New Nike Uniforms Take ASU By Surprise

Apr 13, 2011 4:20pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Tia Castaneda blogs: The tiny pitchfork-wielding devil with the mischievous grin has been a fixture on ASU’s football field.  But yesterday Arizona State University gave their beloved maroon mascot Sparky a backseat, revealing new football helmets with a simple large yellow pitchfork emblazoned over black. Images courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics The helmets were introduced alongside several other new ASU uniforms, all designed by Nike. ASU is one of many colleges to partner with the global sports brand in the past two years.  The new ASU football uniforms bear a striking resemblance to the Nike-designed University of Oregon black uniforms that debuted last year. Earlier in 2010 Nike announced they would be the exclusive provider for Arkansas’ Razorback Athletics.  Nike’s influence also extends to Washington State University, which introduced new Nike uniforms yesterday as well. In a room packed with students, media and hall-of-famers, the ASU athletics department unveiled the new designs. Jim Healey, the voice of the Sun Devils since 1988, emceed the ASU event along with athletics vice president, Lisa Love.  Love says the updated pitchfork represents not only the “past, present, and future,” but represents the “integrity, scholarship and winning tradition” of Sun Devil athletics. 
“Our friends at Nike were fantastic at stepping up to the plate and helping us,” Love said. The maroon and gold uniforms were also redesigned, but students fixated on the newest color: black. “The logo itself is nice, I suppose it stands out… but black? I hope those are not going to be worn during summer, or home games,” said Josh Peterson, 22, of Apache Junction, Ariz. “I like the fact that the school is trying to enhance themselves and update. At least it shows some awareness.” Haley Shook, a 19-year-old sophomore, is more accepting of the new look: “I like them, I like the helmets… but they kind of make us look like Tritons.” Junior Charmaine Genge said, “At first I couldn't tell a difference, and didn't notice the changes made to the uniform, until I saw the black one.” She added, “I think the black one looks really nice.”   A new Facebook campaign asks students to “black out” (instead of “gold out”) the stadium when the Sun Devils kick off against Missouri later this year. The athletic department also debuted a new font called “Sun Devil Bold Lettertype,” which is now owned by ASU and Sun Devil Athletics.  The famous pitchfork was the inspiration behind the font.  Love describes it as “simple” and “classy.” The redesign came at zero cost to the university state funds, but a donor paid for the uniforms, according to ASU officials. Before the new uniforms were unveiled, ASU fueled student speculation by releasing numerous videos over the past month telling the student body that the Arizona State University brand is due for an overhaul.  One video that went viral from the ASU athletics department shows how the university has changed throughout the years.  "Times change, children grow up, things evolve… don’t fear change… just the Sun Devils. It's time, April 2011," a mysterious narrator says. "People might ask why we’re changing … I say to them, 'When did we stop changing?'"

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