NATA History: Since its inception, NATA has been a driving force behind the recognition of the athletic training profession.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) was founded in 1950 when the first meeting took place in Kansas City. About 200 athletic trainers gathered to discuss the future of their profession. Recognizing the need for a set of professional standards and appropriate professional recognition, NATA has helped to unify certified athletic trainers across the country by setting a standard for professionalism, education, certification, research and practice settings. 

1950, left photo; 2018, right photo 

Remembering our past, looking to the future

Once housed in Greenville, NC, NATA now is headquartered in Carrollton, TX. From humble beginnings, the association has expanded to encompass a global membership totaling more than 45,000, plus a full-time executive director and more than 40 full-time staff. Members serve as leaders for the association, which has multiple committees working together to help advance the profession.

A complete history of the NATA and the development of the athletic training profession is included in the hardcover book, “Far Beyond the Shoe Box: Fifty Years of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.”




Logo History






A 2012 membership survey indicated the need for a new logo that would better represent where athletic trainers are positioned within the health care marketplace. NATA created a new brand for athletic trainers with a greater emphasis on medicine. A sleek, modern logo draws attention to the "AT" portion of NATA by reversing those two letters.

This video explains how the decision was made to create a new logo and explains the details and thought process behind the design elements.

The NATA logo and all components, including the stylized Rod of Asclepius and "AT" graphic, are protected by copyright and may not be used by third parties.




When we developed our new NATA logo, we made our design decisions based upon building the AT brand. We want everyone to know who athletic trainers are and to understand the service they are providing to physically active people across the country, so we embraced the AT symbol as a visual representation of the overall athletic training brand. Interested in acquiring a license to use the AT symbol? The license is free for NATA members and can be purchased by non-members for a fee. Download the AT logo on our licensing page.



nata logo 2013


In keeping with efforts to reinvigorate the association, NATA created this modern image. The form in motion, combined with our tagline of "Health Care for Life & Sport." portrays a dynamic medical profession without pigeonholing it; the clean lines also serve to focus attention on the name of our association.


nata logo 1991


The time had come to establish a different visual presentation with a new design direction, which included the laurel wreath.




nata logo 1984


The board decided to polish the original logo.




nata logo 1952


A four-man committee selected this visual to be the emblem of NATA, and it more or less endured (with occasional minor tweaks) for several decades. The committee included Chair Jack Cramer; Dwayne Dixon of Indiana University; Frank Medina of the University of Texas; and Dean Nesmith of the University of Kansas.