Friday, February 25, 2011

Penn State uniforms to get even more boring.

There is a school of thought that admires Penn State for the spartan nature of its team uniform. The white helmet with the simple blue stripe, blue jersey and white pants recall the Mad Men days of smash-mouth football without the vulgarities things such as teams with a gazillion alternative unis or players with intricately choreographed touchdown celebrations. Others see it as representative of a team stuck in the past wearing modestly nondescript uniforms. If you're in the latter category, then get ready for the Nittany Lions unis to get even more boring.

Guido D'Elia, the Penn State director of football communications and branding, told a class at the university that the team's uniforms would be getting a slight makeover for the 2011 season. 

"Speaking to a class at Penn State, D'Elia indicated the home-uniform white trim around the neck and on the sleeves would be eliminated. Also, the road-uniform blue trim would be eliminated. (If true, Penn State's road uniform would be whiter than the Boston Celtics of the 1980s.)"

First off, can Penn State's uniform get even more generic? Second, is there ironic title than "Penn State director of football communications and branding?" Branding is such a 21st century term that having it used in the same context as the Penn State Nittany Lions borders on the edge between being  a complete contradiction in terms, and an absolute paradox of logic. 

There is merit in doing things like they did in the old days, but this is taking things to extreme. The all blue jersey without any kind of trim is two shakes of a rat's tail away from being your average pee wee football league jersey. Old-school sensibilities are admirable, but at the same time, there is at least on some level do something to be distinguishable. 

Penn State is bordering on being totally generic when it comes to its team uniform. It might wrangle a few fans if say, there was a logo on the team helmet. But at least it would give the team a comfortable level of identification. It wouldn't hurt when it came to licensing, either.  

Maybe when Joe Paterno finally retires, Penn State will decide truly enter the 21st century realm of brand identification. Until then, its old school mentality is beginning to border on the ridiculous. 

(via The Morning Call)

1 comment:

Herbalife Distributor PSU Alumni said...

I hope Penn State continues with the tradition of "team above all else". The lack of glitz and flash on the PSU uniforms illustrates an uncommon integrity to the sport football - not the image. Joepa will outlive us all. Go State.