18 January 2022
By Göran R Buckhorn
USRowing is rebranding.
In a letter on USRowing’s website, the federation’s CEO Amanda Kraus writes that going into the new year, USRowing is embracing a new direction.
There are new leaders across the organization, new partners, and USRowing has started raising funds for the whole organization (prior, the federation was concentrating its fundraising for the national teams. Much of these funds came from the National Rowing Foundation, NRF). Kraus writes:
We look forward to 2022 with optimism and enthusiasm as we draw on a deep bench of experience, add new faces to our team, and continue to place an emphasis on creative ideas and new ways of thinking about our sport, while retaining a deep appreciation for tradition and the ageless tenets of the sport – hard work, dedication, and teamwork.
To mark these changes and USRowing’s move forward, the organization has from now on a new logo. “We understand that a brand mark is simply a graphic treatment until an organization lives up to its ideals and makes it meaningful,” Kraus writes. “Our hope is that you will see this clean, modern logo as a signal that we are embracing a new direction for USRowing.”
On USRowing’s website is also a Q&A regarding the new logo, with USRowing both asking the questions and giving the answers. Following is the direct quoted Q&A:
Q: USRowing has been using the same mark for over 40 years, why change it now?
A: After 40-plus years, our mark is showing its age. It is dated and inflexible and, consequently, it limits usage given how much design and media has evolved. More importantly, USRowing is at a pivotal point, and we want to capitalize on a moment of change. For starters, we are revamping our infrastructure with the objective of being more effective and more transparent. We are focused on opening our boathouse doors and making rowing more diverse and inclusive, recognizing this effort is long overdue. And in support of our national teams – U19, U23 and senior– we are approaching our program through an athlete-centered lens. We are changing, and we’d like a mark to represent and reflect these changes.
Q: What was the driving strategy behind this new look?
A: We need a brand that can reintroduce us to existing audiences, while also drawing in rowers who look more like the nation our elite teams represent. We want our brand to feel modern and welcoming. Most importantly, we need a banner the entire rowing community can rally under in common cause with a shared vision for inclusion and success. We carefully balanced a sense of forward leaning with a nod to our unique and compelling history. We feel we have achieved this with our new brand identity.
Q: What results does USRowing expect to achieve with a “new wrapper”?
A: We understand that a new logo is just a graphic treatment and that the values USRowing wishes to instill may mean years of focused work, organizational transparency, and fresh ideas. Our hope is that our new logo successfully communicates that something positive and new is happening at our organization.
Although Mark Twain once said, “I’m in favor of progress; it’s change I don’t like”, I do believe that these changes will be good for the entire rowing community in the USA, but also beyond.
After slightly more than a year at the helm of USRowing, where Amanda Kraus has eased into the position as CEO, she has proven to be a stalwart when it comes to leading the national governing body of the sport of rowing in the USA. Before being appointed the CEO of USRowing, Kraus was the founder and CEO of Row New York. In this position, she spent 18 years building up an organization focusing on making rowing available for young people, often from underprivileged areas. She is now taking aim at giving everyone a chance to become a rower on a national level whatever their background.
This is the right way to go to secure the future of the sport of rowing.
That new logo just screams rowing to the outside world
(and to the previous comment – the orange is there to make Josy feel at home)