A new logo is currently being developed by the University’s marketing department, with help from Nike, and will be unveiled at the end of the summer, University administrators told The Torch on Monday.
St. John’s, which has changed from using the traditional SJU brand to the new STJ, made the decision to change its logo in 2003, as part of a new brand identity program.
Although the University had trademarked and licensed the use of SJU for merchandise and clothing, it was never licensed for online use. The Web site domain sju.edu is owned by St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and could not be used by St. John’s.
“If you want people looking for St. John’s [online], you don’t want to be sending them on a wild goose chase,” said Brenda Majeski, St. John’s vice president of marketing and communications.
When the University was unable to obtain the domain name, they chose to drop SJU completely, letting the trademarks rights run out, and move to using STJ.
“I think the reason marketing and communications decided to go into the STJ area is they felt we would have more of a chance to protect STJ in the market in various forms,” said Chris Monasch, St. John’s athletic director. “That’s the primary reason.”
Rumors had circulated that the change was being made because of trademark negligence. There were also stories that another school (St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia or Saint John’s University in Minnesota) had taken the acronym before St. John’s of New York had a chance to protect use of the name. However, those rumors are unfounded.
“We protected the Johnnies (nickname) and can use SJU with permission,” said Tom Stock, athletic director of Saint John’s University in Minnesota.
The University’s marketing department is currently working with Nike to create a new logo. The design philosophy of the logo will be to “respect the past and represent the future,” Majeski said.
“Looking at it from the ability to protect it, they have the best opportunity to protect STJ and possibly use it consistent with the Web site and other platforms in the future,” Monasch said. “[We’re] working with Nike to create a new licensed product, [and] they felt that we could be more creative with (STJ).”
In addition to creating a new logo, St. John’s is also looking for a new mascot to go along with the revamped look of the University.
“I think the general feeling is to stay with Red Storm for the long term,” Monasch said. “I think we’re looking at the potential of what mascot do you line up with it and what ways to incorporate that in the future.”