Pac-12 Debuts Football Championship Trophy

The Pac-12 turned to one of its own, sculptor Archie Held, an innovative and renowned West Coast artist who graduated from UCLA, to design and create the Pac-12 Football Championship Trophy.  

Made of high-polish stainless steel, the trophy begins with a 12-sided base to represent all 12 schools before rising up and splitting into an arched V-shape, with the two equal segments representing the North and South divisions. A football with the Pac-12 logo sits atop the V.

"We were looking for a unique approach to the design of the Championship trophy, Archie's innovative style and excellence spoke to the Pac-12 brand," Pac-12 Chief Marketing Officer Danette Leighton said. "He's a painting, sculpture and graphic arts graduate from UCLA, he understands the west coast spirit and has such a modern and creative style. It all stands out in the design of our trophy."

"I did not want a traditional trophy or cup, I wanted something contemporary, modern and fun," Held said. "I wanted an iconic form, something unique to the Pac-12. I started researching other sports trophies and I was really gravitated to the Lombardi Trophy. It has a very clean and elegant design. I am fairly obsessed with form and the strongest forms are simple, elegant designs. They stand the test of time. That's exactly what I was trying to create with the Pac-12 Football Championship Trophy. I wanted to capture all of the emotion of winning with a very clean and simple design."

A former high school football player, Held used touchdowns, winning and celebration as the inspiration for the trophy design. He started with a sketch, transferred the drawing into a computer generated 3-D model and then delivered the project to the foundry for casting. The project took three months.

"When I think about football, I think about victory, about winning the game and the imagery that goes along with that," Held said. "It's the jubilation of scoring a touchdown, the hands in the air, the arched back, the excitement and joy of winning, the referee signaling touchdown. I like to take complex ideas and emotions and whittle them down to their simplest form. With those images in mind I created the design."

The trophy is 30 inches tall, 17 inches wide, 14 inches deep and weighs 58 pounds.

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