It looks like the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo are history. The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education voted 8-0 to retire the nickname during its regular meeting on Thursday at Dickinson State University.
This is disappointing in so many ways. But a friend of mine, a long-time Sioux fan who works in the sports promotions field, brought up a great point not long after the announcement was made. He believes, and I agree, that there are large sums of money to be made by a nickname/logo change.
Sure, we know UND wants into the Summit League and they refuse to let UND in unless they change their nickname and logo. (Insert comment about the leftist viewpoint of college and university systems here). This is going to cost UND some money. Everyone talks about the numerous Sioux logos that are a Ralph Engelstad Arena and how much money it will cost to remove/replace them. But what no one is saying here is how UND should easily be able to make up the cost of replacing all their logos, uniforms, etc., with the sale of merchandise.
When this nickname change finally happens (and after Thursday it’s apparent that it will), there are going to be thousands of hardcore UND fans lining up to update their gear. In the first year of the transition, UND stands to make millions in merchandise sales. You know it would be a hot Christmas item for all UND alum, students and fans if they were to change it in time for the 2009-2010 school year.
So, does this make the argument of "it’s going to cost too much to replace the logo" moot? There’s a reason why several pro sports teams change or update their logo and colors about once a decade — money.
Do you faithful five readers agree with this point? Is this a ridiculous statement? Or, is this the silver lining in this whole nickname/logo change?