The Temple (Football) Brand

This ad appeared on "" on Monday morning, illustrating the fact that while we all know and love the Temple ][, it doesn't mean crap to a copy writer for Under Armour or the outside Temple public.

This ad appeared on “” on Monday morning, illustrating  that while we all know and love the Temple ][, it doesn’t mean crap to a copy writer for Under Armour or the outside Temple public.

To me, Al Golden had it right when he restored the Temple football brand to the program at the beginning of his second year as head coach.

At the MAC Media Day in 2007 this is what Al said:

“There are several reasons for the change,” Golden said. “The first is for our current team to discover our tradition. The 2007 uniform brings us back to the most successful TEAM period in the history of Temple Football; a time that produced a 10-game winner and a final Top 20 ranking in both polls. The second reason is quite simply branding. When I was growing up in New Jersey, Temple’s helmets were unique. It was one of the most recognizable helmets in the East, let alone the country. Somewhere along the way that got lost, so I wanted to bring it back. The last reason has to do with our overall football operation. Our goal is to be first in every endeavor that we believe impacts our football team. We now feel like we have the best uniform, not only in the MAC, but on the East Coast. We have our brand back and it is here to stay.”

Golden stayed for five mostly wonderful years but the brand did not because some bald-headed bastard changed it back to the Temple T and then skipped town.

“When I was growing up in New Jersey,
Temple’s helmets were unique.
It was one of the most recognizable
helmets in the East, let alone the country.
Somewhere along the way that got lost,
so I wanted to bring it back …”
_ Al Golden

An ad that appeared on “”  on Monday morning, May 12, illustrated the need to put the name  “Temple” back in the helmets. A copy writer for Under Armour confused the Temple ][ with the Texas Tech T (see photo at the top of this story) and nobody from Temple caught the mistake before it appeared on “Temple” website. While we all know and love the Temple ][, I have long felt that it doesn’t mean a hill of beans to fans from Texas or Tulane or Tulsa. That’s why Wayne Hardin put TEMPLE on the helmets and why Golden felt it was important to put it back.

Matt Rhule, in my mind, had the right idea in experimenting with a number of attractive helmet combinations but this one won the day by a good margin for me:

To me, this would be the perfect helmet to stick with this season ... marrying the school brand ][ with the football's brand.

To me, this would be the perfect helmet to stick with this season … marrying the school brand ][ with the football’s brand.

To me, the beauty of that helmet is that both promotes the SCHOOL brand and says what the brand stands for, and for that, Matt Rhule may have stumbled upon a “King Solomon-Like” solution that restores the Temple helmets to the national prominence they had under both Al Golden and Wayne Hardin. After all, those were three pretty smart guys: King Solomon, Al Golden and Wayne Hardin.
That kind of Karma might have a positive effect on the won/loss record, too.


22 thoughts on “The Temple (Football) Brand

  1. I agree totally. I’ve hated that T since it was introduced just for the reasons you state regarding confusion. The problem is that they’ve spent so much money promoting it that the odds of it being exiled is small.

  2. The beauty of this solution is that we incorporate it, not exile it.

  3. The problem with the T is the school hasn’t done enough to back it up. Sure they have poured money into using it (I have never been to any college campus that is as heavily branded as Temple), but Temple is still a commuter school in most people’s minds. I do not agree with the idea that it is a commuter school and I know that there are many great things going on, but you can’t simply buy a cool logo something has to be behind it. Also, I get that they are going for a simple “icon” sort of design with the T, but it looks old. Part of what makes those icon-like logos cool is that they look modern. Sorry but the Temple T looks like clip art from the mid 90s. I think this is the biggest problem with Temple they seem to want to want to get to the big time but they are unwilling or unable to do what it takes to get there (both academically and athletically).

  4. Yes, when Theobald was hired, he talked about “winning in the Big East” being one of the top 2 priorities of the university, but he hasn’t spent money like it was important at all. His first big hire was an assistant offensive line coach with the Giants (not the offensive coordinator or even head OL coach), instead of outbiding Colorado to get Mike MacIntyre in here or stealing Dave Clawson from Bowling Green or Pete Lembo from Ball State before other schools could do it. Then he cut seven sports, including the national past time. Then he talked about Franklin Field and is balking at extending the Linc lease. His deeds have not matched his words. It’s almost like: “Geez, I wanted us to win the Big East, but not at this cost. This game is too high stakes for me. I’m out.”

  5. Mike, as I’ve said before, he comes from a place that hasn’t had sustained athletic success in the major sports for years. Despite that, Indiana receives Big Ten money regardless so it never hurts them. The same is not true at TU and I think he’s come to that realization. Instead of telling the truth he’s resorted to half truths and false words of appeasement to those who support TU athletics. This guy needs watching because I don’t think you can believe a word he says.

  6. things I miss most include Hardin’s offensive genius, Golden’s Temple Tuff offensive and hard hitting defensive lines, and most of all, how much fun Temple teams were to watch. from the pre-game spirited warm-ups, excellent special teams play, hard hits, interceptions to the sacks, long runs, swagger, etc…, all without a top notch QB…, very ironic situation…, now we have the best QB we’ve had in the last ten years but have the most boring team to watch

  7. I don’t know if anyone noticed including Mr. Rhule, but when this came up last year I sent a comment for doing the T and the name combo. Then it appeared. I also suggested capitalizing on the diamond theme, the T in a diamond, which also appeared at least one week on the helmets (and a nicely done design I might add). I also suggested that as a take-off on the bars on the pants (which is another distinctive, unique pattern) that the bars be shifted a quarter turn to form diamond shapes down the pants. Tradition is nice and important to fans but slight changes can be good sometimes. I was a design major at Tyler and a Temple athlete, so this stuff interests me. And Mike, I agree, the T and name combo retains tradition and looks good too.
    What do you think about the diamonds on the pants idea? And I have to say that the Temple “fierce” owl logo was too busy and hard to see on the helmets and for that reason alone should never have appeared. Schools need to get designers involved, not just rely on the apparel companies. Even many pro teams have lousy designs for their logos. Pittsburgh Penguins are a prime example. A silly looking cartoon replaced a sleek classy design, which was one of the best designs in the NHL. Sorry for writing a book!

  8. Regardless of what some folks feel, the Temple T is a very nice design and is distinctive from other Ts at other schools (just because some idiot confused it with TX Tech doesn’t mean its no good). And talking about spending money on branding, Temple spent a bunch a few years ago on that new owl logo and all its uses which has nothing to do with continuing the use of the Temple T. Indeed, its less expensive to continue with a design that’s already in use. And the comment about Temple being far more “branded” than other schools is simply absurd. Branding of schools has become a national past time – every school goes overboard with it. I just don’t understand the hatred of the Temple T design.

    • Have you been on campus lately? The branding is ridiculous. I went to another large public university and there weren’t flags every five feet with the school logo. I also go to at least one other college campus a year for conferences and none of them come close to Temple.

  9. No hatred of the temple t; it just needs to be reinforced by the name temple to make it even better. One side temple; one side t

  10. I guess the need for the name means that no matter how much branding Temple has done it’s still not well known enough for just the logo to be nationally recognized for the school. I still bump into people who either hadn’t heard of Temple U. or thought it was in Texas or wonder where its located, etc. “Branding” doesn’t seem to be working. And even with the long-time success of the basketball program Temple just doesn’t ring with people outside the east. There are other schools without the name of the state or city in their name that everyone seems to know about (Duke, Wake Forest, Tulane, Rice, etc., etc.) So what is it with Temple? The Temple T has been around for a long time now. Branding is a process as much as designs. It also seems that, for some reason, Temple is slighted in the media which doesn’t help. Maybe if the football program can be successful and stay there for awhile things might change.

    • I will tell you one thing and in no way do I mean this to be derogatory, but people outside of the region think that Temple is a black college. I am from the Southeast and every single person I told that I was going to Temple for my PhD asked me if it was a historically black college.

  11. Nothing would enhance Temple’s brand (or the t itself) than people associating the t with the name TEMPLE IN ADDITION to winning, which is the most important word in that sentence. Winning is the hardest thing to do, but Cincinnati was able to do it because it hired the best Head coaches available and did not roll the dice on assistants. Is it too late for Temple? That’s the 300 million question.

  12. every top 20 team has a coach who is great on game day, can recruit, and develop players. top 20 coaches are expensive but it is hard to be a top team without one

    • can’t disagree, kj. when you have two great temple sports info directors (love their work) having a big hand in hiring a head football coach (which they should not), this is what you get: a five-yard handoff deep into the backfield when your two best players are your center and your quarterback and you only need three inches to seal a win against a truly hated rival, who wasted three time outs prior to that and had none left. got to leave the hiring to the athletic directors and not anyone else. I can honestly say bill bradshaw told me that he was leaning toward hiring a winning Head coach at a major uni who was interested in the tu job, but he also said there were other within-the-uni factions pushing for Matt and they won the day. No surprise that bb was out on his ass a few months later. guy hired the football coach (golden) who turned this thing around and also hired the guy who won our first bowl game in 30 years. should have been given the benefit of the doubt. we reap what sow and we sowed 2-10.

  13. For one, I would like to start by discussing why we changed from the collegiate logo that many are familiar with (the black and white circle) from yesteryear before it was replaced by the ][ logo in the 80’s.

    Temple was at a crossrode. The circle logo looked ivy-ish. Do we identify with the selective, established communinty or the “we’re open for everyone” crowd? The ][ is friendlier, edgier, and more open minded if you will. With that decision Temple grew as a community based organization. That much is evident now.

    Now on to the helmets. The TEMPLE logo is our tradition. It is quite distinguishing, as not many other schools bear their full name. The ][ logo is consistent with the theme of the University, but appears ubiquitious among college logos and lacking distinction.

    Many may champion the example above. Combine TEMPLE and the ][, however, I find this to be an identity crisis. Who are we? The heros of the past trying to regain footing or are we wanting a new platofrm in the NCAAF world?

    Not sure which is the correct answer. Only offering my opinion and the way I see it.

    Personally, I like TEMPLE. Few other schools COULD do it, and no one else really does. Brand is everything.

    Maybe a different compromise (read win/lose not win/win) could be ][EMPLE??

    Either way. Good discussion as always.

    GO TU!

  14. thanks. haven’t thought about putting the ][ as the first letter in …. ‘][‘EMPLE but I like it.

  15. The Temple in an arc with the T logo underneath, as seen on the helmets in the picture above, is as good as its going to get. Looks good, satisfies most people and carries tradition. It will be interesting to see what Rhule decides come the Vandy game.

  16. Marketing Temple by only using a “T” without coupling it with University or the letter “U” is a waste of time because too many people associate the word “Temple” with a synagogue. I would get rid of the T without the U and come up with a design that has both the whole word- Temple- and either University or a U in it so the reference is clear to anyone who sees it. While Miami is known as the “U” in most references the “U” is followed by Miami to avoid confusion.

  17. good point. my feeling is that rhule will keep the rotating helmets, but I think that makes the school look gimmicky and that’s not the Temple we all know and love. Wayne Hardin “GOT” Temple and proved it when he said “we want people to know who we are” when he originally put TEMPLE on the helmets. Al Golden “got” TEMPLE when he put TEMPLE back on the helmets, citing the most successful era of TU football. Not sure Matt Rhule “gets” TEMPLE … IF he puts the name of the school back on the helmet–even in conjunction with the T–it will prove to a lot of long-time TEMPLE people that he gets the school. Bruce Arians also got TU and understood how important it was to keep the school name on the helmets. That’s some pretty good company. I hope Rhule joins it in more ways than one.

  18. Another problem with the rotating helmets are the many complaints people made to me about the apparent waste of money on all of those helmets. I don’t know if Temple paid for all of those helmets but if they did it would be a waste of money-especially for the white ones they wore at Notre Dame.

  19. tractorr, that’s the first I ever heard people, even in the SE, think Temple was a black school and I lived down there a long time and never heard that. Maybe its because Temple had black players on its successful basketball teams many years ago? And don’t forget about Eulace Peacock who beat Jesse Owens back in the 30s and had a national reputation. Interesting.

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