McMullen: S-C has reason to roar with its brand new logo

August 6, 2013

A good logo can be hard to find.

People all over the world recognize the Nike swoosh, the McDonald’s Golden Arches, the script Coca-Cola, the Pepsi sphere and Volkswagen’s intertwined V and W, just to name a few.

And there is no lack of iconic logos in the world of sports: The New York Yankees initial logo, the Notre Dame Irishman, the Dallas Cowboys’ star, the Chicago Bulls’ bull, the Detroit Red Wings’ winged tire and the Manchester United seal are all classic and unmistakable.

We live in a society where there are few things more valuable than a good brand and a good logo to represent it. Brand loyalty fueled by brand recognition can overcome a whole lot of transgressions.

And that’s part of why I think that it’s great that Smith-Cotton High School just released a new logo.

In the past, SCHS hasn’t been entirely consistent with it’s logo presentation. The Smith-Cotton Tigers, both the sports teams and the student body itself, have been represented by various symbols over the years.

Some of them were drawings by S-C alumni, others were just clipart jungle cats and far too many of them either barely modified the logo of the University of Missouri or just straight up copied it.

This has been a common practice for decades: High schools are founded and their football teams take the field flying palette swapped versions of NFL or NCAA logos on their helmets and jerseys. In Florida, there are off-brand Gators, copycat Longhorns in Texas and oddly familiar Tigers right here in Missouri.

Some schools like Kansas State University are more than happy to license the use of their modern logo, affectionately called the “Powercat,” to schools on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border and elsewhere for a reasonable nominal fee.

But other schools are more vicious in the defense of their trademarks and are coming down on high schools that have been using derivative logos for decades. This has been on the rise in the last few years — certain schools develop a reputation for producing talent with college potential only to find themselves receiving a cease-and-desist letter shortly after receiving serious media attention.

Mizzou is one of the latter, recently sending letters to schools in far-away lands like Illinois and Texas.

I think it’s great that SCHS is going to have a consistent logo that doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks.

I do long for the days when animal logos used front views instead of side views and the emotion expressed was anger rather then severe distress, but this one is still a fine modern logo that will serve the school well.

A recognizable and unique logo helps build a brand and increases visibility. The fine academic and athletic legacy of S-C will be summed up in one neat Tiger package. S-C merchandise can be produced at a level never before seen because there is no longer the fear of drawing the legal might of the University of Missouri.

It maybe should have happened when they built the new high school. It maybe should have happened during the massive consolidation of all the mascots in the Sedalia School District.

But it’s happening now and while there might be a little backlash from some of the S-C faithful, I think it will ultimately prove to be a savvy marketing decision.?