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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Last updated: 12:00am

Time to promote copper to full time school color



When you get down to it, players and coaches change, so really, the uniforms they wear and logos they represent are likely to change too.

Not surprisingly, supporters are passionate about their team’s colors, but when the Arizona softball team debuted its new copper helmets, the reaction was almost completely positive.

When the Arizona softball Twitter account (@UA_Softball) tweeted a photo of the new addition on Jan. 16, it was retweeted 23 times and favorited 22 times. When the football team debuted copper helmets, the vast majority of Wildcat fans on message boards seemed to enjoy the addition.

The only consistent criticism of using copper is that it “isn’t a school color,” except in reality, it is. It is the first hue on the UA’s extended palette.

s129softballrgbcourtesy
By Arizona Athletics / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona softball unveiled new copper helmets for the team earlier this month.

“It has historically been and currently is a key economic driver for our state,” said a representative of Red Bar, the UA’s branding source. Old Main was designated as the School of Mines for a time.

Leatrice Eiseman, one of the country’s foremost authorities on color, added copper to the school colors. I’m no expert on color, and red, white and blue look great and “Wildcats” is a great nickname, but that color combination or moniker are hardly original. There are 27 teams in collegiate sports that use the nickname “Wildcats.”

According to sportslogos.net’s database, no NCAA Division I school uses copper. It is also pretty much non-existent in professinal sports.

Since the Arizona Diamondbacks replaced copper with “sand” in their color palette, no major professional sport team has used copper. The Arizona Rattlers wear copper, but the Arena Football League is about as relevant as the Lingerie Football League now.

Promoting copper would be a nice ode to the state and its history, unlike Arizona State University’s recent color addition.

ASU added black to its color scheme, like pretty much every team that is interested in gimmicky trends. At least it goes with their new trident logo.

Making copper a primary color would continue the UA’s campaign of making copper a primary color and spreading the school’s name around the state, like the “This is Wildcat Country” billboards in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona.

While ASU is sporting black uniforms in an attempt to unify supporters for certain games, UA would be adding a color that has actual significance to the state.

“Copper” is just about the only one of the state’s famous “Five C’s” that anyone remembers and it actually has a connection to the UA sports.

The roof of McKale is copper, though it has turned brown over the past 40 years.

Plus, it was copper mining companies that donated the bulk of the money to build Arizona Stadium in 1929. Tucson used to host the Copper Bowl.

Last year the men’s basketball team wore silver uniforms and the softball team added drab gray uniforms not too long ago. Copper would be the natural fashion forward progression of the UA gear while doubling as a nod to the past.

— James Kelley is a history senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @jameskelley520.


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