Georgia Tech, Adidas pan for the right shade of gold

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

Georgia Tech's new partnership with Adidas already has at least one project underway – selecting one shade of gold that can be used consistently on uniforms, fan apparel and graphics.

Athletic director Todd Stansbury said that Tech staff and designers from Adidas are in the process of choosing between 20 and 30 shades of gold. He said the decision will come soon.

“From a merchandise standpoint, you have to get that (color) down,” he said. “Because if we have a gold-out, who knows how many different shades of gold and yellow will show up to that game?”

Stansbury said that the new gold will be called “Ramblin’ Wreck gold.”

Part of Tech's challenge in this realm has been that, while old gold and white are the school's official colors, the school also gives licensing approval for other shades of yellow and gold for different uses, which is how the Tech bookstore can sell apparel with varying hues. This has been known to cause irritation among certain pockets of the alumni.

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Another layer of difficulty is that one shade of color might appear different on football pants or a jersey than it does on a helmet, as they’re made of different materials and reflect light differently.

The shade that Stansbury selects will not replace old gold as an official school color, but will be the one that the athletic department uses.

Regardless, uniformity is the goal. It has been a process that Stansbury has led, not just with color but also logos, fonts and other means of branding.

“We’re not going to touch the ‘GT,’ but we’re going to make sure that the ‘GT’ you see is the same every single time,” Stansbury said in his July podcast.

Adidas has already brought in its “identity team” to participate, said Jim Murphy, the Adidas sports marketing director for the NCAA.

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“The same group that goes in and does (Leo) Messi, the same group that goes in and does the NBA, the same group that goes in and does the NHL, that’s the same group that’s coming in and meeting with Georgia Tech and going through their marks, their identity, their logo slicks,” Murphy said. “We’re just trying to clean all that up so we can just have some consistency in the marketplace.”

One result of the Adidas contract is that fans will eventually see more Tech apparel, made by Adidas, and in one shade of gold.

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“It definitely provides us with an opportunity to get our gold out there,” Stansbury said. “That’s one of the things I’ve always heard: ‘Well, I want to wear gold to the games, but I can’t find it.’ I think that’s going to be one of our priorities, is, how do we work with them to make sure that the people who want to find Georgia Tech gold can find it.”

It is, undoubtedly, part of Tech’s appeal to Adidas.

Said Murphy, “I’m sure the fan base is starved for product.”