April 2, 2013

Branding the identity

Athletic director Greg McGarity wanted to make one thing perfectly clear during Tuesday's press conference to introduce a new department-wide identity system coordinated with NIKE as it relates to Georgia's nationally prominent collegiate brand.

"We're not changing the "G," McGarity said. "We're not going to alter our primary mark, but we did feel like we needed some consistency in our program for all other sports."

According to McGarity, the school has worked for the past 15 months with NIKE in order to develop what is being described as an innovative and cohesive" athletic brand that "reflects the unique qualities of Georgia Athletics while promoting a consistent and unified look across all sports."

McGarity also made it clear that none of the Bulldogs' former logos and designs are being replaced.

"We're not taking anything away," the AD added. "We're simply adding to what we have in our tool chest."

So how will this be reflected in Georgia's football uniforms?

Actually, not a lot.

Other than the material, the only discernable differences are the rounded numbers instead of the block lettering used in previous years.

The biggest difference will be the material itself.

Georgia's jerseys from a texture standpoint, will resemble those worn by the Bulldogs when they played Boise State two season ago in the Georgia Dome.

"I'm pretty pumped. Obviously the design is not very different, but the material is awesome. The new Pro Combat material. We got to wear it in the Boise State game a couple of years ago and it's a lot more flexible, breathable and lighter. I love the material," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "It's something we asked Coach (Mark) Richt the day of the game, 'we know we're not going to keep them but if we could get these materials in our colors it would be pretty awesome."

Along with updates to the school's football uniforms, the men's and women's basketball teams, along with the track and field uniforms will be updated to utilize consistent new fonts and numbers in competition for 2013-2014.

Other sports, such as baseball, will phase in new uniforms over the next two seasons.

Fans will be able to see the new lettering at Saturday's G-Day game painted in the end zone, but the Bulldogs will not unveil the updated uniforms until the fall.

"In evaluating our teams with our 15 head coaches, every team had different lettering, a different font and it really didn't bring one font being consistent with the University of Georgia," McGarity said. "What this did was provide a consistent look across our athletic programs."

Georgia is one of four schools nationally getting such a design upgrade. NIKE officials present refused to release any further info.

Along with the uniform-specific tweaks, NIKE and Georgia also introduced a series of secondary logos, including a refined Bulldog logo that is being restricted to non-apparel merchandise until notice.

"We're excited about this program whose guidelines embrace the history and tradition of Georgia athletics and positions the Georgia brand to reach a continually expanding and evolving audience," McGarity said. "This program will also bring a more consistent look to our logos, uniforms, field markings and other areas where our marks are displayed."

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