SBD/January 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Takes On Oregon State Project To Emulate Success At Oregon

OSU, Nike looking to expand relationship after recently agreeing to new contract
The Univ. of Oregon’s Nike uniform combinations, the “graphic design work and the promotional billboards have all been outside the box,” and Nike VP/Innovation Design & Special Projects Tinker Hatfield “wants to take that extra step with Oregon State, too,” according to Kerry Eggers of the PORTLAND TRIBUNE. Hatfield along with Nike Creative Dir Todd Van Horne and Nike Team & Licensed Business GM Rosemary St. Claire have visited the Oregon State campus “for several meetings with OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis and football coach Mike Riley over the last two years.” The school recently signed an eight-year contract with Nike, and Hatfield said, “We’ve explained we’d like to go outside the contract and do special things for Oregon State, too.” Hatfield’s “personal preference is to return to the ‘OSU’ logo and go from there.” Hatfield: “The ‘OS’ was well-designed, but really, Oregon State’s image should be more classic and more traditional, with a twist, and not try to be something they’re not.” He added, “You brand Oregon State as a more traditional entity and also more about the state of Oregon.” Eggers notes “much of Nike’s plan has to do with attracting both recruits and young fans, who wind up following the university’s teams for decades if things go well.” De Carolis said, “We’re getting a large amount of product, and now we’re in their graphic identity group. We’re trying to figure out what our branding image is and how that ties into a new logo. Wherever it leads, it probably won’t be launched until the 2013 football season.” He added, “You can’t influence every single demographic group. Is it about recruiting, taking it to retail, to Beaver Nation -- what it is? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be powerful. Those different uniforms and helmets, that stuff’s all slick. But if you don’t win [on] the field, it doesn’t do much good” (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 1/19).
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