Utah State Director of Athletics Scott Barnes and Nike President and Utah State Alumnus Charlie Denson address the media Saturday at the press conference announcing Utah State's new brand and identity program.
April 28, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State Athletics Director Scott Barnes:
"What an exciting time for Aggie Athletics. I think you're going to love the end product. It's a madhouse in here and I absolutely love it. This really exemplifies the spirit of Aggie Athletics and the Aggie Nation. We appreciate your turnout and attendance here. This is a project that Charlie Denson, the president of Nike, and I started talking about maybe four years ago in rough form, and in last two in terms of the Nike team and our team putting this together. You need to understand that we are absolutely in rarefied air. Nike isn't working with Mountain West and WAC schools. They're working with four or five, or six of the most elite schools in the country. Through Charlie Denson's passion as a former Aggie football player, not to mention that he has a little bit of leverage as the president of Nike. He and his team have done a wonderful job helping us get to this point. On behalf of nearly 400 student-athletes, our coaches and staff, and the Aggie Nation, we thank you for everything you've done for us."
"In this process, Nike, our staff and the focus groups involved paid particular attention to celebrating and honoring the past - our history - and moving forward with the new design."
"We wanted to honor the past and clean some things up and move it forward. We are the only U-State in America, and we want to be proud of that. This mark is used by itself, along with this we have secondary marks and wordmarks that Nike has worked with us to develop. The tough one was the bull. There have been many renditions of the bull over numbers of years, and we thought absolutely that's part of our history and we want to protect and preserve. Just a brief comment on usage. You'll see the U-State logo by itself, the bull will complement the U-State logo. You'll see some examples of that on our uniforms. This can be used not only with the U-State logo, but with our new wordmarks. We have the "Utah State" and "Aggies" with the ligature, the connection of the letters. As with the U-State logo and the bull, these are our trademarks. These are ours. We own these. These will be complementary to the marks that you've seen just before. As our staff was working on this, one of the things we focused on was where the most impact is. As we change out to the new logo, where's the most impact? Absolutely, 100 percent, it's our uniforms. Last year, the Nike team came out to a basketball game and they were so taken aback by the Hurd. They went back and talked to Charlie and asked how to capture that and celebrate that. Nike has not only branded Utah State University Athletics, they've branded the Hurd and provided 3,000 t-shirts for Hurd members."
"In terms of usage and impact, one place to put it is the website. The new website will go up Monday. The next one is as you come in to Cache Valley, the old drive-in wall coming into town. In addition to uniforms, the biggest impact we can make is our playing surfaces and scoreboard. In addition to the center hung scoreboard in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, the new auxiliary boards and the 40-foot table sign will all carry the new logo and new brand, high-resolution video. We're excited about the project. In fact, so excited that when you combine all these elements in the Spectrum it will make you forget all about the color of the seats. Let's move on to another area. You all know we celebrated Merlin Olsen Field last year, we put up a new statue. We painted Merlin Olsen's name on the field, and forever it will be Merlin Olsen Field as a tribute to one of the greatest Aggies that ever lived. We thought we probably needed to do a little more. As of the end of July, we'll have a brand new turf field."
"I'd like to take this opportunity to bring Charlie Denson up, President of Nike, former Aggie football player. You need to know that they've donated three uniforms to every sports program we have. They've done the Hurd piece. They have been wonderful and it couldn't have been done without Charlie's passion for this place. Let's give it up for Charlie Denson."
Nike President Charlie Denson:
"It's great to be back in Cache Valley, great to be back in Logan. I'm going to say just a few things before turning it over to the people who actually did all the work. I want to tell you a little bit of background behind what we did and why we did it, and what we expect from it. When you think about Utah State Athletics, or you think about Utah State University, is the fact that quite frankly you have a bigger brand than you might realize. There are some basic tenants to managing a brand that you have to do to maximize it. We started talking and started looking at the image of Utah State Athletics and the image we wanted it to be. As Scott said, it was all over the map - logos and identifications. We've really been working with college athletic departments with their brand and what it means. The idea that now Utah State has its own set of marks, they own them and are trademarked, and there is a very consistent use and set of rules in place, we can start to build equity. We can build that image and identity around not only the state of Utah, but throughout the country. That's incredibly important when you think about the long-term impact of what we do. Some of the other schools that Utah State is now in the company of are schools like Duke, the University of Florida and Michigan State. We have redone their image packages as well. This group is getting busier and busier because most of the major universities in the country that we work with now want to be part of this program. We are able to use some of the work we've done at Utah State as leverage in the program. Where it comes to life first is on the field of play. That's where we have the most fun. Our goal is to take the insight of the athletes and make it better. We want to make it easier for them to compete, easier for them to attain their goals. Some of the product you're going to see is literally some of the best product you're going to see. You're going to see football uniforms that will be on the field in the NFL. You're going to see basketball uniforms that will be on the court at the Olympics in London this summer. All of that will be part of the Utah State arsenal when the teams take the field next year. It's been a lot of fun. I want to thank Scott (Barnes), Jana (Doggett), everyone that we've worked with. We've gone through every yearbook, every piece of history that has gone into the design of the marks. There's a lot of heritage that has been explored. We've talked to countless student-athletes, gotten their opinions. And this is a result of all of that. I couldn't be happier to be here today."