Mascot image

Gustine High School's new mascot image.

GUSTINE - Three years after Gustine High adopted the “Reds” as its nickname, the school has a mascot image to go with the moniker.

The new mascot image - and a variety of iterations which can be chosen for use on letterhead, business cards, sports uniforms and other attire - was presented to the school board recently by Principal Adam Cano.

The new artwork is exclusively Gustine High’s and incorporates the spartan image selected by the school board earlier this year as the focal point.

It is based on - but does not replicate - the spartan image used for purposes of example when a variety of logo themes were under consideration earlier that year.

Dr. Bryan Ballenger, district superintendent, previously told Mattos Newspapers that the original image on which the board voted was essentially a placeholder.

That logo actually belongs to a Florida college, Ballenger said, and GUSD received a cease-and-desist letter concerning its use in the wake of the board selection.

Now, Gustine High has an image all its own.

“We own this brand, which is trademarked for Gustine High,” Cano told trustees.

The school has essentially been in mascot limbo for the past three years.

Gustine High became the Reds when the state legislature banned use of the school’s long-standing and controversial “Redskins” name, but since that transition has not had an image to go with the new nickname.

While the image may be that of a spartan, Cano emphasized, the logo is that of the Gustine High Reds.

He and Manuel Bettencourt, the school’s vice principal, said students have provided nothing but positive feedback about the new artwork - and are looking forward to once again having an identity of their own.

“It is important for the kids to have something as a representation of their school,” Bettencourt commented recently.

School board member Pat Rocha was among those positively impressed.

“I like it,” she stated. “I think that looks good. It gives the school a mascot to use.”

The image was developed by Varsity Brands, which Cano said provided at no cost a branding package valued at $15,000. Under the agreement, Gustine High will utilize Varsity Brands subsidiaries for the purchase of materials ranging from spirit packs and cheer uniforms to athletic uniforms and graduation caps and gowns.

“This is just kind of a start with this company,” Cano commented. “We have our needs, and they have one place to get everything that we need. This will be less confusing, because you’re dealing with one company.”

Varsity Brands has established sport-specific team stores for Gustine High athletics, for example.

Any attire or products representing Gustine High will use images selected from the seven different iterations that are authorized, Cano told Mattos Newspapers, and Varsity Brands is the only authorized vendor.

“Varsity Brands and Gustine High are the only entities authorized to use them,” Cano said. “Nobody can take that (logo) somewhere else and say that they want it used. We won’t allow that. The beauty of this is that it is now ours.”