UT’s “switch to the Swoosh”

I knew that Tennessee is in the process of abandoning its long-held “Lady Vols” label for its women’s sports teams except basketball.  I didn’t know the decision was tied in as part of the process of changing suppliers from Adidas to Nike.

Tennessee’s path to Nike hasn’t been entirely smooth, though.

The university’s decision, announced in November, to unify all sports except for women’s basketball with the Power T logo and “Volunteers” name as part of the university’s rebranding structure initially didn’t create much of a backlash, but it’s received more attention and more criticism the past six months.

The response to the perceived elimination of the Lady Vols logo and brand has included some informal protests, petitions to state representatives in Nashville and the creation of websites and social media accounts aimed at “saving the Lady Vols.”

Hart has been the target of most of the criticism, though the decision wasn’t solely his.

“I’ve never, ever — my entire career — been offended by people’s opinions,” he said during an interview with “The Nation,” a statewide Vol Network show, in late February. “It’s part of it. When you make tough decisions, then you’ll get that type of reaction, because everyone’s not going to be in agreement with those decisions.”

In its announcement of the decision, Tennessee cited an internal audit, done with consultation from Nike representation, that determined the Power T logo was the university’s primary mark.

This isn’t meant as a knock on the Vols in particular.  College athletics these days are, sadly, rife with similar examples of programs choosing money over tradition. (Although, strangely enough, UT is taking a pay cut in the move to Nike.)  In fact, you could say that choice will be left as the only meaningful tradition remaining.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “UT’s “switch to the Swoosh”

  1. Russ

    I started buying all the traditional Bulldog logo items I could find after Nike gave us their clip art version of a dog and proclaimed it our new standard.

    I wish people would stop selling their traditions but it’s not going to happen.

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    • S.E. Dawg

      If you’re talking about the new Bulldog face logo, I will not buy it. Do not like it and neither does my other half.

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  2. Lrgk9

    UTeast to gety a Bama Mullet?

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  3. Atticus

    I wish we could get the silver britches back. Why a company the size and scope of Nike can’t figure out the difference between silver and gray….I just don’t get it.

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  4. The UT Athletics department really didn’t make this decision – it was Nike and everyone saw through it. Then they made the decision to allow Nike to control the narrative with the public. Abdicating the decision and then not saying anything about it made it seem like the folks who run UT athletics don’t really run UT athletics and are just sort of hired sex workers.

    http://deadspin.com/nike-to-tennessee-dont-talk-about-what-were-doing-1704544586

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