The Origin of College Mascots

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 25: The field goal mascot poses for a photo during the game between the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles on Friday, November 25, 2022 at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Having a cool college mascot can make all the difference for the brand of your school. With amazing mascots out there like the UNC Tar Heels, you hate to see schools out there like Purdue who are just the Boilermakers. I’m not sure who came up with the Boilermakers, but their creative juices were definitely not flowing. Your college’s logo and mascot can say so much about a school. While some universities take a straightforward approach like the Florida Gators, others can get a little outside the box like the University of Alabama’s elephant mascot.

(Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Before brands, licensing, and trademarks existed in sports, there was one man who was responsible for nearly 90% of the collegiate logos. This man was Arthur Evans, and he was a designer for Angelus Pacific Company. Between the 1930s and ‘70s, Arthur traveled across the country pitching his logo ideas to colleges and was able to sell a lot of them. Because this was before the time of licensing, he was able to make logos look so similar without any legal repercussions. Not only is this the reason why LSU and Auburn have the exact same vintage logo, but it is also why so many of the mascots are wearing sailor hats.

While no one knows for certain, it is believed that so many colleges wanted to put sailor hats on their mascot because of a tradition that started in the early 1920s. On a lot of college campuses across the country, freshmen were required to wear sailor hat-looking beanies as a hazing ritual so that everyone knew who the freshmen were. I wish we still lived in a world where the whole school got hazed. Nowadays you could probably get in trouble if your school found out you were making pledges wear business casual. Arthur Evans truly changed the game when it came to logos, and his art will live on forever through these vintage logos.

Written by Brady White

To comment, fill out your name and email below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My Best Poop Stories

Words I Like: Part Two