LSU in black and white?

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)- LSU fans love to show off their tiger pride, but sometimes LSU might not want you displaying their colors or other symbols.

"We had no LSU logos, no type faces that were LSU type faces, no imagery of the tiger, I mean this is an original image," said Becky Reiser, the Event Coordinator for the Lake Charles YMCA's Tailgating Party.

Reiser was promoting the tailgating party for the LSU, Georgia game, the best way she knew how, by using purple and gold, and of course a tiger.

"When someone sees purple and gold in this area, they know LSU," said Reiser.

However, she ran into a problem after submitting the design to LSU's department of Trademark and Licensing.

Brian Hommel, Director of LSU Trademark and Licensing said, "LSU and any rights holder, any brand that has a logo trademark, anything of that nature, needs to be diligent and consistent in protecting it."

The original YMCA design infringed upon LSU's trademark so it was rejected. Hommel said consumers might have believed this event was licensed by the school.

"It had the school colors, football uniform, image of a tiger standing on top of a bulldog, and this whole event is around LSU verse Georgia," stated Hommel.

"I offered to originally change that to just gray scale, like it is now, and he [Hommel] said that wouldn't cut it, we had to remove all purple and gold if we wanted to keep the tiger."

Individuals are free to support LSU with purple and gold, and tigers, however, they cannot do it in any commercial event without consent from LSU. In this situation the YMCA and LSU worked together to go from a tiger displayed in a purple and gold uniform on the sign, to a tiger dressed in black and white.

"At the end of the day we got a design that LSU feels is not infringing and hopefully the YMCA and the design firm involved are pleased with as well," said Hommel.

Reiser stated, "I like it, I think it came out neat and I still think it's a great design. We just kind of want everybody to know that it's the same event, it's still happening, just because the purple and gold is gone, doesn't mean it's not LSU, it's totally LSU."

The tailgate will raise money to rebuild the YMCA. It's this Saturday, October 3, 2009.   The event will be held on the 700 and 800 blocks of Ryan Street, from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm. It's free to the public, but you can purchase VIP arm bands before the event for $20.00, or at the event for $25.00, that will provide you with perks such as free food coupons and drinks.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)