Story by DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer, Video by Noah Torr | Executive Producer
Say goodbye to inconsistency. Say hello to unity.
Baylor Athletics launched the “Baylor United” brand in partnership with Nike before the Green and Gold spring game on Saturday at McLane Stadium, unifying all 18 of the university’s athletic programs under one brand.
Mack Rhodes, the Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics said the rebrand was a way to move the athletics programs forward.
“This process was really about serving, respecting the past and great traditions. You know [Nike] has taken an iconic mark for us and just refining it, tweaking it, but then also, moving forward. And thinking to the future and introducing some new elements,” Rhodes said.
The event unveiled an updated interlocking BU logo without an outline, a new bear logo as a secondary mark, new uniforms with revised colors and an athletics font system that will be used across all of Baylor’s sports.
Rhodes noted that the project began 18-months ago in November of 2017 when Baylor Athletics partnered with Nike’s Graphic Identity Group to rebuild the Baylor brand.
“We were picking ourselves up from the ground and looking to move forward, and quite frankly we weren’t getting a lot of phone calls from people to have a partnership. And when we were calling people, there weren’t a lot of folks answering the phone, but Nike did,” Rhodes said. “We’re grateful to Nike for that belief. It wasn’t just a belief in the athletics department, but it was a belief in our institution, and it was a belief in our community.”
Prior to the partnership with Nike, each team had their own individual contracts with different uniform providers, presenting varied colored uniforms and fonts. The new uniforms feature the same color scheme throughout all teams, with white, Baylor green, gray and even entirely championship gold uniforms for the football team. The new font featured notches within the letters, representing bear claws, and are bit more rounded and less blocked out than the previous font.
Baylor’s athletic programs are the first representation of the university on a national stage. On any given game day, millions of people tune in to watch the Bears on the football field, the soccer field, the basketball court and the baseball and softball diamonds. With the success that Baylor’s teams have been building, from winning the Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl last December to the women’s basketball championship run this month, the Bears have become more recognizable to people outside the Baylor family.
According to Baylor Vice President for Marketing Communications Jason Cook, the rebrand also provided an opportunity to launch a new bear logo as well.
“As part of the Baylor United launch, we did unveil a new bear. What we found is our current bear is not very beloved by current students or alumni. What’s actually interesting is we have a long string of bears here at Baylor that truly have not become vey loved, outside of Sailor bear of course,” Cook said. “The new bear is quite fierce. He represents the passion that we have here at Baylor.”