When the inaugural college-football championship game was played last year, the game had a new look that included black end zones.
The reason for the change was simple: branding.
“The concept for this was to match the colours of the [College Football Playoff] branding,” a spokesperson for the College Football Playoff told Business Insider at the time.
According to the playoff spokesperson, no decision had been made on the appearance of the field in future seasons. But a look at the endzones for tonight’s championship game, via ESPN, indicates that the colour scheme is here to stay.
The downside to branding the championship game is that the colours of the individual schools are downplayed. Rather than end zones painted in each school’s colours, as is typical for bowl games and the now-defunct BCS National Championship Game, the end zones in the University of Phoenix Stadium will be black, with merely the College Football Playoff logo and each school’s name.
Now, compare that to the final BCS Championship Game field at the Rose Bowl, which had a more traditional look for Florida State and Auburn.
Of course, the logos for the College Football Playoff are black and gold, and everywhere you look, some version of that black-and-gold football can be seen. Even the trophy is gold and black.
This tactic is reminiscent of NCAA’s basketball tournament, when all courts are altered to follow a template based on the blue NCAA logo.
The border around every court is black, like the end zones in Monday night’s championship will be, and include the name of the arena in 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 reel exactly what is being watched, whether it’s a tournament game or the college-football championship game.
Here are the endzones from last year’s game.
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