Belmont University is in the process of changing the interlocking “BU” logo used on athletic equipment due to trademark disputes with Baylor University.
Discussions between the two universities have been ongoing over the past six months, said Jason Rogers, Belmont’s vice president for administration and university counsel.
Logo on right: Baylor University
“We want to work together to reach an agreement amicably,” said Jason Cook, Baylor’s vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer.
Belmont is currently working on phasing out the old logo in a way that will be acceptable for both universities. Belmont will create a new logo in time for the 2018-2019 school year, said Cook.
“Obviously, as a Belmont student, it’s a little annoying to hear that another school that I support is forcing an issue such as this, but I also understand that branding is everything for a school,” said James Tidwell, a junior sports administration major. Tidwell’s sister is a senior at Baylor.
The process of phasing out the logo will take some time, since Belmont’s current logo has been used since 1997. Some of Belmont’s athletic teams carry the ‘BU’ on their uniforms or equipment.
The baseball team’s uniforms for the 2019 season still have the classic ‘BU’ logo on the hats.
Part of the agreement between the two universities is that any equipment with the logo on it can still be used by current student athletes. But no new equipment will feature it once the new logo is implemented, said Rogers.
The Belmont Store is also continuing to sell merchandise that has the logo on it and will continue to do so until the new logo is approved, said Rogers.
“They’re agreeable to give the Belmont Store time to sell the merchandise,” said Rogers. “Baylor is not looking to hurt Belmont.”
Fortunately for Belmont, Baylor isn’t looking to take legal action but just wants to make sure it’s protecting its trademark, Cook said.
This isn’t the first time a Nashville university has had an issue with a larger school’s trademark.
In 2013, Lipscomb University had to stop using the abbreviation “LU” in any official capacities, because Liberty University had copyrighted the letters and was threatening Lipscomb with legal action, according to Lumination Network, Lipscomb’s student news outlet.