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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Gator Lives: S.F. State Gives its Mascot a Makeover

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM

click to enlarge Alive and kicking...
  • Alive and kicking...
Earlier this year, we reported that San Francisco State was on the precipice of initiating a good ol' gator hunt. School President Les Wong said he was "90 percent sure" S.F. State would flush its 85-year-old mascot, the Gator. 

His complaint: People didn't "get it" (it's a play on the phrase "Golden Gater.). Also, there were too damn many iterations of this apparently confusing mascot. 

Fast-forwarding four months, we can report the Gator has been saved. And the small army of Gators has been culled. There is now one, central, Gator

And this is the Gator upon which Charles Guthrie wants to build his stadium.

The newly installed S.F. State athletic director says that, far from dropping the mascot, research through the university's business school and others revealed "the Gator had a lot of capital." 

Fitting in with a vision of "athletics as the front porch of the university," the new Gator has been crafted to be logo- and coffee cup-ready, licensed with the NCAA, unique to S.F. State, and "aggressive." 

This is no coincidence. "We're going to try to be much more aggressive in recruiting," Guthrie promises. The school pumped some $2.1 million into upgrading its gym, and, Guthrie says, wants the new Gator to be its unambiguous brand. "You see the bear, you know it's Cal. You see the tree, you know it's Stanford," he explains. 

All that will come. Since the Division-II school isn't playing with Cal and Stanford money — the logo, from Rickabaugh Graphics, cost $5,000 — its teams' new uniforms will be phased in as the old ones give out. Eventually, "our teams will have a unified look," the AD dreams. 

In the meantime, T-shirt-wearing, notebook-scribbling, and coffee-drinking undergrads can flaunt a unified look right now.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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