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Club sports

Club sports are a great way to stay active and broaden your Illinois experience.

We encourage you to participate in them and show your school spirit in a way that connects your club to the campus, but also respects important distinctions between club sports and the scholarship sports represented by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA).

It is also essential to recognize that the University of Illinois brand includes names, wordmarks, logos, and images that are valuable, legally protected assets. The standards set by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding, in concert with DIA, establish how these items can be used.

Official University of Illinois club teams, registered with the Department of Student Engagement, may use certain brand assets as long as they are applied appropriately. Read on to learn how you can show your Illini pride!

Club Sports Names

To distinguish between club and scholarship sports on campus, all club sports must use the word “club” instead of “team” in their names. A club sport can only use “University of Illinois” in its title when the word “club” precedes “University of Illinois” and can only use “Fighting Illini” or “Illini” when the word “club” also appears in the name.

Acceptable names:

  • Swim Club at the University of Illinois
  • Fighting Illini Swim Club
  • Illini Swim Club

Unacceptable names:

  • University of Illinois Swim Team
  • Fighting Illini Swim Team
  • Illini Swim Team

Club Sports Logo and Colors Use

Sport clubs may use the Block I logo. However, that trademark cannot be altered in any way and must always be associated with the sport club name. The Block I cannot be used alone and substituting a different Block I is not allowed.

Sport clubs are encouraged to use the official Illini Orange and Illini Blue colors. When used consistently, they help build the Illinois brand and connect your club to the university. These colors cannot be modified or combined with any other colors. University-approved vendors can closely match the university colors on apparel and merchandise.

Sport clubs may also use the athletics Illinois and Fighting Illini wordmarks, but they may not be adjusted in any way.

Sport clubs MAY NOT use the Fighting Illini victory shield. This special emblem is reserved for use by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics only and club sport logos that resemble it will not be approved.

Sport clubs may design their own logo but it needs to be approved by both the Licensing and Trademark Office and the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding.

Club Sports Uniforms

Prior to production, all uniform designs MUST be submitted to the Licensing and Trademark Office for review and approval. Additional reviews may be needed from the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding. Images and logos of external sponsors on uniforms MUST follow co-branding guidelines and be pre-approved.

Club Sports Apparel and Merchandise

Club sports teams are allowed to create apparel and merchandise. However, they must use approved licensed vendors who pay royalties for the right to use university trademarks.

Royalties are not required for apparel and merchandise that include a university logo and are sold to club sports team members. Royalties are applied to merchandise and apparel that is sold to those who are not club team members because this constitutes a commercial use of the mark. Please contact the Trademark and Licensing Office if you have questions.

All designs for these items must adhere to university brand standards and be submitted to the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding for review prior to finalizing production with a vendor. Design approval is a one-time provision and is only applied to the proof that was sent for review. Designs will need to be reviewed and re-approved each time a new order or re-order is placed.

If you are interested in joining or starting a sport club, please contact the Office of Student Organization Development & Administration (SODA).

If you have questions about creating artwork, please contact the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding.