The Panthers, founded in 1995, have had the exact same logo, lettering and color scheme since the team's inception.
However, that will change next season. The Panthers unveiled their new logo on the team's official website, www.panthers.com, earlier this week.
Now, perhaps, the Panthers can finally participate in NFL Throwback weekends, though the new changes are not drastic enough for anyone in the stands to notice.
Nike Forced Hand
Nike, which won the NFL's uniform contract for 2012 from rival shoe and athletic gear manufacturer, Reebok, released images of football gloves incorporating NFL logos earlier this week on its Facebook page.
The images were released ahead of the Panthers' plans to officially announce the new logo, but the new logo has since been confirmed by the team and incorporated into the team's official website.
An observant Panthers fan, Stephen R., forwarded the photo to Charlotte Observer sports writer Scott Fowler, who quickly took a "day off" to break the news and publish the new logo on his blog, "Scott Says."
The Panthers had not planned to announce the new logo this weekend, but their hands were forced by the image of the gloves which will cover the Panthers' hands in 2012.
What Do You Think?
Panthers' fans' reactions have been mixed on the "Scott Says" blog, but I quite like the change.
Though Panthers' brass has said the overall structure of the team's uniform will not change despite the logo change, the new logo is slightly rounder and more lifelike than the previous version.
Additionally, the new font is more traditional than the 90s-esque font that, to me, resembled spray-painted graffiti.
No other new NFL logos were released this weekend, and whether the conservative NFL will allow Nike to make drastic changes to its traditional uniforms, as they have among the college ranks with their Pro Combat uniforms, has yet to be determined,
The Panthers have not announced a timetable for updating the team's logos inside and around Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte, but Panthers fans can look forward to a new end zone design with the team's name in updated script.
The Panthers' logo at the 35-yard line will also be updated to reflect the new design, but as for the ever-present NFL shield at midfield, I do not expect that to change as long as the "Big Cat," Jerry Richardson, is still alive and in charge.
So, what do you think about the new Carolina Panthers logo?