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New Lids: How Should UMass Change its Look?

(UMass needs a makeover in the uniform department/

For some reason, the University of Massachusetts has always had an awkwardly tough time in the branding department.

There was that whole Grey Wolves fiasco, the oddly Patriotic helmets, and, of course, the greatest battle of them all: UMass-Amherst vs. UMass. With football making the upgrade, fans of the Maroon and White have been cautiously wondering: “What are we going to look like when we run out on the field next year?”

The Spring Game did’t exactly serve as a turf runway for next season’s fashion. The jerseys still had the CAA emblem on them, and the helmets still had the Aquafresh Rainbow that UMass fans have come to understandably dislike. My friends and I threw around ideas on the ride home: all black uniforms, a big maroon M on the helmet, and my contribution – muskets on either side of the helmet, much like the Florida State spear.

It sounds like the athletic department is starting to make some moves.

I recently heard that UMass was discussing new helmet ideas. Apparently a third-party consultant is working on the rebrand, and the athletic department had a number of concept pictures with designs including variations of the UM logo, muskets (maroon, hopefully) and patriotic flags.

Out of the gates, I really hope that any patriotic flag idea is taken out back and shot with the most accurate musket that Sam the Minuteman can find.

Ideally, UMass will do something simple but stylish. The Minutemen cannot continue looking like a FCS team when it plays its first FBS schedule. Several of its MAC counterparts (See: Ohio and Eastern Michigan) have altered their uniforms in a way that is both modern and traditional – a delicate balance that several programs have bungled.

I’m not exactly a fashion aficionado, but I have always liked the maroon jersey with black pants. I think that combination, with a new-and-improved helmet (don’t sleep on my musket idea) would be a quick fix with some staying power.

I’m interested to know what you guys think. Throw some ideas at us here, on Twitter or via our e-mail address. I promise this will be one of the few times we talk about fashion and color schemes – that’s not really my thing. The only other time I might get into it is when I talk about how impossible it is to buy a UMass jersey.

But that’s another issue all together.


  1. Chad says:

    I love the MASSACHUSETTS across the chest. I like the helmet idea with number on one side and M on the other. I do like the matte black idea but can understand why some won’t like it. But PLEASE don’t use the minuteman face they used on the baseball batting helmets or the caricature minuteman , they look like they belong on a kids t shirt

    1. SJGMoney says:

      I have no problem with using UMass and not the full name. We’ve got a brand out there, like it or not and we need to leverage it. You see the recruiting updates that are posted, all these kids are tweeting that UMass is interested in them, UMass is offering them etc. Haven’t seen one yet saying they are excited because Massachusetts came to see them.

  2. RDM says:

    I second/third the notion of using MASSACHUSETTS across the chest (instead of UMass). Love that.

    1. Andy says:

      Not sure MASSACHUSETTS across the jersey front will fit with the current crop of 1-AA players. We need FBS players with bigger chests.

  3. sleepy sheep says:

    I don’t like black at all as part of the uniform; it’s not a school color like it is for Colorado or Missouri. We should copy Texas A+M with their simple maroon-ish jersey and UMASS or MASSACHUSETTS across the chest. MICHIGAN STATE manages to put their whole name on their uni’s, we should too.

    Besides Oregon and those clowns down at Baylor, who consistently incorporates a non-school color into their uniforms?

    I’m a fan of “UM” on the helmet but I’ve had a couple conversations on this topic and I guess sponsors don’t think it is distinctive enough and can be confused with Maryland. I don’t agree with that but just putting it out there.

    1. Bob McGovern says:

      I’m not disagreeing that black on black is too much, but black is one of the “accent colors” adopted by the university after the most recent rebrand. Not sure how much is needed, but I definitely like the black pants. Black jerseys looked a little off at the spring game.

  4. Andy says:

    Black on Black is overkill, even with maroon accents. That would represent a complete change in “school colors”, and as much as I’ve seen some black accenting on unis, it has never been the major color. Previously mentioned was the idea of maroon shirts and black pants, but I wonder how that might look in reverse…Black shirts, with maroon accents and then maroon pants? It’s easy enough to do computerized mock-ups of all these combos.

  5. Udaddy says:

    The new unis need to do the following: inspire players and recruits, strike fear into opponents, compel alumni, drive revenue into the program, and look good with jeans. I say we go black on black a la Oregon or AZ State but with maroon accents. The Uni has got to promote unity- no umass or Amherst anywhere- just a bold MASSACHUSETTS above the chest numbers. Yeah it’s not original but black on black is popular and it sells. Helmet: matted black with the Maroon M from the Umass hockey frozen Fenway jerseys. Either Nike or UA should be tapped to design them. The manufacturer branding is key too. I really hope the AD takes this seriously, considering they are spending ZERO to advertise for the season.

  6. RDM says:

    An improved helmet should be priority number one. Also, it shouldn’t be discounted just how much this can help with branding and thus recruiting.

  7. Andy says:

    I like the maroon, black and white as the primary colors. Probably the maroon jersey with black pants would work, but I’d also like to see some samples of the pants going to a very deep charcoal grey in addition to plain black. Everyone agrees that the aquafresh stripe’s gotta go. Not sure I’m loving the musket idea on the helmet as a lot of folks wouldn’t recognize it as a musket. I really don’t mind the current UMASS logo on the helmet. Just hope we don’t end up as the best dressed 0-12 team in the country.

    1. Andy says:

      Meant to add to previous post: The MAC logo will be an odd contrast with its greens and blues to any maroon UMass jersey, but not sure there’s anything that can be done about that.

      1. Bob McGovern says:

        Yea, I think the only schools it works for are Eastern Mich and Ohio.

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