With a new school year comes a new look for Rider’s athletic department.
Over 80 years, Rider University’s mascot has transformed from a “rough rider” to a Bronc with a few sweater changes over the years, and now to the new and improved logo.
“I personally feel that the logo was the first thing that needed change,” said former SGA President Steven Klemchalk. “It was not the right representation for Rider. People could not read the college’s name on the Bronc’s sweater, and the mascot seemed too cartoonish.”
The change has been a consideration since 2005, but was finally put into effect over the summer after problems occurred with the previous logo in a basketball tournament. Rider tried to send the Bronc to represent Rider, but the tournament could not use the mascot because of how old it was.
“It was very important to change the logo for the sports teams in order to make the Bronc seem fiercer,” said Klemchalk. “With the many changes made around campus, it was the next step Rider needed to take for the best results in order to represent Rider the best.”
Compared to other schools, the former Bronc was not up-to-date for the University’s athletic department.
According to Klemchalk, the former “fighting Bronc” was designed by a friend of athletic director, Don Harnum. Rider having no copyright for the design and the Bronc’s sweater technically reading “Ridep” were only some of the problems with the old Bronc.
Rider’s Marketing Committee worked with Phoenix Design Works of New York City, a company that has also worked with Harvard, Brown, Sienna, Lafayette, and St. Peter’s in the creation of new logos. Phoenix Design Works cooperated with numerous focus groups consisting of coaches, students, athletes, faculty and staff, alumni, administrators, and the student government in order to create the end result.
Even though many seem to feel as if the new logo was much needed for Rider’s appearance, many disagree with the change.
“I feel that the old Bronc was homier and friendlier than the new one,” said Junior Stephanie Melendez. “The new logo is too professional and doesn’t represent Rider. When I think of Rider, I think of the Bronc running around at events pumping up the crowd. I cannot picture the new Bronc truly representing the real family of Rider.”
“I don’t like the new logo. It looks too professional, like the Denver Broncos’ mascot,” said Junior Patrick Gaston. “The ‘fighting Bronc’ seems more collegiate when compared to other mascots like the Gators, the Trojans and the Spartans. It looks like Rider, with the new logo and the new sign in front of the school from last year, is going toward a more professional, business-like atmosphere, rather than a college one.”
Although the new logo has received varied reactions, it seems as if Rider’s fourth mascot in 80 years is here to stay.