Thursday 14th May 2009

by monke

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?

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7 Responses to “Does UND see dollar signs?”

  1. Aarhus says:

    I like the UND Fighting Norweigens

  2. NDDREW says:

    I HATE the Roughriders nickname… why does Teddy Roosevelt get thrown into everything when we’re talking about team names… he was here for like 2 years tops and failed as a business man here… yeah he’s done a lot of great things and a lot of his Rough Riders were from north Dakota but I don’t like the name…

    but Monke is wrong (as usual) it has nothing to do with Red River… If UND wants to name themselves the Rough Riders (which I’m sure is the front runner) they can and will…

    Also I’m a fan of the flickertail name but I think its too close to their second biggest rival the Gophers… I like the idea of it being an animal… or maybe the Sodbusters (way more “North Dakota” then the Rough Riders)… They could have the band from the Elks play on game days… hahaha

  3. Avatar of odermann says:

    Monke, that’s ridiculous.

    So the Hazen Bison shouldn’t have named themselves that because it was already used by NDSU, or vice-versa?

    I think the new UND mascot will definitely come from the state’s history and I think Roughriders is a good enough bet to be one of the frontrunners

  4. monke says:

    This current Sioux logo was designed by a tribe member who attended UND. It’s a very well known story and one the university goes back to often when arguing their point.
    Also, if they pull Flickertails out of the hat, I’m just gonna snap.
    Now, if Red River wouldn’t have snatched up Roughriders so long ago I think the choice would be easy.

  5. Ralph says:

    I can’t wait for my new UND Flickertails hoodie.

  6. Ollie says:

    I agree that this is about conference affiliation.

    They could’ve madethe money on apparel without changing the mascot. For example, they could’ve kept “Fighting Sioux,” allowed the Sioux tribe to design a new logo that they’d fine appropriate, and sold a new line of “Division 1″ Sioux gear with a new look.

  7. ed says:

    The bottom line, is that without conference affiliation UND’s transition would have been horrendous. They need the bball teams to get in a auto-bid conference, to get a crack at the NCAA tourney money. Also, without an auto-bid, the non-revenue sports would dwindle down to non-competitive.

    Regarding the apparel, the biggest influx of money could come before they change the logo, and have to sell off all the old apparel. Eventually, people will adapt and buy the new clothing. However, there will be some strong resistance right away. This whole situation is a mess, and today I am happy to be a Bison.

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