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New ASU Uniforms: Why Rebranding Makes Sense For The Sun Devils


That's all you need to know when you wonder about today's event at Arizona State. The buzz was palpable.

I arrived at the Memorial Union around 1:20 in the afternoon, and picked up my media credentials for the unveiling. After they escorted the media into the ballroom, they began to fill up the remaining seats with legions of anxious ASU fans.

The room was exceptionally dark, with menacing smoke wafting across the stage. The platform was accompanied by matching big-screen televisions.

ASU knew it had your attention. After months of buildup, the day had finally come to unveil the new look of the Sun Devils, and it wasn't going to be a quick release party. They were too smart for that.

Rebranding a program is not without risks. It's easy to alienate your biggest financial contributors (hereafter referred to as "the boosters") if you do not create an image that pays homage to the past while focusing on the future. In short, you need to be mindful of tradition.

Tradition can only take you so far, though. From the videos that were played on the televisions at the event today, it became painfully obvious that most of ASU's greatest memories are from, well, a long time ago.

It seems like the current administration running the athletic program at Arizona State University finally gets it. ASU is one of the biggest institutions in the world, with alumni stretched across the globe in large numbers.

Most of these alumni weren't cheering for the Sun Devils when Frank Kush was the coach of the football team. Many have seen the football program spiral downward since 1997.

Today was a day that addressed 14 years of inconsistency, and a listless program took a huge step in the right direction. It truly seemed to be an "example of the determination and innovation of [ASU]," like athletic director Lisa Love said this afternoon.

Sparky has been an iconic logo, recognizable far and wide. Don't overestimate his influence, however -- he's just a skinny devil with a mustache to a lot of people in this country. 

Today was a bold step forward for the Sun Devils. No matter how you feel about the uniforms and new logo, give it time. See how the recruits react, and then determine if this change was worthwhile or not.

Either way, the entire sports world is talking Sun Devils today. That in itself is a huge accomplishment.