NEW YORK—In November, Columbia Athletics announced the launch of a new branding campaign #OnlyHere which focuses on the assortment of advantages to the Columbia student-athlete with emphasis on its extraordinary location in world-class New York City, unparalleled academic and career opportunities, an elite-level athletic performance program and “built to win” foundation in facilities and personnel. In the third of a five-part series, we focus on a second brand pillar of Columbia Athletics which is its built to win foundation in facilities and personnel.
Columbia has positioned itself with top-notch facilities in the Campbell Sports Complex and the brand-new winter indoor practice facility, the Bubble at Baker. It has two multi-sport facilities in the Dodge Fitness Center and the Baker Athletics Complex, which offer student-athletes the opportunity to train year-round.
Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Pilling has built an elite level coaching staff for its 31 varsity sports. Current Columbia head coaches have captured a combined 37 total Ivy League team championships and three national championships. Three coaches have Olympic experience either as a student-athlete or coach, seven have international coaching experience, three attended and graduated from Columbia University as student-athletes themselves, 11 head coaches have at least 10 years of coaching experience and seven have won an Ivy League title either as a coach or as a student-athlete. In addition to its top-notch coaching staff, Columbia student-athletes also experience a dedicated administration to help them succeed during four years in school and 40 years after.
Over the last 10 years, Columbia has experienced a facility renaissance as all of its athletics facilities have received an update:
On February 3, Columbia Athletics officially opened its new indoor practice facility, a Seasonal Air-Supported Structure (SASS) covering Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium. The Bubble at Baker facility provides Columbia Athletics a state-of-the-art winter practice space for field sports which compete at the Baker Athletics Complex. Featuring a brand-new Field Turf Revolution 360 playing surface, which was installed in October, the facility allows for 92,000 square feet of practice space. All seven of Columbia’s field sports teams—football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, field hockey, baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse—will have access to the new indoor practice facility from December through March. Funds for the project were raised by donors to Columbia Athletics.
The award-winning Campbell Sports Complex is the signature presence at Columbia’s Baker Athletics Complex. A state-of-the-art training and learning facility for nine of Columbia’s outdoor sports programs, including a multi-media theater-style classroom, a strength and conditioning center, new student-athlete lounge featuring computers and workspace and hospitality pavilion. The Campbell Sports Center honors one of Columbia’s most accomplished athletics’ alumni William V. Campbell ‘62CC.
Located at the Northern tip of Manhattan, the 26-acre Baker Athletics Complex is the primary athletics facility for Columbia’s outdoor sports programs featuring Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium, Columbia Softball Field, Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, the Columbia Field Hockey Venue, Dick Savitt Tennis Center, The Remmer and 1929 Boathouses at the mouth of the Hudson River, Chrystie Field House and Campbell Sports Complex.
Dodge Fitness Center
Serving over 3,000 student-athletes, general students, faculty and staff each day and located in the heart of the Columbia University campus, Dodge Fitness Center is home to seven Columbia varsity sports teams and contains Francis Levien Gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, Uris Pool for swimming and diving and University Gymnasium for wrestling and fencing. The facility also offers a weight room, workout facility, squash and handball courts and a running track.
Access to Word-Class Athletics Facilities
Because of its location in New York City, Columbia Athletics also has access to some of the world’s finest sports facilities for its athletics program. Columbia’s cross country teams compete at world-famous Van Cortlandt Park, its golf teams play on some of New Jersey’s top-ranked golf courses, its squash teams play at SL Green StreetSquash Center, its track and field team has access to the Armory Track and Field Center, an indoor facility that hosts some of the sport’s top international events and its tennis teams host ITA Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, site of the U.S. Open.
The #OnlyHere branding campaign centers around two principles of Columbia Athletics: its vision statement of a “unique student-athlete experience combined with the most supportive Athletics Department in the Ivy League” and the department’s overall mission: “to maximize the opportunities for our student-athletes to reach their highest levels of achievement, here at Columbia and for the rest of their lives.” As part of this initiative, Columbia Athletics has launched a newly designed website www.gocolumbialions.com, new signage in its athletics facilities, refreshed athletics wordmark and the introduction of its new social media hashtag #OnlyHere.
#OnlyHere refers to four brand pillars exclusive to Columbia Athletics’ success: Extraordinary location in New York City; Unparalleled academic and career opportunities; Elite level athletic, academic and career performance program; Built to win foundation in facilities.