New logo gearing up to hit the road

With a new logo comes new merchandise. And so it follows that USF’s “iconic bull” will soon be replaced on Florida’s roadways.

USF’s new green and gold colors, in addition to the new sports logo, may be the new combination on a new license plate.

Lisa Lewis, president of Alumni Affairs, said there would definitely be a fresh new license plate and that the design is still in the works.

“We are looking at all options right now,” Lewis said. “We have focus groups that are helping us decide.”

Lewis said Stephanie McMullon, director of member services for the Alumni Association, has been doing most of the legwork in changing the license plate.

McMullon said once the university had determined that there would be new colors and a new sports logo last year, she contacted the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I let them know this was coming and they have been so helpful,” McMullon said.

The last time USF received a design change was in May 1997.

No one at the DMV could be reached for comment Thursday. However, McMullon said the process of getting the new plate is not difficult.

“Once we have a design we notify the state and they stop producing the old plate. Next, (we) begin the new plate and send it to the designers to come up with a sample plate that we have to OK. After we approve, mass production of the plate begins,” she said. McMullon said the state Legislature used to make the final call on the approval of the design, but now the decision rests with the university.

Once the plate has begun to be mass-produced, McMullon said it would approximately take 90 days before the new plate is ready to buy.

Lewis added that people who already have a Bulls license plate and would like to purchase the new plate must to pay a $10 plate change fee within five years from the date when the plate was purchased. If they do not own one but would like to obtain one, Lewis said they would have to pay a $25 specialty plate fee plus registration fees.

“I’m hoping everyone will go out and rush to get the new plate,” Lewis said. “It will be a fresh new look.”

The money that is received by the DMV is distributed back to the university, Lewis said. The money is distributed to the USF Academic Enrichment fund as well as the ambassador program and student related academics. Scholarships and the Alumni Association also benefit.

“The money received helps everyone in some way,” Lewis said.

According to the DMV Web site statistics for specialty plates, USF ranks No. 30. in the state. The University of Florida is at No. 3, followed by Florida State University at No. 6. The University of Central Florida also beats USF at No. 28.

“I am hoping we can beat UCF (with the new designed plate),” McMullon said.

The Web site also states that in 2001 the current plate generate approximately $174,000. Lewis said she anticipates that with the aggressive marketing approach the association has taken over the last couple of years both the money figures and the rank for USF’s license plate will rise.

Lewis added that she would like to have a design by the end of the month, but said focus group research is still being conducted and the design may not come that soon.

“Once we get a consensus, it will be easier to move forward,” she said.