USA Ultimate Introduced as the National Governing Body for the Sport of Ultimate
Posted: May 24, 2010 02:27 PM
Ultimate Players Association Rebrands Itself with a New Identity after 30 Years
Boulder, Colo. (May 25, 2010)—After 30 years as the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), the National Governing Body for the sport of Ultimate in the United States announced today a new identity, rebranding itself as USA Ultimate and unveiling a new logo and website.
After extensive research, careful consideration, and valuable input from focus groups, board members and key advisors in the business and Ultimate communities, USA Ultimate was chosen as the new brand and cornerstone for future growth. Immediately, the new identity communicates the role of the organization, aligning it with most other U.S. Olympic and Pan American sport governing bodies.
Though the name has changed, the focus of USA Ultimate remains the same. In promoting its core mission components of Character, Community and Competition through the sport of Ultimate, USA Ultimate will continue to provide the highest level of customer service to its 30,000+ members across the country, working more diligently than ever to support and provide opportunities for its athletes, coaches, observers, volunteers and event, team, and league organizers. However the new identity will also allow USA Ultimate to broaden its reach, and appeal more to an external audience of youth athletes, fans and an untapped market of potential members, sponsors and supporters.
"It's hard for me to describe the level of excitement I feel as we become ‘USA Ultimate’,” commented the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tom Crawford. “I sincerely believe the original players would feel really proud of the outcome of all their hard work, setting the foundation and history of this amazing sport and watching us evolve into USA Ultimate. Our focus and determination to provide world-class competitive opportunities, and top-notch programs and services for our members will not change one bit. But we are now positioned to really grow our sport exponentially, and reach out to the rest of the sports world, sponsors, new venues and youth-serving organizations and appeal as a premier National Governing Body of Sport offering the most amazing, athletic, and joy-filled sports experience! These are exhilarating times and a wicked-exciting future for this incredible sport!"
Recently named the fastest growing team sport in America by the Sporting Goods Manufacturer Association (SGMA), the sport of Ultimate has a rich history of being a player-driven game. And with great respect to history and tradition, one of the earliest and most significant pioneers of the sport served as a consultant throughout the rebranding process. Tom "TK" Kennedy, the original founder of the Ultimate Players Association in 1979, its first National Director and 2004 Hall of Fame inductee, is proud that the sport of Ultimate and the organization that governs it have made such significant strides in the past 30 years.
"Philosophically, I'm behind the change and understand why it's being implemented," said Kennedy. "The UPA has made great strides over the years and I'll be watching with a great deal of pride and interest to see what sort of impact this has going forward."
With membership and sanctioned events increasing at a rapid pace, and network television coverage of the sport coming this summer, USA Ultimate is poised to capitalize on unprecedented growth and attention – creating an opportunistic timeline for a national rebranding campaign.
“Our sport has exploded in popularity in the last few years and is becoming more mainstream,” commented USA Ultimate Board of Directors President Peri Kurshan. “We felt it was important that our national organization’s name and brand reflect this evolution. Going forward, our new brand will not only help us focus on our mission, but position us more favorably in our efforts to expand into new sponsorship markets.”
USA Ultimate will host its first event under the new brand this weekend in Madison, Wis., as more than 1,000 athletes and coaches will take part in the 2010 USA Ultimate College Championships, scheduled for May 28-31. For more information, visit www.usaultimate.org
About USA Ultimate (USAU)
Founded as the Ultimate Players Association (UPA) in 1979, USAU serves as the National Governing Body for the sport of Ultimate in the United States. USAU is a non-profit organization with its national office headquarters in Boulder, Colo., and focuses foremost on the needs of its athletes while improving access to the sport and enhancing members’ overall experience. USAU is one of the first flying disc sport organizations in the world and is also the largest, with more than 30,000 members and an extensive national volunteer network. Last year the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) named Ultimate the fastest-growing team sport in the nation.
USAU is also a member of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), which is a member of the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and the International World Games Association (IWGA). USAU annually sends multiple National Teams to represent the United States at a variety of international events, including the World Games, which operates under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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