YMCA shortens name to 'the Y,' reframes strategy

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO, IL (AP) - Forget the YMCA. Now it's just the Y.

The association announced Monday that it is changing both its logo and name to "the Y," marking its first branding change in 43 years. The switch comes after more than two years of research indicated many people don't understand what the group does. Officials with the Y say they hope the new logo will be more inviting so the organization can impact more people.

The group's mission is to strengthen communities by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The new name applies to the group nationally, but individual locations will still be referred to as YMCAs. The transition is already underway and should be completed within five years at locations in more than 10,000 communities across the country.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.