The Commonwealth: A Tale of Two Brands

March 29th, 2012 by Dan Barczak

Louisville vs Kentucky. David vs Goliath.  Pitino vs Calipari. Mentor vs Student. Red vs Blue. Big East vs the SEC. Anthony Davis’ Unibrow vs Peyton Siva’s Meticulous Goatee. Adidas vs Nike. #1 vs #2 (coaches’ salaries, that is). Juggernaut revenue streams (In 2011 alone, Louisville generated a staggering $40.9 million from basketball related events in the 2010-2011 season. Up nearly 40% from the previous year and $12 million more than Duke, who finished second at $28.9 million.)

Put all this together, and there is a ton of emotion, pride, tension, and money tied up in these two programs – their Brands. Both Louisville and Kentucky are 2 of only 3 teams (joining Syracuse) that averaged more than 20,000 fans per home game last season. There are millions of articles, posts, tweets, & messages being thrown out there right now from everyone at the big networks to So-and-So in the Commonwealth arguing with his brother, who happens to root for the other team. These are amazingly rabid fan bases. Dedicated, loyal, some clinically insane. (more…)

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At least go out looking good…

January 12th, 2011 by Dan Barczak

Alright, this is the second time I’m talking about football uniforms, but when design, fashion, performance & ridiculous innovation come together, I want to talk about it. It’s no secret that the University of Oregon is Nike’s incubator for amazing testing and trial of their latest gadgets, fashion, equipment, design & technology. From Bill Bowerman, to Steve Prefontaine and Phil Knight, the story hasn’t changed: take chances, scream innovation (don’t whisper), and make a statement.

Nike takes chances every year with the Oregon Ducks and Monday was no exception. (Check out the history here.) From carbon fiber helmets to neon socks & cleats, Cliff Kuang over at Fast Co. shares how Nike incorporated the metaphor of speed into even the smallest details of Oregon’s uni’s. Todd Van Horn, Nike’s top football uniform designer, talks details on how they made Oregon look fresh, while Auburn looked a bit stuck in the 50′s. It would be different if they had uni’s like Penn State, which have looked cool for decades. Oregon lost the game, but won the battle of marketing & design.

Check out the article here. And another on ESPN.

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