Florida State officially unveiled its new, redesigned uniforms and new, much-discussed logo on Friday night.
In a public event in Tallahassee's Kleman Plaza, FSU showed off its new digs. Every uniform for every sport has been redesigned by Nike to include lighter fabric and a consistent shade of garnet that will now be FSU's alone. Florida State's new football uniforms will now include a Seminole tribe symbols on the shoulders and neckline which mean 'fire' and 'man on horse.' Nike has also designed a new font for Florida State called 'Unconquered' as well.
FSU unveiled three football uniforms, a garnet home uniform, a white away uniform and a black alternate, 'Tribute' uniform with a two-toned garnet and black helmet.
"A lot of it came from the great tradition of game day and Renegade, Chief Osceola coming out on to the field and the planting of the spear right at midfield," Nike Creative Director Todd Van Horne said. "It's such a tradition that's so iconic that we wanted that to be more a part of the story."
FSU also unveiled its much-discussed and much-maligned new logo. The logo was leaked accidentally earlier in March when Wal-Mart mistakenly put merchandise with the new logo out for display, and that sparked a public outcry among FSU fans against the new logo, which they claimed differed substantially from the original, iconic FSU Seminole head. FSU said the changes were intended to make the logo easier to reproduce.
Florida State Athletic Director Stan Wilcox said the initial backlash did not surprise him, and said he expected the new uniforms to sway many fans.
"That's the normal process that any school goes through when rebranding," Wilcox said. "All the major institutions that want to do rebranding get that kind of pushback. We knew and it speaks to how passionate our fans are and our supporters are. We were confident that once they saw the final product that they would be very surprised, very supportive and really like the new uniforms."
On Friday at Kleman Plaza, the initial reaction to the new uniforms appeared to be largely positive, though one fan did show up with a small poster protesting the new logo.
All parties involved in the redesign emphasized that the Seminole Tribe was consulted during the redesign. FSU's press release said Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman James Billie approved the changes, and Van Horne said consulting with the Seminole tribe was vital to the process.
"I think we were really confident, working with the support of the tribe that we felt like they felt better about representing themselves and how Florida State felt this could be consistent now, setting up now for the future," Van Horne said. "So we felt once everybody saw the full story and the uniforms and how it came together that it would be accepted."
Wilcox said that the Seminole tribe was impressed with the changes once they saw them.
"They were involved to the extent to know that we were making some changes to the Seminole head," Wilcox said. "That was one thing and also they were involved in knowing that we were going to use some of the symbols on the shoulder pads. Once they saw it was well, like everybody else, they were like 'Wow, this is nice.'"
FSU coach quotes on uniform redesign
FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher: "I really believe that the traditions of Florida State are as deeply rooted and important as any in college football and perhaps even more because of our relationship with the Seminole Tribe and I wouldn't have approved anything that I felt detracted from that. The elements that went into the design changes are all based on our unique history and that's an important part of the story. In fact, we went to the Tribe right away and got their opinion and permission before we took the first step.
FSU men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton: "Our players are going to love playing in the new uniforms. They are lightweight, they absorb perspiration much better, and our players love the more brilliant colors. The reaction of each of our players was the same - they all love the improved design, feel that they will give them more freedom of movement and that the colors say Florida State to them because the garnet and the gold are much more outstanding than our previous uniforms. "