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MSU Athletics Unveils New Brand & Identity Program

April 22, 2010

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis introduced a department-wide brand and identity program on Friday, April 23 in the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center Auditorium.

When Hollis assumed the role of athletics director at Michigan State in January 2008, he stated, "everything would be done with ONE FOCUS." During his 30-plus years on campus as a student, alumnus and employee, he often observed that the Spartans were not always headed in the same direction. Nowhere was this fact more obvious than in the outward appearance of MSU's team uniforms.

"We have been an athletics program of different greens, logos, word-marks and uniform quality," Hollis said. "There has been a lack of consistency with regard to our brand. This inconsistency was a result both of using multiple suppliers for our apparel and of uniform decisions being made without a department-wide focus."

During the unveiling, student-athletes, representing football, men's basketball, women's basketball, hockey and volleyball, were on hand to model new uniforms for the 2010-11 season. These uniforms incorporate consistent use of colors, logos, lettering and numerals. A brand and identity standards manual also was presented that provides guidelines for the appropriate use of logos.

The lofty challenge of outfitting 25 teams and nearly 800 student-athletes in a consistent manner was made possible through an expanded partnership between Michigan State Athletics and Nike. In addition to providing teams with a consistent appearance, Spartan student-athletes will benefit from the continued innovation and unique performance advantages that the partnership with Nike will deliver.

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

"As an athletics department and a university, we are dedicated to maintaining an appreciation for our past, while also being committed to moving our university and athletics program boldly into the future," Hollis said.

The brand and identity program for Michigan State Athletics is the result of a nearly two-year collaborative effort between the Athletics Department and Nike that included input from university and athletic administration, coaches, and student-athletes. Representatives from the Athletics Department and Nike will be present at this event to provide additional information about the scope and benefits of the brand and identity program.

A Closer Look at the Michigan State New Identity Standards

To develop a strong, timeless, consistent identity system that reflects the great tradition and storied past of Michigan State University athletics and academics, and position the university for the future.

Michigan State University has a rich athletic and academic history. To keep these traditions alive, historically relevant marks that connect to the school and Spartan history have been utilized. Combined with contemporary typography, the new concept creates a cohesive identity program that not only respects the traditions of the university, but looks ahead to the promise of a great future.

A refined color palette allows for instant team identification and heightens emotional ties to the Spartan nickname and Greek history.
Primary Colors
SPARTAN GREEN: Evokes hope and growth. Symbolizes land and farming roots. WHITE: Represents integrity, hope, confidence and faith.
Secondary Accent Colors
SPARTAN SILVER: Symbolically represents intelligence, dignity, quality, industrial sleekness and modernity.
SPARTAN BRONZE: Symbolically represents strength and integrity, and was used as a material in Spartan armor.

Primary Identity
A consistent primary mark - the Spartan helmet logo - to represent the school clarifies the university's identity. The Spartan helmet logo is timeless, unique, and strong. Reinforcement of the primary identity will build worldwide brand equity.

A custom display face (Spartan Bold), which is used in the MICHIGAN STATE and SPARTANS logos, has been designed to enhance the overall identity system by using inspiration from Greek architecture and the Spartan ethos of simplicity and strength.

Tertiary Mark
The MSU Shield logo is inspired by Spartan battle weapons, and uses the university acronym as the base identifier. The mark's shape and color reflects Spartan shields, which were typically made of a wood core and then faced with bronze for strength.

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