For Saturday’s homecoming game against North Carolina, N.C. State will debut a new midfield logo with Wolfpack imagery inside the outline of the state of North Carolina at Carter-Finley Stadium.
If that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because East Carolina debuted an unavoidably similar midfield logo with a Pirate head in 2009 and has used it the past four seasons. Over that time, it has become one of the signature elements of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, instantly recognizable on television broadcasts.
“The people making the decision have seen East Carolina’s, yes,” an N.C. State athletic department spokesperson said. “That concept was not new to N.C. State. It’s just not been done in the middle of the field.”
N.C. State has used variations of the wolf-inside-the-state logo before on bumper stickers and billboards and in publications.
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It’s certainly standard practice to borrow promotional concepts from schools elsewhere -- such as Mississippi State’s “Our State” campaign or the LSU football intro video, which is how PNC Arena ended up “rising defiantly from the Triangle.”
While the logo was specifically installed for homecoming, there's no timetable for its removal. The Pirates visit Carter-Finley on Nov. 23.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” an East Carolina spokesman said.