Like a big star who undergoes a few nips and tucks before a big moment in front of millions, CBS is freshening up the CBS Sports logo before its Super Bowl 50 close-up on tomorrow. The logo, which debuted in 1981, has been updated for the first time in 35 years.
CBS Sports’ new logo, which the network rolled out this week in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, is part of a new on-air graphics look for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network. “There’s no higher-profile vehicle to launch something like that, so that’s why we chose Super Bowl week,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports and executive producer of CBS’s Super Bowl 50 coverage. “The graphics redesign was something we talked about for two or three years. It had been almost 10 years since we did a graphics redesign, and so all the insert graphics, the animations, the full-page graphics will all be brand-new.”
As for the updated logo, McManus said, “We decided that we should make our logo a bit more contemporary and a bit more conducive to fitting in with the new graphics factors. So we looked at 125 different logos and settled on about a dozen that we liked. In the end, it really was unanimous—this was the best one. It was sleek. It was modern, but it also felt traditional in some ways. It was simple and, for us, it just said CBS Sports.”
McManus told Adweek in our Super Bowl issue that he doesn’t feel pressure to top NBC’s record ratings for last year’s Super Bowl telecast (114.4 million total viewers, a 49.7 rating in adults 18-49). “That’s more of an industry thing than anything else,” he said. “Basically, it’s bragging rights, and if you don’t get it, it’s still going to be the most-watched telecast of the year.”
As McManus plans CBS’s seven hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage, the game itself and the postgame show, he’s also planning for contingencies like the blackout that hit New Orleans’ Superdome in 2013 when CBS last aired the game.
“We have three different sources of power this year, which we haven’t had before,” he said. “We’ve got UPS, an uninterrupted power source, which is basically a great big, huge battery. We’ve got diesel-powered generators, and we’ve got land or shore power coming from the stadium. So we are covered at CBS. … We’ll be better prepared this time around than we were last time.”
This story first appeared on Adweek with the headline, CBS Sports Updates its Logo for the First Time in 35 Years Ahead of Super Bowl 50