A New Way
When one thinks about a university in Oregon changing its uniforms and brand in any way, one often immediately thinks about the Oregon Ducks–and nobody would blame them for doing so.
Ever since Nike and the University of Oregon formed a much closer bond a few decades ago, the Ducks have been at the forefront of athletic and brand innovation. From new athletic venues to uniforms to academic centers, Oregon’s connection with Nike has paid huge dividends in making them one of the most talked about athletic departments in the nation.
And yet, the Oregon Ducks were not the team that received the latest makeover in college sports. No, that right was reserved for another team in the state of Oregon–the Oregon State Beavers.
If you don’t really know much about the history of Oregon State, you’d be surprised at their latest move. More of a traditional university that doesn’t embrace change much, the rebranding by the Beavers likely shocked some of its fan base.
Yet, the move was carefully orchestrated overtime to ensure coaches and the athletic department got exactly what they wanted from Nike.
And on March 4, 2013, the Oregon State Beavers officially released a new brand and image that will likely carry them into the future.
While changes were applied to all Oregon State teams, the biggest changes obviously came to the logo, the football uniforms, and the basketball uniforms.
Here’s what we thought about each.
The New Logo
The new Oregon State logo features a completely looking beaver than the ones previously used throughout school history. A far departure from the original smiling beaver, the new logo has a much more narrowed and aggressive look to it–a look that has drawn mixed reviews.
While the Beavers’ previous logo did depict a beaver that looked to be snarling, the new one is changed so drastically that some have pointed out that it no longer really looks like their mascot. In fact, people have compared it to an angry rodent, rat, and even nutria.
Despite some backlash, there has been a positive reaction from Oregon State fans around the nation as well.
Mainly citing the fact that it is another evolution that will bring attention to the university, proponents of the new logo point out the fact that the new beaver has a much more modern look to it that can potentially bring an intimidation factor to the program that it has not really had in the past few years.
That being said, the new beaver is a little comical. It’s almost too intimidating and angry to be a school mascot. College mascots aren’t supposed to be entirely edgy, and the new Oregon State logo is. Instead of playing off of the silly yet powerful image that the Oregon Ducks have, Oregon State chose to forgo any “cute” factor and be bold and brave, a move that ended up with them having a nutria on their helmets.
Among other changes to the Oregon State brand, the Beavers added a new color to their repertoire: metallic bronze. There’s no doubt that this will look awesome on some of their uniforms in the coming years.
However, as for now, the Beavers have unveiled three football uniforms–black, white, and orange.
Though their are subtle difference to each uniform, the big differences are in the shoulders and the helmets. While Oregon State has integrated colors in the past beyond their primary jersey color, the numbers are now more bolded to bring them out and the shoulders feature multiple colors to give the jerseys a traditional yet modern feel to them.
The helmets also have that traditional yet modern feel to them, as all three helmets feature a tri-colored stripe down the middle of each helmet and have a different facemask color in the middle of the mask. As of right now, the new Oregon State logo appears only on the white helmet.
The new look is very cool when you check out the white and orange uniforms, with the black not being too bad. Unfortunately, their new helmets are hideous. While they may be paying homage to their “Giant Killer” uniforms and history, there is just no more room for a three-stripe pattern down the middle that looks good.
Where the football uniforms missed a little, the basketball uniforms made up.
The new Oregon State basketball uniforms are great. Departing from their current uniforms that almost have too much secondary color on them, the new orange, black, and white uniforms are all solid and bring a modern look to the basketball program.
Aside from the same numbers that will adorn the football uniforms, the Beavers’ new basketball uniforms take away any characters from under the number, giving the uniform a much sleeker look.
And as good as the front of the uniform looks, the back of the uniform is what makes it the best of all the new Oregon State athletic apparel.
While the back does unfortunately have the new Beaver logo etched into it, a faint hoop netting pattern finds its way down the back of the jerseys, giving a very cool graphic for players and fans to look at as the Beavers charge down the court.