When Boise State replaced its official logo in 2001, the point was to rebrand the college as a dynamic metropolitan university.
The logo with three lines on a blue diamond represented the university as a whole, while a stylized and sleek Bronco head with the words Boise State on the bottom represented the athletic department.
On Tuesday, the university ditched the blue diamond in favor of a sleek B from the sports logo, designed in concert with sports retailing giant Nike. The goal was to create a consistent visual identity program for the academic and athletic departments.
Over the past decade, weve had fragmentation across campus with the use of our colors and marks, university spokesman Frank Zang said Tuesday. There was a sense across campus people wanted consistency.
Boise State is joining new athletic conferences next year and wanted to unify our brand identity, Zang said.
The popular Bronco head remains the logo for the athletic department, which has raised the national profile of the university with the consistent success of the football team. The athletic department has a contract with Nike for sports uniforms and gear.
Nike is a world leader in branding, Zang said. We all saw the power of being able to bring (academic and athletic) elements together.
The previous logo created controversy when it was unveiled in 2001 for the design and the cost. That logo replaced the lowercase blue and orange bsu that had been in use by the academic and athletic departments since 1974.
The 2001 logo was designed by North Charles Street Design Organization, a firm in Baltimore that also produced the current Bronco Head logo for the athletic department. The cost for both logos was $85,000.
Former BSU vice president for university advancement Rick Smith told the Idaho Statesman in 2001 that the blue diamond logo was interpreted by some campus officials as representing tall buildings set against a background of mountains and the sky.
The consensus on campus was that it reflects an abstract image of a metropolitan setting, Smith said then.
The new, forward-leaning B logo appears to be a slightly modified version of the Bronco head logo.
Zang said Tuesday that the new logo does not represent any dissatisfaction with the old design, or signal that athletics are taking precedence over the academic mission, which remains being a metropolitan research university. He said it was just a logical time to change, with Boise State about to enter the Big East in football and the Big West in all other sports.
School officials also say the new logo serves a dual purpose, representing how the university is in Idahos capital while referring to the Bronco nickname. The blue diamond logo did not have any orange, and school officials wanted both colors back in the logo.
Zang also said the B has been in use for a few years already If you drive down University Drive, you might see as many as 70 banners with the B on them so the transition should be smooth.
For now, faculty and staff will use material with the old logo (business cards, stationery, etc.) until they are gone. Some temporary signs and banners went up on campus Tuesday to reflect the change, and permanent signs will be replaced over the next several months.
School officials said Nike did not charge for the work on the new logo. The six-year agreement between the athletic department and the shoe and apparel giant calls for Nike to provide $6 million in products and equipment and $240,000 in cash through 2017.
Boise State will receive an additional $75,000 per year worth of products when the football program joins the Big East in 2013.
The departmentwide contract with Nike replaces separate agreements for football, mens basketball and the schools other 17 NCAA-level sports. Those agreements, which expired between July 2011 and January 2012, paid the school about $280,000 per year.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr