Winfield USD 465 is holding a contest to find another Viking logo.
The familiar, lushly bearded Viking set sail for colder waters after the district learned that it is the one used by Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., and has been for years.
According to USD 465 Superintendent Nathan Reed, last year he was contacted by an Augustana alumnus irate that USD 465 was using the university’s logo.
“They own the trademark rights to the logo, so I tried to contact them about it,” Reed said. “We talked back and forth about it for a couple of months, and then they stopped communicating with us.”
No one in the school district seems to know who found the logo or when the district began to use it.
“They probably didn’t know that it belonged to someone,” Reed said. Lots of times people use things from the Internet and have no idea that it isn’t free.
When the district realized they weren’t getting any response from the university, Reed just had them stop using the logo. No more were printed.
Some uniforms still carry it, but as the uniforms are changed, the Viking — one former employee called him “Fabio” because of his lush locks — will be replaced by one created by a contest winner. (Fabio is the heartthrob of romance novel covers from the 1980s-1990s)
David Primus, associate athletic director of Augustana University, did not know about the conversations Reed had with university representatives.
He said the university doesn’t share their logo with anyone, but they want to be reasonable and not put any other institutions into “financial peril.”
The university supports Winfield school district’s moving forward with the contest and creating their own logo.
“It’s a tradition you cans start from something you’ve created on your own,” Primus said.
USD 465, in cooperation with the Viking Booster Club, is sponsoring the contest. A financial prize will be awarded for the chosen logo, which will be reproduced.
The release on home page states the district is looking to replace not only the Viking figure, but also the VW logo such as the one that sits on the tower above the high school south entry — though there are no plans to replace that tower, WHS activities and athletic director John Kaufman said.
Reed said some artists have been asked for their ideas for a new logo, but the contest is open to anyone. Contest organizers are looking for the artist’s own work, their own creativity.
The entries can be submitted by email or dropped off at the high school. Make sure name, address and phone number are included with each entry.
For more information, call the high school athletic office at (620) 221-5160.
Entries will be accepted through March 1.