UI re-examining logos

The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will be re-examining its logos and "branding" over the next 18 months, though officials say that effort is unrelated to Chief Illiniwek.

Athletics hasn't updated any of its brands since before 2007, "with the Chief or without," said Assistant Athletic Director Marty Kaufmann, who oversees licensing and corporate sponsorships.

"We do need something to spark interest, to help with recruiting, fan engagement, the image of the department," Kaufmann said.

The UI is one of the top three dozen collegiate brands in the country, even when its teams don't enjoy successful seasons, Kaufmann said. But "there's been nothing new to the brand to drive people to buy something just because it's new," he said.

Athletics logos rely now heavily on the orange "Block I symbol," paired at times with the word "Illinois."

The UI will work with Nike's graphic designers and marketing experts, at the company's cost, to "refresh our look and our brand," he said. It could be as simple as making colors more consistent or tweaking a font, he said.

The results likely won't be apparent on uniforms and the like until the fall of 2014, Kaufmann said.

The rebranding effort will not address the mascot issue, though "it doesn't mean that in the future there's not a place to add something different if the campus decides to do that," Kaufmann said.

 

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