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Long Beach State drops "49ers," emphasizes "Beach"

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Long Beach State Starts Visually Rebranding Without '49ers'

Changes to the school’s logo, to be announced publicly this morning, is partially funded by a $100,000 donation from an unnamed group — the largest ever group gift to the athletic department. A slight design adjustment was made to the font and iconic “LB” logo used by all of the Long Beach State programs, and now all of the teams will be referred to as Long Beach or “The Beach” instead of “49ers.” The baseball team will remain the Dirtbags.

“It is extremely important to have a unified look,” said Long Beach State Director of Athletics Vic Cegles. “We’re the only major university with ‘Beach’ in our name, so it makes all the sense in the world to promote that. It’s a better brand for us. I would never change our mascot without student and alumni input. In the future we’ll see how [Prospector] Pete fits in.”

The 49ers mascot, a reference to 1949 when the university was founded, will remain intact for the foreseeable future. However, the new Walter Pyramid court — expected to be completed next month — will not have any reference to the 49ers, with just “Beach” emblazoned across center court and “#GoBeach” on the sideline.

“I don’t think students care about being a 49er or Prospector Pete,” said Michael Wood, a junior and editor at the Union Weekly on campus. “We don’t identify ourselves with (a mascot) as much as we do with being from Long Beach.”

“We had a fractured brand,” said Dedan Brozino, senior associate director for external relations. “What he had wasn’t broken; there was just too much, and we needed to bring it all under the same visual identity.”

With that in mind, Andy Hoang, associate vice president for university relations and communications, is working to extend the rebranding university-wide, changing the name of the university from California State University, Long Beach to Long Beach State. Much like San Diego State or Fresno State, The Beach wants to capitalize on the region’s popularity and unite under one recognizable name. Currently, the university as a whole is referred to as CSULB and the athletic department as LBSU. Under the new rebranding, everything would be referred to as Long Beach State.

LINK (Gazette)

LINK (Press-Telegram)

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Now I've only been officially enrolled with the school for over a month now, but in that short time of going to the city, going to campus, dealing with the school, dealing with students, going to the bookstore, seeing their marketing and merchandise and all that, this was clearly the right way to go.

The two paragraphs I underlined really express that, and are totally right. That is definitely the vibe I got independently, and the vibe I got from the students. You're going to Long Beach, you root for The Beach, the chant is "Go Beach".

And the fractured brand was extremely evident when I walked into the bookstore. Shirts read Cal State Long Beach, CSULB, Long Beach, LBSU, Beach, The Beach, 49ers, Forty-Niners, Dirtbags. I had no idea where to go haha.

I've always thought the "49ers" brand was weak anyway. Yeah, the university was founded in 1949, but the connection to actual 49ers and the gold rush never really fit for Long Beach. It never worked for me.

Now while I wish there was an actual mascot, I've always liked "The Beach" and the basketball team has used it for a while. It fits. The campus is a block off of Pacific Coast Highway and less than a mile from the actual beach. I do wish that the baseball team was wrangled in to fit in with the rest of the school, because now it really sticks out. But it is the most high profile program on the campus and the Dirtbags name has its own history and backstory. It'll stay.

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TL;DR - Good move. I like that the school is unifying the brand, and I really think this brand fits the university. Good move, Long Beach State. Go Beach.

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So... they're still technically the 49ers, right?

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Sounds like it's more of an "FC" kind of thing. Long Beach FC, except for all sports. Long Beach Athletics

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So... they're still technically the 49ers, right?

Technically, sure. But you won't see it anywhere.

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I live in Long Beach and call tell you that nobody around here has ever referred to them as the "49ers". They have always been known as either Long Beach State or the Dirtbags since baseball is the most rellavent sport at the school

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In a way, this is similar to UCLA where other than Joe Bruin running around, there's little in the lines of bear imagery in the athletic department. The closest thing would be the Red Sox B on the baseball hats.

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Good move, as said The Beach is a much better name than 49ers. And now the mascot can be a crab or something sea related.

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So... they're still technically the 49ers, right?

Technically, sure. But you won't see it anywhere.

Got you. In a way, it makes sense. There was a 49er logo in the past for Long Beach State. Now, what logo does people associate with the school? Either 'The Beach' or the interlocking LB. This way, you can keep (or improve, as the case is here) those more recognizable logos without too much trouble.

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Here's the school's official release:

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Long Beach State Visual Identity and Branding Guide

Official Release

The official release and the branding guide do contradict on the name thing, however. The release says "The team nickname for all sports except baseball will remain the 49ers, as it has been since the university's founding in 1949." But in the branding guide it states that "When referring to the Department of Athletics at Long Beach State, all journalists, media outlets, and other public mediums must use the following monikers to describe its student-athletes, coaches, programs, history, and overall department: Long Beach State, The Beach, LBSU, and Dirtbags* (*Baseball only)"

So 49ers is still technically the nickname, but none of the teams will be referred to as such.

Logos are definitely upgrades. As is the new fonts for everything else that you see in the branding guide.

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After wins, will the student section now chant "You got Beach slapped!" ?

Or " you're a beach".

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After wins, will the student section now chant "You got Beach slapped!" ?

Or " you're a beach".

But they're the beach, why would they call the other team a beach?

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After wins, will the student section now chant "You got Beach slapped!" ?

Or " you're a beach".

But they're the beach, why would they call the other team a beach?

College logic.

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With multiple family members that are alumni there, and a former resident of the city, I spent countless hours there and it's brand was a mess. They are right, the 49ers were never referenced by anyone I knew. It was Beach this, Beach that, and go Beach all day. I love this change, but I will say its kinda pointless to remain the 49ers now.

Like goforbroke said, it's almost like an FC type thing so why not just embrace that fully? I'm sure there are other ways to reference it's history as the 49ers without keeping a nickname they don't use as a technicality. I'm also not a fan of the word "The" being removed from the Beach logo, but overall this is great.

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The Baseball team is called the Dirtbags?!

Yes. And they always have been for their hard dirty style of play. As far as the name change, I'm "eh" on it. As someone who lives close to the school and has always followed them, to say that no one one referred to them as the 49ers is incorrect. The "youth" of today does not (25-30 years old and under). It was in the past 15 years that for whatever reason the school stopped using "49ers". I remember back when the school colors were brown and gold and they were the 49ers. I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just ambivalent about the move. I'll still refer to them as the 49ers or the Beach. What I like about this, is they are trying to get away from going back to "Long Beach State" and that I like because it goes back to when they were brown and gold. Again it was about 2000 when they went from Long Beach State to Cal State Long Beach which I hated. I like the "LB" and "the Beach", I'm just not really a fan of dropping the 49ers. What I'd love to see them do, is go back to brown and gold. I figured one of the reasons they went to black and gold was to standardize the colors since you could have many versions of brown.

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I like the move to rebrand themselves, but I think it was a big mistake to not try to fix that god-awful 90's airbrush style script. They could've kept the same look and got rid of the "effects" on the letters or whatever you'd call it. I'm not sure if there is a strong attachment to that look among fans/students or not, but I've never liked it.

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Yup, that "The Beach" script might be the single worst branding thing in college sports.

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*motions to make George Allen's rotting corpse the mascot*

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