Tonight the University of Pittsburgh officially released its rebranding efforts to bring back the script across the school's complete platform of sports. Perhaps I'm biased, but the entire thing was completely well done. Here's a recap of the evening from my perspective with some news and notes.
First, I'm not going to fill up this post with photos of all of the uniforms. You can check those out on PBS' Tweetcap as he did a great job of capturing everything real-time on Twitter and compiling it into a post. Head on over there for those.
Went to the VIP event, which was held about an hour and a half before the public reveal. Pretty much every coach was up there chatting away and it was a nice event with probably around 150 people or so. It was mostly a meet-greet deal but Barnes did briefly address the crowd. Two main points he emphasized were that Pitt wanted to build up brand equity with the script and that, as he stated before, this was about a three-year deal in terms of getting everything changed over. Nothing new there and as you would expect, he said Pitt would work on the most visible areas first.
Down at the main event, Andrew Stockey served as the emcee and there was a nice turnout. As advertised, the store was stocked full of Pitt script stuff with next to nothing in there of the old logo. There was a silent auction going and they had a raffle as well. What was great was that some ancillary stuff was even set up such as signing up for a Pitt alumni license plate, etc. They had the room covered pretty well and all of the athletics staff was approachable.
Had a chance to talk with one of the staff that helps coordinate the Fan Experience Committee stuff. He said this was a very long haul in terms of effort and they've literally been at it since October prepping for this. As I wrote earlier today, those guys/gals deserve a round of applause because this entire reveal was laid out and marketed extremely well.
To the unis themselves, my thoughts on a personal level are very positive. I'm not a fan of the numbers on the football jerseys but I like the overall look/feel of just about everything, to be honest. To the football uniforms, I can't stress how much of a fan I am of the blue matte helmet. I'll probably need to see it in context of, say, a gold jersey and blue pants or something, but that helmet is probably my favorite feature.
Another thought I had was that I couldn't get over how much I liked the basketball uniforms. I've always wondered if script would work well there, but personally, I loved them. Same goes for many of the Olympic sports. The baseball and wrestling uniforms were the highlights there.
One thing to mention is that, as Barnes said at the event, several of these were still in production (i.e. soccer, etc.). He didn't say that about football to my recollection but there could still be some tweaks/modifications, I'm guessing.
Finally a few people asked me this in person and on Twitter today - what was the big deal? We've seen the script. The main focal point of today's event was to reveal the script across all of Pitt's sports. When they first brought it back under Pederson, keep in mind that it was only for football. Barnes announced a year later that all sports would use it, and this event was really about releasing it across the board. This goes far beyond football and even basketball. It's a unified look across all of Pitt's athletics teams and facilities.
Consider, too, that the last time the script was released under Steve Pederson, the athletics department took a ton of heat for that and a sloppy release. This was the exact opposite of that so it's hard to complain about them making too much out of it, etc. It's a big deal because fans have clamored for it for so long.
The seal will remain in certain things ... letterhead, etc. And I think that's the right move. But today was about the official transition to the script for all things athletics and even some things beyond. The school mostly use it for athletics, but you'll likely see it elsewhere as well - just not on some things where the seal will remain. The idea here is really to focus use the script to drive home as a branding message whenever possible.
With all of that said, what do you think of the uniforms? Keep in mind, that this is for the overall appeal across the board? Let me know what you liked, didn't like in the comments section.