Intercollegiate Athletics Marks
The use of athletics marks (e.g., “Ralphie” and the athletics interlocking CU) are exclusive to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. They may be used in limited school-spirit instances, as approved by the CU Boulder chancellor through the Strategic Marketing Alliance.
Athletics interlocking CU
The Boulder Campus Strategic Marketing Alliance (SMA) is part of the Boulder Campus Brand Identity Standards Committee with representation from all deans, vice chancellors and athletics. The SMA manages uses of CU Boulder visual identity assets and licensed marks. The Strategic Marketing Alliance should review all uses of the “Ralphie” logo.
What Qualifies as School-Spirit Use?
- School spirit entails use of the “Ralphie” logo specifically meant to represent the competitive or emotional connection we feel for the Colorado Buffaloes.
- In circumstances that require a sense of school spirit and the identification of the University of Colorado Boulder, the “Ralphie” logo can be used in conjunction with the CU Boulder logo.
- Any instance related to the university’s overarching teaching, research, and service mission that does not involve school spirit as defined above (e.g., academic events, research posters, name badges, commencement robes, etc.) requires the use of the CU Boulder logo as the primary identifier and not the “Ralphie” logo.
The following scenarios define the accepted school-spirit uses of the “Ralphie” logo.
Note: As with all university logos, the “Ralphie” logo may not be modified or redesigned in any way.
Scenario 1: “Ralphie” Logo Only
- Club sports apparel/intramural sports awards (first-place T-shirts, etc.)
- Student projects for competitions (e.g., experimental vehicles and other inventions)
- Bookstore merchandise and store visual identity
- Events related to athletics programming (e.g., pregame celebrations, etc.)
- Recreation Center athletic venues (e.g., logo under the ice, logos on athletics courts, etc.)
- Personal use by family, etc. (cakes, blankets, etc.)
- Licensee requests (current approved list resides with athletics)
- Select awards, by request
The “Ralphie” logo may not be used in conjunction with a campus-specific identifier other than CU Boulder. However, CU campuses may use the “Ralphie” logo on merchandise to express a connection to the Buffaloes. The “Ralphie” logo may not be used in conjunction with a corporate logo, except as allowed by specific sponsorship/licensing agreements managed via the Department of Athletics. The athletics interlocking CU should never be used for non-athletic applications.
Scenario 2: “Ralphie” Logo and CU Boulder Logo
Select university/staff apparel (e.g., incoming student T-shirts, some Division of Student Affairs shirts, alumni/donor-related apparel, etc.). The Strategic Marketing Alliance will review each request and provide approval on a case-by-case basis.
Communication uses and signage that express a sense of school spirit/“Buff” community (eg., Buff buses) within a university context.
“Ralphie” logo as the dominant visual element, with CU Boulder logo as university ID (e.g., bookstore planner covers). The "Ralphie" logo may not be used in conjunction with any campus identifier other than the CU Boulder logo. The athletics interlocking CU should never be used for nonathletic applications.
Scenario 3: CU Boulder Logo Only
- College/school/unit-specific communications
- Academic/research-related events (e.g., commencement, Fall Convocation, symposia, etc.)
- Permanent signage (except athletic facilities)
- University marketing/advertising
- Business communications (letterhead, etc.)
Whenever the university name is used, the official CU Boulder logo should serve as the identifier. The “Ralphie” logo should not be directly associated with the words “University of Colorado Boulder” at any time (“Colorado,” “Colorado Buffs,” “Buffaloes,” “Buffs,” etc., are acceptable). The athletics interlocking CU (below) should never be used for non-athletic applications.
How Do I Request Approval?
The Strategic Marketing Alliance reviews all uses of the “Ralphie” logo. Please submit your request to use a “Ralphie” logo. Requests will be reviewed within three to five business days. In situations that require committee discussion, requests will be reviewed at regular meetings of Strategic Marketing Alliance on the last Thursday of each month.
The university’s licensing program, implemented by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, provides oversight of the “Ralphie” logo and other valuable university trademarks. It helps the university generate revenue from the sale of licensed merchandise and extend its public visibility by ensuring quality and consistency in how its marks are used.
While internal campus entities do not require a license to use the “Ralphie” logo (as approved by the committee), a licensed vendor must be used for all apparel production and printing that includes the logo. For a list of licensed vendors approved to reproduce the “Ralphie” logo or to obtain a license, visit the Intercollegiate Athletics website.