A Brand New Day: The YMCA Unveils New Brand Strategy to Further Community Impact

Greater Boston to benefit from YMCA of Greater Boston’s focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility

[Boston, MA] (7-13-2010) – For the first time in 43 years, YMCA of the USA has unveiled a new brand strategy to increase understanding of the impact that YMCAs make in communities across the country.  The YMCA has the unique capacity to address many of the challenges facing the nation today.  Through its new brand strategy and framework, the nonprofit will extend its reach into communities to nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to support neighbors.

The new brand strategy – the result of more than two years of analysis and research – was introduced today at a National Press Club event that included leaders from the philanthropic and nonprofit communities.  As part of the event, the YMCA unveiled a new, more forward-looking logo that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the organization, and a framework that focuses resources on three core areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  In another major change, the nonprofit will be called “the Y” to align with how people most commonly refer to the organization.

“The YMCA of Greater Boston is truly excited about the new brand strategy and the opportunity to engage more people in the areas of healthy living, social responsibility and youth development,” said Kelley Rice, spokesperson for the YMCA of Greater Boston. “There are many exciting changes taking place at the Greater Boston Y – we are building momentum, and this strategy is getting everyone from our volunteers to our members and donors very excited.”

Ys across the country will fully transition to the new brand within five years.

“This is a very important, exciting time for the Y,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA.  “For 160 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better.  Our commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen communities across the country.”

Today, across the United States, Ys are making a difference in three key areas of focus:

  • Youth Development: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen

  • Healthy Living: Improving the nation’s health and well-being

  • Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors

“In Greater Boston, we are focusing on the critical need for safe places for youth and teens,” said Rice.   “The Y’s Get Summer for teens ages 13-21 provides extended hours, special programs and recreational activities as well as leadership training, employment, college preparation support and a host of other safe engaging initiatives, all for free.  We are helping our community ensure that children are safe and cared for this summer.

The Y’s former logo had been in place since 1967 and was the organization’s sixth since its inception. The refreshed logo, with its multiple color options and new, contemporary look, better reflects the vibrancy of the Y and the diversity of the communities it serves.  The new logo’s bold, active and welcoming shape symbolizes the Y’s commitment to personal and social progress.

Editor’s Note: This new brand announcement represents a transition in the correct way to refer to the Y in writing.  “The Y” should be used whenever referring to the collective organization.  “The” should be lower case unless it is used at the beginning of a sentence.  YMCA should be used when referring to a specific location, i.e., “The YMCA of Greater Boston.”