The Cost of Rebranding


Sasha Leibold, Staff Writer

In 2012 the University of North Dakota was forced to change their nickname from “The Fighting Sioux” to “The Fighting Hawks.” The University’s nickname was originally “The Flickertails” but was unofficially changed to “The Sioux” in 1930. The fighting Sioux was a name that was offensive to American Indians as it insinuates that they are bloodthirsty and violent.


Bennett Brien, the designer of the “Fighting Sioux” logo is a Native American artist who graduated from UND with a master in arts. In an interview with WDAZ, Bennet, says that he’s disappointed that the school will be forced to retire the nickname and the logo he created.


The change to the logos cost UND about $750,000, this does not include the cost of changes that might occur at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, changing the logo on the football field, uniform changes that will be changed out as needed, or other places around campus. The cost to develop a new logo and moniker is $575,000. The helmet at the Alerus Center cost about $40,000, the signs at the High Performance Center ran about $35,000. To remodel outside the student ticket office area in Memorial Union cost about $2,000.


One might think that the Sioux logo was offensive to American Indians, but it actually it stood for something other than violence. The feathers stood for bravery and honorable things you do in life, the green symbolizes the gifts of the Earth and growth. Yellow is the sun’s warmth and light which is necessary to continue on with life’s journey. Red symbolizes blood given to us from the creator and white is for purity of the mind, respect for life and respect for everyone.


“you could kind of think, it’s brave and honorable things done in life today concerning education the fortitude it takes to go to school.” Bennett Brian told WDAZ in an interview.

“The new logo “fighting hawks” has been carved into stone, the hawk’s eye is said to convey perseverance. But, in reality it looks like it has been on a drinking binge or has taken one too many Xanax. The new logo doesn’t seem to have a mouth, does this mean UND is not competitive? The logo is  meant to show “graceful movement.”

Brian said he could create a new logo for UND but was turned down because it was too close to the old logo.


Students had the opportunity to vote for the new face of the Fighting Hawks, the voting was to help students feel better about the name change. Over 2,300 students took an online poll to choose their favorite Fighting Hawks logo, having students vote showed that their opinions mattered. Students had the opportunity to choose from three different logos Z-843, X-775 and Y-684. This voting helped provide the committee with what logo they want beside them.


Although UND students were upset to see the Sioux logo go, some were happy with the change.  We all know that the Fighting Hawks logo has a legend to live up too and that the Fighting Sioux will never die as long as there are games for it to be remembered at.