Branding the Tribe
September 7, 2007
__Committee on pace to unveil new logo at Homecoming__
The College’s logo committee is on pace to have a proposal for the school’s new logo ready in time for President Gene Nichol to unveil it at this year’s Homecoming, should the President choose to do so.
p. “I think it’s fair to say that we’re going to be able to [have the logo ready by Homecoming] without too much difficulty,” Sam Sadler, vice president of student affairs and committee chair, said. “It depends on whether or not [Nichol] likes our recommendation, of course.”
p. The committee was formed after the College dropped its appeal of the NCAA’s ruling that called the Tribe’s feathers logo “hostile and abusive.”
p. The logo committee consists of 13 members, including Sadler, four alumni, two students (including student-athlete Kyra Kaylor of the women’s basketball team), two professors, one administrator and one graduate student, as well as Athletics Director Terry Driscoll and Women’s Field Hockey Head Coach Peel Hawthorne, ’80.
p. “This is a group that’s worked together really well,” Sadler said. “Everyone comes to our meetings. The people who are on it really want to be there.”
p. The committee has poured through countless logo ideas and submissions and has now whittled it down to what Sadler calls a “workable number.” They have hired an artist who is currently working with the last few ideas.
p. “We’re probably a couple of weeks away from being close to something we can recommend,” Sadler said.
p. One question that remains is that of the College’s mascot. The Tribe is currently without a mascot, and has not had one since the amorphous green blob known as Colonel Ebirt (who was never the school’s official mascot) saw his final action in 2005. As the logo committee was formed, they were charged with the task of recommending a new logo, but were also told that they were free to explore the question of a mascot.
p. “The sentiment on the committee is that they would like to [come up with a mascot],” Sadler said. “But they felt that we should do the logo first and get that done, then move to the others.”
p. Sadler said that the committee has received many mascot recommendations, just as they had for the logo. He also added that he hopes the College can have a mascot sometime in the near future.
p. “I’d like to see us have a mascot,” Sadler said. “I think it’s great for marketing. I think it helps affirm identity. I think the great challenge is finding one that people would look at and say ‘Oh, that makes sense’ or ‘Oh, isn’t that great.’ Because mascots can often be controversial.”
p. Sadler added that he believes that if the College were to come up with a new mascot, the logo committee would be right for the job.
p. “I would hope that a broad-based committee, with the kind of representation this has on it, might be better positioned to propose something for the institution,” Sadler said. “But we’ll see.”
The Tribe has been using a variety of logos for their sports teams. The script “Tribe” logo runs across both of the end zones in Zable Stadium, and on the jerseys of the men’s soccer team. The interlocking “WM” logo that used to feature the feathers has also been used as well. Sadler said he does not know what will happen to these additional logos once the new one is revealed.
p. “I think a lot of it depends on how good the new design is and if we want it to be on everything. Hopefully, it will be [good enough],” Sadler said. “I don’t know that it is on anybody’s mind that [the other logos] will all disappear.”
p. Regardless of whether or not the new logo takes over as the only one on campus, Sadler said that he hopes it will successfully brand the Tribe.
p. “We want people to look at it and say, ‘That’s William and Mary,’” Sadler said. “We’re intent on being able to accomplish that, and hopefully we can.”