MSU to keep logo as part of new brand ID

Michigan State fans spoke, and the athletic department apparently has listened. The current logo for Spartans' sports teams isn't going anywhere.

Athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement released Friday that the university, in conjunction with Nike, will unveil a new brand identity program in April, but it won't include a new logo. Last month, Michigan State had included a new proposed logo as part of a trademark application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

The proposed design set off outcry among many Michigan State alumni and fans.

"The recent disclosure of an updated Spartan logo from a trademark registration process has resulted in a flurry of concern and discontentment among some of our students, alumni, and fans," Hollis' statement reads. "I have given careful attention to thoughtful comments received and sought additional counsel regarding how ideas might be incorporated into the overall strategic brand and identity process. ... After careful consideration, we will use the current Spartan logo design, first used in the late 1970s, to build our visual brand identity."

Score a big victory for MSU fans.

In the statement, Hollis stressed the importance of building a consistent and clear brand identity for Michigan State athletics. Michigan State asked Nike, its apparel partner, to conduct an extensive assessment of the school's brand.

He added that the assessment was free and that Michigan State, not Nike, would have final say on key decisions.

"We have been an athletic program of different greens, logos, word-marks, and uniform quality," Hollis said in the statement. "There has been a lack of consistency with regard to our brand. This inconsistency was a result both of using multiple suppliers for our apparel and of uniform decisions being made without a department-wide focus. ... Our primary objective is to achieve a strong and consistent Spartan brand, but rest assured that, as our mission statement attests, bringing Spartans together is one of our fundamental values."

It will be interesting to see the full branding package in April, but the logo was the hot-button issue here, and Michigan State made the right call to keep things the way they are.