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ASU Athletics unveils new brand, identity program

April 13, 2011

ASU Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love has introduced a universitywide brand and identity program.

The university has teamed with Nike, the world’s premier athletic branding company, for the past 12 months in a major rebranding campaign that launched April 12. Sun Devil Athletics is a Nike school and will benefit further from this association.

“When I arrived at ASU six years ago I noticed we were an athletics program which featured different shades of maroon and gold, different logos, multiple fonts and uniforms,” Love says. “There was a lack of real consistency with regard to our brand. This partnership with Nike, which began nearly a decade ago for uniforms, will springboard us to a new level of branding, giving us a coordinated universitywide focus that will support our aspirations as a high-performance athletic organization.”

“We are proud of the longstanding relationship we have had with Arizona State,” says Todd Van Horne, Nike’s global creative director. “Nike is a company that was born out of innovation. This combined with ASU’s spirit of innovation and change has helped us create a bold and powerful brand for Sun Devil Athletics.”

During the unveiling, student-athletes representing the sports of football, basketball, softball and volleyball modeled new uniforms for the 2011-2012 season. All 21 of ASU’s sports teams will receive new uniforms. These uniforms will incorporate consistent use of colors, logos, lettering and numerals. A brand and identity standards manual will be made available to licensees and university personnel detailing the new standards and design elements.

Throughout the project, equal attention was devoted to maintaining an appreciation for the traditions of the past, while positioning ASU for the future.

“As an athletics program and a university, we have undergone many changes over ASU’s 100-year history,” Love says.  “We have studied our past and are fully committed to moving boldly forward into the future.”

Throughout the process, ASU and Nike conducted focus groups and solicited feedback from student-athletes, coaches, students, faculty/staff, alumni and fans. The research yielded a set of recommendations for the development of the Sun Devil brand architecture, comprised of:

• a primary and secondary color palette;

• a custom Sun Devil Athletics font;

• and an exclusive and contemporary mark to be used consistently across all Sun Devil teams.

First, the rebranding adds two colors to the athletics color palette of maroon and gold: copper, for its prominence in Arizona history, and black, a long-anticipated return to the Sun Devil attitude.

The return of black to the Sun Devil attitude is a nod to the football teams of the 50s that wore black helmets. That combined with the strength, power and attitude black exudes made it an obvious choice for a third primary color. Additionally, Sun Devil Athletics has long embraced the majesty of the Arizona landscape, making copper, one of the states most recognized resources, a natural choice as an accent color.

Second, Nike developed a custom athletic font called Sun Devil Bold. This font, which is exclusive to Sun Devil Athletics, incorporates unique characteristics intended to represent the horns of its mascot Sparky or the tines of the pitchfork he carries.

The branding of merchandise will extend beyond athletic uniforms to casual apparel aimed at the Sun Devil consumer. This merchandise will be available to the general public in retail outlets, including Sparky’s Stadium Shop at Sun Devil Stadium, the ASU Bookstore and online at