SBD/April 17, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

The I's Have It: Univ. Of Illinois, Nike Unveil Consistent Look For Athletic Teams

Illinois unveiled two primary athletics logos, the block "I" and the "victory badge" 
The Univ. of Illinois athletic department last night unveiled the results of an "18-month collaboration with Nike" by introducing new basketball and football jerseys, according to Loren Tate of the Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE. The basketball unis have two noticeable changes: a "zig-zag panel from armpit to the bottom of the shorts" and a new "branding element, a small victory badge with the Block I and alternating orange and white stripes representing the Memorial Stadium columns." The badge will appear "on every uniform and joins the Block I as the two primary Illini logos." The football jerseys came in three different colors -- orange, navy blue and white -- while the helmets "had block I's on the side and a stripe over the top." The new identity "will debut with the football and basketball programs next season, and will gradually expand across all sports." Illinois AD Mike Thomas: "We approached Nike two years ago. ... It was our goal to gain consistency in our brand while meshing the past with a modern look." Tate notes there will be a "consistency to the primary colors of sun-orange and sky-blue, the Block I will not vary, and slanted lettering, in some cases multi-colored, will be uniform" (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 4/17).'s Brian Bennett wrote the new basketball unis are "more striking," but the football jersey "looks sleek and modern, and those orange helmets are pretty sweet." Bennett: "A program that hasn't had much success or national relevance of late can use any buzz it can possibly generate" (, 4/16).

ORANGE JUICED: In Syracuse, Nate Mink reports Syracuse yesterday unveiled three new Nike football jerseys for the '14 season, an "all-white look, an all-gray look and an all-blue look." The team will have white, blue and "anodized orange" helmets, and the combinations "can be mixed and matched on a weekly basis." The school "did promise orange tops and pants will be revealed at a later date." The word "discipline" is "written on the inside of the road white uniform," while the home blue jersey includes the phrase "lock the gate." The jersey numbers will be featured in an "elongated font size" that is meant to "represent gothic-style architecture seen in New York City and around campus." The numbers "also pay homage" to the school's retired No. 44 jersey, worn by notbale SU football players including Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little. Each jersey number includes "stripes slanted at a 44-degree angle," a pattern "mirrored on the uniform pant lines and shoulder panels" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 4/17).
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