Q&A: The Radnor High School Nickname and Rebranding Process

  • Will RTSD own the new official logo(s) and be able to share them with stakeholder groups?

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    Yes, the district and schools will retain all rights to the new logo(s) and will be able to share them as requested with relevant stakeholder groups such as booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations.

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  • How will stakeholder groups be able to request usage of the new official logo(s)?

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    A request form will be made available on the district’s website (www.RTSD.org) for interested parties to complete to obtain the new official logo(s). This form will aid the district in keeping track of these requests and understanding how and where the new logo(s) are being used. Upon submission and administrative review/approval, the requester will be sent the relevant digital file(s) of the new official logo(s) for their use.

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  • Can authorized groups provide the logo(s) to vendors of their choosing for production of apparel?

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    Yes, just as how booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations have utilized their preferred vendor to print school apparel and merchandise under Radnor High School’s 10-year relationship with BSN Sports, authorized groups will be able to select their preferred vendor for the printing of apparel and merchandise containing the new logo(s).

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  • Will proceeds from apparel sold by stakeholder groups go to the groups selling the apparel?

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    Yes, just as how sales of apparel and merchandise have operated under Radnor High School's 10-year relationship with BSN Sports, all proceeds from the sale of apparel and merchandise by stakeholder groups such as booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations containing the new logos will go to the stakeholder group selling the apparel and merchandise, with no percentage of the sales going to Radnor High School or the district.

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  • What company did RTSD contract with to design the new official mascot and logo(s) for RHS and RMS?

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    The School Board approved a contract with Varsity Brands LLC at no cost to complete the design of the new official mascot and logo(s) for Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School at its regular Board Business meeting on April 27, 2021. Per normal Board procedure, the contract was first reviewed and discussed at a Board committee meeting prior to reaching the full Board, in this case the April 20, 2021 Board Curriculum Committee meeting.

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  • What is Varsity Brands LLC?

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    According to its website, Varsity Brands LLC, as the parent company of BSN Sports, Varsity Spirit, and Herff Jones, “partner(s) with educators, coaches and students to build school pride, student engagement and community spirit.” The company’s “branding experts in custom mascot and logo development guide schools through an effective creation process.”

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  • Has RTSD previously worked with Varsity Brands LLC, BSN Sports, Varsity Spirit, and/or Herff Jones?

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    Yes, Radnor High School has been working with BSN Sports for approximately 10 years for the manufacturing and supply of its athletic uniforms.

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  • In terms of the new logo(s) and related ownership, what will Varsity Brands LLC provide RTSD?

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    Upon the completion of the logo design process, the district will receive “1 mascot, 6 word marks, [a] brand guide, and [a] password protected brand locker to hold the art files.” Varsity Brands also will “assign and transfer to Radnor High School all right, title and interest in and to the logos, mascots and other artwork created by Varsity for School/District.”

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  • Are there Board policies governing the use of official school and district logos?

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    Yes. Policy 915: Booster Clubs, states in its accompanying Administrative Regulation that “booster clubs wishing to use the District’s name, logo or mascot must receive prior written approval of the Superintendent or designee.” Policy 903: Communications also states in its accompanying Administrative Regulation that the “use of District and/or school logos must be approved by the Superintendent or designee prior to use.”

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  • Will the new official logo(s) be trademarked?

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    Yes, according to the contract, “all final mascots created by Varsity and assigned to School/District...shall be presented to School/District with a ‘TM’ designation evidencing School/District’s ownership in the mascot.”

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  • What will the design for the new official mascot and logo(s) look like?

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    As approved by the School Board’s unanimous vote at its June 29, 2021 regular business meeting, the new mascot for Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School is “Raptors.” As was specified on June 29 and previously stated during the student voting process, the logo for Raptors will be depicted as a bird of prey. Varsity is also creating an “R” logo to signify “Radnor” and to accompany the bird of prey logo.

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  • Will the “R” logo also be available for use?

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    Both the bird of prey logo and the “R” logo will be available for use by authorized stakeholder groups upon request.

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  • The contract states that “the school” will receive 10% on sales through Varsity's store. Explain.

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    Should Radnor High School and/or Radnor Middle School utilize Varsity’s “sideline store” to directly sell apparel and merchandise, RHS and/or RMS would receive 10% of the sales purchased through the store. This does not mean the schools cannot utilize another vendor, nor does it apply to vendors other than Varsity, such as Anchors Away, that stakeholder groups may choose for the sale of their apparel and merchandise.  

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  • Is info on regulations concerning the use of official logo(s) provided to stakeholders regularly?

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    Yes, per Policy 915: Booster Clubs, “the District will conduct an informational meeting at the beginning of each school year to review [the] Booster Clubs Policy and its accompanying Administrative Regulation.” Meetings are also held with parent-teacher organizations at the beginning of each school year to explain the process and policies for requesting the use of official district and/or school logos.

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  • When does the district expect the new logo(s) to be available?

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    The district is currently working with Varsity to develop the logos with input from RHS and RMS students and expects the digital files of the logos to be available for use by the district and authorized users around the start of the 2021-22 school year.

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  • What is the cost of the design of the new logo(s) and the removal of the past nickname and imagery?

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    The new official logos are being designed at no cost. The cost of the removal and replacement of the past nickname and logos from RHS and RMS was provided at the June 15, 2021 Finance Committee meeting and the June 29, 2021 Board business meeting to be approximately $157,000.

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  • When did concerns first surface about the past RHS nickname and related Native American imagery?

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    Since at least 2006, according to a presentation provided to the School Board and public during an August 4, 2020 Board meeting that documented concerns about Radnor High School's past mascot/nickname "Raiders" and related Native American imagery.

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  • Did the Board hear public comments prior to voting to remove the past nickname and imagery?

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    Yes. At a special Board meeting in August 2020 that was recessed and reconvened in September 2020, more than 140 public comments of varying perspectives were received and heard by the Board. The Board then voted on Sept. 2, 2020 to remove the past nickname "Raiders" by an 8-1 vote and the past related Native American imagery by a 9-0 vote.

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  • Prior to September 2020, did the district "retire" the past nickname or related imagery?

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    No. In 2013, the Native American costume previously and sporadically worn by an individual at athletic events was "retired." The past nickname and related Native American imagery were not "retired" at this time.

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  • During the new nickname submission process, were 992 "votes" submitted for the past nickname?

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    No. The new nickname submissions process was not a voting process. Submissions could be submitted anonymously and without limit from a single person. It is accurate to state 992 "submissions" were received for the past nickname "Raiders," but inaccurate to classify these submissions as "votes."

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  • During the new nickname submission process, how many submissions were received?

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    The district received 1,315 submissions consisting of 96 distinct new nickname suggestions. These 96 were reduced to 56 eligible new nickname options for the Mascot Selection and Rebranding Committee to discuss. Twelve of the 56 eligible new nicknames received five or more submissions; five received 30 or more.

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  • What is the purpose of the Mascot Selection and Rebranding Committee?

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    Out of 140 applicants, 40 students, alumni, parents, and community members were selected for a Mascot Selection and Rebranding Committee with the purpose of helping select a new nickname/logo for Radnor High School, which would be adopted by Radnor Middle School.

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  • Why did the rebranding committee change its method of reducing the new nickname submissions to 8-10?

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    Since the committee's first meeting on Feb. 18, 2021, the committee was made aware its purpose was to select a new nickname for RHS and RMS and that the committee was charged with reducing the 57 eligible new nickname options to 8-10 for feedback from focus groups. Per the project timeline first provided to the committee on Feb. 18, 2021, the focus groups were initially planned to be held between April 12-27, 2021

    At April 6, 8 and 15 meetings, the committee followed a "Plan A" process developed by administration to reduce the nicknames to 8-10. Under Plan A, all 56 initial eligible nicknames were available for nomination by any committee member to possibly move forward to focus groups. A nomination needed to be seconded for committee discussion and vote. After a second and committee discussion, an anonymous Zoom poll was taken​ among committee members. If a nominated new nickname received at least 50% of committee members voting "YES," the nominated new nickname would move to focus groups.

    At the April 6, 8 and 15 meetings, the committee was unable to utilize Plan A to successfully reduce the 57 eligible nicknames to the 8-10 needed for the focus groups. During these above meetings, one new nickname moved to the round of focus groups as a result of Plan A: "No Nickname, simply Radnor with an 'R' as the logo" (27 Yes, 4 No). This nickname option was added to the list of eligible new nicknames after committee discussion on April 15.

    The nicknames nominated but not successful during Plan A were, in order: April 6, No nominations due to prolonged discussion of past nickname; April 8, Raptors (17 Yes, 18 No), Griffins/Gryphons (15 Yes, 20 No), Phoenix (15 Yes, 19 No), Dragons (11 Yes, 19 No), Maroon/Red/Crimson (13 Yes, 17 No), Ruckus (10 Yes, 22 No), and Revolution (14 Yes, 18 No).

    During four-and-a-half hours of meetings, the Plan A process developed by administration was not successful in achieving the purpose of the committee to reduce the eligiblie nicknames to 8-10 for focus group feedback. Due to Plan A not being successful, administration developed a Plan B. At its April 15 meeting, the committee was informed of the possibility of moving to Plan B if Plan A did not produce the necessary 8-10 new nickname options for focus groups

    At the April 19 meeting, with Plan A not producing the needed 8-10 nicknames over the course of three full meetings, Plan B was instituted and followed.


    Under Plan B, each committee member was requested to complete an online survey via SurveyMonkey. ​Each committee member was requested to choose exactly 7 new nickname options out of the initial 56. ​The 7 new nicknames with the most selections would join "No Nickname, simply Radnor with an 'R' for a logo" for feedback from the focus groups. Due to Plan A being unsuccessful, all 56 eligible nicknames were available for selection.

    The survey was completed by 29 of the 30 committee members (administrators were not permitted to complete the survey), with the following 7 options most selected: Griffins/Gryphons (13 selections), Raptors (13), Dragons (9), Hawks (9), Phoenix (9), Rain Frogs (9) and Ruckus (8).

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  • Were committee members informed of a possible new method of reducing the new nickname options?

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    Yes. The committee was informed of a possible "Plan B" for reducing the new nickname options at its April 15 meeting if "Plan A" did not work. Plan A continued unsuccessfully at the April 15 meeting. Plan B was enacted at the committee's April 19 meeting.

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  • How were the 8 new nickname options determined for focus groups to provide feedback?

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    The Mascot Selection and Rebranding Committee was unsuccessful over the course of three, 90-minute meetings in reducing the list of 56 to 8-10 using an initial voting process, only able to move forward "No Nickname, Just Radnor with 'R' as the logo" as an option. Due to this lack of success, and needing to reduce the options to 8-10 for the focus groups, a second process was implemented where committee members selected their top seven choices to join "No Nickname" for feedback from the focus groups.

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  • What 8 new nickname options were moved forward by the committee for the focus groups?

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    The eight new nickname options for Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School as put forth by the Mascot Selection and Rebranding Committee were: Dragons, Griffins/Gryphons, Hawks, "No Nickname, simply Radnor with 'R' for a logo," Phoenix, Rain Frogs, Raptors, and Ruckus.

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  • Did the Class of 2021 have a chance to vote on the new mascot options for RHS and RMS?

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    Yes, voting on the final two options for the new RHS and RMS mascot, Raptors and “R,” was held on June 14. Members of the Class of 2021 were given dedicated time during graduation rehearsal on June 14 to submit their vote via the online learning management system Schoology. Of the 309 students in the class, 171 voted on their choice for the new mascot (90 for “R”; 81 for Raptors), or 55% of the class. 

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