logo in June.
“We wanted to be really creative with the Roo and keep some of the historical roots of the Roo, but make something that was edgy and new,” Martin said.
In July, the department renovated the home court in Swinney Rec Center with the new Roo logo and the Kansas City skyline.
“The new logo is nice because it is similar to the old one but is freshened up, and I think the community is going to like the rebranding and the court,” senior forward Jordan Giles said.
The Roos also renovated their home court with four new LED Daktronics video displays. The video boards will help with live video statistics and graphics, but most importantly help enhance the experience for players and fans.
“When we played in Municipal Auditorium, we had the Jumbotrons. So to honor our seniors, we would play a video,” Giles said. “This year, Aleer Leek, the only senior on last year’s team, wasn’t able to get a video since we were back at Swinney. I felt bad for him, but I am glad we are able to bring that back this coming year with the new video boards.”
Kansas City Athletics hopes the new logo, redesigned court and renovated north lobby will create a better overall fan experience.
“It is not going to feel like a home court unless we get as many fans as possible to the games,” Giles said. “No matter what the court looks like, the fans are what makes it feel like a home court, and we need the support from everyone.”