New branding debuts for Willard

New branding debuts for Willard

SAVOY — Willard Airport supporters are rallying behind the banner of the airport's new slogan, "I Fly CU."

With more than 120 local business, government and educational leaders cheering them on, former Champaign City Manager Steve Carter, Savoy Village Board Member Joan Dykstra and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing unveiled the airport's new logo Wednesday afternoon.

It's part of a multifaceted campaign designed to inspire people who don't fly out of Willard to start.

"This airport powers innovation and grows our economy," said Carter, chair of the Willard Airport Advisory Board appointed in December 2013 by former UI Chancellor Phyllis Wise. "The new branding is more than a logo. It's a mission that will drive us forward in our thinking and planning."

Designed by Sixel, a consulting group that developed the marketing campaign, the logo emphasizes Champaign County's two largest cities, matches the colors of the Fighting Illini and features the silhouette of the American Eagle plane that makes daily non-stop flights to Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth.

"This is about reconnecting this airport to the fabric of this great community," said Jack Penning, Sixel's executive director.

Sixel's Sabrina LoPiccolo said the logo will be accompanied by a new website —, which will go live within a day or two — and an increased social media presence on Facebook, Twitter (using the handle #IFlyCU) and YouTube.