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New Face of Athletics

Tufts University’s “Jumbo” mascot is recognized as one of the most original collegiate nicknames in the nation. However, until this summer, the logo representing the name was anything but original. Many variations of the elephant logo have been used over the years.

Recognizing the need to develop a new, consistent logo for Tufts athletics, the Board of Athletics Overseers took action. Dan Kraft, a Tufts trustee and son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, used his football connections and set up the athletics department to work with NFL Properties, the marketing arm of the National Football League.

“It was a golden opportunity,” athletics director Bill Gehling said. “NFL Properties designs all the logos for the teams in the league, including the Super Bowl. They don’t typically work on college projects. We can’t thank Dan and the people at NFL Properties enough.”

The result is a logo system that features a fierce new Jumbo with eyes flaring and a raised trunk. A full-body Jumbo, a Tufts “T” surrounded by tusks in the shape of a “U,” and a new logotype were also produced.

”It was a unique mascot to work with,” said Mike Cappellano, head of all creative services at NFL Properties. “It’s not the traditional Wildcat or Tiger. We had a lot of fun with it.”

Tufts Athletics began transitioning the logo into regular use in the fall, using it on football helmets, hockey pucks, and many other applications.

SEE ALSO: Retiring in Style
Two veteran coaches who made indelible marks at Tufts during more than two decades of service to the university retired over the summer. Jim Watson stepped down after 24 years as tennis coach, and men’s cross-country and track-and-field coach Connie Putnam also announced his retirement after 21 years.