The Big Ten Conference announced the names of its two non-geographical divisions that will become part of Big Ten athletics starting next fall. The divisional split was required as part of the addition of University of Nebraska-Lincoln to be the league’s 12th team. The conference also released the new conference logo that will replace the “11” logo that had been in use since Penn State joined the conference in1993.
The previously announced alignment of Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern in one division will now be titled the Legends Division. The opposite division will be named the Leaders Division and will contain Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin within it’s ranks.
Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delaney stated the names for the divisions were a result of trying to be true to the rich tradition of the Big Ten, “When we announced football division alignments in September, other associated decisions had not yet been made. We wanted to take some time to listen, carefully consider, and make choices that would best honor our history and traditions, reflect our core values and characteristics, and tell our story.”
The logo, which now features the conference name in large block letters, “BIG” in blue, “TEN” in white and stacked, was designed by Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of the international design firm Pentagram.
“The new Big Ten logo was developed to symbolize the conference’s future, as well as its rich heritage, strong tradition of competition, academic leadership, and passionate alumni,” said Gericke. “Its contemporary collegiate lettering includes an embedded numeral ‘10’ in the word ‘BIG,’ which allows fans to see ‘BIG’ and ‘10’ in a single word. Memorable and distinctive, the new logo evolved from the previous logo’s use of negative space and is built on the conference’s iconic name, without reference to the number of member institutions.”
The new logo also provides the flexibility of multiple versions which can be used horizontally, vertically and within new media.
“The new Big Ten logo provides a contemporary identifying mark unifying 12 outstanding institutions,” said Delany. “It conveys some elements from the past while simultaneously introducing new features. We think the new logo is fun and has something for everyone.”
Additionally, the conference also announced the name of 18 football awards and trophies that will be given to athletes and teams in recognition of their performances at the conclusion of each season. Each award and trophy is named after two historic figures of Big Ten football.
“These trophies will honor our legends and leaders for generations to come,” said Delany. “The names on these trophies are fitting tributes to the hundreds of thousands of student-athletes and coaches whose hard work and dedication have contributed to the legacy of the Big Ten Conference over the past 115 years.”
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