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College Football Branding: Strength and Tradition

There is a buzz around the country as young students board the school bus and parents empty their nests. College students are packing their belongings into every spare crevice of their vehicles and heading off for two semesters of learning and camaraderie. All over the nation, the excitement is building for what many consider the greatest time of the year: college football season!

Beyond teams and uniforms and winning or losing, college football is a big business. And with any good business, college football teams rely on consistent and emotion-evoking branding.

Here in Georgia, the University of Georgia boasts one of the most recognizable mascots in the NCAA and, used as a secondary logo (to the distinct Georgia “G”), the bulldog embodies the spirit of UGA athletics portraying strength in an iconic way. Georgia’s brand guidelines embrace the history and tradition of Georgia Athletics.

In neighboring Tennessee, the “Power T” logo has stood as a primary icon for The University of Tennessee Athletics for over 50 years. With Nike as a new sponsor this year and a relatively new coaching staff, Tennessee revealed an updated brand identity that is both timeless and progressive, retaining familiarity of some key elements while modernizing others.

credit: Joshua Rainey Photography,

Most college football fans can quickly and easily identify the maize and blue winged helmets of Michigan or the vibrant yellow and green of the Oregon Ducks. Athletic departments are even giving their branding a boost through savvy use of social media; the Oregon Ducks, for example, use inspiring and eye-catching imagery extremely well through GoDucks on Instragram. A strong team brand identity, which includes elements like uniforms, helmets, colors, and mascots, can attract top player prospects, generate buzz, grow a fan base, and sell merchandise and tickets. recently posted What’s Your College Football Brand?, a fun look at college football teams and what their brand identities say – and what they should say. It is a great read as we all get pumped up for the season to begin.

We haven’t branded a college football team yet, but we are no strangers to sports branding (we worked with a Little League travel baseball team). Here at id8, we take branding seriously. Whether our clients represent consumer brands, sports teams, or B2B companies, we stay focused on needs, goals, and success. We create brands that are relevant and memorable. We make sure we tell the right story. In fact, our client from Jeremiah Consulting said of id8: “There was no canned or formulaic approach to their work for us. It was highly customized and very relevant. They captured who we were… they told our story in a way that brings us the customers that make our business.”

Learn more about the id8 three-phase process to branding success. And… go team!