STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut released its new Husky dog logo on Thursday, about a week earlier than planned after it appeared prematurely on the Internet.
The sleeker-looking dog will begin appearing on all UConn buildings this month and on athletic uniforms in the fall.
The new logo comes out of a marketing partnership between the school's athletic department and Nike, which designed it at no cost to the school. It is part of a larger effort to replace disparate logos used by different Husky teams.
The school says athletes and coaches had input into the design.
"This logo is everything that a Husky is supposed to be - powerful, aggressive, determined," women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. "It is looking right through you and saying 'Do not mess with me.' This is a streamlined, fighting dog, and I cannot wait for it to be on our uniforms and court."
The logo was supposed to be released at press event scheduled for April 18, but an image of it appeared, apparently by accident, on a website selling UConn merchandise. It quickly spread Thursday to UConn chat rooms and other Internet sites.
A school spokeswoman confirmed later that the Internet image was indeed the new school logo.
The change comes after university President Susan Herbst announced last month that the school would begin using the nickname UConn as its "primary visual word mark for the entire institution."
This is the sixth Jonathan Husky image used since the dog was first adopted in 1934 as a school symbol.
The last logo, adopted in 2002 and featuring a furrier Husky dog with its tongue out, had been criticized by some as not intimidating enough for an athletic program.
"We tried to develop a graphic mark that was straight on, something more intimidating and fierce than the three-quarter profile," said Clint Shaner, a senior graphic designer at Nike.