#Uniball | A Look at logos, with Pete Laird

This BUCS preseason we thought we’d take an art-inspired look at the vast range of logos on show in Britball’s biggest league… And which teams are most likely to get themselves sued for them 😉

Edinburgh Napier Knights Head Coach and ageless pillar of Britball, Pete Laird, takes a deep dive into logos over the next three days…

A Look at Logos

By Pete Laird

Little known fact about myself: I hold a Scottish Higher in Art from High School. I achieved this qualification by drawing a still life pencil portrait of an American Football helmet. I got a B.

Whilst this information may sound a tad extraneous it does however make me the only person on the Double Coverage staff to have a qualified opinion on all things art.

When I was involved in rebranding what was then the Napier Mavericks in 2010, to the moniker Knights, which was being used by some of our other sport sections (our university has a castle inside of it!), I was contacted by an old team mate who worked as a graphic designer. He pointed out that the logo we were going to adopt was in fact that of the Rutgers Knights and we were about to commit Intellectual Property Theft.

After a very long rant about protecting the artist’s rights he then volunteered his services to design our own team logo, the one we use to this day. I still owe him a T-Shirt for his services.

(Sorry Steve, I do still have it but I now wear it to the gym. Not sure you’d want it?)

Edinburgh Napier Knights
Our new, improved, and non-suable logo. Note its swishing cloak and plume which gives length and direction, and the notion of movement, on a helmet decal.

So with that in mind, the editor (who has often been described as an artist of a different sort) asked me to cast my qualified eye over the current logos in Uniball. Here’s my tongue in cheek viewpoint on some of those (so don’t go all mental about it).

I’ve also missed some teams who haven’t got round to putting their logos on their helmets yet. That’s not a logo, that’s just aspirational whimsy.


Part One: Get Yourself a Good Lawyer

Some of the logos in Britball don’t really survive a quick Google search. To be fair some of the mastheads used are stock images or Clip Art and free from reproduction restrictions. Some however have been (*cough*) adopted by teams using nothing more than a Paintshop Colour pallet and some deft plagiarism that wouldn’t survive a university TurnItIn report. It’s probably worth noting that current team Presidents may not even be aware of the origin of their team’s logos, so I’ve collected an example of some of the more obvious ones:

Sheffield Hallam2
Waterloo Warriors / Sheffield Hallam Warriors


It was a Facebook comment from Warrior Peter Gill that started our quest into the world of football logos, who to his horror, discovered Hallam had borrowed somewhat heavily from the Ontario based university.


As any student will tell you, if you don’t want to get caught plagiarising, don’t borrow from primary sources. Using NFL logos therefore is probably not the wisest move. Note the shadow added by the Stallions. That won’t keep the lawyers off the track so obviously fearing a lawsuit the Stallions went for a sweet add on.

Stallions 3

Unfortunately it’s another rip off, just from deeper within Google images. Rather than the fairly obvious NFL rip off, Staffs went for the Montague Stallions of the North East Senior Hockey League.

Carolina Hurricanes / Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Would you have guessed this one if you didn’t follow Ice Hockey? Herts previous Hurricane was also from Carolina only in green.

Waubon Bombers / Lancaster Bombers

Granted it would be hard to fit a four propped aeroplane onto a helmet, and you always take a gamble Google searching ‘images of bombers’. Lancaster’s doppelganger play High School Football in Minnesota. It also looks a bit like Benny the Cab from Who Framed Roger Rabbit!

Carolina Cobras / Cardiff Cobras

Another Arena league team here.

My research for this article was far from time consuming.

“Siri, find me: Football, logos, Cobras.”

Miami Hurricanes / Portsmouth Destroyers
Miami Hurricanes / Portsmouth Destroyers

Did you know Portsmouth founder and former National Championship winning Head Coach (and now BAFA Director of Competitions), Russ Hewitt, is a huuuuuuuuge Miami Hurricanes fan?

Virginia Cavaliers / Sheffield Sabres
University of Houston / University of Hull
University of Houston / University of Hull

The use of a TM or an R symbol is particularly of note, as the owner of a trademark can pursue legal action against any infringement. Something that the Hull Sharks took to another level of irony when they replicated their borrowed logo complete with the TM on their YouTube video.

Clipart Panthers / OBU Panthers

You can assume there are a LOT of teams in Britball in this category. But hey, clipart is free and OBU clearly got a set of felt tip pens for Christmas (I think they lost all the good colours though).

UCL Emperors
UCL Emperors

Aside from some colouring in, you would think this logo comes direct to you from Google images clipart. Rather excitingly however it’s taken from a Home Decoration catalogue. At only £12.99 this Wall Art Sticker will brighten up any wall in your home and is easy to apply. Available in up to 8 sizes and 37 colours you’re sure to find a design suitable for any room in your home! Hurry while stocks last!

Check back tomorrow for part two – ‘Nice effort, but must try harder’.