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UPDATE: There was a little confusion as to what specifically changed. The choice of Shark is solely for the physical mascot representation. Prospector Pete was removed and replaced with a Shark (whose look will be developed over the next year). Long Beach State athletics will not rebrand and are still referred to as "The Beach" or "Beach Athletics," the baseball team is still "Dirtbags," and students/faculty/alumni/people associated with the school are still informally known as "49ers." ------- ORIGINAL POST: ------> -----> (NOT OFFICIAL LOGOS, JUST RENDERINGS BY THE SCHOOL) The long, drawn-out, partially unneccesary, and all-out confusing process of the Cal State Long Beach / Long Beach State 49ers / Beach / Dirtbags naming saga has come to an end. On Friday, the students chose, with a 53% vote, and the university president ratified the new university mascot: Sharks Sharks was chosen from a group of three finalists (Stingrays 22% and "Go Beach" 25% as the other two) that was chosen from a group of six semifinalists (additional options of Giraffes, Pelicans, Kraken). Long Beach State is well known for its Shark Lab, which has been featured several times during Discovery Channel's Shark Week. LBSU now enters a year-long development process to come up with logos and branding and all that fun stuff. (The above isn't official, just something the school provided.) Six months ago, Cal State Long Beach / Long Beach State (they're still working on that. Officially its Cal State Long Beach, but they're working on the change as Fresno State and San Diego State have) officially remove Prospector Pete as the athletics/university mascot after years of criticism that he was offensive to indigenous peoples of the area, which Long Beach State actually has a great relationship with. Prospector Pete was chosen as a representative of 49ers, which is a reference to the founding of the school in 1949 and of course the Gold Rush, where again prospectors weren't great to the people whose land they were stealing, mining and blowing up for gold. Since then, and even before then when I was a student there, they had tried to shift away from the 49ers brand and tried to emphasize "Beach" as their claim to being the only Division 1 school with the word "Beach" in the name. Thought it would be attractive to kids around the country. ("Come to school at The Beach!") The rallying cry for LBSU for years has been Go Beach. But trying to refer to the teams as "The Beach" or just "Beach" proved to be quite awkward. During this interim period, the athletic teams will be officially known as "Beach Athletics." The only thing really unchanged by all of this, the LBSU baseball team has been and will continually be known as "Dirtbags." There's a long history to that name, and while on the surface sound derogatory, it came about as a term of endearment for how the team played on the bases in the 80s. Constantly stealing bases, laying out, diving and being covered in dirt. Also, FWIW, it's technically an informal nickname. It's not official. It's on jerseys and on merch, but technically they're still called officially whatever the school's mascot is. --- TL;DR - Long Beach State was the 49ers, removed Prospector Pete as physical mascot because the Gold Rush was bad to Native Americans. 49ers formally dropped as school tried to emphasize The Beach. Physical mascot choice put it to a student vote, and is now a Shark. Dirtbags remains unchanged. Students/Faculty/Alumuni/Organizations still informally referred to as 49ers.
Long Beach State Starts Visually Rebranding Without '49ers' LINK (Gazette) LINK (Press-Telegram) --- Now I've only been officially enrolled with the school for over a month now, but in that short time of going to the city, going to campus, dealing with the school, dealing with students, going to the bookstore, seeing their marketing and merchandise and all that, this was clearly the right way to go. The two paragraphs I underlined really express that, and are totally right. That is definitely the vibe I got independently, and the vibe I got from the students. You're going to Long Beach, you root for The Beach, the chant is "Go Beach". And the fractured brand was extremely evident when I walked into the bookstore. Shirts read Cal State Long Beach, CSULB, Long Beach, LBSU, Beach, The Beach, 49ers, Forty-Niners, Dirtbags. I had no idea where to go haha. I've always thought the "49ers" brand was weak anyway. Yeah, the university was founded in 1949, but the connection to actual 49ers and the gold rush never really fit for Long Beach. It never worked for me. Now while I wish there was an actual mascot, I've always liked "The Beach" and the basketball team has used it for a while. It fits. The campus is a block off of Pacific Coast Highway and less than a mile from the actual beach. I do wish that the baseball team was wrangled in to fit in with the rest of the school, because now it really sticks out. But it is the most high profile program on the campus and the Dirtbags name has its own history and backstory. It'll stay. --- TL;DR - Good move. I like that the school is unifying the brand, and I really think this brand fits the university. Good move, Long Beach State. Go Beach.