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LV high school changing nickname, mascot as trademark deal ends

Updated May 30, 2024 - 7:14 pm

One of Clark County’s oldest high schools is changing the nickname and mascot of its athletic teams after being unable to continue a trademark agreement with Arizona State University.

Eldorado High School teams no longer will be known as the Sundevils and will become the Firehawks in August. Eldorado opened in 1973 and celebrated its 50th anniversary this past school year, using the Sundevils nickname the entire time.

The change of nickname and use of Sparky as the school’s mascot comes after an agreement between the school and Arizona State ended.

“Due to the discontinuation of a trademark agreement with Arizona State University, Eldorado High School is transitioning its mascot to the Firehawks,” the school said Wednesday in a statement via the Clark County School District to the Review-Journal.

“Eldorado High School leadership informed stakeholders of the potential change in spring 2023 when discussion began regarding the trademark agreement signed initially in 2011. Throughout the 2023-2024 school year, Eldorado High School leadership sought the input of current students, families and school alumni regarding the switch.”

Phone call and email requests to Arizona State for comment were unsuccessful. Eldorado officials declined to comment until the school makes an official announcement regarding the name change.

The university has a section on its website detailing procedures for a trademark deal. If a high school wants to use an Arizona State logo or nickname, it needs to enter into a licensing agreement with the university or a university licensing agent.

“All licenses and exemptions for licensing or royalties must be in writing,” the university Purchasing and Business Service Manual says. “No use of any mark belonging to ASU shall be authorized without such a licensing agreement or a written exception. … Each licensing agreement will require the payment of a royalty or other consideration deemed appropriate by ASU in exchange for permission to use the marks.”

The nature of Eldorado’s previous agreement is unclear.

The Sundevil nickname and logo are still used on Eldorado’s school website. A pitchfork logo sits on the top left of the homepage, and a Sparky icon is used on tabs for pages of the website. “Once a Sundevil, Always a Sundevil” is displayed on the website, and a “Sparky Spotlight” is featured lower on the homepage.

The Eldorado football team’s website, X and Instagram accounts have been rebranded as “Eldorado Firehawks.” At the bottom of the homepage, there is a message written about the school’s “rebrand.”

“After 50 years of being the ‘Sundevils,’ the team at Arizona State University decided to terminate the agreement our school had to use the same logo and mascot, which (led) to a full rebranding of the school,” the message states. “The process was lengthy and included input from the students, staff, alumni and the surrounding community, who have come together to rally around the FIREHAWKS as they rise (from) the ashes of the Sundevil!”

Notable alumni from the school include former NFL running back Steven Jackson and Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan. Jackson helped Eldorado reach the Class 4A state semifinals in 2000.

Eldorado has won 24 high school state titles, most recently claiming the 4A boys soccer title in 2013 with an undefeated record (21-0-2). It has won 12 wrestling team state titles, including eight straight from 1986 to 1993.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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