When the inaugural college football championship game kicks off tonight, one of the first things many fans will notice is the unusual look to the end zones.
Rather than end zones painted in the school’s colours, as is typical for bowl games and the now defunct BCS championship game, the end zones at AT&T Stadium are black, with the college football playoff logo and the school’s name.
Now, compare that to last year’s BCS Championship game field at the Rose Bowl, which had a more traditional look for Florida State and Auburn.
The reason for the change is simple: branding.
“The concept for this [year’s field design] was to match the colours of the [College Football Playoff] branding,” a spokesperson for the College Football Playoff told Business Insider.
Notice that the playoff logo is black with a gold football and everywhere you look, some version of the black and gold football can be seen.
Even the trophy is gold and black.
This is reminiscent of the courts used during the NCAA tournament, which are all altered during the tournament to follow the NCAA’s bland template based on the blue NCAA logo.
The border around every court is black, like the end zones in the championship football game, and include the name of the arena in the NCAA blue.
The branding takes away from the individuality and the character of the arenas and stadiums. But it also makes it clear in any photo or during any highlight exactly what is being watched, whether that is a men’s basketball tournament game or the college football championship game.
According to the playoff spokesperson, no decision has been made on the appearance of the field in future seasons. But if the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is any indication, black end zones are probably here to stay.
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