OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa school district superintendent says the Okoboji Pioneers team will phase out its use of an “O” logo after receiving complaints from the University of Oregon.
The Sioux City Journal reported Friday that Superintendent Gary Janssen agreed to phase out use of the district’s maroon logo at the request of the Eugene, Ore., university. Oregon has trademarked its green or yellow emblem, which was designed by athletic apparel company Nike.
Oregon is known nationally for its vivid uniforms, which incorporate the “O” logo. The logo has become known nationally in recent years as the school’s football team has experienced great success, finishing with a No. 2 ranking last season.
Janssen said he has drafted a plan to phase out the logo and has asked Oregon for time, noting the district has used the logo for nearly 10 years.
“The whole issue is the cost of replacing the Oregon ‘O,’” Jansen said. “If it’s on the scoreboard, we can’t just buy a new scoreboard. If it’s on uniforms, we can’t just buy new uniforms.”
Jansen said he wasn’t sure how much equipment would need to be replaced, but he noted uniforms usually are used for about six years.
Matt Dyste, the university’s director of marketing and brand management, said Oregon must protect its trademark but doesn’t want to hurt local school districts and will be patient.
“We understand uniforms are expensive,” he said. “Our goal is not to put them in a tight spot financially. We are not asking them to change everything at once.”
In 2006, another Iowa high school faced a similar situation, when the Waukee School District agreed to change its “W” logo at the request of the University of Wisconsin.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.