- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
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As college football has become more visible thanks to national broadcasts, social media and the Internet, a team's individual brand has becoming increasingly important and apparent.
Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples dove into this subject in a recent feature.
He leads with a few vignettes of Oregon players and when they first remembered seeing Oregon. The answers varied from the helmets and jerseys to the speed of the game to the coaching staff, which is all a part Oregon's brand. That, as Staples points out, "is mostly defined — for better or for worse — by the quality of the product."
"In Oregon’s case, Nike’s uniform designs and technological advances are vital components. But so is the blur offense created by former coach Chip Kelly and refined by successor Mark Helfrich and coordinator Scott Frost. And the most important factor is a culture that has remained intact through three coaching changes over 20 years. Those three pieces — flash, speed and continuity — turned Oregon football from a quaint operation on the edge of the country to America’s coolest program. How strong is Oregon’s brand? All it takes is one glimpse of the signature O and a fan or recruit knows exactly how the team looks and plays."
It's a lengthy feature, but one that is definitely worth reading. And it doesn't just have an Oregon appeal. Sports Illustrated put together an interactive map at the top of the story that allows readers to scroll over their favorite team and read what the brand should be and what it is in reality.
According to Staples' analysis, it looks like quite a few of the Pac-12 programs have built their brand into what it should be (Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, etc.) but there are a few that lag behind (such as Washington).
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