Bryce Jordan Center’s marketing refresh features bold visuals along concourse

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in AlumnInsider, the Penn State Alumni Association's monthly member e-newsletter. You can click here for information on becoming a member, and can follow the Alumni Association on Facebook and Twitter for more stories and updates on events. 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Alumni, friends and fans attending events in the Bryce Jordan Center this fall and winter will notice some attention-grabbing updates on the concourse.

Expanding on the first phase that the building underwent last summer, new placards recently were added around the concourse. Previously, sections were labeled as “Portal 1,” “Portal 2,” etc., but that raised lettering has been removed to make way for the bold visuals. Most noticeably, visitors will see the additions when they enter any gate, and when they walk into the arena toward their seats.

The images honor the history of both the men’s basketball program and Lady Lions, while simultaneously generating excitement for the current fan base; and just as important, sending a clear message to recruits.

“Now, when you walk in here, you know basketball is here,” David Caporaletti said while giving the Alumni Association staff a tour last month. Entering his fifth season with the program, Caporaletti is the team’s director of operations after spending the previous three seasons as the team’s on-campus recruiting coordinator.

He continued: “When recruits walk in here, the statement we’re making is, ‘This is their arena, it looks great, and we’re doing things to make it look even better, basketball-wise,’ and you get to see the community, too.”

To Caporaletti’s point, the panoramic-like imagery reflects a wide spectrum. The team’s community service is represented in panels that depict Coaches vs. Cancer (men’s team) and the Pink Zone (Lady Lions) — as well as THON — and past team accomplishments and individual standouts also splash across the arena.

Caporaletti said that recognizing past players and teams factored into what was included in the designs. Walking around the concourse, Caporaletti noted the 2000 Lady Lions squad that reached the Final Four, as did the 1954 men’s team, also included in the updated signage.

He then pointed to Rudy Marisa, a member of the ’54 team, and recalled how Rudy’s daughter, Autumn, a Penn State graduate and former Lionette, recently visited University Park with her family. “They’re holding their kids up to take pictures in front of their grandfather,” Caporaletti said, giving an example of the type of impact that motivated the changes.

“We want to honor the guys who came before these current players and have them see that these guys accomplished some great things,” Caporaletti said. “We’re honoring them, because these players laid the groundwork for everyone who came after them.”

Plenty of other individuals and teams are included. From recent graduates-turned-professionals Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill, to Talor Battle, the Crispin brothers (Joe and Jon), and Tyler Smith, just to name a few. These last three names were all part of the 2000–01 team that knocked off North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament en route to the Sweet 16. Outside of the Final Four team, the 2000–01 squad is arguably the most accomplished team in program history, Caporaletti said.

Then his attention turned to Smith. Caporaletti recalled Smith’s reputation, saying that his teammates say he’s the best and did what he needed to do. He wasn’t glamorous, but he earned the moniker of “junkyard dog,” with Caporaletti saying that they also wanted to highlight players who might not have been in the spotlight but who contributed to successful teams.

Other sections include the program’s all-time leaders in various categories, with more additions coming in the future. Caporaletti said that overall, it’ll be about a five- or six-year process, and that there are plans to create more of a “wow factor” when fans enter the gates.

Caporaletti speaks with eager anticipation, pointing out areas that will eventually feature more eye-popping graphics that can spur additional fan excitement.

All of this is done with the support of administration, including Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, Caporaletti said, and that makes a difference.

“She’s behind both programs 1,000 percent, and she’s helping us take that next step so we can be on par with other schools in the Big Ten,” Caporaletti said, referring to Barbour. “It takes a commitment from everybody to do this.”

The new images complement the upgrades that the Bryce Jordan Center received last summer, which included life-like drawings of head coaches Patrick Chambers and Coquese Washington on the concourse wall, banners near the gates that feature the basketball teams and community events, and a revamped ticket area — raised lettering that spells out “S-T-A-T-E” and digital signage that promotes the basketball program now greet recruits and their families when they pick up their tickets for the game.

Both squads started their seasons with victories at home last week, with the Lady Lions beating Holy Cross 86-82 on Friday, Nov. 13, and the men’s team defeating VMI 62-50 on Saturday, Nov. 14. For more information on both programs and the Bryce Jordan Center, visit GoPSUsports.com.

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Last Updated November 17, 2015