Creating the UCF vs USF ‘War on I-4’ football rivalry trophy was one of our most exciting projects to date.
We were happy to work with both the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida, long time friends and clients of Levy, to produce a trophy that would blow them away.
In September 2016, UCF and USF’s athletic departments formally established their long-standing sports rivalry, referred to as ‘War on I-4’ by fans for years. With the football game as the headline event between two of the nation’s largest universities, they needed an official custom trophy to represent huge year-to-year series wins.
The two universities collaborated heavily on its design and brought us several Florida-themed ideas. We conceptualized designs incorporating palm trees, surf boards and beaches, the state’s outline, and both mascots ‘battling it out.’ The biggest challenge here was creating a trophy that awed both schools, embodied their passionate rivalry, and remained on budget.
The vision that won a “yes!” from everyone was to play on the rivalry’s I-4 title. Interstate 4 connects Orlando and Tampa (UCF and USF’s respective locations), and we thought a large expressway sign would be perfect.
We executed this idea by creating a shiny metal interstate sign with each school’s logo etched in brass on either side. The detachable sign stands on top of a football-field-emblazoned foxite base — heavier, more durable, and longer lasting than a wood base. With nearly 50 available winner plates surrounding the base, this trophy is here to stick around for a while!
At 5 foot 3 inches tall and 160 pounds, the massive War on I-4 trophy wowed the athletic departments, excited fans, and Florida residents as it was unveiled and paraded around Tampa and Orlando leading up to the big game. Each year, the War on I-4 victor will be awarded the trophy (and all bragging rights) for display on its campus.
To give War on I-4 winners even more ways to show their bragging rights, Levy Recognition also created custom “road sign” plaques. Two plaques were created. One featuring a green background that will be housed at the University of South Florida and the other featuring a black background that will be housed at the University of Central Florida. The plaques stand more than 4 feet high each and are adorned with nameplates that will be engraved each time the perspective school wins the War on I-4. Plaques can be freestanding displays or wall mounted. This way, each university is able to celebrate their War on I-4 victories even when they do not have current ownership of the perpetual trophy.