RALEIGH — N.C. State is retiring the marketing tagline it liberally borrowed from an SEC school that turned into a punchline.
The "This is Our State" campaign will join the unitard in Wolfpack infamy and be replaced with a new slogan before the football season, N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said Thursday.
"Ocassionally, we adopt a new primary theme to keep things fresh for our teams and fans, as occurs at most athletic programs," Yow wrote in an email Thursday. "These usually have a shelf life of several years."
N.C. State went winless against four in-state opponents in football during the 2013 season, losing to North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and East Carolina in the same season for the first time.
Moments after its 42-28 drubbing of the Wolfpack on Nov. 23, in front of mostly visiting purple-clad fans in Raleigh, ECU fans had a billboard up in Wake Forest with the final score and the words: "ARRRRR State."
The parameters of the Wolfpack's alleged domain went from the state borders to the Beltline by basketball season. The men's team lost to Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and relative Division I newcomer N.C. Central.
According to Yow, the slogan was never meant to be a territorial declaration or claim of dominance in any single sport, rather a reflection of the number of alumni in the state of North Carolina and their $7.3 billion annual impact on the state economy. Yow also noted the university is the largest four-year institution in the state.
The "Our State" concept was previously used by Mississippi State, which put up "Welcome to Our State" billboards in 2010. N.C. State co-opted the idea before the 2012 football season, after it had beaten UNC five consecutive years.
When the first "This is Our State" billboards went up around the state in the spring of 2012, UNC running back Gio Bernard promised on Twitter to take that "junk" down.
Bernard's 74-yard punt return in the final seconds of the Tar Heels' 43-35 win in 2012 ended the Wolfpack's winning streak and sowed the seeds for the end of the marketing campaign.
Yow said it's still possible the slogan could be used in the future, sort of like a specialty helmet or uniform.