One of the main focal points of Steve Pederson's tenure will be slowly removed over the next couple of years. Rumors started popping up in the last few months that Pitt was looking to go back to the well-liked Script logo as it was being used more and more in advertising, team logos, and more. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Sam Werner, Scott Barnes revealed Pitt will be moving all sports to the Pitt Script logo by the 2016-2017 season in the current Navy Blue and Vegas Gold colors.
When Script was brought back to Pitt football last October , I wrote about how badly it was handled. No official press release, no new merch. Just a sticker on the helmet was all that was really done, and it was broke first by a player on the team. It looks like Barnes knows how to handle this properly, and the front page of the sports section is a great place to start. They could have done a countdown or something to hype it up, but I think we'll see a lot more of that stuff when the actual uniforms start rolling out.
Along with the announcement of the logo change, Barnes also revealed that new Script apparel will be rolled out in the Spring. Barnes seems to truly understand the significance of having one logo, and one unified face of Pitt Athletics
When that Pitt Script is showing, we want people all over the country to understand that's the University of Pittsburgh. That brand is a no-brainer.
"It’s a vehicle to tell our story, who we are," Barnes said. "It’s something that once you build brand equity in, it helps you tell your story. That’s Pitt. If you have success, which we believe we will, then that just grows your opportunities. To be all over the map with our logos, it sends the wrong signal. If we’re going to do this right, we’re going to do it together."
SWOON. Barnes went on to say that block Pitt has been "frozen" and that any new projects or facilities will have the Script logo used. It will take up to three years to completely change all of the signage and other details around Pitt which is completely understandable. There's a lot of things out there with the Pitt block (and other) logos. It also makes sense it will take a full year to move all sports to the Script Logo, as it really does take that long for Nike to make those changes. Pitt will have submitted the uniforms for this year LAST fall. The lead times for these things are huge.
Barnes hints in the article that there are some "special things" for Script coming in the spring, but is not ready to share that yet. I had a higher up Pitt official reveal to me that the Pitt Athletic Department under Scott Barnes has a totally different feel to it. For the first time in a while, there is a clear vision, and a plan to accomplish things at Pitt. This official was around the last regime, and their excitement was genuinely palpable. They think Pitt fans will be very very happy with what's to come in this new era of Pitt sports. Granted, this is the most "Blue and Gold glasses" view of it, but I could see what they were talking about. They also mentioned that little mistakes like the three different shades of gold on the football uniforms will go away. Little details like that will be right and unified in the new uniforms which is great to hear. Barnes mentioned also how he was pretty much inundated by fans telling him they should go back to the old logo. The crazy part is he actually listened! Imagine that! An athletic director listening to what the fan base wants. While this will be very expensive for Pitt, I think it'll be offset by the sheer amount of merch sales that will happen. I now have an entire closet of outdated Pitt gear that needs Script.
I was originally someone who scoffed at bringing back the Script in the old colors, but after seeing how it looks in the new colors, I really think it's the best of both worlds. I know some don't like how the newer colors aren't very unique, but I think the colors are very attractive. Combining the Script with those colors improves both, in my opinion. I think it's a great nod to tradition, but recognizing this is a different era. Hopefully, it's a very successful one.