The Black Knights apparel deal with Nike is leading to much bigger changes than the slight uniform modifications which usually occur when such a contract is signed. According to the school Army will be announcing a new identity and brand next Monday which has been in the works for at least the last 18 months. This new identity will include a new logo, lettering and numbers on uniforms, and (reportedly) a nickname change away from the Black Knights
Army has been known as the Black Knights officially since 1999, but according to Army Times the connection between the school and the nickname runs much deeper than that.
“Black Knights” has been the official nickname of all Army teams since 1999, but its roots go far deeper, with New York sportswriters calling the football club “The Black Knights of the Hudson” as early as the 1920s. That name would go along with the traditional “Cadets” moniker for most of Army football’s history.
If reports are to be believed then in all likelihood Army will be switching back to the Cadets nickname which the school ran with up until 1999. The reasons behind this re-brand are being kept tight lipped at this point, but a big factor was hinted at by athletic director Boo Corrigan back in November when he said this about the change. "We really want to make sure we have something that identifies regionally, nationally and internationally."
It must be felt internally that the Black Knight nickname just never got over with fans the way it was intended back at the turn of the century. The Cadet nickname is something which is obviously very specific to Army and it is something which former service members can really latch onto as part of their own military experience. Nike is obviously known for being creative, sometimes to the point of being outlandish, so it will be interesting to see just how crazy the new design for the logo and uniforms work out.
This change will affect all 28 athletic programs under the school’s umbrella and opinions on the look have been given by everyone from current athletes to Army historians.
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