Eisenhower High School athletics is replacing its NFL-inspired Patriots logo as the NFL clamps down on copyright protections for its teams.
The district announced Monday that after 15 years of using the Patriot logo, the high school will begin taking user-submitted designs for a new emblem that would be visible on gear such as football helmets. Ike students will vote on a new logo in February.
The decision was made after football coach Gary Jimenez placed orders for additional new helmets but could not complete them. According to a district news release, copyright permissions have changed and Eisenhower and other schools across the country utilizing NFL emblems must phase them out, such as the New England Patriots-inspired Ike logo.
West Valley has also dropped its use of the St. Louis Rams logo. Selah continues to use a Minnesota Vikings logo, but officials say they will evaluate options moving forward.
The NFL’s decision to get tough with copyrighted material is a blessing in disguise, said Jimenez.
“With the brand-new school and the new athletic facilities ... it kind of made sense to think an overall rebranding,” he said.
Ike students and community members can now submit user-generated designs for the new logo. The only requirements are to incorporate the school’s red, white and blue colors, and that there be either one or five stars. The significance of the stars is to connect the future athletic logo with the school’s academic logo, a five-star military cadet.
“The iconic cadet will be here and always will be here,” said district spokeswoman Kirsten Fitterer. The cadet logo has been in use since the former Ike opened in 1958.
Interested artists have until Dec. 17 to submit their designs through the webpage yakima schools.org/IKEsportsbranding. Ike teachers are getting into the spirit of competition: Visual arts students have an optional assignment where they can design their own logo.
A committee of students, staff, community members and alumni will narrow the list of possible logos to five by the end of January.
Students will vote in February; the winning design will be announced on March 15, according to a news release.
This report has been updated to say Selah has not dropped its Viking logo.