Several months after announcing the change of the St. John’s brand from SJU to STJ, the marketing and athletics departments of the University have introduced a new logo.
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.
When the University was unable to obtain the domain name, they chose to drop SJU completely, letting the trademarks rightsrun out, and move to using STJ.
Although the University began using the STJ moniker last fall, it was not widely used until the announcement in April that a newlogo was being developed. 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’sUniversity in Minnesota, in an interview with the Torch in April.
The change process was headed by the marketing and communications office in conjunction with the athletic department. The University also worked very closely with Nike, said Chris Monasch, athletic director at St. John’s.
“Nike did the actual work and presented a number of options that were shown to a number of constituent groups over the years,” Monasch said. “We showed it to a lot of people. We showed it to the student athletes, to the coaches, to administrators, to fans, to people on campus. We showed it to a lot of people. The process included a wide array of people of various opinions about the new look.”
In designing the new logo, the University not only looked at how various groups responded to the change, but also looked back at previous logos used by St. John’s.
“We really did a good study of looking all the way back to the first logo there ever was,” Monasch said. “There were a lotof times in our history that different sports had different looks, teams used them in different ways.”
After so many recent marketing changes, the University is hoping that the new logo will last for many future generations of Red Stormers to use.
“What we’re trying to do now is have really tight guidelines on how it’s used so that it becomes the look,” Monasch said. “When you see this logo, you’ll recognize [it], and that will help us hopefully in it having staying power.”