Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summit League Logo Battle: Oakland

When it comes to The Summit League, we have some of the best nicknames in all of college sports. And what better way to embrace our team monikers than to take a look at their visual equivalences: the team logo. For all of our analyses, we used the primary logos for each team listed on the venerable website SportsLogos.net. (Please note that any digs thrown at the schools are just for fun and do not necessarily represent our true feelings about them!)

Program: Oakland University

Nickname: Golden Grizzlies

Origin of Nickname: Golden Grizzlies was chosen in 1997 as Oakland University transitioned to Division 1 athletics. The nickname replaced Pioneers because the university wanted a name that would inspire a mascot to be animal-based, tough, unique, have regional ties, be collegiate, have graphic potential and be gender- and race-neutral." The Grizzly managed to accomplish all of these guidelines. (h/t:The Summit League)

Philosophical Take: The Grizz in this image is perched atop the lettering in order to show his prominence in Summit League basketball. Attached to OU, he is the foremost mascot in the conference for a basketball program that contends at the top of the league every season.

Final Judgment: This logo is very solid on all fronts. The grizzly is fierce, strong, and tough, and it's illustrated in a way that makes the face usable for other purposes. It's interesting that the university went with simply "OU" for the primary logo because the name is perhaps not known enough nationally for people to automatically associate it with Oakland University. Additionally, I have never been a fan of the jagged lines separating the black from the gold on the inside of the letters. Perhaps the design firm could elaborate further, but to me it has always looked rather elementary as the lines are unclear and do not seem to represent anything in particular.

How We'd Fix It: As a website dedicated to Oakland University basketball, we're throwing up the white flag for the rest of this piece. We love the logo, and the only thing we'd change would be those jagged lines, but after several attempts to update that part of the logo, nothing looked better than the current version. Perhaps it's just because it's too ingrained in our memories to change.

Stay tuned as South Dakota State and IPFW will be posted soon to wrap up this series.

See our other Summit League Logo posts thus far: Centenary College, IUPUI, Southern Utah, UMKC, North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Oral Roberts, and Oakland.

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