Amid heavy criticism from some fans on social media, Florida State University apparently felt a need to explain to why it will change to a Nike-enhanced “Seminole Head” logo.
The athletic department issued a statement Thursday after the logo reportedly leaked out this week on T-shirts prematurely displayed Wal-Mart.
Just wait until the new football uniforms come out. According to Tomahawk Nation, a fan website covering FSU athletics, uniform changes are coming for all sports, with an eye on standardizing color schemes.
Radio personality Jeff Cameron, of WTSM-AM in Tallahassee, reported that there is a greater incorporation of Seminole Tribe of Florida imagery on the new football uniforms. Tomahawk Nation reported that the spear on the helmet will become more “Nike-ized.”
Among the tradition-minded FSU faithful, online comments on the logo change range from “cartoonish” to “horrendous” to “hatred.” One alumni started a petition on change.org demanding the current “Head” remain. Others wondered why the school is changing a look that has been in use since 1971.
The university’s athletic department offered a few answers.
“It is very important for you to know that the refinement we are making to our Seminole Head logo has been under development for almost two years and that the Seminole Tribe of Florida along with groups representing our student-athletes, coaches, boosters and university administration were consulted during the process,” a statement from the department said.
“During the research phase of the project, we were stunned by the results of a meeting with current student-athletes held over a year ago. When asked what they considered to be our primary symbol, the group was unanimous in listing the spear. In contrast, groups representing our coaches, supporters and administrators all listed the Seminole Head. This revelation reinforced a growing concern as we have seen a steady decline in the use of the Seminole Head logo on uniforms and fan apparel over the years.”
The university noted that logo, while recognizable and iconic, did not reproduce well in a number of media, is difficult to embroider and impossible to accurately represent on some materials, including at midfield at Doak Campbell Stadium.
“We believe this image is the best in all of sports and that the result of our efforts will maximize the symbol on a national level,” the university said. “The refined logo will allow us to use it more prominently across all platforms including our uniforms, sideline apparel and graphics.”
Nike designers were involved uniform redesigns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and other NFL teams, as well as the University of Oregon. FSU’s new look won’t be so untraditional, according to reports.
“We tasked Nike for help in refining the logo so that consistency can be achieved without diminishing the identity of the iconic image,” the university said. “We arrived at a design that can take FSU Athletics into the future.”
The release date of the logo is officially April 11 as part of an “Ignition Tradition” campaign.