Massena board of education tables plan to restrict modification of mascot
Friday, July 6, 2018 - 3:01 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- The Board of Education on Thursday tabled a plan that would restrict group-specific modification of their new mascot after a member of the committee that came up with the Spartan logo criticized the proposal.

Mike Trimboli, the Massena varsity hockey coach and mascot committee member, told the board he felt their draft plan was too restrictive and not in line with their intentions when they came up with the Spartan mascot with a block letter M beneath it.

The plan would restrict the use of the mascot to the regular version with red, blue, gray and white, or red/white, blue/white, black/white and white/black variants.

Trimboli said the committee’s vision was to have different student groups and teams replace the M with their unique symbols.

"Track team put the winged foot. Thespians put the masks. Band put the note,” he told the board, suggesting that any athletic variants be approved by athletic director Gavin Regan, and high school assistant principal Shane Halladay review anything for non-athletic groups.

"We spent six months as a committee coming up with this logo. We envisioned student activities such as thespians, band ... using that logo,” according to Trimboli. "Other teams, football, has the M with the laces of the football over top of it."

He believes if sports teams and other groups were pigeonholed into just four variants, they would just create their own which may not have as clean of an appearance.

"Because sports teams can't utilize their specific sport ... they're going to come up with something different,” he said. "There's such an identity that students like to have with their activity."

Trimboli acknowledged that the logo can’t be easily shrunk down, and if it’s made too small it could appear distorted.

He said some sports are planning on using just the top half with the Spartan head and “Red Raiders” for things like hats, but they've been ordered to put those plans on hold, pending board action.

"It's the focal point ... and it looks clean,” he said.

Most board members who spoke were amenable to Trimboli’s suggestion that they rework their branding guidelines, and all seven members present voted in favor of tabling any action until August, even those who seemed in favor of the plan as written.

Trustees Robert Leblanc and board president Pat Bronchetti voiced opinions in favor of the branding restrictions.

"If we go back to our original mascot ... before the M, we didn't make changes to it,” Bronchetti said. "You lived with it without changing that Indian head symbol."

"If we go so many different directions, nobody is going to know what's going on,” Leblanc said. "People should know what the [logo] is before they start transforming."

"I think keeping the vast majority of the established mascot logo consistent and exact is the way to go. I tend to agree with that Mike's saying. There should be some room for variation for a sport or activity,” Trustee Paul Haggett said. "I don't see why anything's on fire here we can't wait until August.”

"I agree," Trustee Jason Premo replied.

"If you want to take this step, you've got to take that next step to meet the needs of what they (students) want,” Trustee Kevin Peretta said. "They're going to do what they want anyways."

The tabled brand guide can be read at https://bit.ly/2MSRrUs.