Just when you think things are going all too quiet for the Georgia Bulldogs to actually make it the G-Day Game this Saturday without any controversy, leave it to Nike to go and finally rock the boat in Athens.
Seriously Nike? What’s up with the new logo and colors? Don’t you know that Georgia fans simply hate change? They all want to live in what they believe were their glory days back in the 1980s.
Alright; Alright. That might have been a bit too harsh, but you do have to admit that was funny. Right?
In all seriousness, most Bulldogs and their fans thought this logo was an April Fools joke since it was released to the public on Monday. There is no doubt it fooled this writer for sure (Nike actually re-released the press release on Tuesday as well). But all in all, the Power G campaign is pretty solid and represents some of the swagger that Nike knows resides with the university as a whole and not just the football program.
“We’re excited about this program’s visual guidelines, which embrace the history and tradition of Georgia Athletics and positions the Georgia brand to reach a continually expanding and evolving audience,” UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity said in the NIKE press release. “This program will also bring a more consistent look to our logos, uniforms, field markings and other areas where our marks are displayed.”
But there are two obvious questions that need to be asked. One; what do Georgia fans think of this new logo and colors? Two; Is Nike jumping on Georgia to be the eastern version of the Oregon Ducks?
Everyone knows that fans around the state and in Athens are going to voice their opinion over this new logo. That is a no brainer. But the second part of that equation is something to take seriously for a second or two.
The future of the Ducks and the run they have had in College Football over the past five or so seasons has been a marketing juggernaut for Nike. Now Nike does have its hands in most every major athletic program in the country, but Oregon is clearly the program everyone thinks of when it comes to their brand. And if it there was any other school out there Nike could target to bring its marketing genius to the south and the SEC, there is no team more perfect than the University of Georgia.
So with that in mind, what would be the reception for Bulldog fans if there were some neon red uniforms with metallic silver helmets unveiled against the Clemson Tigers to kick off the season? Or better yet, a full shinny silver uni with a black helmet and white and red numbers against the Florida Gators?
Ludicrous? Far from it to be honest. With the recruiting hotbed that is Georgia, the machine that is the SEC and the historical relevance of the Bulldogs, fans of the red and black need to prepare themselves now. Nike has Athens in its cross-hairs and it’s about to unleash all kinds of gear to rock your world.
M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.
Follow him @woodysmalls.