Pitt Athletics plans big announcement, fashion show at Bigelow Bash

Pitt Athletics, with a little help from rapper T-Pain, is poised to make a big, not-so-secret, announcement on April 7 at this year’s Bigelow Bash, the annual end of school year event sponsored by the Pitt Program Council.

Athletic director Heather Lyke has hinted throughout the winter about a rebranding of Pitt Athletics, which is widely rumored to include a return to the royal blue and yellow colors that were used from 1973 to ‘97.

"Pitt people are passionate about their university and love showing their pride in numerous ways, especially by wearing Panthers gear and merchandise," Lyke said in a news release. "But for too long we were disjointed in our Pitt branding, whether it be our colors or logos. Now, thanks to a comprehensive study with our partner Nike, we are proud to unveil at Bigelow Bash a strong and unified visual identity. Our branding will pay homage to a proud past but with 21st century ambitions. It evokes our legends while anticipating future greatness. There is power in the Pitt brand and these colors and marks will maximize that strength for Panthers past, present and future."

Pitt Athletics has been working on the rebranding with Nike Global Identity Group for two years. The Nike Reveal is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. on an outdoor stage between the Cathedral of Learning and William Pitt Union.

The event will feature a fashion-show-style introduction of uniforms, modeled by current and former student-athletes, for the 19 athletic programs for the 2019-20 season.

This year, all of Pitt’s varsity teams had an alternate “retro” uniform in the blue and yellow colors, according to the Pitt News. The men’s basketball team even gave out retro-colored shirts to students at a game earlier this season as a promotion.

Following the presentation, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and official opening of the Nike store within the Pitt Shop on Forbes Avenue, which has been undergoing renovations over the past few weeks. It will feature all new Nike products utilizing the new brand markings. 

— Susan Jones