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Grambling State Loses Rights To ‘G’ Logo
GRAMBLING, La. — After letting rights lapse to its familiar “G” on football helmets, Grambling State University is planning to introduce a new logo for the first time in decades — much to the consternation of some fans.
Since the rights to the logo lapsed, outside vendors can prodcue and sell items with the logo, all without giving a dime to the school.
“Grambling paraphernalia sells all over the country. We’re losing money hand over fist,” said football coach Melvin Spears.
Athletics director Willie Jeffries confirmed the logo change, and said an unveiling could come as early as this week.
Some school supporters have a notable lack of enthusiasm.
“Brand identity is not something to play with,” said 1990 Grambling graduate Kenn Rashad, who operates a Web site devoted to the Southwestern Athletic Conference called SWACPage. “Establishing a successful brand isn’t something that can happen overnight.”
Since the 1980s, Grambling used an oval-shaped “G” on its football helmets similar to that of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the NCAA’s Georgia Bulldogs, except in color scheme. Grambling featured a black-and-gold palette, sometimes circled with an accent of red.
But government records show Grambling lost the copyright on that logo almost seven years ago, as well as protection for its school seal.
Once the lapse was discovered by new Grambling president Horace Judson, plans to change the logo got under way, according to Jeffries.
“The big ‘G’ will still be in play,” Spears said. “But we’ve got to do some things that make sure our logo is identified only with us, not with Green Bay or Georgia, as well. The ‘G’ will still be on the helmet. It will be a form of that, with a tiger as well.”
Jeffries said updated helmets will be ready in time for football season, and the design will be standard across all university-sponsored sports.
Still, the university administration has been peppered with e-mail protests about the plan.
“It’s a sad day,” said Grambling booster John Wilborn. “I know that some individuals think we are too close to the Green Bay and Georgia ‘G.’ The color, however, is the difference.”