SBD/April 8, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Univ. Of Illinois Set To Unveil Results Of Rebranding Process With Nike

The Univ. of Illinois athletics department has planned an "unveiling of the results of a more than year-long 'rebranding' process with Nike" on April 16, according to Christine Des Garennes of the Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE. UI's football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams will be "sporting new-look jerseys, shoes and other apparel -- all with the familiar Nike swoosh -- next season." The department in recent weeks has been "working to build momentum and generate interest in the big reveal by releasing teaser videos about the creative process and the reasons behind the rebranding." UI Assistant AD Marty Kaufmann said that the rebranding process for the athletics department "was really about taking a look at its visual identity." He said that that includes "logos, color schemes, fonts and uniforms -- 'and making sure we're providing a visual image that helps define our department and our program and teams.'" Kaufmann said that it has been "some time since Illinois athletics underwent something like this -- at least since the '90s." To help with the project, UI "turned to Nike, with whom it has a 10-year contract to be the teams' exclusive provider of shoes and apparel." A rebranding at UI has been "on the radar for more than two years, but the process didn't kick off until around last February." Kaufmann and UI Assistant AD/Media Relations Kent Brown said that there is a "lack of consistency among the Illinois teams when it comes to looks." Some use a "Block I" with a "circle around it, the word Illinois underlined, the word Illinois written at an angle or a basketball or soccer ball with the word Illinois written through it." There also could be a "variety of fonts and shades of oranges and blue used." Kaufmann called the rebranding "a clean-up" of the brand (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 4/6).
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