New Cydentity

Brett Mcintyre

After more than 1,500 fan responses, a departmentwide discussion and one throwback uniform game, the identity crisis for ISU athletics is over.

ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard unveiled the Cyclones’ new “I State” word mark and logo at a press conference Wednesday, as well as the new color scheme and football uniforms to debut during the 2008 season.

“This was a process that we involved not only the football staff, but all of our coaches, because this is an identity program for the entire department – not just the football program,” Pollard said.

Pollard said the new mark will help brand Iowa State and give it a unique identity going into the future. Pollard said right now nearly 85 percent of the paint used to color the football field on game days – excluding the yard lines – is either blue or white.

“We wanted to reestablish that we’re cardinal and gold,” Pollard said. “We’re not blue. We’re not white. We’re cardinal and gold. We wanted to create a distinct and simple word mark for Iowa State athletics that we could help brand our future around all 18 sports, our facilities and all our collateral marketing and fundraising materials.”

Pollard announced last spring that a change in the football uniforms would be taking place for the 2008 season. Senior associate athletics director for communications Steve Malchow invited fan feedback over the summer.

“At the start of the process I just said to Jamie, ‘I think we’ve built this program on letting fans have a say,'” Malchow said. “This is a fan-friendly athletics department, this is a major decision. I just thought it would be smart of us to let people speak their piece, because it’s hard to build a consensus in this . I had the brilliant idea of asking for fan feedback. Well, what that turned into was 1,500-plus e-mails.”

Malchow said he read every single piece of feedback he received, creating a list of common questions, complaints and things fans liked as a reference for where to go with the new uniforms.

However, things quickly escalated into a revamping of Iowa State’s athletics identity.

“I researched primarily the BCS schools and the bigger schools, and just what they had in their marks, I thought that was critical,” Malchow said. “What ended up was kind of interesting because this started as a tweaking of our uniforms and helmets, and what I quickly realized is whatever ends up being on your helmet most likely ends up being the overall athletics department’s identity.”

It was that research by Malchow and Pollard’s discovery of confusion and lack of clarity in Iowa State’s current logo system that led to the sweeping identity change.

“We learned [throughout this process] that we clearly didn’t have a real concise identity for the athletics program,” Pollard said. “We have two primary marks, three secondary marks and four word marks. It was clear when we talked [to everyone involved] that no one could really say, ‘Well, that is our mark.'”

Helmet changes happen all the time at other schools, but the problem for the Cyclones is not that the helmet colors have changed, but that the logo on the side has been changed 12 times since 1962.

What made an even bigger impact on Pollard was the stories of confusion among recruits he heard from his coaches.

“When we talked to our coaches, I was surprised to learn that they expressed concern in the recruiting process because when they would leave the state of Iowa, recruits didn’t know who they were representing,” Pollard said. “They didn’t know if they were representing Louisville because we have a cardinal, or if we were a redbird – we were Illinois State.”

Still, Pollard insists Cy isn’t going to be completely removed.

The Cyclones’ cardinal mascot will still represent Iowa State on the sidelines at games and will make promotional appearances for the athletics program and university.

“Cy isn’t going away,” Pollard said. “We love Cy. Cy is a great mascot and we can effectively use Cy with our new word mark to be able to promote Iowa State athletics.”

New ISU football helmet – Click here

New ISU away uniform – Click here

New ISU away alternate uniform – Click here

New ISU home uniform – Click here