In an effort to boost its academic reputation, Louisiana College changed its name last month to Louisiana Christian University.
The rebranding included new logos for its athletic programs, which are known as the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats. However, it appears they may have ripped off an original logo from a high school located in Wild Rose, Wisconsin.
Freelance designer David Mann – whose past clients include the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose – told SportsLogos.net he was tasked with creating the logo for his alma mater in the early 2000s.
“You know how it can be with your work, you’d recognize it anywhere,” Mann said. “I saw a tweet this afternoon come across my feed and did a double take. Even at thumbnail size before clicking on the tweet, I was like, ‘Oh, heck no.’
“Sure enough, they basically just traced mine and tried to alter the coloring on the cat a little to carry forward on the equity of the prior cat.”
SportsLogos.net reached out to officials at Louisiana Christian University to find out more about their design process, as well as school board members at Wild Rose to see if they had been contacted about the use of their logo. Neither had responded to our inquiry by the time of this article’s publication.
“My experience tells me they just Googled ‘Wildcat logo’ until they found one they didn’t recognize but liked,” Mann said. “The telltale guilty signs of changing little interior things but leaving numerous vertices and silhouettes exactly intact.”
Louisiana Christian University is a private Baptist college located in Pineville, Louisiana. The Wildcats have nine varsity sports at the NAIA level and a total enrollment of 1,250 students.
Wild Rose, meanwhile, is a small rural school located in central Wisconsin, 98 miles north of Madison. There are approximately 600 students enrolled across the district.
UPDATE (11:07 a.m.): A district administrator from Wild Rose responded to our inquiry on Tuesday morning. He noted he was not aware of any previous contact between the high school and Louisiana Christian, though the university did leave a voicemail at his office after our story was published.
UPDATE (6:31 p.m.): The university issued the following statement: “Louisiana Christian University has reached out to the Wild Rose School Board and are on the agenda of their board meeting next week to discuss the similarities in logos.”
Photos courtesy of Louisiana Christian University and the School District of Wild Rose.