MAPLE PARK – Kaneland is debating the cost for usage of its Knights logo, but now knows it will be competing in Interstate Eight Conference games and events beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
Already approved to be a member in the Interstate Eight Conference (I-8) for the 2019-2020 season, Kaneland will not be a one and done after all as the Board approved full membership to join the I-8 conference during the Kaneland Board of Education meeting on April 8.
The school received an invitation on March 7 from the other districts/schools that make up the conference. The board approved the invitation unanimously. Kaneland joins LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Plano, Rochelle, Sandwich and Sycamore.
The Board of Education also approved an annual fee of $500 to be charged to any person or company that will make a profit from the use of its registered logo beginning July 1, 2019. Persons or companies not making a profit would not be charged the fee.
Board members Gale Pavlak, Pedro Rivas, Shana Sparber and Teresa Witt voted in favor of the fee while Ryan Kerry voted against it, Aaron Lawler abstained and Meg Junk wasn’t in attendance.
“It would seem to me that companies that did have to pay the ($500) fee would pass that down to the customers,” Witt said. “I think there are enough unknowns that I have to go with the recommendation of our administration.”
Kerry said it would be better to give the logo to everyone to use than to charge for it.
“By doing this we’re encouraging a bunch of different logos to go around,” he explained. “I think we’d be better off giving it to everybody for consistency - that this is what we want - and administration isn’t spending time and money chasing down $500 fees from who knows where.”
Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden explained that research had been done with local districts and the IHSA surrounding the new fee and use of the logo.
“I think a little of this is exploration, which is the first time and generating some revenue to see what it’s like to control the brand for a year,” he said. “If it were truly to make more money it would be $5,000 and we’d be spending the same amount in legal fees chasing down people. I think the time and cost piece is something we balanced and we had a great of discussion in determining what the best fit would be.”
Several people spoke about this issue during the opening public comment portion of the meeting, including Carri Kruckenberg, spirit wear director for the Kaneland Youth Football League.
“I can tell you as a person who does spiritware for a feeder program, it’s not going to be feasible to pay a $500 fee to use a logo we’ve been using for seven years already,” she said. “I’m not sure where the gray area is in the fee for the logo.”
Joel Redman, Kaneland Sports Boosters president, wanted to see the logo stay in-house.
“When I say in-house, I mean the schools, the boosters (music, athletics, foundations, PTOs, PTAs, whoever we want to address that),” he said. “We have found ourselves in competition with other businesses, local and not necessarily local, and we still do buy a fair amount of spiritware. We don’t make money, it’s for us to make money for our children, our students, our athletes, our band members. Whatever it comes down to.”