Athletics Transitions To the Bear

The Bear mascot is increasingly visible at Hanover High School this year, and it seems to be more popular with students. On March 17, 2021, after a long, school-wide debate, Hanover High School Council voted in favor of removing the Marauder mascot, which was originally adopted by Hanover High in 1951. With the root issue being that the mascot did not properly represent everyone at the school, Council formed the Mascot Committee, chaired by Kavi Patel, Josh Stearns, and Jason Hirschhorn. This committee tackled the issue of choosing a new Hanover High mascot with researching, interviewing, and conducting elections.

With this process concluding at the end of the 2021-22 school year, the summer provided an opportunity for the HHS athletic department to figure out how to implement our new Bear mascot.After speaking with our new assistant athletic director and boys varsity basketball coach Ben Davis, I received some insight into the work that was done over the summer to achieve this goal.

First,the athletic department worked with VIP Branding, a platform to create brand consistency. Brand consistency means ensuring that the way you present your company—and what it stands for. In the guide provided to HHS by VIP, rules, regulations of colors, backgrounds, text fonts, and use of the logo are all included in the process of changing the mascot. One of the main concerns was variation in uniform colors from one sport to another, but VIP Branding helped to minimize that variation with the many new uniform orders for this fall’s athletic programs.

“Hanover High Athletics’ partnership with BSN Sports, a sport apparel distributor, creates a team spirit shop that has team gear and fan wear with all of the approved logos from VIP Branding,” Coach Davis told me, “We’re partners with BSN, so VIP Branding was built into the partnership and was free.” While Hanover Athletics doesn’t pay for its partnership with BSN Sports, the company does receive a cut of profits from merchandise sales. In addition, VIP Branding was completely free and was provided by BSN Sports. BSN has also helped to minimize the color variation in their products by using products from different distributors, such as Nike and Underarmour, that have the same color.

After polling the HHS student body on Schoology, students seem to have a much more positive response to the new mascot this year than last year. 62.9% of students who responded are neutral or in favor of the new mascot. Last year, during a poll taken shortly after the Bear mascot was revealed, 82.3% of students did not want the mascot to be changed or did not care. In the new survey, 44% of students also responded that they believe the athletic department should spend between $5,000-$10,000, and after having spent virtually nothing so far, $5,000-$10,000 can be used to replace the gym floor and the scoreboard logos, although changing the center of the turf will require a bit more fundraising

You can see the new logo on all the new HHS coaches’ backpacks, the padding at volleyball games, and the Merriam Branch Field. The most common way to see the new logo is on the many new uniforms that have been ordered for fall sports programs. Recently, at Hanover High Football’s homecoming game versus Manchester West, a large white tent with the Bear logo printed prominently on the side was on display for all to get a glimpse of the new logo in person. New practice shirts for all fall sports as well as two new
uniforms also boast the new Bear logo.

The athletic department also plans to redo the center of the turf field, which still has the old Marauder logo on its center, continue to order more uniforms with the new logo, a new scoreboard on Merriam Branch Field, and add signs and banners throughout the school. These projects are in the works but, “Redoing the turf and courts after all the new branding would be a tough financial situation after the spending we did on new uniforms, padding, and tents,” said Coach Davis. He also went on to conclude that, “Finalizing the logo was the central focus over the summer for Hanover Athletics.”

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