SBD/April 13, 2011/Colleges

Arizona State Teams With Nike For University-Wide Rebranding Effort

Arizona State football team will wear all black uniforms at some point next season
Arizona State unveiled a new look yesterday, a "university-wide re-branding effort that took a year to complete, one that unfolded" under the slogan of "It's Time," according to Doug Haller of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The rebranding effort includes new uniforms for its athletic teams, "mixing black and copper with the traditional maroon and gold." Both the football and basketball teams "will wear all black uniforms at some point this season, although specific dates haven't been selected." In addition, a pitchfork will replace ASU's mascot, Sparky, "as the primary logo on helmets." Sparky "still will be featured on the helmet, but at the back base." ASU also introduced a font called "Sun Devil Bold" to go on uniforms, hats, shirts and other university-branded merchandise. The new look "won't be launched across all of ASU's teams until the fall." Haller notes ASU worked with Nike in creating the uniform design, which was "showcased in three football color patterns: All white, all black and the traditional maroon jerseys and gold pants." As part of its relationship with the school, Nike "researched, designed and produced the new brand identity at its expense." Collegiate Licensing Co. "paid for Tuesday's launch," and an "unidentified donor funded the uniform costs for all 21 athletic teams." ASU typically earns $1M annually in merchandise revenue, but "with the new look, university officials expect it to double within the next couple years" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/13). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the new font "definitely" is an improvement, offering a "modern, attractive and clean" look. But Sparky "was iconic," and the "new pitchfork looks strangely similar to the USB port symbol on a laptop" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/12).
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