For over 15 years, the iconic shield logos of Sunday Night Football and Football Night in America have welcomed football fanatics for their weekend dose of nail-biting action. This year, however, NBC execs feel it’s time for a change.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys in this season’s first Sunday night game, NFL fans across the country will be greeted with new broadcast teams and brand-new logo designs.
There’s no denying the shield designs are both well-designed and highly recognizable. However, they aren’t the easiest to transfer from platform to platform. And as NBC is well aware, in the age of social media and streaming, having flexibility in your brand design is paramount.
Now, the new logos do take away a lot of the “personality” of the older designs. But Mark Levy, the NBC Sports VP of original productions in charge of the division’s programming, assures fans that the change was a positive one for creatives behind the scenes.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all design direction,” Levy explained to Variety. “It’s far more nimble and less limiting than what a metallic shield was able to offer.”
According to Mark Levy, the new logo actually allows for more creativity, not less. “It just offers a flexibility that allows designers and animators a level of creativity” they didn’t have before.
‘Sunday Night Football’ Execs Hope to Take Sundays to the Next Level
Back in 2006, Sunday Night Football games were almost exclusively watched on traditional linear TV. It’s now 16 years later, however. And while some still tune in to NBC every week like clockwork, streaming platforms are rapidly gaining steam.
Rather than TV being their only option, football fans can now catch the games on Peacock as well. And who doesn’t love live-tweeting the action? With the various clips and highlights posted to Twitter and other social media platforms, it’s important for NBC to be able to add the Sunday Night Football logo to their posts quickly and easily.
“We need to be able to create a variety of short-form content utilizing this logo at the top or bottom of a social post,” Levy explained.
The new logos aren’t the only adjustment that might take some getting used to. NFL fans can expect to hear more “SNF” and “FNIA” from the shows’ respective teams rather than the full names.
And, of course, there’s the new team of Sunday Night Football announcers, Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth, along with a new sideline reporter, Melissa Stark, who’s replacing Michele Tafoya. As for Football Night in America, Maria Taylor will serve as host, alongside Jason Garrett and Matthew Berry.
All these changes combined make for a major shakeup, to say the least. But with them, NBC execs hope to bring Sunday nights into the modern era. “This is the right time for us to take Sunday Night Football to the next level,” said Jenny Storms, NBCUniversal’s chief marketing officer for entertainment and sports. “We have new talent in the booth and on the sidelines, and a fresh broadcast look.”