During this process, Tennessee athletics conducted a comprehensive branding audit that utilized the talents of the NIKE Graphic Identity Group. The results of a study conducted by the University Office of Communications and Marketing in conjunction with industry leaders in higher education branding were also examined, with both audits recommending the consolidation of logos and word marks in order for better branding consistency, with the Power T serving as the primary mark for campus and athletics. The final decisions then were left to campus and athletics, respectively. Tennessee coaches and student-athletes are aware of the final results of the branding study and the upcoming changes.
"Following significant branding studies by both our University and the department of athletics as well as conversations with head coaches and student-athletes, we will implement the related changes that resulted from this collaboration on July 1, 2015," said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart.
The women's basketball program was excluded from this transition because of the accomplishments and legacy of the championship program built by Coach Pat Summitt and her former players. The Lady Volunteers nickname and brand is truly reflective of Coach Summitt and her legacy and will continue to be associated with the Tennessee women's basketball team.
"One Tennessee has united all the athletic programs here at the University of Tennessee," said head women's basketball coach Holly Warlick. "The value of this bonding enriches the support we can offer to all student-athletes. We now have unlimited access to our tremendous facilities and programs that not only benefit our current athletes while also promoting our pursuit of excellence to future prospects.
"The advantage of a state-of-the-art training facility, our Smokey's Grill dining facility, where athletes from every sport can eat together, and the modernized future athletic housing are just a few examples of how the One Tennessee premise confirms our high ideals.
"The Lady Vol logo, however, has long been the monogram of excellence and a tradition among our loyal basketball fans. This is a symbol that is recognized and linked with a superior standard of women's basketball worldwide. In the 38 years of Coach Summitt's storied career, she established a tradition unlike any other in women's basketball, and she did so under the banner of the Lady Vol logo. It is with deep respect for Coach Summitt and this great tradition that we will continue to wear the Lady Vol logo with great pride."
"I am very pleased that women's basketball will retain the Lady Vols logo, it honors the legacy of the team and the greatest coach ever, Pat Summitt," said Athletics Director Emeritus Joan Cronan.
In October 2014, the University announced its intention to utilize the Power T as the official mark of the flagship institution. This decision was a result of a four-year branding study conducted by the University in conjunction with industry leaders in higher education branding. Having a consistent mark used by both the University and the athletics programs affords another opportunity for greater consistency and brand identity for the University of Tennessee as a whole and was a factor in the athletics branding decisions as well. For more information on the University's shift to the Power T as its primary mark, please see utk.edu/logo.
"Brand consistency across the university is critical as we strive to become a top 25 public research university," said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. "It is important that we take advantage of all of the successes across this great campus, both in academics and athletics."
The transition from adidas to NIKE will take place July 1, 2015, with the arrival of NIKE-branded apparel and changes to marketing and recruiting materials. NIKE is one of the world's foremost authorities and leaders on branding and marketing, and the results of this comprehensive examination, which includes fonts, color palettes, and identity branding, will position Tennessee's athletics programs strongly for the future.
The University of Tennessee department of athletics will release its updated branding guide, uniforms and marks at an unveiling ceremony at the appropriate time. NIKE will begin selling officially licensed, Tennessee-branded merchandise, including merchandise that features the Lady Vol logo, on the effective transition date of July 1, 2015.