September 7, 2021
< 10 minutes

The Story Behind the Naming & Visual Branding of Sports D.A.T.A.

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As CAAP continued to grow, interest began to expand beyond the college athletics space. To best prepare for this growth opportunity as we got deeper into the incorporation process, our Board decided the time was right to consider a name that was more inclusive and an acronym that could clearly define what we do.

"Sports" gives us focus - defining the industry in which we operate.

"Data" is at the center of all we do. This organization seeks to bring together sports professionals - from data scientists to executive level administrators - around using data to optimize decisions.

"Analytics" - how we create value from the data - is the core function of many of our members.

Finally, we depend upon "technology" to generate, store, format, analyze, and present the wealth of data to which we have access.

As we played with various acronyms, we stumbled upon what may seem more obvious now than it was then - the Sports Data, Analytics & Technology Association (Sports D.A.T.A.).


We started with the goal of 3 logo forms - a full wordmark, an acronym, and a more iconic, cool short form logo (like most of the organizations for which most of us work!).

The short form logo was the first priority as we hoped to work that into the more text-heavy marks. We wanted something that said "Sports D.A.T.A." without spelling it out. Fortunately, the first letter of "Sports" is a meandering shape, which aptly represents the complexity of our industry. College athletics alone faces the unique challenge of being funded by two completely different types of revenue streams that often go to two legally separate entities - revenues from tickets, sponsorships, merch, F&B, etc. that are taxable and donations that are usually not taxable for the organization but are only sometimes tax deductible for the donor. In addition, there are two co-existing products: first and foremost student-athlete outcomes, and second, the fan experience that partially depends upon some elements of student-athlete outcome.

All of those elements can be served by - and more importantly connected by - analytics. Those of us that are or have been analysts exist to serve and connect other departments with the purpose of yielding growth through better-informed decisions. We sought to represent both the connective & growth functions of analytics, so we used an upward sloping line to connect two data points on opposite ends of the S and named it the "Iconic S."

Building a wordmark from there simply required a typeface selection.


We needed a modern, clean typeface for which the ends of the S were separated enough vertically to provide room for the line and maintain a strong upward slope. Many typefaces have an S for which the bottom end curves upward until it points straight up and vice versa. In digging through typeface options and their origins, we found Bahnschrift - an increasingly popular typeface that was developed to make signs on the world famous German Autobahn easily legible at high (sometimes unlimited) speeds. The Bahnschrift "S" shape was perfect and, as a "car guy," any typeface that was developed for legibility at high speeds is an easy winner!


We are very cognizant of the fact that data doesn't scream "fun," so we immediately sought a bright, inviting color that would also visually differentiate us from the vast majority of sports organizations and related institutions. This led us to Sea Foam Green (HEX #73E2A7). Why that specific color? An intensive statistical study (counting votes) using a survey and focus group (short 3 person conversation) to study a carefully curated list of colors (move a slider around on a free online color wheel with a shared screen on Zoom) produced the following results: we really like Sea Foam Green! Maybe we were all dreaming of the beach after a long year navigating COVID?

From there, we wanted a dark, somewhat neutral classic color option to allow the sea foam green to shine. We leaned on color theory to find a complimentary navy called Space Cadet Blue (HEX #1A1B41).

We look forward to finding more applications for what we believe is a clean, well-defined, and well-differentiated brand as we continue to grow with you all!