Apr 12, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini athletic director Mike Thomas looks on prior to the spring game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini Nike Rebrand Partially Leaks to the Public

It’s no secret that the look of the Illinois Athletics programs has been somewhat behind the curve within the rest of the college athletics landscape. The DIA and Athletic Director Mike Thomas recognized this fact, and have been working over the past two years to rectify the situation. It all comes to a head tonight when the official public unveiling takes place at 7 p.m. at the Krannert Center in front of a sold out crowd.

Fortunately, for those wanting a sneak peek at what to expect, a rather sizable sampling has been making the rounds on Twitter both last night and throughout this morning.

For those of you that want to be totally shocked, wait for tonight’s official unveiling. For those that don’t, simply click on the link provided in the tweet above.

So far, most of the feedback I have seen has been fairly positive, but naturally there is some dissent. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can never please all of the people all of the time.”, and in this case that’s true. However, most of the nitpicking that I have come across has to do with the word “Fighting” being left off the jerseys that have leaked. There is a good chance that what’s out there isn’t everything that’s going to be unveiled this evening. This is only a preview meant to bridge us to the main feature later this evening.

My initial thoughts are simple. This whole rebrand is long overdue, and I like what I have seen thus far. I could probably do without the zig zag under the armpits on the basketball uni’s, but that’s ticky tack and hardly worth mentioning. I absolutely love the white football uniform, and I also love the possibility that they could mix the white helmets in with the blue jerseys on game day. It will make for a very clean look that should pop on the field.

Lastly, I’d be remiss not to mention the “shield” that seems to be the glue holding all of the various sports uniforms together as a brand. It’s a solid design that pays homage to both the column aspects of campus at the top of the “shield”, and it also even nods, with respect, to the days of Red Grange with the orange stripes at the bottom. It’s a nice addition, and it could even make an interesting choice if used as an alternate logo on the football helmets sometime in the future.

So, what do you think Illini fans? Are you interested by what’s been leaked thus far, enough so that you will tune in tonight to see if there is anything more?

You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer. 

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