Building on 16 years of water-cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy, beginning this summer, Dave Howe, president, SCI FI, announced today.
By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider range of current and future imagination-based entertainment beyond just the traditional sci-fi genre, including fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.
"Imagine Greater" will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment.
Syfy more clearly captures the mainstream appeal of the world's biggest entertainment category, and reflects the network's ongoing strategy to create programming that's more accessible and relatable to new audiences. Syfy will continue to celebrate the traditional roots of the genre, while opening the brand to accommodate a broader range of imagination-based entertainment.
"Without abandoning our legacy or our core audience, we needed to cultivate a distinct point of view with a name that we could own that invites more people in and recognizes our broader range of programming with literally something for everyone," Howe said in a statement. "Syfy allows us to build on our 16-year heritage of success with a new brand built on the power that fuels our genre: the imagination. Syfy ushers in a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment that paves the way for us to truly become a global lifestyle brand."
Syfy—unlike the generic entertainment category "sci-fi"—firmly establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all nonlinear digital platforms and beyond, from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.
Additionally, as the channel's footprint expands rapidly around the globe with the launch of more international channels, Syfy meets the need of a globally relevant, trademarkable brand that stands for something unique to the brand in each territory.
The new brand evolution will launch in July, in tandem with the premiere of the new scripted drama Warehouse 13 on air and at SCIFI.COM, backed by an aggressive marketing campaign, which will kick off this spring.
(SCI FI Wire's name will not change as a result of this new branding.)
[Update: SCI FI president Dave Howe responds to questions from commenters here.]