‘Rebranding’ of OSU athletics unveiled
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Oregon State sophomore wide receiver Brandin Cooks put it best.
“It’s a young life, sometimes you have to be honest — you want the new flashy things,” Cooks said.
The Beavers unveiled those new flashy things Monday night at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.
Two years ago, while negotiating a contract, the topic of rebranding came up between the university and Nike. The OSU athletic department wanted a new look for the Beaver logo.
“But Nike wanted to push, like a demanding head coach,” said OSU Athletic Director Bob De Carolis. “If we’re going to do this the right way, they said, we need to put everything on the table for discussion.”
Former basketball player Lamar Hurd led off the event as the master of ceremonies, followed by speeches from De Carolis and Todd Van Horne, Nike’s vice president and creative director for football and baseball.
In his speech, Van Horne mentioned reaching out to student athletes, students, alumni and fans about the “universal set of values” that signify Oregon State.
“These sets of principles were our yardstick,” Van Horn said. “We said, ‘Everything we design has to measure up to these.’”
But the biggest goal Nike had was for the new brand of Oregon State to be unique.
“We wanted an evolution,” Van Horn said. “We wanted something that’s contemporary. And we actually wanted something that was really distinctive from everybody else in the nation, and certainly from everybody in the Pac-12.”
The nearly two-year process came to a conclusion Monday night with the introduction of a new brand for OSU athletics.
Oregon State introduced its new Beaver logo and new uniforms for the fall and winter sports, with the new uniforms for spring sports to be released soon.
Athletes went into this event with the same anticipation of the unknown as the students, alumni and fans in the crowd.
“I was a little shocked. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Rashaad Reynolds, cornerback on the football team. “When I saw them, I was happy and glad that Nike did it for us. It’s a big step, not just for the team but for the organization.”
The new football uniforms feature three sets of new helmets, jerseys and pants, which come in black, orange and white, with a hint of metallic bronze.
The black helmets go back to a throwback look with no logo on the sides, similar to the Nike Pro Combat helmets the Beavers wore in the 2010 Civil War. The white helmets show off the new logo, while the orange helmet has numbers on the side.
The all-orange look was the biggest hit for the football players.
“The orange [uniforms] are clean,” said Kevin Cummings, wide receiver on the football team. “We have to bring those out against USC and the big boys.”
Athletes from all sports were excited with what they saw.
“Everything’s awesome,” said Alyssa Martin, guard on the women’s basketball team. “The logo’s cool, the uniforms are light and fit really well. It’s a step in the right direction.”
“I love them,” said Roberto Nelson, guard on the men’s basketball team. “I wish we could wear them right now.”
De Carolis emphasized the two biggest purposes for the rebranding of OSU: creating a classic and contemporary look fans can be proud to wear and recruiting.
As Cooks said, it’s a young life and everybody wants the flashy uniforms. Having the attention rebranding will attract is crucial toward enticing high school players of all sports to come to Oregon State.
“When guys see this, they know that we’re up there with the other teams that are trying to be flashy,” Cummings said. “They’ll know that we’re winning games, we’re doing good in that part of the game. Now, we’re going out there and looking good.”
This university-wide rebranding will shine the spotlight on Oregon State in the upcoming year, but players want to make sure their on-field performance will match the hype.
“We have a lot of expectations now,” Cummings said. “We have to make those look good.”
Warner Strausbaugh, managing editor
On Twitter @WStrausbaugh