As part of FanJuicer’s series aiming to understand the top logos in the minds of sports fans, I recruited 1,350 college football fans from across the nation to rank the B1G’s logos. The question at hand is, ‘how does the average college football fan rank the B1G logos in terms of overall appeal?’ The goal here is to provide an unbiased ranking reflective of the average college football fan’s preferences. 

How This Research Was Conducted

I recruited 1,350 college football fans from across the college football landscape. There’s a very good mix represented here. I weighted the results so that half the sample are fans of B1G teams and the other half are fans of teams from other conferences. Most importantly, I weighted the data so that the fanbases of each B1G school are reflected equally in the results. This controls for “homer bias” and ensures the larger fanbases that had more participants in the research – such as Ohio State – could not sway the results in a particular direction. In other words, fanbase size and “homer bias” have been accounted for to a degree.

I used the MaxDiff Market Research technique in which respondents viewed 11 sets of four logos. In each set, they chose the logo they felt was the most and least appealing of the four options.

I then used fancy math (Hierarchical Bayes Estimation) to derive the rankings. There are many benefits to this method over a traditional ranking exercise. It’s easier and more fun for research participants, which is very important because people are more likely to give answers that accurately reflect how they really feel when taking surveys if they are engaged with the task at hand.  When surveys are long and boring, people zone out and their answers may not reflect their true preferences. That’s not the case here.

If you are interested, I’ve done very similar studies in the past ranking the SEC, Big 12, and ACC logos. If you would like to participate in future studies like these, follow @FanJuicer on Twitter.

Now Let’s Get To the Results!

Key Takeaways

  1. Michigan State clearly has the most appealing logo in the B1GThis did not surprise me too much considering that Michigan State’s Spartan logo has won other fan polls I’ve seen, and is widely regarded as one of the best logos in college athletics. Not only was Sparty number one in this research, but you’ll notice that there’s a big gap between Michigan State and the logo ranked #2. In other words, Michigan State didn’t just win this poll, it ran away with it. Interestingly, Michigan State’s home uniforms were ranked as the most appealing in the B1G in the research I conducted last year. This speaks volumes to the quality and consistency of Michigan State’s branding. 
  2. Penn State and Iowa are nextBoth Penn State and Iowa benefit from having logos that are not block letters. Eleven of the B1G’s 14 schools have block letter-based logos. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the top three most appealing logos in this research are the three that do not conform to the block letter design.
  3. The next tier:  Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, and MinnesotaThese are all in the classic style and are viewed as more appealing than their counterparts in the bottom tier.
  4. Rounding out the bottom tier:  Maryland, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, and RutgersThese are seen as slightly less visually appealing than the block letters in the tier above. Poor Rutgers can’t catch a break.