Athletics News
Redbird Logo Now Displayed on West Normal Water Tower
The water tower on West College Avenue
The water tower on West College Avenue

April 23, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The town of Normal has uncovered a new way to "Spread the Red," with the painting of the Illinois State Redbird athletics logo on the west water tower along West College Ave., adjacent to Parkside Elementary. The logo, which was officially completed Sunday, can also been seen by traffic traveling on I-55/I-74 along the west side of town.

The project was spearheaded by Mark Peterson, Normal's city manager. He and the town council, which approved the addition, were encouraged about the opportunity to embrace the history of Redbird athletics in the local community, while giving back to the current and past student-athletes at Illinois State.

"Since the student athletes of Illinois State University do so much for our community, the Town Council saw this project as a way for the community to demonstrate its appreciation and clearly communicate that we support our hometown team," Peterson said.

"The Normal Town Council feels strongly that the community needs to find ways to show its support for the Redbirds. In that regard, the council determined that painting the Redbird logo on the west water tank will send a clear message to those that are entering our community, and to those they may just be passing through, that Normal is Redbird Country."

Illinois State director of athletics Sheahon Zenger was appreciative of the project, and excited about the opportunity to increase the award-winning Spread the Red message.

"Having the Redbird athletics logo affixed on a community water tower next to the Town of Normal logo symbolizes the support that mayor Chris Koos, city manager Mark Peterson and all the leadership within the city council has provided to Illinois State University and its athletics department," said Zenger. "This community and Illinois State have a deep-rooted history, with the town even deriving its name from the university.

"This will provide great visibility within our area, but, more importantly, it embraces the `Spread the Red' message as we continue to push that philosophy forward. I can't express how excited I am about this project. I think it is the greatest sign of support and unity since my arrival to campus."

The Spread the Red message was awarded the Best Sports Marketing Campaign Award by the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Marketing Association last April.

Launched in August 2006, the logo appeared on all local McDonald's cups, and several local businesses embraced the campaign by purchasing and displaying Spread the Red flags outside their establishments. A local billboard advertising campaign has also been implemented over the last two years.