"Does Ohio State have 15 uniforms? No. Does Alabama? No. Does Michigan? No. Does USC? No."
And neither does Rutgers. From the press release from the Athletic Department:
The Rutgers University Department of Athletics, in partnership with Nike, unveiled an updated brand and identity system at the annual R Awards at the RAC this evening. The refreshed secondary mark and added elements create consistency for an athletics program poised to complete its second successful season in the Big Ten, the nation's premier athletic and academic Conference.
Student-athletes represented all 24 sports on stage during tonight's R Awards by wearing the Block R and the new secondary mark, headlined by new football, women's soccer and men's and women's basketball uniforms.
"Having strong brand identity is fundamental to our success," said Director of Athletics Patrick Hobbs. "We want our programs to have a consistent look that projects our bold aspirations on the playing field. We are thankful to our partners at Nike for working with us to accomplish this goal."
Over the past 18 months, Rutgers and Nike collaborated on the brand evolution program that honors the transformative and hardworking nature of its teams and personnel. Rutgers and Nike worked with student-athletes, coaches, administrators and alumni to pay tribute to key attributes of the institution.
As part of the updated brand identity, all 24 Rutgers teams will showcase consistent colors, logos, lettering and numerals over the course of the next few seasons. The football uniforms offer a very traditional look, with visibly larger numbers, chainmail pattern and new helmets. Women's basketball, Women's Soccer and Men's Basketball also support traditional looks, and add both the chainmail and secondary mark as well.
The Block R (spirit mark) is the emblem for strong, emotive support given by students, alumni and all those associated with Rutgers. The Block R suggests pride and affinity and will continue to serve as the primary logo for Rutgers University Athletics.
"The Block R is who we are, impactful and representative of the whole University, so that is untouched," said Hobbs. "Nike created a great secondary mark for us to enhance our story and brand identity."
The topic of changing the football uniform was fodder around these parts as our Griffin Whitmer hit the issue several times, like....
I got my licks in on helmets, too.
But Ash was very clear that Rutgers would be straight forward and clean in its look, whoever was making them.
One of the reasons that the topic came up was the fact that the current Nike contract with Rutgers expires in 2017. It is a contract befitting a school in the American, not the Big Ten. Speculation was that the next one - with us as a member of the preeminent academic and athletic conference in the country - would be more lucrative, whether with Nike or another brand.
In fact, it isn't just football being impacted. The new "secondary" mark:
In addition to the secondary mark, color consistency and pattern, Rutgers Athletics will have a consistent numeral set, font and word marks.
And now, we know what they'll be.
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.
Watch Nike discuss the process of the rebranding of Rutgers here.