Behind the Brand: What does RFTB mean?


Taylor Rocha

A BRAND HAS BEEN BORN: The SJHHS student body chants RFTB at the first home football game against Canyon to display their faith in the team’s abilities. RFTB has been adopted as a school-wide phrase to embrace the meaning, service for a cause. This year, RFTB has become more than just an athletic concept, but a concept that all students can grasp onto. Photo by Taylor Rocha

This year, Stallions have seen a change in the way that SJHHS has been “branded.” From the phrase “ride for the brand” to the new mascot, Teddy Roosevelt, the school continues to evolve in terms of tradition.

As our school grows and new students come through, a “brand” is essential to show students what it truly means to be a Stallion.

“Our school isn’t that ‘new’ school anymore, so it is important that we take advantage of creating our own culture. We want to capitalize on our school pride as much as possible,” said ASB President, Sanjan Kumar (12).

It is important that we take advantage of creating our own culture.

— Sanjan Kumar

The phrase “ride for the brand” originated within the SJHHS football program.

“RFTB stood out to us football coaches because we wanted something to represent who we are. Our brand is basically service for a cause and we believe in making sure that our athletes understand that it’s not just about ‘me.’ It’s about the bigger picture: how can I serve others to make the program I’m in, and the school I attend, better?” said Athletic Director, Armando Gonzalez.

The football team achieved success when they adopted the phrase in 2012. It inspired players to come together to reach not only excellence under Friday night lights, but strong character on and off the field.

At football games the crowd began to embrace the phrase and chant “R-F-T-B,” which brought a sense of unity into The Badlands.

“Last year, when we began to chant RFTB at football games, it showed that we were all unified under one cause, we all had the same goal, and we were all proud of our school,” said Kumar.

After seeing the strong effect that RFTB had on the student body, ASB decided that they would continue to spread what football had already started.

The rebranding began.

“We tried the ‘it matters, you matter’ thing and I think it was a good slogan but it was thought of by the teachers and pushed onto the students, which doesn’t work. RFTB really resonated with the student body and we saw how it has had a positive effect––not only in the athletic world, but in the classroom as well,” said ASB Activities Director, Brooke Valderrama.

It is now almost impossible to walk through campus without seeing the phrase somewhere. It has been branded on Rough Rider t-shirts, posters, and signs that overlook the football stadium. There is even a reminder to ride for the brand on the daily morning announcements.

When Stallions ride for something bigger than themselves, it not only benefits them as an individual, but it has a positive effect on the entire school.

Riding for the brand is what will set our school apart from the others school in our district. Not every school has an unselfish mentality and thinking about others as a core value of their school.

With the implementation of RFTB came a new mascot, Teddy Roosevelt.

The Teddy Roosevelt mascot works perfectly with the rebranding of our school because of his famous ride up San Juan Hill with his band of Rough Riders in 1898, an illustration of true courage and determination.

“The Rough Rider concept was something that Mr. Ressler has been really passionate about. We wanted ‘Rough Rider’ to become more than just a word that was forgotten about on campus,” said Valderrama.

ASB students approved and purchased the Teddy Roosevelt mascot costume at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. When Teddy was revealed to the school, he was also revealed to Ressler for the first time.

“I am super stoked about the new mascot. It is a big step towards building our school spirit and the environment of riding for the brand. I think Teddy embodies our school and stands for a lot of the things that our school values,” said ASB Athletics Commissioner, Allie Biederman.

“This rebranding will give our students something to be proud of. It will allow future stallions to come in and see how we are unique at San Juan Hills,” said Valderrama.

This new school culture creates a legacy for future SJHHS generations to follow. As students come and go, the meaning behind being a Stallion will never change.