Did Helmets Start A Conversation?

GamecocksNewHelmetOver a decade ago I wrote a “Letter To The Editor” to The State Newspaper about changing USC’s logo. I thought it was good food for thought and would start some healthy conversation. After all, we were 0-21 so I was for anything, including being creative. As a test run, I asked a couple of my hard core Gamecock buddies to read it.

At the time, I wasn’t really thinking of it as a means to recruit athletes. Fast forward to today, and we know all too well young people want to look cool, and like envisioning themselves in awesome uniforms. For a snapshot, simply look around at what’s going on with college football helmets. At the time, my ditty was more from an angle of identity, and a branding opportunity missed.

Consider, the masses can’t make out what the logo is. Sure, opposing fans may know they’re playing “the Gamecocks,” but from the TV the gamecock looks like a splotch of garnet in a 19__ letterman’s jacket block “C” font. Some of my friends have heard me say this before, but when you’re in the stadium it looks like the players have been shot in the helmet with a garnet paintball pellet.

About a decade or so ago I was in the stadium sitting next to a couple that was there to see the University of South Florida Bulls. It was obvious they were big boosters. We befriended each other and I directly asked them something like, “See that logo in the middle of the field?” Do you know what that is? I mean, it’s OK if you can’t, but I’m just curious, can you make that out?” Remember, the logo is either 10 or 20 yards in width. 30 or 60 feet. Answer, “No, not really. What is it?” Ugh.

Check this out. Last year I stumbled upon a ranking of the best and worst logos in college sports. Here’s a link. Take a peek. What makes them an authority? Not me.

Altering the brand would not be an easy task. We’re already in an identity situation with the USPTO with Southern Cal. Then there’s the other, “Carolina.”

One logo that most thought was cool was the “University Club” (Now Cobblestone). Remember that? The problem with that one is the NCAA would never allow the spur on the talon.

I wanted to write about it when we were enjoying our 11 win seasons, too. That said, as USC was changing the Farmer’s Market into the awesome tailgating spot that it is, and redefining the area below the stadium, more and more Block “C” logos kept popping up. Like my buddy said a few weeks ago, “Probably too committed now…”

I never sent my letter.  To put it bluntly, I didn’t want to get lit up by Gamecock traditionalists. Why bring it up now, you ask? Saturday’s game. When the Gamecocks wore the alternate helmets against the Gators, I finally had a portal to bring it up.

I love USC and as a matter of fact I have on a black “Gamecock” (spelled out, not block “C”) hoodie on right now. That said, I think last Saturday’s helmet may be a logical and fun opportunity to at very least, perhaps, start a branding conversation (opportunity).


PS: I know the pic above isn’t what was on the field @ Williams-Brice Saturday afternoon. Truth told it’s 2:19 AM, and I’m to be on a plane to Austin, TX in the morning and didn’t have time to look for Saturday’s helmets. 

Speak Your Mind