Skip to content

Hawai’i and Uni Watch Announce Uniform Design Contest

Earlier this morning, I teased the upcoming collaboration between Uni Watch and the University of Hawai’i Athletics Department, and now I can bring you the details.

The University of Hawai’i Athletics Department is proudly unveiling “The Aloha Spirit Collection – Fan Edition Uniform Design Contest,” offering fans the chance to design a special edition uniform for the Rainbow Wahine Basketball Program. The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500, roundtrip airfare for one to Honolulu, and accommodations, for the basketball game slated for January 25, where the winning design will be worn and showcased to hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

Just to be clear, designers will be creating a uniform for the Women’s Basketball team, known as the “Rainbow Wahine Basketball Program.”

UW and UH welcome submissions that include different themes, nicknames, or creative flairs. Contestants can submit one (1) design and are encouraged to provide a brief explanation if their design incorporates an alternative concept. This special edition jersey is for a uniform top and shorts.

“Partnering with Uni Watch on this innovative contest is an exciting step for our athletics department,” said Craig Angelos, UH Athletics Director. “This initiative not only allows our fans to engage with Hawai’i Athletics but also gives creators everywhere the opportunity to appreciate our brand and see how great it is in the Aloha State.”

As readers know, Uni Watch is rooted in the obsessive study of athletics aesthetics, but we also have a long history of featuring uniform designs and concepts from our readers. We’re excited to be partnering with the University of Hawai’i to showcase the immensely talented graphic artists who will no doubt come up with some outstanding and unique ideas for Hawai’i’s Rainbow Wahine basketball team.

Submissions, or questions can be sent to to Questions can also be emailed to Athletics Admin, an athletic contract and consulting service, will be assisting in this campaign. Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, July 17.

All qualifying design submissions will appear on Uni Watch and for promotional purposes.

The contest is open to designers of all levels. The goal is to announce at least ten finalists by Thursday, August 1. Finalists will be promoted on UH Athletics’ social media platforms, providing creatives a chance to showcase their brand and work to hundreds of thousands of followers. Finalists will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with rules and guidelines in line with UH policies prior to the announcement.

The winning selection will be part of “The Aloha Spirit Collection,” a set of uniforms auctioned off annually in support of UH programs. This contest will be for the fan edition uniform, which is slated to be worn on January 25, 2025.

Contest Rules

  • The design must incorporate University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Athletics branding. Creativity is encouraged, but the design should remain professional and collegiate. 
  • Variations of current logos are not accepted. The winning design must comply with NCAA regulations
  • UH Athletics reserve the right to make design modifications to the winning design as needed to comply with conference and NCAA regulations.
  • Alternate theme names are approved for submission (Ex: ‘Bows, Aloha State, Islanders, etc.) It’s highly encouraged to provide an explanation if the submission is an alternate name.
  • One (1) submission per individual.
  • Submissions go to
  • UH Athletics Staff, Players and Administrators will choose one winning design.
  • The winning jersey design will become the property of UH Athletics.
  • Designs may be submitted as .jpg, .png or .pdf files. Please keep to one (1) file/attachment if emailed. Please provide any social media handles or websites for promotional purposes.
  • Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, July 17.

How great is that?

Some of you will remember the contests I held with the Grand Rapids Griffins from 2016 through 2019. In those, UW readers determined the winner via voting. This contest is different: You’ll be submitting your designs to UH, and they will be selecting the finalists and winners. We’ll host all the qualifying designs on Uni Watch as well as the finalists and Grand Prize Winner.

Good luck to all who participate! Can’t wait to see what amazing designs and concepts you guys come up with.

Comments (26)

    I love this! What a collaboration! Good luck to all who enter; excited to see the finalists on UW!

    So cool, Phil. Congratulations on this event!

    This just further legitimizes our obsession for uniform details and the neccessity of this community!

    This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for all involved. Taking a quick glance at the uni’s that Adidas provided and I believe the UW universe can do much better to provide a more aesthetically pleasing uniform those women would be proud to wear. I’m looking forward to seeing the designs.

    Holy crap! Phil, I gotta say that you are KILLING IT so far around here!

    Partnering with the University of Hawai’i? What a coup! Congratulations, Phil!

    This is amazing!

    One question of clarification: it says variations on current logos are not accepted. Should we take that to mean entirely new logos are ok, or, if logos are to be used, use their existing set?

    As it notes in the article, if you have any questions, you should direct them to link or link. I don’t want to state something that’s not correct (I *believe* it would be ok to create entirely new logos, but that’s a question you should direct to either or both of those e-mails).

    Ooooh. Might have to give this one a go. Been lurking on this site for a while but I’m a sports graphic designer by trade and this would be super dope! Great w

    Thanks for an amazing day of uni news and analysis- so much content!!!

    Do they have a zip file of assets/colors we can use for the design? Or should we take any existing logos and wordmarks we’d like to use from the internet?

    Please direct all your questions (including this one) to the links provided in the article.

    Sorry, I get annoyed at “design contests”, once again reducing the graphic design profession as nothing more than a tool to promote a lot of free labor for all but one person. I don’t know any other tradespersons, laborers or contractors that are expected to do work upfront where only the selected “winner” gets compensated, but it’s almost always expected from creative professionals. Just because a submission may be hand-drawn or composed quickly on a computer, there is still time and effort expended into the submission.

    I understand wanting to be a wet blanket, but it’s a free contest. The winner gets a prize well worth their time and effort. I know I know, it would be better if everyone got a participation trophy, but at the price that would run, they should just go ahead and commission a new uni with Nike or someone.

    Also, you don’t have to do any of this. You’re free to not participate and save your skills for paying clients only.

    My two favorite distractions, UW blog and UH athletics. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Good luck to all and I am looking forward to all the creative entries. Go Bows!

    Phil. I think this is awesome, but continually directing everyone to the website for questions after putting out a lengthy post about the rules seems a bit odd. You present it as a collaboration between UW and UH but can’t answer any questions? Why? Not trying to be a negative Nancy/Ned. Just curious.

    It is the U of H who are ultimately choosing the finalists and grand prize winner, so I want their representatives to answer specific questions as to what sorts of logos are permitted (it’s their intellectual property). The collaboration entails UW helping promote the contest and to encourage submissions. But UH ultimately will determine if a submission is “valid”. Therefore, if someone has a question as to what is a permissible logo, submitters need to refer their questions as noted in the “rules”. I’m not trying to *not* answer questions. I want the submitters to check directly with the University in order to assure their design meets the criteria.

    I seem to remember a number of articles / posts here where professional designers raged against organizations getting ‘free’ design work through these contests – that it devalued the time and energy that the professionals put into their work. What is the ‘new’ Uni-watch’s take? Are the professionals whining too much about their work being devalued or are the teams taking advantage of their fans?

Comments are closed.