Monday, November 11

In with the TRUE blue

Athletics aims to raise recognition, revenue with new color

In fall of 2003, all of UCLA’s 22 varsity athletic teams
will be “True Blue” for the first time.

This year, UCLA Athletics and Associated Students of UCLA will
launch their “True Blue” campaign. True blue is a shade
of blue ““ darker than powder blue and lighter than royal blue
““ which was developed by Adidas and the Athletics Department
for UCLA’s football and basketball jerseys.

Beginning in 2003, True Blue will become a unifying brand name
and tagline for all of UCLA athletics. It will become
UCLA’s slogan on posters and advertisements, as well as the
new shade of blue worn by UCLA’s athletic teams.

“This will provide a consistent approach with greater
benefits than those offered by multiple single sport
campaigns,” said Scott Mitchell, marketing director for the
Athletics Department and leader of the campaign, describing the
department’s hopes of increasing revenue by building the True
Blue brand name.

“This approach gives UCLA the ability to leverage the
promotional opportunities of our teams in a way that will increase
awareness for all of our programs,” Mitchell said.

He added that having True Blue as a unifying theme and color for
all of UCLA’s athletic teams would help to build it as a
brand, and possibly increase clothing sales revenue and alumni

The Athletics Department theorizes that a unifying uniform color
and slogan for all of UCLA’s varsity athletic teams could
help increase recognition of UCLA athletics as a whole, leading to
increased attendance at sporting events.

In addition, it could boost BearWear sales by encouraging fans
to wear the same color blue as the athletic teams.

Mitchell said the True Blue campaign marks the first time all of
UCLA’s athletic teams will share both a uniform color and
marketing slogan. If the True Blue campaign is successful, it may
be continued in coming years.

Blue has always been a UCLA color, but the shade of UCLA blue
has not always been static. In 1949, UCLA’s powder blue
football jerseys had their golden numbers changed to white. This
made it difficult for opposing coaches to differentiate between
UCLA players and their own players on black and white films, which
made it difficult for them to record and chart UCLA’s

However, with the advent of televised games, football numbers
became gold once again because fans wanted to read them in order to
know what specific players were doing.

In the 1980s, UCLA football players began wearing royal blue and
orange-gold because the colors showed up better in print and video
media, such as magazines and television.

In 2002, home football jerseys and away basketball jerseys
changed again, to a darker, richer blue ““ true blue.

“We think it is a significant improvement,” said
Glenn Toth an associate athletic director. “(True blue) looks
richer, and makes the numbers easier to read on jerseys.”

Though the True Blue campaign is primarily an endeavor of the
Athletics Department, ASUCLA is releasing T-shirts with the True
Blue theme to support the Athletic Department, said Richelle
Campbell, the buyer of Adidas merchandise for the UCLA store.

Athletic uniforms ““ especially football’s ““
are traditionally updated annually, so the switch to True Blue
jerseys has not carried additional expense.

In addition to UCLA varsity athletes, 2003 ASUCLA orientation
counselors are wearing True Blue shirts as they guide new students
through UCLA’s campus.

“When we debuted the jersey, we thought that we would hear
from traditionalists about the change from powder blue, but it
seemed like everybody liked it,” Toth added.

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