SBD/Issue 179/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

UND Licensee Prepares For Departure Of Fighting Sioux Gear

No New Designs Featuring UND's Fighting
Sioux Logo Will Be Approved After Sept. 30

Michigan-based Licensing Resource Group this week informed manufacturers and retail vendors that "no new designs" featuring the Univ. of North Dakota's outgoing Fighting Sioux logo and nickname "will be approved after Sept. 30," according to Chuck Haga of the GRAND FORKS HERALD. LRG, which manages licensing for UND apparel, this week issued a timeline for the retirement of the logo and nickname, mandating that "all Fighting Sioux-branded merchandise must be off retail floors by July 1, 2011, unless authorized by the university." The logo and nickname "will be removed from a trademark artwork website" on July 1. Vendors with "Sioux head" and standard UND licenses "will be renewed for a year, but no new 'Sioux head' licenses will be issued." The timeline states UND and LRG officials after July 1, 2011, will visit area retailers "to ensure no Fighting Sioux merchandise is being sold at retail." Haga noted the timeline, however, "does anticipate the possible 'limited edition use' of the Fighting Sioux name and logo" after the cutoff date. The memo reads, "In order to capitalize on special events, milestones and historic opportunities, the university does intend to protect the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname, and may consider limited usage as deemed appropriate by the situation and university officials" (GRAND FORKS HERALD, 5/27).

DOUBLE STANDARD? In Toronto, Damien Cox writes the NHL and the Blackhawks "seem awfully casual" about the team's logo "at a time when sports leagues and schools around North America are either debating the dubious value of having native peoples used as mascots and nicknames or getting rid of those mascots and nicknames entirely." UND is parting ways with a similar image, but it is "still happily in use in the NHL." Cox: "Does anybody notice, or should anybody notice, that the team that will open this series on home ice skates out with the cultural equivalent of a cigar store Indian on their chests every night?" (TORONTO STAR, 5/28).

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