West Point Sports Undergo Branding Makeover

Trent Steelman
The Associated Press

On Monday, April 13, all 28 West Point athletic programs will launch a new matrix of logos, lettering and uniform numerals designed to pay greater tribute to the identity of the U.S. Army, Army leadership, and the mission of the Army’s sports program.

According to the official Army sports website goARMYsports.com, over the last 18 months, in conjunction with Nike, current and former cadet-athletes, coaches, historians, and West Point graduates worked on the revised branding project.

Sports Illustrated reported that Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said in November that, “We really want to make sure we have something that identifies regionally, nationally and internationally.”

In 1999, the athletic department changed Army teams name to the Black Knights from their previous moniker, Cadets. Alex Moore, the 2002 Army football team captain admitted that he welcomes the change if it helps them flip the momentum against Navy, who have won the last 13 contests. “We had more success with that when we were the Cadets,” he said.

Although at this point, Army has not mentioned the Black Nights team name being dropped, the Times Herald-Record’s Sal Interdonato reports that the teams will jettison Black Knights in favor of “Cadets.”

The goARMYsports website states that the inspiration for the change comes from a quote by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, “Reach into the future, yet never forget the past.”

The celebrated WW II general insisted that sports remained an important function in cadet life. He once paid tribute to sports teams saying, “Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that, upon other fields, on other days, will bear the fruits of victory.”

On April 13, an online video at goARMYsports.com starting at 7:45 p.m. will show Army’s new uniform designs. The video will detail the creative process used by Nike and Army’s athletic department in devising the new look.

Navy football unveiled red-white-and-blue cleats and a helmet-logo featuring a “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden Flag for their annual contest against Army in December. The Midshipmen prevailed 17-10 in the 115th meeting between the rival squads. Few thought the fashion statement influenced the scoreboard statement.

The Cadets might reexamine another MacArthur quote, “There is no substitute for victory,” should the new duds and the new name not unleash the desired effect.